Does wearing provocative clothing count as sexual harassment?

Every woman owns a shirt that shows a little cleavage or a skirt that shows some leg. But does wearing them count as biological sexual harassment? A new article in the Sydney Morning Herald says yes.

The opinion piece, written by Bettina Arndt, suggests changing the sexual harassment law to force women to cover up. Why? Arndt argues that women are sending mixed signals by dressing provocatively, but then getting angry when they are approached or looked at by males. 

"[Men] are in a total state of confusion," she says.


According to Arndt, distracting helpless men with clothing makes women responsible for their own rapes, and she believes females are committing an act of cruelty against males if they show a little skin. When an attractive woman doesn't cover up, Arndt says she "is advertising her wares to the world, not just her target audience, and somehow men are expected to know when they are not on her page."

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Showing off curves in the office is apparently the worst infraction. Arndt suggests that by doing this, women are creating a "hostile work environment," which qualities it as a form of "biological sexual harassment."

I don't even know where to begin with this. First of all, Arndt is blaming women for the fact that men apparently can't help their urge to ogle and grab bodies that aren't theirs? How is that our fault? Women should be able to wear what they want. Of course, work attire needs to be appropriate, but only for the sake of professionalism, not to avoid male attention.

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And what about us Latinas? We are known for having curvy bodies. Does that mean that we should dress like dowdy matrons to avoid any harmful confrontation between sexes?

If Arndt's logic made any sense at all, it would work vice versa, meaning that males dressing provocatively would also be responsible for gaining any unwanted female attention. Oh but wait…the majority of women actually can control themselves from acting on their desires and even if they couldn't, their DNA isn't "hardwired" towards promiscuity like that of men so it would still be their fault. Um, yeah, can you see the giant holes in her theory?

In the end, both men and women need to respect each other's personal space, regardless of their sexual appeal and what they choose to put on in the morning. That being said, females should in no way be limited in what they wear just to make it easier for the so-called helpless men.

Do you agree or disagree with Arndt's opinion?

Image via Thinkstock

Topics: latina women  array