There was an interesting discussion that was brought up on my Twitter timeline last night. The discussion centered around debunking a myth that has survived for centuries (maybe not centuries, but a really, REALLY long time): that what a woman wears provokes her being sexually assaulted. There’s this horrible notion that if you just cover up more, be more demure and be timid, that men won’t act so animistic when they see you. The usual “blame the victim” argument. So the question was asked on my timeline,
“What were you wearing when you were sexually assaulted?”
The answers kept flooding in. I sat with tears in my eyes reading tweet after tweet of young women (surprisingly no men, even though it happens to them….but more acceptable and I don’t even have the time to dissect how wrong that is) saying what they wore. Some, because they were so young when it happened, were vague in their description. Others put more than one outfit, for the numerous times they were assaulted. The most popular response were those who put school uniforms, or classic T-shirt and jeans. My heart absolutely broke for these ladies. The bravery it took to tell their story in 140 words. That there are so many women in this world who have gone through this, many in silence. The pain they endured, it all became too much to me. I broke down and cried for them. I cried for me too.
Because in my t-shirt, jeans, and Chucks….I was assaulted too.