Monday, March 1, 2010

I am not a near occasion of sin

You may want to look away. I am about to be very, very angry.

Apparently, some people in Bristol, VA., who have the temerity to call themselves Christians, are handing out pamphlets to those they feel are dressing in an "ungodly" manner (and even though the article doesn't specify, I'm going to make a wild guess and assume that all of the "ungodly" are women.) This helpful pamphlet informs the reader that "if you are dressed in a way that tempts a [sic] men to ... sin, you are a participant in the sin. By the way, some rape victims would not have been raped if they had been dressed properly." (emphasis mine)

I am actually shaking right now, I am so angry.

First of all, there's the old, "oh, men are so weak, it's our responsibility as women not to lead them into temptation" bullshit. I know enough about anatomy to know that a man's brain does not actually reside in his penis, and enough about human behavior to know that men - like women - are perfectly capable of finding temptation all on their own, should they so desire. The idea that a man cannot control himself when presented with a desirable woman is insulting to men, and a serious misunderstanding of what rape is.

Then there's the idea that by "dressing properly" a person can avoid being raped. So... maybe if I had worn full body armour? Or clothing that was electrified to shock anyone who touched it? Maybe a chastity belt? I'd really like to see these guaranteed rape-proof clothes.

This just comes back around to the worst sort of victim blaming. Being raped is never the victim's fault. Never. Not under any set of circumstances you can think up. Not if she was drunk. Not if she was wearing a short skirt. Not if she was drunk, and dancing naked on a man's bed. Sex without consent is rape, and it is always the fault of the rapist. Even if he was dressed in a godly fashion.


NB: I am leaving the comments open, because I know that the people who read my blog are intelligent, compassionate, thoughtful people, who know how to behave in public. Do not prove me wrong.


  1. Nothing you just said should be the least bit controversial to anyone with a brain.


    Reminds me of that great satire article about rape prevention strategies. How do you prevent rape? DON'T RAPE PEOPLE.

  2. Wow, this pamphlet is so offensive.

    For exactly the reasons you pointed out.

    Kudos, by the way, on staying so eloquent when faced with this kind of twisted, brainless thinking. I can usually only shake my head in disbelief. I refuse to even try to understand "where they are coming from." That would be giving them too much credit.

    *reeling from intellectual/ moral/ generalized vertigo*...

  3. You sure these people are Christians? That sounds like Muslims to me. Let's all wear burkas, to keep the men from temptation, etc.
    --Deborah K.

  4. You are right to be furious. Casually tossed, ignorant, hurtful, stupid stupid stupid statements deserve it.

  5. It's especially bad because these "Bible Christians" aren't even reading the verse they quote as their "proof": "When a MAN looks on a woman to lust after her, HE has committed adultery already." Being a man myself, I know that it isn't a state of dress that hooks me, it's the state of my own heart, as the passage indicates. Even if the woman is nude and flaunting it, my lust is still always my fault, never hers. The sad part of rape is the the victim winds up having to bear the sin of the other more than enough as it is, without morons trying to make it her fault besides...