Don’t Provoke the Perverts: Wearing Bikinis on Spring Break Heightens Your Risk For Rape

I guess we should all start walking around in full-body dashikis, ’cause bikinis are far too provocative to be worn outside of the shower.

A stunning commentary on HLN’s Issues with Jane Velez-Mitchell recently addressed the startling epidemic that women are, indeed, provoking their own sexual assaults.  By “walking around scantily-clad and drinking [so much] on Spring Break.”

The controversy surrounded the current state of Spring Break in Daytona Beach, Florida.  It seems that coeds are being sexually assaulted on a rampant level this year and “experts” are chalking it up to late-teen and twentysomething women acting provocatively.  After much debate as to who is ultimately to blame for the rash of rapes in Daytona, host Velez-Mitchell responded:

“Listen, I don’t like to blame the victim, but … If you’re scantily-clad, wearing nothing but a skimpy bikini, I mean…You’re making yourself vulnerable.”

Velez-Mitchell then had a guest on the segment — a typical sex-loving-looking Frat boy who was proud to advertise his “colors” concurred with Velez-Mitchell and stated:

“Listen, we can’t stop rapists from committing rape. But we can reduce the number of rapes that occur by women not walking around scantily-clad and drinking so much on Spring Break.”

If you really want to torture yourself, you can read the show’s full transcript, but I beg you to take a tranquilizer or something beforehand.  You might wanna go and get crazy and do some home-grown dental work on an anchor at HLN.

Bottom line — I guess — ladies?  Don’t parade around in your bathing suit in front of men. Or worse, the HLN studios.

Cripes.



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82 thoughts on “Don’t Provoke the Perverts: Wearing Bikinis on Spring Break Heightens Your Risk For Rape

  1. Well, duh! If a rapist is out looking for a target they’re going to bypass the confident looking sober woman in favor of the scantily clad and falling down drunk woman. Of course in an ideal world there would be no rapists and women would be free to lie around drunk and half naked on the beach as much as they wanted but that’s not the case. We need to take responsibility for our own safety and use common sense.

    • Agreed. Being drunk in public–especially in an unfamiliar place, surrounded by hordes of unfamiliar people–is just NOT a bright thing to do.

  2. Disclaimer – I have not read the show transcript and I am basing my comments solely on this blog entry.

    The sad facts are that rapists usually prey on the weak – an easy mark. A drunk woman isn’t generally as careful or aware as she would be sober.

    If you’re drunk, in a bikini and wandering around a strange place, you could easily become a prime target to a rapist. This isn’t right, of course – but it is true.

    I wonder if rapists aren’t actually attracted to places like Lauderdale during spring break for this very reason.

  3. So right… ladies, make sure to wear a full body jumpsuit on the hot beach this year. Nothing form fitting, in fact, put on a beekeeper hat while you’re at it. And carry water only, you will need it in this outfit. Please. It’s the woman’s fault that these clowns can’t control themselves? How about these men grow up and take some personal responsibility, and practice some self control?

    • @ Love – rape isn’t about sex. It’s about control and hate and violence.

      I don’t like the fact that this article has any validity at all, but it does – sadly.

      Rapists prey on the vulnerable.

      • True, but I also think that all rape isn’t about hate and violence. I am sure there is plenty of date rape resulting from poor judgement, mixed signals, mental instability, anger from other situations, etc. It sounded as though Velez Mitchell was specifically highlighting what the women were wearing. These women are also vulnerable in jeans and a T-shirt. A rapist will rape no matter what you wear and men are physically stronger and can overpower women whether they are drunk or not.

        • All rape IS about hate though. The only kind of person who could rape a woman must already fear and loathe women.
          Women aren’t even human beings to rapists; how else could they commit such a disgusting crime?

        • I believe that drinking / altered state of mind for either the male or female has a LOT more to do with instances of rape occurring than what a woman is wearing.

