Toronto's mayor, Rob Ford, is likely none-too-pleased with his niece, Krista Ford, right now. The former Lingerie Football player has made headlines in Canada and around the world for the disturbing comments she made concerning rape. Think not as bad as Todd Akin, but definitely in the same galaxy.
In the wake of a string of sexual assaults in Toronto, and just one hour after a press conference regarding the attacks had been held, the 21-year-old tweeted, "Stay alert, walk tall, carry mace, take self-defence classes & don't dress like a whore." Wow, right? Because OF COURSE a woman's outfit is directly linked to a potential sexual assault!
Okay, to give Ford the benefit of the doubt for a moment, I wouldn't be surprised if she had just thrown that remark in at the end of her tweet as a lame-o attempt at Judd Apatow-flavored comic relief. But too bad -- it's just not funny at all. Instead, it's a scary reflection of how pervasive sexism is in our culture that some people think it's acceptable to accuse women of inciting their own rapes by "dressing like whores."
Honestly, it blows my mind that anyone -- let alone a woman!-- could subscribe to the out-to-lunch thought process that women are bringing sexual assault upon themselves if they wear revealing clothing. That mentality does nothing but take us back centuries.
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Thankfully, Ford seems to have been admonished for what she wrote. Not only was her tweet deleted and her account blocked, but she issued an apologetic statement the Toronto Sun meant to clarify her remarks:
[I] didn't mean to cause such an alarm. I just want women to be safe. What I meant to say was that women should take measures to protect themselves and be very careful not to place themselves or allow themselves to be placed in vulnerable positions that may compromise their safety. It's important that the public knows that my comments do not reflect my family's beliefs.
Uh-huh ... The last line in particular makes me think she may have been strong-armed into back-pedaling. Oh well. We can still hope Ford gave some thought to what a rape victim might have to say about her misguided, ignorant remark and in doing so, learned from her mistake.
How do you feel about Krista's tweet? Do you think it reflects a scary culture of victim-blaming in our society?
Image via torbakhopper/Flickr