it's denim day today, and this was the day of sexual assault awareness month that i was dreading.
i don't own jeans.
it's not because they don't make jeans for my size, because they make jeans in all sizes. it is hard to buy pants for a bottom heavy person, but if people can climb mt. everest, you can find jeans to fit your booty. over the years, jeans have brought this terror feeling to me. it feels as though, jeans are an open invitation to make comment on my body.
i had this black pair of jeans that i loved. i would wear them occasionally on fridays at work (but only in the cooler months, jeans in the summer are a no...i have weird clothing requirements). every time i wore them, every time, at least 3 people would comment on them. and not in a way that makes you feel good about yourself. it was hard to manage and enforce appropriate boundaries with the kiddos i worked with when the adults were participating as well. so i stopped wearing them. i've worn jeans maybe a handful of times since.
so when denim day comes around for work, and we have to wear jeans for a press conference....i shuddered. there's this war in my brain about how i am growing happy with my body; it's shape and strength, but i still fear hearing the words about it. so i bought jeans and wore them in solidarity for the woman denim day is for, the woman who's rapist was dismissed because the court couldn't believe she didn't help him remove her jeans. and the place i work now couldn't be a safer environment.
we, as a culture, have a long way to go before people are comfortable being people. no matter the clothing, skin, identity. where people don't live in fear of assault, or carry the burden of blame for their assault. and that one fateful day when i can wear jeans and not a person makes a comment about my booty.