Incidents Thought and Reason

Do fashionable girls invite rape?

Do fashionable girls invite rape?

IHM has written extensively about this topic, and there really isn’t much more than I can add. However, here are my two cents.


In what seemed to be a re-enactment of the origins of the Slut Walk, Andhra Pradesh top cop Dinesh Reddy recently made a statement that ‘women who wear fashionable clothes provoke men, leading to increase in rape cases’. He indicated that modern and fashionable women are more prone to rape, BECAUSE of their inappropriate dressing. While many people were outraged, many others have applauded him on his courage!!

I lived in India for most of my life, and I can tell you for a fact, that EVEN IF YOU ARE COVERED FROM HEAD-TO-TOE you are still very much at the risk of being sexually abused.

For starters, how easy or difficult do you think it is for a woman to travel in a crowded bus without being touched inappropriately by a fellow passenger?! A young child, a teenager, a mother of two kids – nobody is spared. As long as one is a woman, she is likely to be molested at some point in time. Do you know how many middle-class woman living in Mumbai carry a sharp safety pin while travelling on a crowded local train? I was advised this ‘technique’ when I lived in Mumbai for a couple of months.

The groping, pinching and other lecherous behaviour that happens all the time, on our Indian roads and public transport is beyond a civilised person’s imagination!! To blame that sort of lecherous behaviour on the clothes of the victim sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it?

A potential rapist sees his victim as an object and nothing else. There are no statistics to prove that a woman wearing a modern dress is more likely to get raped as compared to a woman who is conservatively dressed.

This article (see link) talks about molestation statistics in our Capital city, New Delhi. Atleast one woman is molested EVERY DAY.

Are we really so naive as to believe that all those women who were molested or raped were dressed ‘inappropriately’ or ‘fashionably’?!

How about our villages? Those poor women are not dressed ‘fashionably’, and yet they suffer the humiliation and trauma of rape.

For a country that claims to treat women as ‘goddesses’, statistics surprisingly indicate an increasing amount of crime against women!!

Also, do read this shocking extract from

‘In recent years, there has been an alarming rise in atrocities against women in India. Every 26 minutes a woman is molested. Every 34 minutes a rape takes place. Every 42 minutes a sexual harassment incident occurs. Every 43 minutes a woman is kidnapped. And every 93 minutes a woman is burnt to death over dowry.

One-quarter of the reported rapes involve girls under the age of 16 but the vast majority are never reported. Although the penalty is severe, convictions are rare.’

Let’s get to the ROOT of the problem.

This interesting link describing the various causes of rape

Every single reason for rape (lust/show of power/etc.) has entirely to do with the mindset of the rapist, and NOT the outfit of the victim.

The problem is not that girls are getting influenced by the West and/or are wearing fashionable clothes, thereby ‘provoking’ men.

Rape happens IRRESPECTIVE of the victim’s outfit and NOT BECAUSE of it.

If we take a step backward and analyse the situation, we find that our society is plagued by a strong ‘rape culture’.

Wiki defines this rape culture as:

‘a culture in which rape and sexual violence against women are common and in which prevalent attitudesnorms, practices, and media condone, normalize, excuse, or tolerate sexual violence against women.  Examples of behaviors commonly associated with rape culture include victim blaming, sexual objectification and rape apologism

As a society, we still tend to BLAME THE VICTIM. We believe that the victim is responsible, either directly or indirectly.

That way, we not only transfer the burden of rape on the woman, but also seek to excuse the rapist for his barbaric behaviour.

Statistics have not been able to prove the link between the victim’s outfits and incidence of rape. Please read an extract from this link ‘Through a Rapist’s Eyes’. Though this is applicable to the US, the underlying issue is very relevant to India too:

‘There is no data to suggest that a potential victim is at greater risk because of how she is dressed. Remember, 70-80% of assailants are known to their victim, so tactics of stranger rapists aren’t needed.’

More statistics only support the above statements by revealing that around 2/3rds of rape are committed by known persons rather than strangers!

