When Laurah Lukin logged onto Facebook to see some photos of her most recent during half-marathon, she was shocked to discover that a man she did not know had insinuated that shorts the length like she was wearing, caused “joggers to get raped.”
Unwilling to let it go unaddressed, in a blog post titled, “A leopard shouldn’t have to change her spots” Lukin addresses the man’s comments and why they are so insidious. She talks about how her gut reaction to the comments was to defend herself and her choice of wardrobe, and how she feels disappointed in herself for going there first. The need to defend her outfit choice is especially ridiculous, as she points out, when she is surrounded by half-naked, shirtless men running alongside with her.
Lukin takes the the time to thoughtfully articulate why it’s important to address this man’s comments. Simply reporting and deleting the comments (which the photographer who originally posted the photos did), doesn’t “address or help change the global and persistent cultural assumption that rape is preventable if a female would simply behave or dress a certain way.”
It is never a woman’s responsibility to change the way she dresses or acts to defend herself from sexual assault. As Lukin points out, telling a woman to cover up to avoid rape, doesn’t actually make women safer, but instead “provide rapists what they’re looking for: an excuse for violence.”
Follow Carina on Twitter.