Trigger warning – victim blaming.
An Australian woman saw the man she accused of rape walk free last week because his defence lawyer asserted that her jeans were too skinny for the accused to have removed them without her help. The jury accepted the argument that she must have been “assisting, collaborating, consenting.” It’s a sickening and frightening twist on the old short skirt defence, and completely fails to acknowledge that even if she had removed her jeans (which she denies), the removal of clothing is in not synonymous to giving consent to sex.
This really highlights what feminists have been repeating over and over again for decades: trying to prevent rape by limiting women’s freedom of dress, movement or association cannot and will not stop rape. Skirt or trousers, defence lawyers and rape apologists will still find a way to blame the victim, and trying to play by their rules cannot and will not keep us safe.