        • I have to agree with Chuck. I imagine men are more likely to rape if they are drunk or on some other substance. And, along those lines, why aren’t we trying to figure out why men rape and working to get them to stop instead of telling women they have to do whatever they can to not be raped? It makes it sound like rapists trolling around is just an inevitability like earthquakes or blizzards or something. I’m not saying women should be stupid about their behavior, but where’s the accountability for the rapists?

    • No kidding…it’s really just best if you stay home locked in your room wearing a burqa. And never get drunk. Because then you’re totally asking for it.

      • Come on, Erin.

        You know that isn’t what I meant.

        I’m sorry that there is some truth in this story – but it is true. In a perfect world, there would be no rapists. Unfortunately, this world is far from perfect.

        Best advice?

        Enjoy your spring break – but stay with friends at all times.

        Never, ever allow yourself to be left behind.

        Agree to have at least one friend stay sober – one that can put the brakes on if it looks like one of your group is about to do something dangerous.

        Best idea ever?
        Take me with you!

      • It sucks that you can’t run around drunk off your ass in a bikini in a party atmosphere without fear. But you can’t. Because this is real life. And in real life men who rape look for easy targets. Don’t be one.
        To say that isn’t blaming the victim, or removing blame from raping scumbags who’s testicles should be removed with great force. Preferably by a bulldog.

        I agree that the tone of the original broadcast was annoying, but the main point is a valid one.

        • So true,I remember during the Natalie Holloway case I kept asking myself,does a high school senior really need a drinking trip on a foreign beach. Not if she’s my daughter!

      • Btw, I’m not saying getting drunk off your ass and running around in a bikini that you will quite possibly lose at some point is a well-thought out course of action. It’s just ridiculous to say that it invites rape, especially from men you aren’t even interacting with. Slutty or stupid behavior isn’t a free pass to commit a rape.

        • I hope it doesn’t seem like I’m defending drunken skaniness out of experience. I’m not a drinker or partier; however, I feel like a lot of college guys have some sort of entitlement thing where it’s ok to bang a drunk girl that would never say yes to him if she was sober because she’s a prude. It’s like it’s ok to rape someone if you decide she’s a drunk slut.

  4. Why does everyone always forget that conscious consent is REQUIRED before sex?!

    Just forget about the “no means no” crap. The absence of crying and screaming does not some how make it ok to rape a woman.
    You should really be thinking “Yes means yes.” That is the ONLY word that means you have the green light to have sex.

    You can’t just say “well he didn’t tell me not to!” as a defense if you are on trial for murdering someone. Why is THIS crime somehow so different?

    Oh I know, because women who don’t act and dress like nuns are whores and therefore they deserve it, right?!

    Misogyny begets rape.

    • We’re not talking about average attitudes here,no means nothing to a rapists,in fact he probably would prefer you to cry and beg for mercy. Old Arab saying,trust in God but tie up your camel,or in english,cover your ass.

      • That’s not necessarily true – having sex with a drunk girl who’s too hammered to know what’s going on has been normalized in our society, especially for frat boys on spring break. I can assure you that these aren’t crazy loner serial rapists on the prowl. They’re college guys.

        • Normalized in who’s society???? Shannon and Erin…I think we all get what you are saying. You’re thinking is absolutely correct, THAT’S THE WAY IT SHOULD BE.

          But girls, that’s not the way it is……..I think the point most of us are trying to make is to just be careful. Have fun but be responsible. No one will watch out for you except you!

          To both of you having a fun filled, sun loving spring break to remember! *toast*

        • “MYTH: Assailants are usually crazed psychopaths who do not know their victims.

          …90% of convicted sex offenders tested psychologically normal. Again, this myth serves to grossly underestimate the prevalence of sexual violence in our society. If we focus on “crazy” people as perpetrators, we may feel safer if we stay away from people who think fit into that category. In addition, “normal” people (who are committing a majority of rapes) are off the hook and not accountable for ending rape. Also, it feeds into the other myths that suggest rape is a rare occurrence and not something most people need to “worry” about.”

          From: http://sexualviolence.uchicago.edu/mythsandfacts.shtml

          The fact of the matter is, sexual violence and violence against women are normalized in our society as a whole. We need to recognize that.

