I was working my Sunday midday shift at Victoria’s Secret. Just putting away brightly colored panties in their respective drawers, when an elderly woman and her middle-aged “daughter” walk in. I say “daughter” because from the way they communicated with each other, they sounded like a mother-daughter pair.
It wasn’t unusual. We get many customers that are mother-daughter pairs. It usually involves a young girl buying her first bra, or a college girl picking out new PINK clothes, and mom tagging along to pay the bill. So I didn’t immediately approach them. I did, however, overhear their conversation:
Daughter: “Would you look that these models? Even when they’re selling perfume, they’re all half-naked.”
Mother: “I know! No shame at all. I don’t know how girls dress this way nowadays.”
Daughter: “Well they all just want to be exploited to sell underwear. Shmh. Personally, I don’t think girls can cry rape anymore, look at the way they’re dressed! They’re just asking for it.”
Mother: “I agree. They should just drop those laws. Ruining young mens’ lives because they don’t know how to dress.”
As this conversation unfolded, they didn’t see me kneeling on the floor putting away panties as they strolled lazily around the front displays and left. I was so taken aback by this, I was speechless. I seriously doubted they would’ve said this if they saw me. They would just smile in my face and decline any shopping help.
How can they possibly believe that?? I would say ‘what if they had a daughter that was raped‘, but they’re a mother and daughter! Would the older mom just have said “Sorry honey, but you shouldn’t have dressed like a slut” if her own daughter went through it?
I wanted SO badly to pop up from behind the panty bar, walk right up to them and say, “Excuse me ladies, but if you know ANYTHING about rape, you would know that it’s about POWER, not SEX. It’s about control, submission, and abusive desire, NOT about what she’s wearing. Please leave my store immediately. You’re not welcomed here.”
But they walked out before I can get a handle on what they just dismissively said. I, instead, went to a SlutWalk and donated handsomely to their cause. I hope to see those ladies walk into my store again someday. Maybe I’ll wish rape upon them to see how it feels. (On the other hand, nah, I wouldn’t wish that on anyone, even a couple of dried-up anti-feminists! )