You can’t be raped if you’re wearing skinny jeans


This is an actual heading in the Sydney Morning Herald.

Rape of woman in skinny jeans ‘not possible’

A jury asked for more information about how a woman’s clothes were removed during an alleged rape (I have to say ‘alleged’ because the accused has been acquitted).

During the trial the jury sent a note to the judge asking for more information about ”how exactly Nick took off her jeans”.

”I doubt those kind of jeans can be removed without any sort of collaboration,” the note read.

But you know what, even if she did ‘collaborate’, and I’m not for a moment suggesting she did, it’s rape from the moment she says, “No” or “Stop” or “I don’t want to do this” or tries to get away or gives any of the myriad indications that she no longer agrees to sex. And that’s what this woman says she did. Even before the alleged rapist pulled her jeans off, she struggled to get away.

It’s just a sick version of the “she was asking for it because she wore revealing clothes” trope. Only this time it’s dressed up as being about logic and evidence; she was asking for it because you couldn’t possibly tear those clothes off a woman.

This woman, by the way, weighs a mere 42 kilos. She’s tiny. Why didn’t the jury give any consideration to that in their deliberations?


7 responses to “You can’t be raped if you’re wearing skinny jeans

  1. OMFG. What is it with these people?

  2. Thanks for blogging this Deborah. I saw the headline (most read in!) and I really didn’t want to add to the statistics by clicking on it to see what sort of smug incomprehension it was reflecting. Same old, same old…

  3. I obviously missed the memo announcing that May Day is now April Fools for ethical cretins.

  4. Ack.

    Well, then, I will stop feeling bad for being a bitch about these things. We have a loooong way to go.

  5. Pingback: Quick hit: It’s not rape if her jeans are tight. « Spilt Milk

  6. Thanks for taking one for the team – I saw that story and just couldn’t bring myself to blog about it. Now, I understand a jury wanting to know more about how something happened – in fact, I hope they do ask – but the way it was reported was that it couldn’t possibly be rape because she was wearing skinny jeans. We don’t know if she said yes to the jeans coming off but no to sex. We don’t know if he forced her to take them off. We don’t know if they were skin tight or a size too big – which is irrelevant of course, but since the jury found it important enough to ask, surely as readers we are important enough to know the answer they got when deciding his guilt. All of these things we don’t know from the story – just that it can’t be rape if she’s wearing a certain item of clothing. Which, as you said, is just another bullshit version of her asking for it. I’m surprised they didn’t say ‘well, those skinny jeans sure are sexy, so she was clearly up for it’.

    And why the hell was her outfit even brought up in court in the first place? Oh yeah, because what women wear contributes to whether they get raped. You wear a short skirt, then you’re asking for it. You wear tight jeans, then it can’t be rape because you have to help take them off. Which ignores the fact that (and sorry, I’m going to shout here because I’m really cross) MILLIONS OF WOMEN GET THEM ON AND OFF EVERY DAY ALL BY THEMSELVES. Even small 42kg women, so clearly it’s not that difficult.

  7. My jaw was clattering around on the ground by the time I finished reading the article. I was astounded, and appalled.

    Fabulous Fuck Politeness has an excellent post about it.