In the Defense of Ms. VadgeWig

Fair Warning: This post will contain my opinion, and yes, that may offend you.

I consider myself to be a reasonable person. I know when to speak up and when to keep my mouth shut. I stay out of the limelight, avoid confrontation when I can, and let the masses fight their own battles. However, this time I just couldn't stay back on the sidelines and watch the chaos that was quickly unfolding. Let me break it down for you: Britni, a fellow blogger, was just recently sexually harassed. I won't go into the details (though you can find them here, should you care to read her story). Basically, a guy advanced on her in ways she did not condone, and when she made to get away from him, and a bad situation in general, he crossed the line from inappropriate touching to near-rape. Now, if you're just reading this story like me, this should be a no-brainer. Britni good, rapist bad. Sadly, not everyone agrees with this theory. There have been those who felt the need to throw this sensitive subject back in Britni's face, claiming that she must have done something to provoke the action. 

Okay, hold up-- that's an awfully big insinuation to throw around! She had it coming? That's your answer? I'm sorry, I just don't buy it. That's like saying my great grandfather deserved to die of colon cancer! Yeah, he must've had it coming.. eating all that fish. Bastard brought it on himself! Do I sound as ridiculous as those accusations I was mentioning? I really hope so. Y'see, I'm trying to make a point. The point being that victim-blaming is not the answer. We can't go around pointing fingers and placing blame just to make the actions of others seem acceptable. "No woman deserves to be treated like a whore, however if she happens to be wearing the uniform…. Ya know, I’m not a doctor. I don’t heal the sick, but if I went around dressed up like one and hanging around in a hospital I’d have to expect sick people to ask me to make them feel better." Okay, first of all, I have to combat this statement on the grounds that the author originally claims that no woman should be treated like a whore, and then goes on to suggest that if a woman is dressed provocatively, it then becomes acceptable or commonplace. No. Just-- no. Second of all, there's a difference between a patient asking someone they assume to be a doctor to assist them, versus colliding viciously into said person and forcing them to medicate them. He didn't ask, he assumed. He did what he wanted, permission be damned, probably because he's had society telling him his whole life that pretty girls in pretty clothes are just asking for it. Do you see the vicious cycle here?

I understand that we live in a dangerous world, and it's always a good idea to take precautions, but how far do we go? Do we barricade ourselves in our homes, hide away all our luscious, inviting flesh and refuse to speak to any men other than our spouse? Perhaps all us females should adopt the traditional Afghan garb as well, donning a burka to hide our feminine body, and a face veil to avoid strangers taking our beauty as an invitation to unsolicited sex. Yes, I'm sure all of our problems will be solved by further sending the message that we should be ashamed of our bodies. Let's go back to the days of being escorted around by big strong men. And hey, you clumsy ho! You almost bared your ankle in public while getting out of the car! Don't you know that's as trashy now as it was in the middle ages? All I'm saying is, your body is YOURS and yours alone. What you wear shouldn't make a damn difference. True, you might draw more attention, but that doesn't excuse someone invading upon your space. I've literally seen girls walk down the street in nothing more than a skimpy bathing suit. And yes, they made that choice to bare their skin. They gave permission for the world to look upon their bodies and appreciate them, but they did NOT give permission to be touched, groped, grabbed, rubbed against, or in any way manhandled. 

I'd like to talk, for just a moment, about double standards. The aforementioned commenter who felt the need to so boldly attack  Britni was first defending the equal rights of men and women. The comment concerned an unrelated post Britni had made previously concerning a television show and a man who was kissed on his neck by another man at a gay bar. The man who was kissed then proceeded to make homophobic remarks and be a general bitch. Okay, I maintain that this guy had the right to NOT be kissed on his neck against his will. I also maintain that he's still an asshole and a gay-basher. That's my opinion, as is his that he'd rather die than be touched by a gay man. It's just as bad for a man to be touched against his will as a woman. I'll concede to that fact. However, I do not agree that what we do or do not wear should be considered provocation for inappropriate, unwanted touching. If a woman wears something sexy and trendy to a club, apparently she's asking to get assaulted. Yet you don't see someone groping every well dressed man, or shoving a finger up his ass if he happens to be in a bar. Neither the clothes, nor the atmosphere, make any such action acceptable. A man can walk down the street shirtless and no one would accuse him of inviting sexual assault. We all have breasts, we all have nipples, but we're not all allowed to bare them. That, my friends, is not equal. I'm sorry, but you can't defend equal rights for men and women when they were never equal to begin with.

Just to be clear, I'm not here to bash anyone. I don't claim to be in the right while all of you who disagree with me are floating in a sea of wrong. I'm merely expressing my honest, true opinion about the events that have transpired. Yes, some of you may be offended. Yes, some of you may feel attacked. However, I feel inclined to mention that those same people who will scoff, or bitch, or whine, or grumble about my opinion have expressed theirs quite liberally on more than one occasion. If you hold no reservations about belittling others, making wild accusations, and downplaying the importance of another person's emotional experience, then be prepared to face a multitude of rebuttals and unhappy responses from all corners. That is all.

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Juliettia said...

Great post!

Britni TheVadgeWig said...

Thank you for this. <3

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