It’s a huge mistake to blame women’s revealing clothing –- or women’s bodies — for public sexual harassment. The problem is a tenacious and ugly myth about male sexuality, one that tells us that average men simply can’t be expected to restrain their eyes, their words, or even their actions when faced with the reality of a woman’s bare skin. Because of that belief in male weakness, we outsource their missing self-control to women. And so this myth pushes women to police each other, slut-shaming or mocking those girls who are showing “too much”.We won’t stop the problem of street harassment by asking women to cover up. As long as we cling to the lie that it is women’s bodies that are the problem, it doesn’t matter whether women wear burqas or bikinis in public –- we’ll hold them accountable for what men to say them regardless of how much skin they’re showing. There’s only one solution, and that’s to start believing that all men (not just a few decent ones) have the power to control what they say and how they act.
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