Twitter user poses a challenge: If male victims are blamed for their clothes

April 3, 2019 - 2:29 PM
Man seated
A Twitter user challenged the notion that women victims are the ones to blame for wearing certain types of clothes. (Kelly Sikkema via Unsplash)

A Twitter user tried to turned the tables on those who blame women victims for the way they dress.

Iris Vicencio argued that she felt it’s not right for men to be shirtless because it looked offensive and disrespectful to others.

“It’s so offensive to look at and it’s like they’re trying to show off their body. They’re so slutty for it. Why not just put a shirt on? Do you do it for attention? I think shirtless men are asking for it. Respect yourselves,” Vicencio said on March 24.

It soon earned the ire of some social media users, who are mostly male, expressing that they only take off their shirts when they’re feeling warm.

Vicencio made screenshots of these on her thread and clarified that her tweet was sarcastic.

“For the record, if you lack common sense and need a play by play: this tweet is sarcastic,” she said.

When it blew up across platforms, Vicencio explained on Facebook that she posted it to see if men will react to it the same way women do when criticized for their choice of clothes when they become victims of harassment or abuse.

Due to popular demand, here’s my social experiment that angered men who don’t sense sarcasm.Edit: since (some) people…

Posted by Iris Vicencio on Monday, March 25, 2019

“I typed out stuff men usually say to women when they slut-shame us then I replaced the pronouns and wrote ‘men’ instead of ‘women,” she said.

“I knew it would elicit a reaction from men that’s usually similar to what we say in defense to slut-shaming which was ironic,” she added.

For her, men and women should wear any type of dressing they wished.

“Wear whatever you want, it’s just funny how you defend yourselves against the same stuff you say,” Vicencio said.

Last March 27, the issue on women’s clothing resurfaced online after Caloocan City implemented its old ordinance that prohibits its residents from having no top and from wearing skimpy shorts in public.

Caloocan City Mayor Oscar Malapitan later explained that the ordinance only requires people to be decently attired.

Meanwhile, he also ordered the city councilors to update the questionable provisions.

Victim-blaming culture

According to psychologists, the victim-blaming culture developed because of the inherent “just-world bias” theory formulated by psychologists Melvin Lerner and Carolyn Simmons in the 1960s.

This means that people naturally believe good things only happen to good people.

“If something bad has happened to you, you must have done something bad to deserve that bad thing,” said Sherry Hamby, a professor of psychology.

To end such perception, organizations such as the United Nations Population Fund or UNFPA and UN Women have launched exhibits that display the clothes rape victims wore at the time the crimes happened.

In the Philippines, the exhibit called “Don’t Tell Me How to Dress” had moved around commercial centers and government buildings since 2018.