The anniversary of the Columbine tragedy reminded me how far we’ve come in education and in life. School violence hasn’t been a focus in the media; instead, it’s been Tiger, Big Ben, and other role models who’ve lost their way. But today…today was denim day. If you’re not familiar with it, you should be.
In the 1990s, a woman in Italy went out with a driving instructor and by the end of the day, he raped her by the side of the road. She was vindicated when he was convicted of the rape. But in 1999, the Italian High Court overturned the conviction, stating that the woman was in tight jeans, so there was no way the man was able to get them off by himself. In other words, she had to have helped him, and therefore been a willing participant. Have these people ever worn jeans? Women of the Italian Legislature protested the decision by wearing jeans to work, and as news of their decision spread around the country, so did the protest. So universities, colleges, junior high and high schools, and various other organizations around the world selected to join the campaign to step forward and take a stand against rape and sexual violence against all people, not just women. So April 22nd is now Denim Day, and hopefully you’ll step forward next year! If we don’t speak up for ourselves and others, there’s no point in having a voice.