Short Skirt Rape Comment by UK Politician Draws Immediate Outrage

Monday, 28 Jan 2013 09:50 AM

By Dale Eisinger

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A British politician who said women who wear high heels and short skirts are at a higher risk of being raped drew immediate and heavy flak from women's advocates.

"If you are blind drunk and wearing those clothes how able are you to get away?" Conservative Richard Graham told local Gloucester paper The Citizen.

"It’s not about the impact of your clothes on a potential predator in my view – it’s about whether the clothes you’re wearing make it harder to get away from a predator," he said.

Graham immediately sparked the ire of women's rights advocates.

A satement from the Gloucestershire Rape Crisis center said the real issue is the crime, not the way the women are dressed.

"It’s got nothing to do with how you are dressed or whether you are drunk," said the statement, adding that rape is "stimulated by desire for power and to humiliate and degrade."

Vivienne Hayes, of the U.K. Women’s Resource Center, agreed the comments wrongly blame the victim.

"Such comments frighteningly normalize victim-blaming. They reallocate blame from the perpetrator to the victim. The problem is not female vulnerability but a macho culture which produces the notion of male entitlement – a culture which consistently fails women through disbelief, victim-blaming and failure to investigate," Hayes said.

Jo Wood, a trustee for a charity called Rape Crisis England and Wales, said the comments are embarrassing.

"These comments have set us back about 100 years," Wood said. "It doesn’t matter if you are off your face and lying naked on a bench – that man takes it upon himself to rape you. This should be about putting the blame back on perpetrators."

Graham took to his blog to clarify his comments.

"As the father of a 20-year-old daughter, I rightly have strong views both on the importance of risk management and the hideousness of rape," he wrote.

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