Is wearing yoga pants an invitation for rape?


I saw this article on the other day that really angered me. A so-called pastor in Arizona is defending rapists because women who dress provocatively are "partially responsible" for their assault. He even called out yoga pants specifically, saying that "Yoga pants are a sin." Which basically means Lululemon is the devil.

Arizona pastor protests outside a documentary about 1998 Miss World Pageant winner and rape survivor Linor Abargil.

Arizona pastor protests outside a documentary about 1998 Miss World Pageant winner and rape survivor Linor Abargil.

I've read a few articles sharing a similar view. That dressing less provocatively would prevent rape. That wearing a short skirt and low-cut top is an open invitation for sexual assault. 

I can tell you, I've never once gotten dressed and thought, "I'm going for a rapeable look today."

This is ridiculous on so many levels. 

I wear yoga pants. A lot. I wear them to yoga, I wear them to run errands, I wear them around the house. I even wear them to work, as leggings under dresses and tunics. And sometimes this is big I wear yoga shorts that I call my "booty shorts" *GASP*.

Does that make me a sinner? If it does, just about every woman in Johnson County is going to rot in hell with me. 

I love this video of the man who wore women's yoga pants for a day to experience what it's like to be constantly checked out as a woman. (If you haven't seen it yet I recommend watching for a good laugh.)

I do think that if you wear certain things, you're more likely to get "checked out." No biggie. There's a reason my "booty shorts" are only worn at home.

People look at people. People admire people. I check things out all the time... guys, girls, dogs, trees... there are a lot of beautiful people and things that I like to look at in admiration.

What I don't understand is where the line of reason gets drawn from "check out" to "rape." I also don't understand why that line seems to get stronger if a woman is particularly attractive, which makes these rules even more strict.

How to Prevent Rape

  • Don't wear revealing clothes
  • Don't wear too much makeup
  • Don't go anywhere alone
  • Don't drink alcohol, especially in excess
  • Don't talk to men alone
  • Don't look at men in the eyes
  • Don't flirt with men
  • Don't engage in any sexual activity with a man
  • Don't wear yoga pants (new addition)
  • You know what, just stay at home, only talk to family and wear a tent

Clearly these rules are silly.

But how many times have you judged a girl for wearing something revealing?

When you see a sober(ish) guy taking a belligerent girl home from the bar, who do you judge more  him or her?

If a woman wears yoga pants and a sports bra — and looks fantastic  are you offended/threatened?

These normal occurrences are not quite so exaggerated but follow that same line that's being drawn toward rape by that man in Arizona. Just something to think about the next time you have one of these moments. I'd prefer to stay completely away from his line. We have to share this planet, but we don't have to share the same line of reasoning. 

Bottom line: No matter how much bottom is being shown, a woman's apparel choices are not a reflection of whether or not she would like to be raped.  

Now excuse me, I have to go lock myself in my house wearing a tent so I can safely practice yoga. 


photo credit: EyesOnFire89 via photopin cc