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Toronto mayor’s niece sparks outrage over ‘don’t dress like a whore’ tweet

Krista Ford, seen here in her lingerie football uniform, tweeted that women who want to avoid being sexually assaulted shouldn’t dress like “whores.”

Krista Ford, the niece of Toronto mayor Rob Ford, wants to protect women from sex offenders. It's just that her approach has rubbed people the wrong way.

According to the Toronto Star, Ms. Ford posted a message on Twitter on Wednesday advising women to, "Stay alert, walk tall, carry mace, take self-defence classes & don't dress like a whore."

Ms. Ford, the daughter of Toronto councillor Doug Ford (the mayor's brother), reportedly published the tweet shortly after a Toronto police briefing that warned the public of a series of sexual assaults in the city.

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The message has since been removed, but the firestorm has only just begun. Not only are people blasting Ms. Ford for apparently being uninformed about the legality of carrying mace (the Toronto Star points out that police consider it a prohibited weapon), her suggestion that the way a woman dresses attracts attackers has sparked outrage. Twitter users aren't taking kindly to the notion that victims invite trouble.

"I'm for damned certain going to dress how I want and no one, Ford or otherwise, is going to change that," one Twitter user said.

"Hey @kristaford, how about we put the blame for sexual assault where it belongs – with the rapist, not the victim," another wrote.

Others have pointed out an apparent hypocrisy in Ms. Ford's comment. Ms. Ford, who describes herself as a promotional model and personal trainer, isn't exactly known for dressing modestly, having played in her skivvies for a local lingerie football league team, the Toronto Triumph.

Her controversial tweet is more surprising still, given that similar advice from a Toronto police constable led to worldwide "Slut Walk" protests more than a year ago. Constable Michael Sanguinetti sparked widespread anger and disbelief by telling a York University class that women should "avoid dressing like sluts" to prevent sexual assaults. You'd think Ms. Ford would have learned from that.

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