Before I explain why I’m wearing denim today, I want to tell you a bit about how this day came about. For the past 17 years, Peace Over Violence has run its Denim Day campaign on a Wednesday in April in honor of Sexual Violence Awareness Month. The campaign was originally triggered by a ruling by the Italian Supreme Court where a rape conviction was overturned because the justices felt that since the victim was wearing tight jeans she must have helped her rapist remove her jeans, thereby implying consent. The following day, the women in the Italian Parliament came to work wearing jeans in solidarity with the victim. Peace Over Violence developed the Denim Day campaign in response to this case and the activism surrounding it. Since then, wearing jeans on Denim Day has become a symbol of protest against erroneous and destructive attitudes about sexual assault. In this rape prevention education campaign we ask community members, elected officials, businesses and students to make a social statement with their fashion by wearing jeans on this day as a visible means of protest against the misconceptions that surround sexual assault. This year’s Denim Day is today, April 27, 2016.
I have three children, two boys and a girl, and today I’m wearing denim for all three of them. I first became more aware of clothing and the gender issues surrounding it when my kids moved from a small, private Montessori school to the local public school. Frankly, I found the clothing rules for intermediate and middle school children odd and unfair to both sexes. Girls were not allowed to wear skirts above their knees, and any sleeveless shirts had to have straps at least three-fingers wide in order to be worn at school. Meanwhile, the boys ran cross country, track, played basketball, etc. at school shirtless while wearing very short shorts. These unequal and arbitrary rules do a disservice to both genders. Girls, because it implies that they are somehow inviting trouble based on how they dress, and boys, because it also implies that they are unable and/or unwilling to control themselves if they catch a mere glimpse of a girl’s shoulder or thigh. I strongly believe that we need to eliminate these stereotypes and misconceptions in order to help put an end to sexual assault.
Participating in Demin Day is easy. Show your support by posting a selfie of you wearing denim on any social media using the hashtags #DenimDay, #NoExcuses, #ClothesAreNotConsent, and/or #IWearDenim
So tell me, why will you wear denim?
Take The Pledge: http://www.denimday.nyc/call-to-action-2016/
NATIONAL EMERGENCY HOTLINES
Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network (RAINN)
National Domestic Violence Hotline: