First published in Trespass Magazine on 4/5/2010
Apparently you can’t get raped if you’re wearing skinny jeans. Skinny jeans are unable to be removed singlehandedly by a man; indeed they require the consent and assistance of the skinny jean-wearing female and thus said woman wearing skinny jeans cannot be raped. Following this logic, one is to justifiably assume, if skinny jeans cannot be removed by one person, skinny jean wearers must regularly enlist the assistance of a removalist each time they need to take their pants off; when they, for example, use the toilet, or undress at the end of the day, or even undress when changing their minds about wearing skinny jeans in the first place. Tiresome. But the things we do for fashion, huh?
So let’s recap. Skinny jeans simply cannot be unbuttoned and peeled off a woman’s torso by a man intent on raping her. It’s just not possible. He isn’t strong enough, the jeans adhere to the woman’s skin once buttoned and their successful removal is a collaborative effort. Therefore, if a woman brings a charge of rape against a man (a statistically unlikely event, but it does happen) and she was wearing skinny jeans on the night of the alleged rape and her collaborative removalist wasn’t present, it’s safe to assume the rape didn’t occur.
What’s so refreshing about this progress in the ongoing battle to have rape victims taken seriously, is that it gives those victims another reason to reconsider reporting the attack. Whilst once upon a time there was that quaint notion that if a woman dressed ‘provocatively’ (which, depending on who you ask or what rape case you reference, can be anything that isn’t a floor length muumuu) she was ‘asking for it’, now there’s the obvious truth that a staple of many women’s wardrobe doubles as a chastity belt. Another excellent deterrent.
The anti-rape jean, why didn’t we think of this earlier? Perhaps this handy feature of the skinny jean should be spoken about more often, included in advertising slogans, stitched into the labels; ‘wear these jeans and you can’t get raped, bonus.’ Of course, a second stitching might have to be added, something along the lines of, ‘make sure your skinny jeans aren’t too skinny, lest you entice a man by appearing too provocatively dressed.’ But that’s fine. Just some minor admin that might be required to alert everyone – rapists and victims alike – to the latest get-out-of-jail-free-card.
So let’s celebrate. This is a yet another great moment for women and rape victims.