What Were You Wearing?

There’s a thought-provoking art installation that has been to universities in Arkansas, Iowa and Kansas. Entitled, “What Were You Wearing? Survivor Art Installation”, it’s a display of the clothing various people were wearing at the time they were sexually assaulted.

Even just a photograph of this installation is sobering. Displays of sweat pants and a t-shirt, children’s sun dresses, cargo pants and a jersey… All kinds of different clothes. Clothes you or I might wear.

And that’s the point.

I, for one, am sick and tired of the implication that victims bring rape upon themselves. I hate the myth that if women just covered up more, and weren’t so provocative, then these poor rapists would be able to control themselves. Bullshit.

Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit, bullshit.

I don’t care if a woman chooses to dance naked in the middle of a sex offender’s convention. No means no. Yes means yes. Any grey areas in between mean… NO!

I hope this art installation goes to other campuses, and even art galleries, especially at a time when Betsy DeVos, our Secretary of Education, seems to be siding with perpetrators. People need to be shown that this is not about being a tramp or “asking for it.” It’s about violent criminals. That’s who we need to focus on.

I was wearing blue jeans and a flannel shirt.

Photo by Sara Shepherd

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6 thoughts on “What Were You Wearing?

  1. lyn sutton

    I had just finished watching a rape counselor saying the more you tell your story the less power it has over your life, when I opened this post.
    This may not be the whole story, but what you were wearing is a good place to start… Oversized bulky sweater and jeans. (I doubt he remembers what I was wearing.)

    This installation needs to go to high schools also.

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