To our female readers in Oklahoma, your state's police officers have a very important message for you. Following the arrests of three Oklahoma cops for allegedly sexually assaulting women while on duty, Highway Patrol Captain George Brown made this statement: If you wish to avoid being assaulted or even raped by a police officer, obey the law and do not give them a reason to approach you in the first place.
Not only do Brown's comments suggest that he does not recognize how easily and freely a driver can be pulled over by a highway patrol officer, they also make it clear he thinks the women who were assaulted were at fault. This is just one more sorry instance of victim blaming: The process by which people who are subjected to sexual harassment, assault, or violence of any kind are told they are responsible for the abuse. This phenomenon is so never-ending that The Huffington Post has an article tag dedicated to it. With that in mind, it makes some seriously uncanny sense that HuffPost was where Brown turned to make a clarifying statement: He was simply doling out general advice, he says.
Though the excuse sounds a little different depending on who trots it out, we are tired of hearing about women who were "asking for it." From these Oklahoma women who were stopped on their drive home to the celebrities whose personal photos were (and, from the looks of it, are still being) hacked and published online, the burden of blame for being a female-bodied person is felt everywhere. The cases of these three police officers serve as an unfortunate but valid reminder that you can never leave the house too vigilant or too ready to protect yourself.