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May. 3 2010 - 12:16 pm | 1,341 views | 1 recommendation | 5 comments

The appalling ‘Skinny Jeans’ rape defense

[via Feministing] The Sydney Morning Herald is reporting that a man has been acquitted of sexual assault charges because the alleged victim was wearing skinny jeans.  The infuriating headline, “Rape of women in skinny jeans ‘not possible,’” is followed by this opening paragraph:

Can a woman wearing skinny jeans be raped? Or are they so tight they can be taken off only with her consent?

The defense counsel, while cross-examining the victim, asked her how much she weighed, and told her:

I’m suggesting it’s difficult for skinny jeans to be taken off by someone else unless the wearer’s assisting, collaborating, consenting.

The woman responded, “I would disagree.” 

This is insane.  When does scrutinizing the tightness of someone’s clothes become a deciding factor in a rape case?  To even argue with the logic is to give this ridiculous defense too much credit, but the fact is, fucking skinny jeans fit different people differently.  “Skinny jeans” is a pretty big umbrella category– some are kind of a pain in the ass to get on and off, and some are no different than regular jeans.  Did the jury look at the amount of elastic compared to cotton in the victims jeans?  If that sounds like an absurd thing to do, it is, because the type of clothing a woman is wearing should not be a factor in determining whether or not a rape has occurred.

Jos at Feministing argues that the defense reeks of “slut shaming and victim blaming,” even if not explicitly.  It’s hard to disagree, considering how often a woman’s clothing is used to invalidate a rape accusation, and how ungrounded it is to argue that a man couldn’t possibly remove a pair of jeans during a forceful act.  I don’t know the other specifics of the case, but the “skinny jeans” defense needs to be discredited and destroyed, immediately.


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  1. collapse expand

    Not disagreeing but I have to say it’s damn near impossible to remove my fiance’s skinny jeans sometimes. Even with her help…

    Before snide comments are posted, let me say she often initiates. I can’t imagine what it would be like if she didn’t want them to come off…

  2. collapse expand

    What about pantyhose? Or just panties? They’re mostly elastic…so the same difficulty in removal is likely there…

    It’s just hard to believe this is the reason for acquittal.

  3. collapse expand

    I remember my mother telling me about something similar happening in Italy in the late 80’s, except it was jeans with button flies that were deemed impossible to get off by a rapist.

    Men will always look to the female for reasons a rape happened because collectively they don’t want to admit they have a sexing weakness that clouds their judgment. Women should know better. Women shouldn’t show cleavage, or their legs, or even their skin (cover them all up, we say!) because some men are ruled by their sexual needs…

    I’d rather take the fluctuating hormonal weaknesses in women (and their “weaker” physique), then keep half of the population down because I don’t want to admit my sex weakness.

  4. collapse expand

    okay first off women should be able to do as they please without having a man, or rather a DOG. try to attack them. this skinny jeans excuse is BULLSHYT!. i love skinnys. and they come off just fine. there is no way this can be an excuse for any man to get away with rape. besides you do not need clothes to be completly off for someone to be raped. HELLO. dont you people see that!! im so sick of men thinking they can do whatever they want and use us women and our clothing as their excuses for acting like barbaric animals!!! no REASON FOR IT ALL!!!!!
    ~thanks bethany

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    I am a stand-up comic and writer living in Brooklyn. I also teach theater and comedy to elementary-school kids in the Bronx. My writing and comedy videos have been featured on the women's comedy website Funny Not Slutty, Punchline Magazine, and EDGE.

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