Have you noticed the pairs of denim jeans flying like flags throughout downtown Milwaukee? It turns out that they’re actually there for a good cause.
April 25 is Denim Day, a worldwide event calling for all participants to wear denim to protest against rape culture.
Denim Day was created when a rape conviction was overturned by the Italian Supreme Court because the justices felt that the victim’s tight jeans implied that she must have helped her rapist remove her jeans, therefore implying consent. The following day, women in the Italian Parliament came to work wearing jeans in solidarity with the victim. Since then, wearing jeans on Denim Day has become a symbol of protest against rape culture and sexual assault.
Community members, elected officials, businesses and students are asked to make a social statement with their fashion by wearing jeans on Denim Day. The Rape Crisis Center in Madison participates in Denim Day every year, and always invites local businesses to participate as well.
“As #MeToo is about solidarity and being seen, the even more recent #TimesUp movement is about saying #nomore, about no longer allowing harassment in our workplaces and lives, stopping sexual assault and ending rape culture,” stated Executive Director of RCC Erin Thornley in a press release. “By wearing denim today, we not only stand in solidarity with victims of sexual assault, we show everyone who sees us that we care about the issue of sexual violence, and that we believe we can end it together.”