Gold medal gymnast Aly Raisman, came forward last week to claim that ex-team doctor Larry Nassar had sexually assaulted her for years. While many people have reached out to support the gymnast, one of her fellow teammates, had a different approach that has angered many.
Instead of voicing her concern, sympathy, and support of Raisman, Gabby Douglas decided to take issue with the way that some women dress, as a way of victim blaming women who are sexually assaulted.
She wrote on Twitter, which has since been deleted: “However, it is our responsibility as women to dress modestly and be classy. Dressing in a provocative/sexual way entices the wrong crowd.”
Statements such as these put the responsibility and onus on the victim instead of the perpetrator and do nothing to actively prevent assault and rape. Especially when this kind of thing happens in countries where women are mandated to dress modestly. Or to underaged children who don’t know anything about being or dressing provocatively.
Almost instantly, Simone Biles, gymnast superstar phenom, spoke up in support of Raisman and to chastise Douglas for these admonishments. Biles wrote: “Shocks me that I’m seeing this but it doesn’t surprise me… honestly seeing this brings me to tears bc as your teammate I expected more from you & to support her. I support you Aly & all the other women out there! STAY STRONG!”
Raisman also responded via a searing Instagram post.
The idea that men are these animals that cannot control themselves based on what women choose to wear is frankly barbaric.
If we, as a society, are at the point where we feel more inclined to tell a woman how to prevent getting raped, which may not actually prevent it at all, instead of cultivating a culture where men do not assault and rape women, we’ve completely missed the mark and the point.
With the influx of stories and allegations that come out daily, this is a worldwide issue that needs to be addressed in that men need to be held to account for their actions in their perpetual abuse and perceived entitlement of women and their bodies.