        • Shannon, I just don’t get how you can say “normalized.” Maybe I’m dense or just too damn old. Rape has never been normalized in my world.

          I do agree with the quoted myth busters. There are various forms or rape and different people (man or women) can and will rape for different reasons. Most publized rape is due to “power” and “control” issues. There is also the “date” rape that I feel is a matter of convenience. I still don’t grasp why people will rape children. In my book there are all wrong and “no one” asks to be raped by what they wear or how they look.

    • As I understand the ‘no means no’ campaign it is intended to stop things going too far once a girl has given consent for some sex acts. A girl is OK with petting, maybe oral or other light sexual acts but doesn’t want to go for full intercourse. It has nothing to do with blitz attack rape or taking advantage of a woman who’s so drunk and naked that she can’t say much of anything.

        • I had a high school kid on my crew last year,he said that making out usually included a BJ in todays mores. We are getting old.

        • I know, bad choice of words. I meant things that can’t get your pregnant and are less likely to spread STDs. Mind you, Joey is right. So many kids are willing to go down on others at the back of the school bus. I think giving BJs is more common in school now than french kissing was back in my day. I only knew two girls who were doing that in HS but they were doing it for money so they should probably count twice in the slut tally.

  5. I would put the seeming conflict this way:

    If you want to change the world, fight for rape to be always unacceptable in all forms, and attempt to create a world where no-one will be raped, no matter how they dress, or look, or whatever.

    In the meantime, while you *are* living in the world as it currently is, be aware that some choices make you more vulnerable, and be careful with yourself.

  6. should be common sense: when in the presence of a bunch of young men who want only one thing more than they want alcohol, don’t do anything that makes it seem they’ve found their dream. If you get yourself in awesome shape for spring break, then go show off your body in front of these guys, keep in mind that they are in sex-zombie mode and can only be fended off when outnumbered. Their friends will convince them you wouldn’t “let” yourself get in that situation if you weren’t looking for it. So they’re never going to feel bad about what they do with you. For them this is what Spring Break is all about!

  7. This is ridiculous.

    “Don’t wear bikinis, you won’t be as likely to be raped.” Translates to me as “If you don’t wear a bikini, you won’t get raped, but someone else who is wearing a bikini will.” How is that better?? Why don’t they focus less on which victims rapists prey on and focus more on stopping rape altogether. I get warning women to not allow themselves to become victims, I understand (as a women) not doing things that I know will make me a target, but I (and every woman) shouldn’t have to be afraid that my appearance may make me a target. They ought to be focusing the majority of the energy stopping the rape where is starts: WITH THE RAPEST.

    I think if everyone wore one-piece suits on spring break, there would still be rapes, and they would be studying the link between one-piece suits and rape victims.

    • What really bothered me about this was that it’s about spring break. Now, in case everyone’s forgotten, people who go to beaches on spring break have a *tendency* to want to wear swimsuits. The swimsuit of choice for the younger generation is a bikini. There are other ways of preventing rape than telling people that their decision to wear a bikini on a freaking beach is a bad one.

  8. This is really just basic common f*cking sense. If we lived in a perfect world, then rape would never be an issue. But we don’t. You wouldn’t go to the mall and leave your keys in your car unlocked and not know you were putting yourself at risk for having your car stolen. I also think it has way more to do with how someone is getting rather than what they are wearing, although a scantily clad women is going to garner more attention. If you are blitzed out of your effing mind then it’s not likely you are going to be able to identify your rapist and have clear details about what happened. Which, obviously, makes you a more desirable target.

  9. I think the more important thing would be to not get totally shitfaced hammered to where you can’t defend or control yourself. Regardless of what you’re wearing you should always be on your guard and alert to your surroundings. I don’t think bikinis have anything to do with it, especially if there are hundreds of women in bikinis. I think a rapist would be more likely to attack the woman who was fully clothed, stumbling alone down the street, eyes half open, running into things, than the bikini-clad sober woman who is walking swiftly, looking around her at all times.

