Justice

This Student Is Going Viral After Radio Stations Slut-Shamed Her

The reality of slut-shaming went viral on April 11 in the form of a radio station in Michigan and a second in Ohio that both posted the same photo of a person they said was a high school student on her way to prom. Radio stations 105.9 Kiss FM in Detroit and Old School Cincy in Cincinnati posted the image of a woman wearing a black dress and posed variations of the same question to their Facebook followers: "Would you let your daughter wear this dress?"

Old School Cincy slut-shames a woman on Facebook.

105.9 Kiss FM slut-shames a woman on Facebook.

Whether the dress is revealing or not isn't the real issue. And although Mic.com reported that it hasn't confirmed whether or not the person in the photo is actually a high school student, the veracity of the photo isn't the real issue, either. What's important are the comments that the posts generated — hundreds of them —which revealed the ugly reality of slut-shaming. Many of the comments were downright horrible.

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Facebook users found various ways of suggesting that the woman in the photo was "asking for it," by overtly saying that she was going to "get raped" or by merely calling the dress a "slut outfit" that "screams easy."

Facebook comment suggest dress is seeking the wrong kind of attention.

Facebook users engaged in slut-shaming in response to a photo of a woman in a dress.

Facebook user suggests that a "revealing" dress means that a woman is only interested in sex.

Facebook user suggests that a dress means a woman deserves it if she gets raped.

Some Facebook commenters proclaimed that they'd never let their daughters out in a dress like that, saying that it showed she had no "respect" for herself or her body.

Got a case of déjà vu?

There's a reason why this sounds all too familiar. Only days ago, Republican presidential hopeful John Kasich made a similar blunder at a town hall event in Watertown, N.Y., where he said that college women could avoid being raped if they avoided parties and alcohol.

"Well I would give you, I'd also give you one bit of advice. Don't go to parties where there's a lot of alcohol. OK? Don't do that," Kasich said in response to a question from a college student who lamented that sexual assault was "something that I have to worry about."

We can expect a certain degree of low behavior from radio shock jocks or from the masses on the Internet. But the similarity in the attitudes toward sexual assault held by two radio stations and one presidential candidate shouldn't go unremarked.

The jocks may be more crass than the candidate, but both hold a victim-blaming attitude that views women as being responsible for their own physical safety. That attitude is a problem, whether it leads to criticism of a woman for wearing a dress and drawing assumptions from that about her sexual activity or saying that a woman at a college party is asking to be raped simply by being there and having a drink.