Sabrina Schaeffer, executive director of the right-leaning Independent Women's Forum, argued recently that the "oversexualization" of girls contributed to violence against women.
During a roundtable discussion on PBS' To The Contrary about the legacy of Gloria Steinem, Schaeffer said that the feminist icon's concern about violence against women had "resonated" with her.
"I would add to that the oversexualization of women," she opined. "We often talk about it as male violence against women, but it's also sort of the way that we encourage young girls to be oversexualized in a way that I think should run counter to the third wave feminism."
In a 2012 article, Steinem explained the danger of blaming the victims of abuse.
"But blaming females has a double impact: invading female bodies sexually and then de-valuing them as spoiled and ruined—all because female bodies are the means of reproduction that are 'owned' by one male so he can 'own' children," she wrote. "Women’s rights are human rights, and we must shift the blame from women who suffer sexualized violence to men who inflict it; from women who are raped to men who rape; from battered women to battering men; from sexually abused children to adults who sexually abuse."
"Right now, the victim still may be punished more than the criminal, men may assault females to punish other men, and victimized females are often punished more than the males who victimized them."