A Modern Woman’s Guide to Dressing Safe

First, let’s start with your hair. A bob is too masculine, and no man will ever want you with a pixie cut. Long hair is more feminine and attractive. Of course, you must bear in mind that loose hair means an attacker can use it to pull you down, so make sure it’s up. And elegant. And brushed and straightened, or curled, with as much product as possible. It needs to look naturally perfect.

Next, your neck. Ladies, if you’re going to be grabbed, this is where it will be.  Avoid wearing necklaces, chokers, ID lanyards, ties, scarves, boas, wraps, or anything that goes around your neck. An attacker will use it to hurt you. But do not leave your neck without protection. Bare flesh is enticing, and you’re really asking for it then.

As a side-note, any kind of jewellery is a bad idea. You’re displaying valuables, and that is an open invitation for you to be mugged. Yes, the ear rings have sentimental value, but they are prizes to be taken if you show them off. Besides, they show just a bit too much personality.

Now, on to your main dress. Do not dress butch. No man will want you if you rock the boyfriend jeans better than he does. In fact, it is better to forego trousers altogether. Skirts and dresses are the way to go.

Of course, you cannot show too much skin. Anything above the knee is asking for it. And below the knee is prudish. And please make sure you shave your legs; there is nothing as unappealing as body hair. Wax every part of your body until you look smooth like a child.

If you have chosen a skirt, please choose an appropriate shirt counterpart. Please refrain from wearing anything related to a hobby or interest. This includes bands, TV shows, movies, books, comics or any sports teams. Men will find themselves forced to test you on your knowledge, and wanting the attention is unsafe and unattractive. It provides an excuse for them to talk to you. If you must wear a skirt-shirt combo, please ensure that it covers your shoulders, arm and wrists, as they have been known to drive men in to uncontrollable lust. It is not their fault if you do not know how to dress yourself appropriately.

Finally, we come to feet. Obviously high heels are the only shoes worth a man’s time. Sneakers, dolly shoes and ugg boots are unflattering, unfeminine, and not at all sexy to a man. The heels should not be so tall that you tower over a man, but tall enough so when you walk, it is with an uncomfortable lilt as your heels slowly begin to blister. The benefit is a sexy, curvy figure that only bone bending shoes can create. It does, however, make it harder to run from an attacker. But really, what did you expect wearing heels? You were asking for it.

*

So today on my way home, I overheard two men talking.

“She was asking for it. Did you see what she was wearing?”

I was mortified. Appalled, shocked… And why? This is the society we live in.

No woman ever asks to be attacked. And when we tell a woman she was asking for it, how to dress, what he could have done differently… we are telling them that they are in the wrong. We are blaming the victim and telling the attacker that they couldn’t help it. And when we tell a woman how to dress “safe”, we aren’t stopping the rapists and muggers on the streets. We’re making sure they attack another woman.

And why not?

They probably deserved it.

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About Stephanie Gallon

I'm 22 years old with first class honours in BA (Hons) English and Creative Writing. I'm currently studying MA English Studies. I'm an author, a blogger, and a zealot of all things written. I write on everything from comics, to feminism, to advice on university life.
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17 Responses to A Modern Woman’s Guide to Dressing Safe

  1. Yep. this makes it perfectly clear. The problem isn’t that there are no options. The problem is that “Sexing it up” to get attention brings lots of attention, even unwanted attention. Wear the ugboots jeans and the tshirt. Go for shiny bald. Be yourself, and if no man want’s you Fuck them, you don’t need them anyways. Actually BE strong and independent, don’t just talk about it.

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    • But there are women who do want to dress in dresses and heels, and those options should be afforded to them without people telling them that any grievance they have is their own fault. Who is to say that your idea of sexing it up isn’t my usual attire? When being yourself is traditionally feminine, there’s no sympathy from people.
      We shouldn’t be teaching women how to avoid attacks. We should be teaching people not to attack. We should stop the victim blaming and stop perpetuating a culture which tell you that it’s okay to attack someone because you think they were dressed provocatively.

