This post is dedicated to all survivors of sexual assault and rape, as well as those who have experienced any form of sexual harassment or violation.
In 1992, a woman in Italy was horribly raped and violated by her driving instructor. She was brave enough to talk to her family and eventually the authorities about it and made the decision to press charges. The rapist was originally sentenced and convicted of this terrible crime until the case reached the Italian Supreme Court in 1998 where it was overturned. Why was it overturned, you ask? Because her jeans were too tight. I’m not joking. That was their reasoning. Her jeans were too tight for the man to take them off himself so therefore it must have been consensual. I am sure this is shocking to all of you reading this. But people did not stay silent about that case, or any of the other cases that plague America and our world. Today is Denim Day, a day where women and men across the world unite and speak out against sexual violence. Peace Over Violence, a phenomenal organization that promotes this work says it best, “Wear jeans with a purpose, support survivors, and educate yourself and others about sexual assault” Sexual assault and rape is not a joke. It is not something that only happens in the bad parts of town or just to one race or age group. Sexual assault and rape is on college campuses, among friend groups, on high school campuses, and in the safest of neighborhoods. Every 98 seconds an American is sexually assaulted, and that is just in America. That does not include the millions of people on this earth being forced into sex slavery, constantly having their bodies violated and choices stripped from them every day. That does not include the women that live in the 195 other countries on this earth. As someone who has been the victim of sexual harassment as well as sexual assault, I can say that wearing denim today is more than just a fashion statement. When I put on my jeans this morning I was able to do so with pride in myself as well as others for surviving the horrors that they have experienced. When I put on my jeans this morning the person that sexually harassed and the person that sexually assaulted me, lost. They did not have the power over me. Yes the words of the boy that sexually harassed me are forever ingrained in my mind, but he does not have to win. I am proud to be a survivor and I am proud to wear these jeans. Last year I almost missed denim day as I was locked up in treatment and my eating disorder told me I was too fat to wear jeans. But I did it. I did it for myself and the women in this world that do not have a say and that have not found justice. I put them on and I will continue to do so each year, not just on denim day, but any day. Because I am a woman, and I happen to have an ass, and my body is not an object for men’s pleasure; because I am proud of what I have overcome and because I know there is a brighter future for me. The simple act of wearing jeans is a phenomenal encouragement and reminder that we stand united, as women, our body, our choice. There is no excuse and NEVER an invitation to rape. So next time you slip into your jeans, think about the impact that they have, think about the importance of them, think about the power that you hold to make this world a better and safer place where women are not constantly worried about their safety or walking down the street.
Denim Day – Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Peace Over Violence: