Former Lingerie Football League player (and niece of Toronto mayor Rob Ford) Krista Ford found out the hard way that even a well-intended message can go awry.

 

Following a press conference from the mayor or Toronto on Wednesday addressing the recent string of sexual assaults that occurred within the city, Ford tweeted out what she thought was advice for women in Toronto.

“Stay alert, walk tall, carry mace, take self-defense classes & don’t dress like a whore. #DontBeAVictim #StreetSmart,” Ford wrote in a now-deleted tweet which has been screencapped and posted on Twitter.

Many people accused Ford of slut-shaming, which is the “idea of shaming and/or attacking a woman or a girl for being sexual, having one or more sexual partners, acknowledging sexual feelings, and/or acting on sexual feelings” according to long-running feminist blog Feminism 101.

Ford’s critics say she placed the blame on the victim’s state of dress, but there is no statistic showing that a woman’s outfit has an effect on her likelihood of being sexually assaulted.

@kristaford totally understand your intentions are for women’s safety. But FYI nothing has ever linked wardrobe to rape,” Colleen Westendorf tweeted.

Ford’s comment sparked outrage on Twitter and even became a trending topic in Toronto. Her followers and other Twitter users tried to correct her on statistics on sexual assault victims and called her out for dressing provocatively in her Twitter photos.

“Accusing @kristaford of dressing slutty is missing the point here. She can dress however she wants. Wrong point to make,” Stevie P. wrote on Twitter.

Alice Moran, a Canadian comedian, wrote an open letter to Ford on the Huffington Post, pointing out that not everyone who is sexually assaulted wears revealing clothing.

Ford’s comment particularly struck a nerve in Toronto. SlutWalk Toronto started after Toronto police officer Constable Michael Sanguinetti caused outrage by stating that “women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized” in January 2011.

“What Krista said was problematic for many reasons, including placing the onus for preventing sexual assault on a potential victim, pointing to clothes as a reason or inciting factor of sexual assault (time and time again proven to be untrue), and shaming survivors with 'don't dress like a whore',” SlutWalk Toronto said in a statement. “When anyone says that 'dressing like a whore' makes someone liable to be raped, they're blaming existing survivors for their own victimization.”

Ford has since apologized for her tweet.

“I didn’t mean to cause such an alarm and I apologize if I did,” Ford told the Toronto Sun. “I just want women to be safe.”

Photo via Krista Ford LFL T.O Triumph/Facebook