    It’s all about being responsible and smart. If you don’t put yourself in a vulnerable situation, you’re less likely to be attacked. Not saying that it’s the irresponsible woman’s fault if she gets raped, it’s 100% the rapists fault, but take care of yourself and you’ll probably have a much better chance of NOT getting raped. Never go anywhere alone at night, or in unfamiliar places and don’t get so drunk in a bar by yourself that you allow some random dude to mistake your harmless flirting as consent. Again, it’s not the woman’s fault that there are horrible people out there, but it is her job to take care of herself.

    • Agreed.
      I contend that most spring break rapists are not looking for a rape victim, they’re looking for an anonymous sex partner. They will convince each other that your drunken, scantily-clad presence in their midst is an unambiguous, implicit invitation.
      Note: I disagree with them, but have hung out with enough drunk college boys to know this is exactly what they tell each other.
      If you don’t plan on having spontaneous, anonymous sex, don’t get drunk and half naked with a bunch of strangers who are looking to get drunk and have spontaneous, anonymous sex. Or at least bring some friends who will watch your back.

  10. I think you can make an analogy between rape and car accidents. It’s never ok for someone to crash into you, and if they do, they deserve to pay for the damage they caused. However, since you never know how someone else is going to drive, you need to make sure to be as safe as possible from your end by wearing a seat belt and showing your turn signal,etc..

    ps I liked Erin’s and Minnesota’s comments.

  11. I have been date raped at least once and it had nothing to do with what I was wearing, it was more to do with the fact that I was drunk beyond belief and giving the wrong signals. I invited the guy (who was a guest in my house) to sleep in my bed, then told him I wouldn’t have sex with him, then when he started having sex with me anyway, I passed in and out of conciousness.

    He shouldn’t have done it, but I shouldn’t have been so stupid. And I am happy to share the blame for not owning the situation.

    • Go*, I’m so sorry that happened to you. Getting so drunk wasn’t a great idea, but still, that must have been so unbearably awful to live through.

      • Sadly enough, it really didn’t bother me that much. If you have had truly and I mean TRULY aweful things happen to you (I was kidnapped when I was 21, and raped and tortured for a week), date rape is an annoyance more than anything. If you have ever had PTSD in relation to something most people cannot comprehend, rape isn’t such a biggie – you don’t have a loaded gun pointed at you for one thing, you aren’t worried you are going to be killed, it all becomes relative.

        • Well, It depends really. I was abused as a child, then the kidnapping incident happened, which gave me PTSD. When you have so many bad things happen you really just have to sink or swim, and I chose to swim. You can have all the therapy in the world (and I did!) but at the end of the day you have to get over it and live a normal life unaffected by tragedy, or you can be a victim for the rest of your life.

          As a result of the PTSD I had to have councelling after having a baby, and the psychiatrist was quite suprised how I am not overprotective of my baby and am not afraid that anything will happen to her. In fact, I feel that according to the law of averages significantly LESS bad things will happen to her!

          I must admit though, I get a little annoyed at people who seem to become seriously dis-enabled by what I see as very small stuff, such as people being traumatised by flashers or general assholery that isn’t really a danger.

        • Excuse my exclamation, but OH MY GOD! That is so awful! I’m unbelievably sorry that happened to you. You, obviously, didn’t deserve it, and I am completely humbled and in awe by how positive and strong you are. Your trials definitely make my day-to-day gripes and concerns seem utterly trivial. Your daughter is one lucky little girl. Thank you for sharing that with us. You seriously put my life into perspective just now.

        • Thanks Whit. Even when I think of it I find it amazing that I survived the whole thing, because my memory of it isn’t that clear, for and the whole two weeks I was captive I can remember maybe five or six moments.

          I was given Xanax and Zoloft to keep me quiet, which ended up as a blessing because I therefore had no panic reflex, so I was able to think about not enraging my captor from a distance.

          The guy who kidnapped me was my first boyfriend ever. reasonably bad choice in hindsight.

