Slut-shaming the military

It’s always smart to take precautions to avoid potentially dangerous situations — such precautions are found in many places where crimes may occur. There’s a label on ATMs that warns users to be aware of their surroundings when withdrawing cash at night. That’s not victim-blaming; it’s common sense.

The trouble arises when things that are meant to be protections wouldn’t actually protect. For the military, not wearing a uniform at work isn’t going to stop a shooter who enters the building because it’s a known recruitment center. You’re there, you’re associated with the military and you’ve seen the shooter. For women on college campuses, wearing sweat pants probably isn’t going to make a rapist decide to forgo the crime.

Of course, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation if urging people to take simple steps to protect themselves (being aware of one’s surroundings, not getting black-out drunk, etc.) wasn’t now considered victim-blaming. Telling someone that what they are wearing will lead to their rape is a bad idea; so is suggesting that military men and women who wear their uniforms invite violence.