‘Clothes we wear are not invite to rape’ say UCLan students

Protest march:  UCLan students taking part in the Clothes are not Consent march
Protest march: UCLan students taking part in the Clothes are not Consent march
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Society takes to the streets to celebrate sexual equality with Clothes are Not Consent march

The dress code was ‘clubbing wear’ as men and women took to the street on a march through Preston city centre to highlight the right to consent.

Let’s get real about this please - clothes are for wearing, practical and fun, sometimes a fashion statement, not an open invitation for unwanted sexual relations

Members of UCLan’s feminism society took part in a Clothes are Not Consent march on Saturday to prevent the idea that a woman who dresses in revealing clothing or in a provocative manner is “fair game” for sexual assault.

Mollie Littlemore, a second year Fine Art Student at UCLan, who organised the march to coincide with International Women’s Day the same weekend, said: “It was really well attended and we had lots of people interact with us as we walked through the town centre.

“There were even a few young children who joined in with us – it’s definitely something we’re going to do again next year.”

Mollie, who is using feminism as the topic for her degree, said she would urge men to join the society.

She said: “We are looking at getting more men involved because we’re keen to promote gender equality.

“Just because we’re a feminism society doesn’t mean we don’t welcome men.

“When they do join in, they can be shy at first but they soon realise that we’re not that scary.”

Julie Ward, MEP for the North West of England who works with Gender Equality & Women’s Rights committees said: “I applaud the many men and women who came out to join the march on the eve of International Women’s Day, demonstrating a growing understanding that what women choose to wear is their business and should not be taken as an invitation for unwelcome male predatory behaviour.

“Women have a right to define their own lives and to celebrate their identity through their choice of clothes, body decoration and so on.

“It is by coming together in solidarity like this that we can best challenge outdated, misogynistic and sexist views.

Julie continued: “The suggestion that we might be “asking for it” because of how we dress is both ridiculous and dangerous.

“If a man wears an open-necked shirt or goes bare-chested or wears low-slung trousers that reveal the colour and brand of his boxer shorts, is he somehow perceived to be on the prowl?

“Let’s get real about this please - clothes are for wearing, practical and fun, sometimes a fashion statement, not an open invitation for unwanted sexual relations.”