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Man Cleared of Rape Using the Skinny Jeans Defense

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Man Cleared of Rape Using the Skinny Jeans Defense


Look down. Are you wearing close-fitting pants? You might be taking your personal safety — and your legal rights — into your own hands.

A 23-year-old Australian man accused of rape has reportedly been acquitted because the 24-year-old woman who brought the charges against him was wearing skinny jeans at the time of the alleged rape. The defense attorney argued that the sex must have been consensual because these jeans would be "difficult to be taken off by someone else unless the wearer's assisting, collaborating, consenting." The woman disagreed and said it was easy for her to put on and take off her jeans — and that the defendant, Nicholas Gonzales, had ripped them off and raped her — but the jury bought the defense lawyer’s argument, and the verdict: not guilty.


We've reported before on the escalating war on women's clothing, but it's a pretty hard pill to swallow that a woman's (totally common, by the way) clothing choice could affect her ability to bring a rapist to justice. First of all, this reeks of the all-too-common "look at what she was wearing — she was asking for it" argument. Second, let's say the victim did help Gonzales remove her pants (which she says she didn't): Removing pants does not a consent make! She could have been forced to help, and even if she willingly removed them, she says she did not consent to have sex with Gonzales.


Finally, it's completely ludicrous to think that a full-grown man wouldn't be able to use force to remove a woman's jeans, no matter how tight they might be. For God's sake, we can remove our own jeans without assistance, so why wouldn't someone presumably bigger and stronger than us be able to do so as well?


The bottom line is that sex without consent is rape. It doesn't matter if you're wearing a short skirt, a floor-length dress with long sleeves, or even skinny jeans.

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