Therefore, the point is – Rape is PREMEDITATED. To claim that a girl wore fashionable clothes, thereby provoking and INVITING rape is baseless.

And for those who really believe that covering ones’ self from head-to-toe protects you from rape, please do read this bold article.  Rape happens even with women who are completely covered behind a veil.

To be fair, I do understand that wearing revealing clothes might attract more attention in a country that is sexually repressed! But does that justify rape? NO. Rape is crime and you cannot simply BLAME the victim by the flimsy excuse that ‘she was wearing fashionable clothes’!

I think this comment on Yahoo beautifully sums it up: ‘A rapist has a totally different mindset. It’s much more sinister, because he is actually serious about his plans. And to a real rapist, the outfit probably doesn’t matter much at all’

The need of the hour is not guidelines on Indian women’s Dress Code, but concentrated efforts to get out of this gross rape culture.

There is no such thing as a ‘right to rape’!! The quicker we realise it, the better for us to evolve into a truly civilised society!

Please, do share your thoughts on this.

19 replies on “Do fashionable girls invite rape?”

All those statistics, and links convey just this one thing. That clothes do not… NOT.. cause the heinous act. But no matter the amount of noise made shouting this, we’ll still blame, “provocatively dressed” women as the cause! 😦

Posted something on similar lines today after a very offensive pic was shared on fb.

I doubt how many men “just lose it” after just watching a girl. And if they do, they deserve a mental asylum and not the freedom to ‘rape’.

I agree clothes dont cause the act .. (but BUT without being taken in the wrong way) the MEN mentality does look at it that way .. and yes i do say such men shud be shot simple

as i wrote earlier somwehre just imagine what these guys are doing t othe females in their own house ..

sad situation

Agree with you ….for those who think clothes make men drool hear this out …..
Sure the 8 month old kid who was gangraped and left to die on railway track must have invited it ( the child was abused and she was found on railway tracks with intestines were hanging out)
ever wonder why in every war be it religion or caste based women and kids end up being abused/raped beated…all kinds of cruelty…sure they are all inviting it…
Seriously depressing, Soma. Such incidents make one wonder, what is wrong with such men!!! Obviously, it has nothing to do with the clothes of the victim, but their sheer vulnerability!

I totally agree with you pal…. It has nothing to do with the clothes of the girl but its the sick mentality of rapists and just nothing can justify there act…
Thank you Tan…nothing can really justify the act 😦

Totally agree with you, Pals. No matter what a woman might be wearing, she could still be raped..It is high time that we stop blaming the victim and out the blame where it belongs – on the rapists. Nothing can be justification for such horrible acts!
Amen to that, Smitha 
And if people can’t ‘control’ themselves, they need to get medical help. and they need to be locked up!
ha ha, so true… will it ever happen? Don’t think so. I think the least we (this generation) can do is educate our sons to behave!!

True true true…I totally agree to every word…I travel by bus in Mumbai and there are so many occasions I have been groped even when I was visibly really hugely pregnant….and I couldnt even wear revealing clothes then…I was wearing tents over salwar..and yet I got groped…so does the honorable minister AP cop believe that pregnant woman wearing tents over salwar ‘invite’ rape or sexual harrassement!!!!
Oh God, that is so utterly disgusting and revolting.. what is wrong with those men!!!!!!!

And this, is the reason, why rape continues to happen in our country. We blame the victim instead of punishing the perpetrator. So as long as men believe they can get away with it, they will by all means keep attempting this…. 😐
Exactly… will this regressive attitude EVER change?!

Rape etc. in my view have deep set psychological reasons & it has got nothing to do with how or what one wears.
As far as agressive behaviour of man is concerned, it is probably born out of some kind of inferiority somewhere. He is always trying to prove something, compete with somebody, win something …In India this situation precipitates even more as men here are really starved.
More open societies, healthy upbringing etc. seem to be the only solutions…
You are absolutely right, Prafull. This is about power and ruthlessness and has nothing to do with the victim’s outfit. And like you said, society and a good upbringing are the key to change! Thank you for your comment.