        • How did you ever trust another man?
          I’d think the fact that it was supposed to be somebody who cared for you would make it harder to ever trust again.

        • well my first husband, who came after this guy, was quiet and depressed and so small he could not have hurt me if he tried. He was scared of his own shadow. He had some excellent traits, however. Just couldn’t keep it in his pants!

          Other guys that came and went were not the Evil One – I wasn’t going to keep the cycle going by hookng up with abusive guys, thats for sure!

          My husband is the ultimate protective, strong, stocky, tattooed hard ass. No-one is ever going to get near me again, thats for sure!

        • I’m glad you’ve found someone that you trust and who can protect you. :) And yeah, I wish foresight and “presentsight” (don’t think that’s even a word, sorry!) were as clear as hindsight. I could’ve bypassed a whole lot of bullshit.

          But the bullshit is what makes you learn and grow and even the things in our past that seem entirely too horrible to think about have the ability to make us incredible people. Case in point, you. :)

        • In some ways I think that you only get thrown what you can handle, so you should handle everything with a light spirit.

          Its like being in a plane – if it crashes you die, so why worry about it? If it doesn’t crash you get to your destination, so, again, why worry about it?

  12. This bothers me… it’s Florida in April so I gather it’s hot, why should I cover my body only because men cannot control themselves? No, no, and just no. During the summer I wear very short shorts and tank tops, because I live by the Mediterranean and BOY it’s hot in here, and it just doesn’t mean I’m “asking” for anything, it’s just hot and I’m going to try and bear the heat as I can, which passes by wearing as little fabric as I can. It’s not my fault if some cunt thinks that just because I’m showing cleavage I want to have sex.

  13. I agree with it… And i don’t think she’s only referring to bikinis at the beach, but just in general what girls wear these days, it’s crazy to me.
    My husband and i went to Tim Horton’s the other morning, it was around 7am, there was this girl, she was at the most 12 years old, she looked soooo young, and the reason why we first looked at her was this blouse she was wearing, some silk fabric looking blouse, and sooooo pretty and elegant, when my husband turned to me and told me to look at her legs… She was wearing nylons underneath the blouse, nothing but nylons and a pair of really high heels… So yeah, i mean, ALL the men in line couldn’t stop looking at her, just waiting for her to bend over or something so they could see the whole package.. And she was there with her mom and dad too… So i mean, i’m very sorry, but i really believe she’s asking for it, and so are the parents that let her go out looking like that.
    I wouldn’t walk around in a bikini at the beach simply because i’m not confident enough to wear something like that, if i was, i probably would wear one. So i don’t think it’s necesarily about the bikinis, but just the kinds of clothes they wear these days, and the slutty attitude…

    So we gotta be careful and use common sense at all times, especially with our kids, because you just never know…

    • No, no, no and just no. Is it inappropriate for a 12-year-old? Yes, it is, and very much so. Would an adult woman “be asking for it”? NO. Plain NO. Women should be able to wear as many clothes or as little clothes as they want without being “asking for it”. Women, first of all, are human beings, and if a few perverts cannot understand that I’m not a sexual object, if they cannot differentiate the sexual side of me from my whole person, then it’s THEIR problem and it’s THEM who should cover up. They should cover up their dirty eyes and stay home wanking away their sorry little lives.
      I wear my mini skirts and my low cut t-shirts, for very simple reasons: they’re easier to cycle in, and I cycle everywhere, they’re very comfortable, and when I’m not cycling I’m walking, I live in a hot place and anyway my boobs are too big and any outfit ends up being revealing. I’m not asking for anything. I’m wearing nice clothes which fit my body shape and make me look good. Am I asking to be raped? No.

      • It’s not just about the clothes, it’s about the context.

        There’s nothing wrong with wearing a bikini to the beach, or exposing skin in sweaty conditions, or wearing really whatever you want whenever you want. In a normal setting, rape is solely the fault of the rapist.

