My Letter to the Editor in response:
Annette Wale’s reprimand of women who dress as they please and expect the basic dignity of not being sexually assaulted is a “dangerous message” indeed. Not only is it offensive to men to imply they’re one short skirt away from being rapists, it also makes women feel they are to blame for someone choosing to disregard their consent and autonomy.
According to Ministry of Justice statistics, 1 in 4 women in this country will experience unwanted and distressing sexual contact in her lifetime. The majority of those will be with someone known to the victim, and in their own home. So let’s stop characterising rape with dark alleys and strangers. But regardless of the scenario, the fact women still haven’t escaped proprietary status is never more obvious than when we’re held responsible for ‘tempting’ men into abusing us. Rape myths harm everyone.