I was trying to think of the times I have faces harassment and realised it was mostly when I traveled in the DTC (Delhi buses) during my college years, when I wore khadi salwar kurta – loose and shapeless with huge malmal dupattas.
Ditto, IHM! 
I felt much better equipped to deal with harassment in second and third year of college – and was harassed less. What was the difference? Confidence. I learnt (like all other girls my age) to question loudly if someone stood too close (etc).
Very true.. its the confidence that matters. People easily spot vulnerability and lose no time to capitalise on it! 
And for all the propaganda we hear about clothing and sexual crimes, I have seen the victim having a voice is the biggest deterrent for the criminal. Rape Culture suppresses that voice by blaming the victim.
Totally agree with you.

Since when did society started to tie knot with Rape and dress code of women? They are not even distinctively correlated!
Thank you.. why is such a simple thing so difficult to understand (for many many people, I mean!)

That’s just an excuse men/ or society find! Another chance to blame women!
Exactly Vaish!!

If we take the statistics of women being raped, and what clothes they wore, the reality will come to limelight – that it’s this awfully uncontrollable male dragons does not need any invite to get induced to rape a women! Their own arousal is suffice. If a women wears saree, the guy knows where to look. If she wears jeans or kurti (something without a dupatta),they know where to look. So, irrespective of whatever dress we wear, they are aroused, and motivated enough to rape!
Very very very well said.. take a bow!!!

This post is a slap to all those who think so…that fashionable girls invite rape… Actually there should be a punishment for those who even think and say that way… I wonder they just need an excuse to even justify this? MORONS.

I think ‘largely’ its agreed that ‘fashionable clothing’ is not the reason for rape. In my view (and strictly speaking from my observation’ is that there are two factors which have gone wrong, and as a result have fuelled rise in rape.

The first factor is, the culture for women to keep silent over such rape or abuse, as this may impact their respect, reputation and their future, along with bring shame (from the community) onto their family (and shame on the family respect). I personally never been to India, but here in the UK I made very good friends with a girl who was from India. Unfortunately she was a victim and was raped at her college, but the reason why she couldn’t tell anyone about it was basically her future would be at a risk, and the worst thing about it was that the rapist was her class fellow. As such going public about her ordeal would have tarnished her reputation and would no doubt have an impact on her marriage.

The second factor is law punishment. The police, as it has been known, are pretty incompetent in investigating rapists and more importantly bring them to justice. Because no severe punishment is given to those few who are convicted, this sends a message out to other rapists that they can continue in there acts as the law is incompetent and too slow in catching up with them. Plus the first factor of women not going public about their ordeal gives the rapist the added protection, and those few who do rely on Police and justice system to bring the rapist to justice simply find themselves locked into a expensive, slow, embarrassing law system with no results just plenty of delays.

As long as these two factors remain part of the culture and society, the issue of rape on the rise will continue.

One must ask these men how on earth does a two or six year old “invite” rape? how do they justify such a heinous act?
Exactly, Reema. The excuses they come up with. Just proves that we are still living in a society plagued by rape culture.

Sane people don’t rape… It’s mentally screwed up people with serious issues that rape and molest…
Spot on!!! 
If a man is going to rape he will do it regardless of what she’s wearing, looks like or her age. That’s the plain simple truth of it.
Again, couldn’t have put it better. 
Once in the uk a couple of teenagers raped a 94 year old women. I think this proves my point.
Oh God!!!!!!!!!!
So rest assured all females who have been raped… No it wasn’t your fault.
When will our society tune into this mindset!!

Rape cases and victims increase in number day by day because of the loose law prevalent in our country. If I were to make some changes in law and punish the rapists, I would cut off their tool and tie them up in the public so as to spread the message that this is the reward for rape.

I’m sure if the law of the land is strict, no one would ever think of rape even if an attractive female walks by him nude.

So, what do you think?

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