Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Denim Day

Annual Denim Day in LA celebrates it's 11th year today.

Denim Day was inspired when in Italy in 1992 the Italian Supreme Court overturned a guilty verdict in a rape case. One judge stated that the middle-aged man in the case couldn't have raped the young girl “because the victim wore very, very tight jeans, she had to help him remove them, and by removing the jeans it was no longer rape but consensual sex.”

Quoting further from the website:
"Enraged by the verdict, within a matter of hours the women in the Italian Parliament launched into immediate action and protested by wearing jeans to work. This call to action motivated and emboldened the California Senate and Assembly to do the same..."

On this day I make a point of wearing jeans to show solidarity with men and women around the world who agree that rape is a crime of violence. There's no excuse, and never an invitation to rape.

Writing a post like this sounds so serious--it is, after all, a serious subject. There are no funny rape jokes. Show me someone who thinks rape is funny and I'll show you someone who's never known or loved or been a rape victim, or learned anything to do with the crime. But if Denim Day can turn that last bit around by teaching, I'll be glad I posted about it.

23 comments:

Steffe said...

That Italian judge should be convicted himself.

Shell Sherree said...

It is serious, and I'm ever so glad you posted about it, Petrea.

mark said...

I have not heard of "Denim Day." I agree with you 100%.

Petrea said...

I remember back in the 1970s, hearing the concept that some women "ask for it" because of the way they dress. But that was a long time ago, an old concept. No one "asks for it." Men and women like to dress fashionably and display our beauty.

Mark, I didn't hear about it until last year. When I came across it in the press recently I decided to post about it and spread the news.

I expect fewer comments than usual today but that's okay. There's not much to say! I just hope people read the links.

Virginia said...

I think you got it wrong, you must have meant the Alabama Supreme Court. That sounds like something they would hand down. It's hard to believe it happened in Italy. Sometimes I don't think we've made any progress at all. Gutsy post, P. Bravo!!
V

altadenahiker said...

Let me try this again:

I never knew the story; thank you.

A few weeks ago, This American LIfe had a piece about murder. And this woman talked about the way television and books often take a recreational approach to murder, ala Agatha Christie, Murder She Wrote, etc. And how hurtful this is to families of murder victims.

Then she said, just try replacing murder in the title with rape, and you'll see why murder as entertainment is so wrong.

I guess my point is, today rape is taken as seriously, if not more seriously than murder.

Petrea said...

Virginia, seriously? I didn't know there were still such minds outside the third world. Honey, when you visit here you just might stay.

Hiker, I never thought of it that way. If that's so we've come a long way, though I wouldn't say the two crimes are equal. Yet while rape is survivable, it is a sort of death. It can take years to recover and for those who don't get support (therapy, group, whatever) the psychological damage can be irreparable.

Cafe Pasadena said...

To some who may be wearing their jeans (tight, sexy, baggy, or loose) to work 2day: Happy Administrative Professionals Day!

May y'all either give or receive a gift or meal.

TheChieftess said...

Interesting...and befuddling...

Petrea said...

Cafe, I didn't know it was Administrative Professionals Day! Thanks for telling us. That's important and equally worth a post. I was an administrative professional for a long time and I longed for (and hopefully deserved) recognition. I hope those pros get to wear jeans to work today.

Hmm, Chieftess taps her chin with her regal finger.

Cafe Pasadena said...

PDP, you're still a pro in my books! A drama professional.

Do you and J got your Jeans on??

Margaret said...

Great post. Worthy subject.

Kim said...

In the east of DR Congo rape is epidemic right now as a means of terrorism, while here on the US west coast collegiate scene I hear students my daughter's age talk of how common drugged date rape has become. Thanks for this post today, Petrea!

Photographically graphic shot, too! that angle of the descending lengths and the light creates a really pleasing image!

Petrea said...

A reader sent me this link about promiscuous women as the cause of earthquakes. It's not perfect here in the US, but I'd take Birmingham over Tehran, at least on this count.

I'm wearing jeans, Cafe. I went for a haircut this morning and a lot of women at the salon were wearing jeans. (I don't know if it's because of denim day or casual day.) I'm not at liberty to tell you what John's wearing.

Thank you, Margaret.

Kim, rape is terrifyingly rampant in so many ways. You remind me of a conversation I had with my friends one "girl's night." There were ten of us, ages about 26-45. Seven had experienced rape either by a date or a stranger, and one by a husband--ex, by that point.

pasadenapio said...

Today Pasadena police officers wore jeans with their uniforms to show support of sexual violence prevention and education; and the Pasadena Commission on the Status of Women encourages everybody to do the same.

Virginia said...

Darlin,
I love my home but I grieve on a regular basis, about a lot of things. It's hard.
V

Petrea said...

PIO, that's so cool! My dealings with the police officers in our city have been so positive. This raises them even higher in my esteem.

I kid your lovely city, Virginia. I've read a little about your mayoral woes, but there's a whole lot to love. You introduce more to me every day. http://birminghamalabamadailyphoto.blogspot.com/

Amy said...

Thank you for this post, I have not heard about Denim Day. I'm glad people like you are getting the word out.

Katie said...

Kudos Petrea for this post. I'd never hear of Denim Day either, and do think it's important to bring up topics like this, as uncomfortable as they might be for some people. Shocking that in the year 2010 there are still women all over the world who have to deal with such unbelievable horrors. I couldn't wear denim today (jeans are ok at my law firm on Fridays, and I sometimes sneak in on Thursdays wearing really dark denim), but I thought Wednesday was pushing it. I was wearing denim in spirit in honor of this day though. I'll go check out the links now.

Petrea said...

I hope Denim Day becomes as big as Earth Day, Amy. Then I hope someday we don't need it. Wouldn't that be amazing?

Katie, you're right about the unbelievable horrors, and if we dwelt on them we couldn't get through our days. But it's important to educate, and to set aside time to care.

They say "every little bit helps." Sometimes I wonder if that's true. But we have to do something. To do nothing makes us part of the problem, so we have to choose to be part of the solution, even if it's just a tiny part.

Unseen Rajasthan said...

Levi's is my favorite brand !! I Always wear clothes of this brand only !! Fantastic post !!

Petrea said...

Thanks, UR!

Lori Lynn said...

Oy.

I never heard about that, thanks for sharing.
LL