I’m talking about a recent opinion poll by the Home Office in the UK regarding violence against women. Unfortunately, most of the results are disturbing.
Even though the statistics refer to England and Wales, it’s a perfect example of the shocking reality women still face in the world today.
Here are some of the findings (click to make larger):
How acceptable or not do you think it is for a man to hit or slap his wife or girlfriend in response to … ?
I was surprised “her being dressed in sexy or revealing clothes in public” had the highest acceptance of violence towards women, even more so than cheating or flirting. This clearly says something about our culture and it ain’t pretty.
The poll continues to go into more detail about domestic violence, but the truly sickening results of this poll are regarding rape:
Would you say that a woman SHOULD BE held responsible, should be PARTLY held responsible or should NEVER be held responsible if she is sexually assaulted or raped in the following circumstances?
I don’t even know what to say to the 49% of people who think a woman is responsible or partly responsible for being raped when she clearly says no.
Except maybe go kill yourself.
And 23% think a woman is responsible or partly responsible if she's "out in public wearing sexy or revealing clothes."
Melissa McEwan over at Shakesville said it perfectly:
Here's the point, in case anyone hasn't cottoned on by now: It doesn't matter if you're a raped little girl facing imminent death, or an elderly woman just being brought a bit of bread, or a woman who asserts her independence, or a woman who plays by the pornifying rules of the patriarchy, or a woman who looks good, or a woman who looks bad, or a woman who flirts, or a woman who turns a man away, or any kind of woman at all, really: No matter what happens to you, it's your fucking fault and you fucking deserved it, you dirty whore.
Some people wonder why there are still feminists working tirelessly for women’s rights in the 21st century and this, unfortunately, is one of the many reasons.
Whether it’s at the work place or in our private lives, the sad sad reality is we are no where near the place we need to be regarding equality between men and women.
And as long as we think women are even partly to blame for being abused and raped, then I’m afraid that place is even further then I thought.
Full poll results here.