Speaking Out Against Child Abusers

Women asking for trouble by wearing short skirts

Are women asking for trouble?

There is a weird concept in itself before we get into the detail. Who would anyone ask for trouble? Trouble might be defined as difficulty or a problem. Most of spend out time avoiding such things because they are inconvenient at best and distressing at worst.

I have just watched a debate on ITV This Morning and thought I would have my say. It was the standard set up for putting up two women to argue differing viewpoints.

Angela Epstein said that “Nobody is entitled to rape” – glad we got that one sorted then! She also stated the nobody invites rape – shock horror! Who knew?

Her point was the women increase their vulnerability when they drink to excess or wear short skirts.

I agree women and men increase their vulnerability to all sorts of things when they drink to excess including health issues, death, involvement in things they would not do when sober and physical or sexual assault. That does not however justify any assault of any kind.

On the analogy of leaving the back door open and you might be burgled. Whilst this is true we could also try and develop a culture of respect for people first and then property.

Whilst this debate ensued on the telly, my 11 year old boy pointed out before I said anything that rape happens to people wearing all sorts of things so “that is like saying any type of clothing is sexually provocative. Rape is never right no matter what the circumstances”. You see if you instil good values in boys, they are an absolute delight.

I was reassured to hear Angela Phillips pointing out that most rapes are committed by someone the victim knows. If we want to warn women, let’s be realistic about where the threats lie often amongst relatives, friends, colleagues and in their own home.

Of course Angela pointed out that a TV studio is a benign place – tell that to the victims of Jimmy Saville and Rolf Harris!

Have I wore sexually provocative clothing? Yes and once drunkenly staggered through the streets of Glasgow after a wedding on my own and not quite sure of where I was going. Was that wise? No! Did I come to any harm? No! Presumably I just came across good people on my route that night.

Have I experienced sexual assault. Yes! On the street where I lived whilst I was dressed in winter woollies and jeans.

When will folks remember that rape is about woman hatred and violence and not about sexual desire.

Tell your girls and boys to look after themselves for sure but also instil great values in them too so that they look after others whatever their gender and whatever the length of their skirt.

It saddens me that we still have not got these things sussed after all these years. Women asking for trouble! Why would they do that with everything else they have to contend with? Whilst I am here, I also ask you what’s wrong with feminism if it means women get a better deal in society?

It is the perpetrators who cause trouble not the victims.

Or are women asking for trouble? What do you think?



Award-winning writer, blogger, social media consultant and charity campaigner. Social Media Manager for BritMums, the UK's largest parent blogging network Freelance clients include Firefly Communications and Save the Children UK. Works with brands on marketing projects. Examples include Visit Orlando, Give As You Live, Coca-Cola and Kodak. Cambridge Law graduate with many years experience working across three sectors in advice, media relations, events, training and project management. Available for hire at affordable rates.


  • Laura's Lovely Blog

    This concept infuriates me that a woman who dresses a certain way or drinks too much is somehow asking for it. No it’s not wise to drink too much – we all make mistakes though. Women should be able to wear whatever they like and be safe. Because it is her body and her mind. Good article.

  • Cherry - The Newby Tribe

    I’m with you completely on this. I agree it’s not a good idea to drink too much in that we will be letting our guard down, but to say that, because of what we wear we will be ‘inviting’ anything to happen to us is just beyond ridiculous! Well done for your great post! #bigpinklink

  • Manny - The Greenwich Mummy

    This is something my boyfriend and I have spoken about before. He agreed that wearing provocative clothing is an ‘invitation’ for men to take advantage especially if they’re drunk as he thinks showing that much flesh means that you must want attention whether it be good or bad attention.

    I wholeheartedly disagree. A woman should be able to wear what she wants and feel confident and SAFE doing so. Whether that be wearing next to nothing or covered up from head to toe. Women shouldn’t be preyed on like animals. It’s disgusting and just goes to show that there are too many men out their with skewed perceptions of women.