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      • “Teach people not to attack.” just simply doesn’t work. An attacker knows she is an attacker and that it’s a crime and that it’s wrong, but does it anyways. “Teach people not to attack” does not reduce the number of attackers, it reduces the number of non-attackers socializing. This increases YOUR risk of meeting an attacker.

        The options for actually reducing attacks are disallow any inter-gender contact at all. Build the great wall of gender so that males and females never meet or we can teach prey how to be harder to victimize. You don’t try to teach mountain lions not to eat people. You teach people how to not be eaten by mountain lions. Same concept, predators are predators.

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      • Mountain lions are animals. They lack humanity. You can’t strip humans of what separates us from beasts to make an argument like that. We’re not talking about a bear on the streets. We’re talking about a human being who will attack another human being.

        Education is always our strongest weapon. We have a generation of “lad culture” and of rape culture, because we’ve normalised this behaviour and blamed the victims. It’s vicious discourse that needs to be stopped. How many schools teach consent in their sex ed?

        I’m not saying it will stop the attacks. Harsher punishments will do that. But when we live in a world where a 15 year old girl is raped, and she is forced to leave her home because a community is telling her she’s ruining her rapist’s life, we have a serious problem.

        Provide lessons on consent. Have more self-defence classes available. Make the streets safer with harsher punishments, especially for repeat offenders.

        But telling a woman that she was dressed wrong is not how to stop this problem. You’re not keeping her safe. You’re sending a message saying that they had it coming. The victims should not be the ones to justify their actions. That is for the attacker.

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      • emmawolf says:

        I don’t think we can say teaching people not to attack doesn’t work because it’s not something we’ve really tried fully. There is rape culture everywhere that teaches men that it’s ok to rape, that the women were asking for it, that no can mean yes, etc. etc. We haven’t tried what would happen if we got rid of rape culture.

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      • Being threatened with 30 years of being raped daily in prison is not enough deterrent to effectively dissuade people that can be deterred from raping? We don’t have “Rape Culture” We have “Rape Histronics”

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      • emmawolf says:

        How many rapists spend a day in prison?

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      • Enough that the people who will be dissuaded from raping with the threat of being raped daily for 30 years will be dissuaded from raping.

        So when are you going to get started on that great wall of gender so that no man can ever have any contact of any kind for any reason in any place with any woman? This really is the one and only solution to your version of “Rape Culture”

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      • emmawolf says:

        Umm….wow. There is so much wrong with how you think. I’m sorry, I didn’t realize you were an MRA. Please do some research into the incarceration rate for rapists and the rape rate in places where they practice gender divides if you want anyone to take you seriously. Until then…wow.

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      • Ad Homin is invalid.

        “Your are MRA therefore you are wrong” is just bad logic.

        My belief that men and women should be equal has no bearing on my ability to read statistics.

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  2. JLC Spears says:

    You’re bang on, Steph.

    My vast collection of wrap dresses doesn’t make me a woman, my ladyparts do. And I shouldn’t be attacked for having either of these things.

    And humans are lions aren’t the same thing. At all. Animals rely on instinct– humans make informed choices. The decision to attack or to rape, for one, is punished by society when we send them to prison. That is how we teach people not to attack others. Though it certainly doesn’t happen enough, what with the prevalence of the ‘her shirt/skirt/shoes/make-up made him do it’ people who seem to consistently infect the police and other powers that be.

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    • Exactly my point. The problem lies with society and media demonising kitten heels for something humans chose to do. We’re not programmed with Pavlovian instincts of see flesh, now attack. We’re rational, and capable of much higher thought that that.

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  3. “Teach people not to attack.” just simply doesn’t work.

    Isn’t that magnificently stupid assertion to make. We teach people not to attack all the time, via family, school and social pressure. Did you notice that entire lack of Mixed Martial Arts style throwdowns going on around you all the time? It’s crazy people are not attacking each other right now…

    Socialization and Learning….how does it work!?!?!?!?

