Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Are You Wearing Jeans Today?

Today is International Denim Day:
This is a day in which people around the world wear denim in honor of those who have been raped and to educate society about rape.  This campaign came about after an 18-year old girl in Italy was raped by her 45-year old driving instructor in the 1990’s.  Her rapist was initially arrested, prosecuted, convicted and sentenced to jail, but his conviction was overturned on appeal.  Why? Because the woman was wearing really tight jeans! The Italian Supreme Court presumed since the woman’s jeans were tight she must have assisted him with their removal concluding their sexual encounter had to have been consensual. Enraged by this verdict, the women of the Italian Parliament protested that very day by wearing jeans to work.  This protest evolved into the first Denim Day in LA in April 1999 and has continued every year since.
I only recently became aware of Denim Day:
I learned of it when reading, Student McKenna Nerone is generating support for rape victims through Denim Day, an article on JS Online about McKenna Nerone’s project Share a Pair. Nerone, a high school senior, created Share a Pair as a project for a senior’s honors seminar. Her goal is to raise awareness of sexual assault and the dangers of blaming victims. She hopes to collect 1,050 pairs of jeans for Denim Day.

Why 1,050 pairs of jeans?
Nerone calculated during the time she spends each week in class 1,050 individuals are sexually assaulted. According to, every two and a half minutes, somewhere in America, someone is sexually assaulted.
Nobody wants to talk about rape:
Not everyone was in favor of Nerone’s project.  She encountered objectors who felt rape was a taboo topic.  This taboo is precisely why Nerone went ahead with her project. She feels it will benefit both her high school and the greater community.  She is quoted in the article as saying:
“I want to make people start talking about it. Nobody wants to talk about rape.”

The topic of rape and sexual assault is rarely addressed in school, Nerone said and she wants to change that, along with a common misconception.

“Many people think that if you’re going to be raped you need to have this criteria,” she said listing weight, physical attributes and tight jeans. “But no that is just not true.”
Thank you McKenna for making me aware of International Denim Day and for the awareness you have created. Knowledge and education is the first step in fighting the rape culture that continues to be prevalent in our society.

McKenna Nerone is donating all of the jeans she collects to Pathfinders, a local nonprofit that helps youths and young adults who are survivors of sexual assault, homelessness and mental illness.

I’m wearing jeans today.  Are you?

If you enjoyed this post you may also like:
Muslim Women Reformers
Interview with Gloria Steinem
"In the Name of Honor" is an Important Book that Deserves to be Read


  1. I am wearing jeans, but I didn't realise I was doing so with a purpose. Thanks for sharing :)

  2. I had no idea they had a day for just denim. I am not wearing denim not a fan of the buttons I prefer sweats lol but in honor of the day I will wear it

  3. Always happy for an excuse to wear my jeans. Today, I have a reason instead. Happy to add my support.

  4. I never heard of International Denim Day. It is a great means for spreading the word. The statistics are staggering and I am sure not many people are aware of those numbers.

    I think the punishment for rape is not nearly severe enough. The pain and suffering caused by rape ripples through out the victims lives.

  5. I wrote this post last night on my blog and was encouraged to see your post honoring rape victims today. Thank you for sharing. I will be adding your post to my blog so my readers can be aware.

  6. Anonymous7:30 AM

    Happy Sharefest!

    WHOA...thanks for brining this to my attention. I am so tired of living in a society that teaches don't get raped instead of don't rape. I have a son and know he will be raised correctly, he will be raised to be a real man.

    it's really sad when we have policitican who tell woman what to do with their bodies and say some women wanted it.

  7. Our networking group's charity of focus is for Women and family's that are in crisis due to domestic violence situations. During April, we focus heavily on Denim day. We always bring a pair of jeans to our events and stuff the pockets with donations. As well as tell the story of why there has to be a denim day. Thank you for putting this out there in the universe.

  8. Thank you so much for sharing this. It's important to talk about these things. That's the only way things will ever improve -- when we are no longer afraid to see and discuss the dark things.

    Happy Sharefest. I hope you have a lovely weekend.

  9. Wow. I never knew the background behind wearing the jeans. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Hey there! Here from the Blog Hop and I just liked your Facebook page :o) Hope you'll get a chance to visit my page; you can find me here:


  11. Rachel,
    I am happy to inform.

  12. Thanks Webb, your support is appreciated.

  13. Darlene,
    So true. One of my dorm mates in college had been raped at a party while passed out on the couch. She could hear his friends laughing in the background. She pressed charges against him, but the case didn't go anywhere because his friends testified she was promiscuous. That happened over 30 years ago and I am sure she still carries the scars. FYI – she ended up moving out of our state and is now a successful divorce lawyer.

  14. Catherine,
    Thanks for your support. I just read your post. I too have experienced a couple of uncomfortable situations in my own back yard that men can't understand. Both my husband and I love the outdoors, but there are many things he has done by himself that I could never do because I feared for my safety.

  15. Dinoheromommy,
    Good point on what society needs to teach. If it is any consolation those politicians did bring awareness and education about rape into focus. I bet Henry Aldridge now knows a woman can get pregnant from being raped.

  16. Robin,
    What a great focus for your networking group. One of my goals of this blog is to raise awareness to women who don't always have a voice.

  17. Miss Robin,
    Interesting point and so true:

    That's the only way things will ever improve -- when we are no longer afraid to see and discuss the dark things.

  18. Jamie,
    I didn't either, 'til I read the newspaper article. Shocking isn't it!

  19. Cropped Stories,
    It's always a pleasure to check out a new blog. Thanks for stopping in.

  20. I'm so glad you brought this to my attention. I was unaware of this case and after reading it I definitely want to support the cause. I know I missed it this year, but next year I will catch it for sure and talk to others about it as well.