I agree with everything you’ve said. I truly do. Men must be held responsible for their thoughts, words and deeds. I don’t think I’m contradicting myself in also writing that as a father I am suspicious of any undue attention shown my still very young daughter and wish to protect her. That comes from knowing there are bad men/people out there. I would also be suspicious of undue attention shown to my young son (if I had one).
There is so much that can potentially go wrong (kidnapping, homicide etc.). This means it is my duty as a parent to explain to my daughter (or indeed son) why she should be vigilant. This is not to blame the victimised but to alert the victimised to the real threat posed by ever present victimisers. I would hope to strike the right balance. I’m no Reaganite, (I’m a black British man) however I would borrow the expression – trust but verify. I suppose in this context, that translates to trust in the efficacy of dressing however you like, but verify that you’ve given yourself enough protection from the big bad wolves of the world.
This reminds me of an incident that occurred while I was back in university. A friend studying law was about to cross the road at a pedestrian crossing and I yanked him back as a car speed past. I told him he had to be more careful even though he had the right of way. “If he hit me I would have sued his ass,” my friend said.
“Oh really. Could you have sued his ass from beyond the grave?” The point I’m making is, even when you’re within your rights you have to be vigilant. Yes you can wear what you want and yes you can cross because you have the right of way. You should still check the road for speeding cars. That means if there’s an intersection known to have crazy drivers (a shopping mall known to be full of creeps), you should not have the mindset of a person who crosses without looking (goes to the mall dressed as you wish, though you have every right to). To do so would be to take on the mentality of my friend who was willing to sue from beyond the grave.
I agree the speeding driver i.e. the creep is at fault, but it’s still on you to check the road before crossing (even though you break no laws by not looking).
I had no idea I would write this much when I started and I hope my bumbling analogy makes sense.