Editor’s Note: Apologies for the delay in posts. Technical difficulties kept me from updating, but we’re fully operational again!
Skinny jeans are one of the scary scary trends that appear here to stay for a while. I say “scary” because most of us aren’t built like models and thus fear the skinny jean because we believe it’s the equivalent of wearing a sign that says, “HEY WORLD! Look at my enormous ass!”
(As the owner of both a not-inconsiderable ass and two pairs of skinny jeans, I can say that this isn’t necessarily true if you choose a good fit and pair them with the right tops – but that’s another post for another time.)
But now we have an exciting new reason to fear the skinny jean, thanks to a jury in Australia who acquitted an accused rapist on the grounds that skinny jeans cannot be removed without the wearer’s assistance, and that said assistance qualifies as consent.
Did you get that? This woman could not possibly have been raped because apparently it would be impossible for a man to get her jeans off without her helping him. As if that statement isn’t ridiculous enough, the assumption also seems to be that if you take off your clothes you’re consenting to sex.
Hooray! Another reason rape is the victim’s fault. Well, she wore that short skirt… well, she got drunk… well, those jeans were so tight she must have helped him get them off…
Technically this isn’t a “fashion” article and I’m sorry for that. But I find it relevant because women are judged in so many ways by what we wear. Our clothes form perceptions about us. It’s the reason we dress differently for a job interview than we would to a barbecue. Some of that is fair. Men are also judged to a certain degree by their appearance; people use things like hygiene and fashion to make decisions about a person at a glance. But a line is crossed when it’s determined that the clothes someone chooses put that person at fault for harm that befalls them.
Let me be clear about that: sometimes it is our fault. It’s my fault if I wear 5″ heels and trip on them and fall. It’s my fault if I wear bright blue panties under white pants and people snicker at me. But it is not my fault if I get raped while wearing tight jeans just because some idiot in a courtroom decided what it would take to remove them. That’s just a new form of victim blaming and it’s ridiculous.
An Italian court upheld a rape conviction appealed on the same grounds, saying that “jeans cannot be compared to any type of chastity belt.” So Viva Italia! At least there’s common sense somewhere.