Wednesday, June 19, 2013

New rape whistle? Old rape culture

If you frequent Buzzfeed or similar sites, you've probably seen this already. Even if you don't, I'm willing to bet that you've heard of the "newest" trend in tights...

"Super sexy, summertime anti-pervert full-leg-of-hair stockings,
essential for all young girls going out. *happy clapping dinosaur*"

Yep, these are hairy-leg tights made by a company in China, claiming that these "sexy" tights are essential for girls and women to ward off the rapists.


THERE ARE PROBLEMS HERE. The idea that these tights are meant to ward off rapists causes a TON of misconceptions about rape, rape culture, women, and men.

Rape isn't about sexual gratification-- it's about power and control.

These tights teach that women should protect themselves and assume that men are predators, not that men shouldn't rape. We're on the defensive, living by a rape schedule.

These tights make the assumption that only attractive women (read: hairless legged girls) get raped, so they need to be protected by making themselves unattractive, according to society.

Rape and sexual assault happens in every culture, class, race, gender, weight class, you name it. Rape doesn't exclude any group of people, so guess what? Hairy girls get raped too. Magical hairy tights don't prevent assault.

These tights tell us that women who choose to grow out their leg hair are undesirable and that the only thing that matters about attraction is outward appearance.

They assume that men are inherently rapists because we need to constantly protect ourselves against them.

I mean, I'm not surprised that something like this exists. It's sad, too, because I'd like to believe that whoever came up with this idea meant well. I don't want to be the bearer of bad news, but rape is a subject that needs constant care. It's something that too many people experience to just gloss over and assume that any attention to the problem is beneficial, because that's just not true. It's just another example about how society's ideas are implanted directly in us, without us realizing it much. 

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