Now, I’m sure you remember Douglas, the guy with his terrible advice for a young woman who was molested by her father. This is just as bad. This time, we’re dealing with the idea of judging people. This doesn’t get any better. For example:
But the way we dress is communication. What we are doing is communicating, and then insulting as a bigot anybody who is stupid enough to believe what we just said.
Nuff said. But it’s Loki; he can judge me anytime.
Back to the high end hooker. Could a capable director make that statement with no other materials to work with than a ritzy hotel lobby, a platinum wig, heels, and earrings that sparkle like a disco ball? Such that any movie-goer who didn’t get the point was an idiot? Yeah. Now when a woman casts herself in that role, and decks herself out in that same way—and I would like to flag my upcoming emphasis for any of my readers who struggle in this area—this does not make her a hooker. But it does mean that—if the world were just—she loses all ground of possible offense if some poor chump in the lobby makes the faux pas of his life. If she was not selling, why was she advertising?
First off, why the heck would this guy approach this woman? How about this asshat is in the wrong because he assumed that he was owed something by a woman that he didn’t know? How about he–oh, I don’t know–just minds his own damn business? How about that? A woman doesn’t owe you attention or a conversation or whatever. No human being owes you attention or a conversation or whatever.
She insists, with furious indignation, that she was not advertising. She was simply waiting in the lobby for her ride. But she was dressed exactly like 100 women in the movies we have seen who were advertising. Why was the chump not allowed to draw this conclusion? Well, let me ask you. Was there popcorn in his lap? There wasn’t now, was there?
WHAT?! I think you need to see above, Dougie-boy… The guy in question is owed nothing. He had zero right to assume anything. This woman shouldn’t have to explain herself at all because what she’s doing in that hotel lobby is not this guy’s business. Stop pretending that it is.
Now work with me here, because I would like to run ahead just a few steps. Nothing justifies rape. Absolutely nothing. I would like to take a moment to make this additional important point, which is that nothing justifies rape. In case people have not grasped how strongly I feel about this, I would like to insist that nothing justifies rape.
Nice CYA, which happens to be used constantly. “Now, she didn’t really deserve to be raped but damn! Did you see what she was wearing…?” In other cases, it was “How much did you drink?” In others, it’s “Did you do anything to get his attention?” In other words, it’s not the guy’s fault. You see, he just misjudged his lady-friend or he was led on or some other excuse. Because for the guy, sex is a natural need. For the woman, not so much.
Of course, that isn’t true; there are guys out there who have low libidos and there are women who have high sex drives. But don’t try telling this to someone like Douglas.
A chaste but foolish young woman does not deserve to be assaulted. Of course not. But she does deserve to hear an admonition from her favorite aunt. She does need to hear a caution from her husband. She does need to have a couple of embarrassing situations from which she might gather some wisdom. And the fact that we are being deliberately shaped and catechized into our incoherence by our entertainment habits can be seen in this simple fact. If someone maintains that a foolishly dressed woman deserves anything at all, even if only mild embarrassment when her aunt talks to her, this is represented as being tantamount to the claim that getting raped would be nothing but her just deserts. Which is crazy.
Let’s get something straight here: A rapist will rape, no matter what a woman is wearing. A woman can be covered head to toe in a burqa and a rapist will still target her because she is a woman. To think otherwise is crazy.
But what really sticks in my craw is the phrasing “A chaste but foolish young woman”. Okay, what’s foolish about a woman dressing herself? Is she not adult to pick out her own clothes? Does she really have to get an okay from the “designated adults” in her life, like her aunt or her husband? Do they really have to tap her on the shoulder and tell her, “It’s not a good idea to wear that. It shows too much cleavage.”? Libby Anne says it best:
Look, if her clothing did not play a role in her assault, she does not need an “admonition” or “caution” regarding her clothing in relation to her assault. Period. The only way such an admonition in the context of her assault would make sense is if Wilson believes her foolish clothing choices played a role in her assault. Wilson is playing a semantics game here. He says that she did not “deserve” to be assaulted, but he clearly believes that her “foolish” clothing choices played a role in her assault.
Maybe the foolish one here is Douglas. Maybe his wife should tap him on the shoulder and let him know that he shouldn’t post that. I mean, he obviously isn’t the best judge when it comes to this sort of thing. But what do I know? I’m just a foolish woman, after all.