    An attacker knows she is an attacker and that it’s a crime and that it’s wrong, but does it anyways.

    Stating tautologies and banding them about as if you’re saying something important is stupid. Of course attackers know they are attackers… 😛

    “Teach people not to attack” does not reduce the number of attackers, it reduces the number of non-attackers socializing. This increases YOUR risk of meeting an attacker.

    That doesn’t follow – The first premise – Teaching people not to attack – works. False premise and thus false conclusion.

    1.Socializing men not to rape means less rapists.
    2.Less Rapists
    C. Less rape.

    Shockingly easy to grasp.

    The options for actually reducing attacks are disallow any inter-gender contact at all.

    That yet another stupid assertion. Picking an implausible scenario and showing that it won’t work, shows that *that particular way* won’t work. It says nothing about other solutions proposed.

    Build the great wall of gender so that males and females never meet or we can teach prey how to be harder to victimize.

    Holy frak! You are just full of fallacies today aren’t you. This lovely fallacy of the false dilemma should be put on a placard somewhere in the halls of examples of how not to argue.

    A wide range of possibilities exist, see for instance the content of the OP, for answering the question, most do not involve great walls of gender(whatever the frack that is) or victim blaming.

    You don’t try to teach mountain lions not to eat people.

    You are hilarious. No really. It’s in the genes is it?? All this bad behaviour. This is perhaps the lamest excuse for an argument to excuse male behaviour that exists in the whinging menz playbook. Biology is not destiny you ignorant twerp; human beings have this feature called “civilization” and concomitantly a civilized socialization that allows us to transcend our basest of animal instincts.

    Or did you recently go hunting with your bare-hands for meat? (We can go down the genetic fallacy route as well, if you really need to be shown how wrong you are)

    So no, you don’t get to argue that men are biological rape machines that have no choice but to abdicate personal responsibility for their actions. (Your low opinion of men is noted though.) That shit barely flew in 20th century and it certainly doesn’t now.

    You teach people how to not be eaten by mountain lions.

    Because animal predation and rape are analogues…. err. No.

    Teaching women not to get raped has been the status quo since for forever. It’s a shitty method because it erases the actual cause of rape. Rapists.

    This isn’t rocket science, Skippy, as much as you’d like to make it out to be.

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  4. Being threatened with 30 years of being raped daily

    Because all rapists go to prison.
    Because all rapists are raped daily.

    What a load of monkey-muffins. Most rapists never even see a day in jail. The stigma against rape victims and the difficulty in reporting and getting conviction for rape means that most rapists go unpunished.

    Sexual assault is one of the most under reported crimes, with 60% still being left unreported.1

    Why Will Only 3 Out of Every 100 Rapists Serve Time?

    The majority of sexual assault are not reported to the police(an average of 60% of assaults in the last five years were not reported).1 Those rapists, of course, will never spend a day in prison. But even when the crime is reported, it is unlike to lead to an arrest and prosecution. Factoring in unreported rapes, only about 3% of rapists will ever serve a day in prison.

    Err ya. So your cementing your role as the Mayor of Wrongville. Oh hey, stop making shit up, the average time served for a convicted rapist is 5.4 years. If you’re gonna quote numbers back it up with citation, otherwise, given your history we’ll assume that you are confabulating.

    We don’t have “Rape Culture” We have “Rape Histronics”

    Your authority to make such grand pronouncements without evidence is nil. Mere unsubstantiated opinion, which wastes everyone’s time.

    On Rape Culture – According to Chris O’Sullivan, acts of sexism are commonly employed to validate and rationalize normative misogynistic practices. For instance, sexist jokes may be told to foster disrespect for women and an accompanying disregard for their well-being. An example would be a female rape victim being blamed for her being raped because of how she dressed or acted. In O’Sullivan’s article, sexualized violence towards women is regarded as a continuum of a society that regards women’s bodies as sexually available by default.[…]

    Or you could even look at the OP and see the evidence there. Dense as frak aren’t you? You are giving my stupidity parser quite a workout today with your baffling inanity.

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