        But if you put yourself in the company of a bunch of young men on spring break, your presence, your drunkenness, any flirtatious behaviour or exposed flesh are all signs of acceptance; in these circumstances, the men tell each other “why else would she be here, dressed like that, behaving like that?” I disagree with that reasoning; to me, drunken consent is not consent; but I certainly don’t have an answer for them. Try as I might, I don’t see how a sane woman of normal intelligence who surrounds herself with drunk, horny men, dances provocatively, wearing her sexiest outfit is anything but unambiguously seeking spontaneous, anonymous sex. The man who approaches her isn’t looking for rape, he’s simply responding to her invitation. It’s hard to imagine the invitation is unintentional.

  14. As a side point, I am personally anti bikini top, i dont like having triangley white girls and you spend so much time adjusting them, just take the bloody things off, not to mention how annoying they are to swim in.

    We are going to Hawaii for a well earned holiday in a few weeks AND THERE ARE NO NUDE BEACHES ON OAHU.

    How am I going to force my conservative husband out of his comfort zone now?

    I can always wave the baby at any police presence, Hawaii has specific legislation allowing breastfeeding in any public or private place.

    • The lack of nude beaches here in the States is sooooo awful! Americans (not trying to generalize here, just saying) are very pro-censorship, unfortunately, can’t see a nipple on TV without losing their minds. If there were a nude beach anywhere near me, I would be there every weekend. I absolutely HATE having tan lines. They’re ugly and trashy looking. I’m going to have to find SOMEWHERE this summer where I can lay in the sun and get some color without a top on because, I swear to all that is holy, I will NOT have bikini top tan lines on my wedding day.

      Damn Americans and our lack of sense concerning the naked human body.

        • On me, I have such enormous boobs that they don’t make them for me. I am an F cup, with not a lot of width to my back. Many styles to not conform to someone who is so Jane Russell esque.

        • Strapless bikinis smoosh my boobs and make them look like tubes of melted cheese. Not really the look I’m going for. And, I also have linebacker shoulders, and strapless tops don’t help minimize that incredibly flattering feature. :)

      • It’s rediculous. In Canada too. Our next door neighbour who was German got arrested at the beach last year for being topless, and since my husband spends his spare time preventing me from being publicly nude I have so far evaded arrest.

        Not by choice though. Of all the things I would love to be arrested for and represent myself and make groundbreaking speeches over in court, toplessness is right there on top of the list.

        • You see, we can’t win! Let’s start a topless revolution! You can be the spokeswoman for Canada, and I’ll be the spokeswoman for the U.S.

          Together, we can rule the world!!! Without tops!!!

        • I’ll pass. I have no burning desire to allow anybody but my fiance see my bare boobs, and he’d probably be less than thrilled with random guys seeing them as well.

        • That’s a shame, Sydney. The world has far too many covered breasts. :)
          There are too many people eager to meet such a clean, normal body part with scorn. By no means am I anti-clothing, but I want to encourage breasts of all kinds to get some fresh air now and then.

        • I’ll keep my boob flashing indoors too. I do like lying naked in the sun, when I shower in summer I lie on my bed by the open window while I dry naturally to help stay cool, but I don’t much fancy doing it outside where people can see me. Apart from anything else my stretch marks would scare small children silly.

        • Where in Canada do you live? In Ontario women can be topless. It was declared unconstitutional for men to be allowed to go topless and not women.

        • Prince Edward Island, ultra consevative on one hand, and on the other has the youngest grandmothers in Canada – a number of 28 year olds.

          If everyone just got topless, then men wouldnt bother looking after a while.

        • I don’t mind being nude or seeing others nude at all, but I burn soooo easily that I cannot help you topless rule the world, nipple sunburns sound painful :(

        • Personaly, I don’t think I ever do tanning in a nude beach. I mean, it has nothing to do with insecurities, but my body is just something so personal and sacred. I’m not too sure about having some random person look at my boobs. I’ll probably just go to a tanning bed.

  15. Pingback: Jane Velez-Mitchell: ‘Wearing a Bikini on Spring Break is Asking for Rape.’ « Cultural Voice-Over

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