I am confused Ms. Donna Karan, are you not a woman in Hollywood? As a female in the fashion industry, I would imagine that you have had an impact on female empowerment. I imagine you understand what clothes can do for women, how they can express a women’s personality. I imagine you understand how the perfect outfit can make you feel sexy or shy, conserved or fierce.
So why is it that you think the clothing or the behavior of a woman is a considerable reason to be raped? Sadly my only conclusion to this is to sadly assume that you have ‘never’ been sexually harassed or raped. In a sense that is also valid. You see, women who have that mentality, that their behavior or dress is the reason they are sexually assaulted is the type of mentality we are trying to fight. Instead, you are more concerned if women are “Asking for it.” and suggesting we need to “look at ourselves.”
Early last month Donna Karan was interviewed by the UK Daily Mail at the CinéFashion Film Awards in L.A. She was asked about the Weinstein’s allegations; here is her entire statement:
I think we have to look at ourselves. Obviously, the treatment of women all over the world is something that has always had to be identified. Certainly in the country of Haiti where I work, in Africa, in the developing world, it’s been a hard time for women,” Karan said. “To see it here in our own country is very difficult, but I also think how do we display ourselves? How do we present ourselves as women? What are we asking? Are we asking for it by presenting all the sensuality and all the sexuality?”
“Harvey has done some amazing things. I think we have to look at our world and what we want to say and how we want to say it as well. You look at everything all over the world today and how women are dressing and what they are asking by just presenting themselves the way they do. What are they asking for? Trouble.
I think you need to look at yourself. As a woman with such power, your words can hurt. Imagine if those words that you said would’ve affected Rose McGowan, during her first encounter with Weinstein. What if she thought it was her fault? Would we even have the New York Times article now? What if the women in that article who came forward after years of staying silent thought it was their fault? Then poor young female actresses could still allegedly be being raped and sexually assaulted by your ‘wonderful’ friend.
In the male-dominated industry of Hollywood and when these sexual acts were allegedly taking place, these women were young and new to the industry. In most cases, they did what they thought was best to just have a career. They were just hoping to work but never thought they would be victims of rape or sexual assault. Imagine if you were starting your career and the most intimidating person in your industry made a sexual pass at you. Are you asking for it, or you would you just be trying to do your job?
But maybe you have been a victim before and used this way of thinking as a coping mechanism. For that I am sorry and I am sorry that it has caused your brain to work this way. It is, unfortunately, the same thinking that stops hundreds of women from confessing or alerting people of their devastating experiences of rape and sexual assault. According to RAINN, 20 percent of rape crimes that go unreported are due to o fear of retaliation and 13 percent is because the victims believe it was a personal issue as to why it happened. Stating that a woman’s dress and behavior is a rational reason to be sexually assaulted is promoting the idea of silence when these victims need to speak out. Women who are sexually harassed or raped never asked to be put in these predictions. Wait, scratch that, NO ONE ever wants to be sexually violated. It is not a matter of action, non-action, dress or behavior; it is not the victim’s fault. Ms. Karan, it is that way of thinking in your interview that condones the rape culture we in the world are trying so hard to fight.