A sexy wardrobe is not an invitation for rape

Rewind your thoughts to a fortnight ago when Donna Karan became one of the first fashion names to weigh in on the Harvey Weinstein scandal. Her input was, to say the least, not quite what you’d expect from a designer famed for her pro-women, empowering designs.

“How do we display ourselves? How do we present ourselves as women? What are we asking? Are we asking for it by presenting sensuality and sexuality?” she said as she arrived at a film awards ceremony. Though she later apologised, her victim-blaming stance was a depressing input from one of the most influential designers of the past 40 years.

Go to Monday night and another awards ceremony, this time InStyle’s annual Fashion Awards in Los Angeles. Cate Blanchett took to the stage to accept the Style Icon award and used her acceptance speech to give her own perspective.

”Women like looking sexy, but it doesn’t mean we want to f*ck you,” she declared. ”No one says to Steve Bannon: ‘You look like a bag of trash. Do you want me to throw you out?'”

Her comments may seem like plain common sense but the other headlines surrounding her appearance at the awards prove that it’s far from a scenario to take for granted. One tabloid newspaper covered the event with the headline: ”Cate Blanchett, 48, offers up bulging boobs in never-ending neckline.” No! Actress wore a dress which happened not to cover up to her neck.

“For me, the true icons of style are those women who’ve been utterly themselves without apology- whose physical presence and their aesthetic is integrated in a non-self-conscious way,” Blanchett said. “Women who know how they look is not all of who they are but just an extension of that, and it’s about women who feel free to wear what they want when they want and how they want.”

Women’s own complicity (whether they ”asked” for it or ”let” it happen) in sexual harassment has been one of the threads running through the ongoing allegations against Weinstein and also now the renewed focus on photographer Terry Richardson with the vital question of consent being a key line of defence. ”I’ve never used an offer of work or a threat of rebuke to coerce someone into something that they didn’t want to do,” Richardson stated in 2014 Huffington Post blog.

Blanchett’s comments are a timely reminder that the clothes you choose to wear are just that – your choice with no implication otherwise.Read more at:formal dresses australia | evening dresses australia

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