The danger of victim blaming, explained in one glorious sentence.
Last night, something very important happened on The Project.
The panel, including hosts Carrie Bickmore and Waleed Aly and regulars Peter Helliar and Steve Price, were discussing singer Chrissie Hynde’s recent comments regarding victim blaming and sexual assault.
In case you missed it, Hynde recently made headlines after claiming she was responsible for her own rape at age 21 because of the way she was dressed when she was attacked:
“You know, if you don’t want to entice a rapist, don’t wear high heels so you can’t run from him.
“If you’re wearing something that says ‘Come and f*** me’, you’d better be good on your feet… I don’t think I’m saying anything controversial am I?”
The panel weighed in on Hynde’s opinion – and as usual, Aly had something brilliantly sensible to say.
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In a couple of sentences, he eloquently pointed out the danger and stupidity of telling women and girls that what they wear and how they act can affect their vulnerability.
“I think parents are always going to give advice to their kids about a lot of things – that’s the job of parenting. But the bit that I can’t accept is that rape has anything to do with clothing specifically, that if you dressed differently then suddenly you wouldn’t be sexually assaulted. Because we’ve seen it – elderly women in nursing homes get raped, people get raped by their partners in the privacy of their own home, they’re not even out – let alone out at night drunk,” he said.
According to Aly, blaming rape on the victim’s clothing or actions at least partly absolves the rapist of their guilt – and that’s an incredibly dangerous message to be sending to young women, and society in general.
So bravo, Waleed Aly.
It’s a message we can’t hear enough.