The concerned father was telling me how he told his daughter that her dress was bait; that she was tantalizing men. When I explained that those types of comments contribute to victim blaming, he pushed back by saying, 'my daughter isn't a victim.' When I asked that if she did become one, would his first response be, 'I told you not to wear that skirt', he paused and said, 'I never thought about it that way.' And when he stated, 'women have to demand respect,' I countered with, 'why aren't we demanding that we raise boys to respect women.'
He walked away. I hope he doesn't forget our conversation.
I was left with a deep angst and concern of my own.
- Why is it we are still holding women responsible to control men's sexual behaviors?
- Why is it that childhood sex abuse, a contributing factor to human trafficking, and more prevalent than human trafficking, has to fight to be included in the discussion? (It took me two years of lobbying to get invited to the discussion.)
- Why is it that conferences are still focused on information, when what we need are personal challenges to the mindsets that keep it all in place?