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Every day I come across photos of women that have been photoshopped in the most misleading way, setting the example that to be objectified is a social norm. Beauty and attraction are measured by the size of breasts, the curves of hips and by the amount if make-up an individual decides to wear. But what has happened to the aspiration of kindness, the intelligence that makes a person shine? Beauty is undefined.

When we see women walking down the street, we ask of them to reveal their flesh by wearing crop tops and shorts, and display disgust and disinterest if a woman is somehow inadequate by our standards.

When we hear that a woman sleeps around, we shame her, label her a “slut”, but when a man brags about the number of girls he’s had, we congratulate him, and he goes up in all of his friend’s estimation. And when a man gets wrecked as a result of alcohol consumption, it’s heroic, but when you’re of the opposite sex, it’s irresponsible.

And yet we turn to the victims, we ask “what were you wearing?”, as if we are deciding the cause of their rape. We forget that, actually, we were the one’s who bullied them into dressing “provocatively”, into feeling the hunger, the desire to be “good enough”.

A woman could walk through the street half naked with a sign saying “help yourself”, but when it comes down to it, the moment of consent, if she declines an offer, her word is final. She might get arrested for public indecency, but nothing excuses rape. It’s a terrible, inhumane crime, and nothing should empower a sense of empathy for the scum of a human being who took it upon themself to carry out the vile act.

The blaming, sickening attitudes towards victims of sexual abuse has to be put to an end. Rape is not caused by short skirts, tight t-shirts, too much alcohol or flirting. It is caused by rapists.

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