  • Rhyming with Wine

    You must have been so proud of your son for such a well thought out, considerate and respectful point. I totally agree with you, if society spent more time teaching us to respect each other and less time blaming women for the clothes that they chose to wear we might make some significant advances. Thanks for sharing with #DreamTeam x

  • Pen

    Phew! I was really worried when I read your blog title that you would argue that women who wear short skirts are putting themselves at risk and inviting rape. Thank goodness you didn’t argue that because I would have had to write an angry comment.

    I totally agree with your point that it is the perpetrators who cause trouble not the victims. Our focus needs to be on changing the behaviour of the perpetrators. Let’s not punish the victims or indeed the potential victims.

    Pen x #PoCoLo

  • Hannah Jane, The 'Ordinary' Mum

    What a wonderful son you have, so switched on. I completely agree with you on all of this, especially about the perpetrators causing trouble not the victims! Thank you for sharing with #bigpinklink x

  • Brandi with Big Fit Fam

    It’s a difficult question, are they asking for sexual attention? yes. do they deserve to be harmed, no….it’s more complex than that of course, but….people will see what they want #bigpinklink

  • chickenruby

    popping over from #PoCoLo.
    living in Dubai there are laws about how one dresses in public places and I for one very much like these laws, my younger visitors have difficulty understanding and accepting this.
    there are of course places where one can dress up/down. I personally will wear different clothing when I go out to a bar with a group of female friends, for example, i will dress up but limit the amount of cleavage on show and will tend to wear either a long dress or trousers. i don’t want unwanted attention from others as I’m usually the only married one in the group and when the majority are openly flirting or making it obvious they’re looking for a date, I’m not and prefer not to draw attention to myself with my clothing. i will happily wear a short dress and low cut top when I’m with my husband. I dress for myself though and it’s not a requirement of my husbands to cover up when i go out.

  • Paola

    Who says women ask for trouble by dressing provocatively is right. Right because we still live in a patronising and unequal society where women are still widely seen as tools for male pleasure.


    I get mad when I hear that argument voiced out because there’s no hint to how unfair that is and how urgent and important it needs to be addressed. It’s just stated out like that and then left up to women to decide if they want to live on the edge or not.

    I refuse to raise my girl reminding her constantly of her vulnerability as a woman. And as a woman I refuse to limit myself in any way. I’m a person before being a woman. Am I taking a risk sometime? Probably. But I won’t live up to deeply unfair rules.

    Thanks for sharing this

  • Michelle Frank | Flipped-Out Food

    Your 11-year-old has more insight and wisdom than many of the adult talking heads to whom I’ve had the misfortune of listening lately! I do hark back to one time when I dressed just-so because I was feeling good about myself at the time…only to get manhandled by someone I trusted. I got myself out of that situation, thankfully, but I was very disturbed afterward just the same. I remember thinking, “well, I really shouldn’t have worn that”. That very wrong mindset is so ingrained—I was immediately angry with myself for that reaction. NOBODY dresses up for the purpose of getting groped, assaulted, or raped, people! Thanks for this very timely article (I noticed it over at #BrillBlogPosts).

  • Toni Hargis

    The “asking for it” line of thought doesn’t pass the sniff test. If we were “asking for it” by wearing certain clothing, walking out alone or drinking too much, more women would be raped by more men. That argument implies that men can’t help themselves and will take advantage – but most men don’t. Only rapists rape; there is no contributory element.
    And yes, while we may be more vulnerable to the Rapists-who-rape, which other crime victim category is ever held partly responsible for the crime? None. You can walk the streets with your wallet in your back pocket, and if you’re robbed yes, people might tilt their head and say “Well….” but the criminal is still viewed as a criminal We don’t give them a bit of leeway because of the position of the wallet. Likewise with leaving the door open – we don’t suddenly stop thinking that the burglar isn’t 100% wrong.

  • Toni Hargis

    Here’s how the whole “asking for it” argument falls down.
    If we were more at risk because we were drunk, walking in the wrong place, on our own, late at night, wearing a short skirt, etc etc, more men would be raping more women. It implies that we could be raped by anyone because of our behaviour.
    But we’re not. Most men manage to leave women alone when they see them (in that condition); only rapists rape, and there is never a contributory element to it.

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