Want to know the secret of avoiding sexual assault in 2019? Teaching boys and girls that it's never okay to do it in the first place.
Thought I was going to list conservative articles of clothing? Maybe turtlenecks, ill-fitting pants, oversized sweaters? Wrong. None of these garments will stop sexual assault, so instead of focusing on what the victim was wearing, how about starting at the problem? The men/women who assault them.
It's shocking to think that people – women – still think that victims are assaulted due to the clothing they wore. Well, Southern Utah's "What Were You Wearing" exhibit is proof that it, in fact, doesn't matter.
This exhibit was organized by the DOVE Center and Dixie State University's Women's Resource Center and was created to prove those "well you were wearing _____ so you were asking for it" narratives wrong. This interactive exhibit hung actual sexual assault victims' clothing up along with a brief description of what happened.
Around the room hung sweatpants, T-shirts, jeans, and hoodies. Is that what you wear? Does that mean you're "asking for it?" Hell no. And neither were the victims. Even an ARMY UNIFORM was on display belonging to a man.
Although it definitely doesn't happen as often or is never talked about, men can be sexually assaulted too. Along with the basic training uniform, there was also a suit worn by a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints missionary uniform was displayed, showing no one is exempt from sexual violence.
Even celebrities aren't excused from such behavior. If you haven't heard of her, Billie Eilish is the next up-and-coming alternative pop singer. Having done songs with both Blackbear and Khalid, while also performing at Coachella at only 17, she's making headlines.
A few weeks ago, Eilish posted on her Instagram story for fans to stop, "grabbing her boobs." Referring to a meet & greet incident that may or may not have been an accident. In the story, she explained that she tries to play it off and act cool but, "it is very much not."
What's sadly ironic is that Eilish has also come out in interviews and in her Calvin Klein ad about why she wears enormously baggy clothing. She explained she wears the clothes she does so that, "nobody can have an opinion because they haven't seen what's underneath." This is so no one can judge her, or her talent based on her body. Did I mention she's only 17? A 17-year-old has to cover up, so people won't judge her body. That's sad.
This goes to show that your age, gender, sexual orientation, status, or the outfit you're wearing does not make you "deserving" of what happened to you. Ever. So my "tip" is to educate the youth instead of blaming the victims.