"What were you wearing?"
Date and TimeWednesday, March 14, 2018
- Mary Idema Pew Library » Exhibition Space
It's On Us as Lakers presents their own rendition of the University of Arkansas' traveling "What Were You Wearing?" exhibit. IOUaL had been collecting statistics for outfits and quotes for the entire winter semester from colleges surrounding the west Michigan area. Our goal is to break the stigma that what you are wearing matters when one is assaulted. We strive to put an end to victim blaming and provide students and participants the desire to do something about this issue. It's On US to start this conversation.
Opening day will be March 12 at 7pm. Come meet the team and be one of the first to walk through the exhibit. The exhibit will be open to the public until April 1st.
"Dr. Wyandt-Hiebert and Ms. Brockman of University of Arkansas wanted to create a project that would place the work of bearing witness to this question’s answer back on the shoulders of the community and humanize the survivor in the answer. To ask the question, “what were you wearing?” cost the questioner nothing, there is no labor in making this statement. However, the survivor must pay dearly in not only their answer; but also, in the burden of self-blame.
"The Installation challenges participants to engage with the universal connection we have with clothing and reflect on what gives this specific rape culture myth so much power. To put clothing on is so basic and common, to take that action and conflate it with pain and suffering taints not only the individual outfit for the survivor; but also, calls in to question all simplistic and normal behaviors as dangerous.
"The Installation asks participants to understand that it was never about the clothing and the act of shedding those clothes is never enough to bring peace or comfort to survivors. The violation is not simply woven in to the fabric of the material, it is a part of the survivor's new narrative. If only ending sexual violence was as easy as changing our clothes. Instead it requires all of us to evaluate what enabled us as individuals and as a society to ask, “what were you wearing?” in the first place."
Maddie Vervaeke: email@example.com