It is absurd (and terribly sad) to fight for the right to be free, just to turn around and exist in (socially expected) self-confinement.
After I decided to participate in the Denim Day 2013 link-up, I invited a few friends who don’t have blogs to send me a picture and a message with their thoughts on the topic. A lady who works for a faith based nonprofit organization that assists individuals affected by HIV and AIDS, emailed me to say that she thought the whole thing was an excellent idea. She also told me, “Don’t go around wearing anything skimpy. You don’t want to look like those women who walk around just asking for it.”
I got angry. So much so that I told a group of my friends that I wasn’t going to participate on Denim Day. I was a bit afraid that my rage would translate into negative vibes that would only hinder the efforts of a cause that calls for strength, courage, and the embracing of freedom. Then my Wicked Darling friends Loren and Lorelei (the Ls are strong with these ones) reminded me that I should never allow anyone’s lack of insight to take away my voice.
So today, I summon the bravery of every survivor who asked a sexual attacker to stop, and I add my voice to their plea in order to scream that: no item of clothing, no certain look, no sexy smile, no accepted date, NOTHING a person wears or does should be taken as an excuse for rape.
Anyone who suggests otherwise…
- would be spitting in the face of a 16-year-old girl who was nearly raped by her uncle, and then was told by her grandmother that “she would have never been attacked if she didn’t dress like a whore.”
- would be laughing at a woman who was thrown into a car, sodomized by a couple, and when she asked the man and woman to stop, they knocked out her front teeth and shattered her face with a beer bottle.
- would be helping the beast who tied up a man to his toilet for ninety-six hours, and every time the man asked him to stop, the beast would answer by burning the man’s testicles with a hot spoon and raping him again, and again, and again…
The 16-year-old girl was sleeping on her couch; she was wearing a sweat suit. The woman was coming back from a Thanksgiving dinner; she wore an oversized flannel shirt and jeans. On the day the beast abducted the man, the victim was wearing a camouflaged uniform that covered him from neck to feet.
No one is “asking for it.” The mere suggestion of such a thing puts the blame on rape survivors and violates them all over again. Don’t say anything that gives power to attackers. Instead, let’s aim our energy towards educating the public, fighting ridiculous legislations, and building a society where a piece of clothing doesn’t have to remind those charged with protecting our freedom of their responsibilities.
I am a 36-year-young woman. I have earned the right to wear whatever I want.
My choice of attire should not suggest to anyone that I’m “asking for it.”
If you think you heard my clothes asking you to do something to me,
then you need to go ask a psychiatrist about those nasty lying voices in your head.
In the words of my friend Renee’s husband, “Keep your hands in your own pockets…”
Fly over to Secrets of a Sweet Southern Girl and see who else is wearing denim and spirit in 2013.