In the hurt and anger and disbelief that follows allegations like those levelled against disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein there is often a voice that adds to the harm, as opposed to condemning it.
This time that voice came from fashion designer Donna Karan who, when asked about the Weinstein revelations on the red carpet, called into question the way women dress and said: “what are we asking for by presenting all the sensuality and all the sexuality?”
There is always backlash. These voices that blame victims and atttempt justifaction where none is possible are often shouted down. Karan later apologised, labelling it a “misunderstanding”.
But no one has pointed out the error in this message quite as effectively as Australian actress and Oscar award winner Cate Blanchett.
Speaking at InStyle’s annual fashion awards in Los Angeles on Monday night, 48-year-old Blanchett gave the most foolproof explanation for why victim blaming is never, ever correct.
“Women like looking sexy, but it doesn’t mean we want to f*ck you,” she told the audience, as reported by The Telegraph.
“No one says to Steve Bannon, ‘you look like a bag of trash. Do you want me to throw you out?’”
She continued by calling out the online trolls who always have something negative to say about red carpet styles - remembering, she was speaking at a fashion event.
And finished by paying tribute to the icons of style - the individuals - who set trends through the freedom they feel to wear what they want, when they want.
The way we should all be free to dress as we wish. Without being abused. And without being blamed for it.
"For me, the true icons of style... it’s that for me it’s always those women who’ve been utterly themselves without apology - whose physical presence and their aesthetic is really integrated in a non self-conscious way," Blanchett said.
"Women who know how they look, it’s not all of who they are but just an extension of that. It’s about women who feel free to wear what they want, when they want, and how they want to wear it."
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