Women should dress how they want; not have stigma of ‘S***’

Addie Conway
Opinion Columnist

S***Walk started in 2011, when Canadian policeman Michael Sanguinetti told a university class that “Women should avoid dressing like s***s, in order to not be victimized.”

This struck outrage throughout the country and so thousands of women assembled on April 3, to protest, carrying signs that said things like, “I was wearing pants and a sweater…was it my fault?’ “I was wearing a military uniform…was it my fault?” and “If I was asking for it, I would ask for it!”

S***Walk spread to the both United States and the United Kingdom, soon after the initial protests broke out. On July 10, around 200 people assembled to walk Manchester Road, creating St. Louis’s own S***Walk, though the event was not well publicized.

It is a common idea in our society, those women who dress or act provocatively deserve whatever it is that happens to them, even if that means they are brutally raped.

It is a common idea in society that only “bad” girls get raped, that there is something “wrong” with someone who is raped and that it is okay to do things to someone dressed or acting provocatively because if one does that, then “they’re just asking for it.”

Rape is never okay. It doesn’t matter who you are, what you’ve done, how you act or how you dress. Women who seem to dress or act provocatively aren’t asking for “it”: instead, they’re simply stating their own style or expression.

Some say a woman “deserved” to be raped or that it was her fault but it is never the victim’s fault because no one deserves to be raped, mistreated or harmed in any way.

For that matter, what is maybe seen as provocatively dressed by one person, may simply be seen as comfort or normal for another. We’re taught not to judge a book by its cover, but we always end up judging, whether that person is a friend or someone we sit next to in class.

I’m guilty of judging people as well, but it’s time to end the constant judging of other people.

It’s time to stop judging people on their attire; it’s time to stand up and fight for the right to be able to dress how we want.

This isn’t to say that guys don’t get judged, mistreated or even raped themselves. They do and instead of saying that those men just aren’t “masculine” enough, we need to treat them with the same respect and kindness as we would treat any other victim.

Perhaps the problem is not just judging people or even gender problems. Perhaps the problem is that in our country, we simply do not treat victims how they should be treated. Instead, we make it so that it becomes “they’re” fault that the crime happened.

It is because of that reason (along with fear of being attacked again), that roughly 75 to 95 percent of rapes across the world don’t get reported according to a study done in England and roughly 60 percent of rapes in the United States don’t get reported, according to the U.S. Bureau.

In 1999, it was determined by the U.S. Bureau, that 91 percent of rapes were committed against women, 9 percent of rapes were committed against men and 99 percent of the offenders being male.

Despite a decline of rape, the United States still has a very high rape rate, especially compared to other countries and though people advocate daily for stronger laws and against rape, it still happens.

S***Walk should be able to inspire us to be able to protest for the right to dress, act or be whoever it is we want to be. We should all be able to stand up and fight against the injustices done to both women and men

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