VIOLENCEs In Nantes, a traveling exhibition attempts to break the link sometimes made between clothing and sexual assault
The exhibition "How were you dressed?" presents clothes and testimonies of women victims — J. Urbach
- Adapted from an American initiative, the exhibition How were you dressed? was inaugurated this Thursday in the presence of a hundred students from Nantes, at the prefecture of Loire-Atlantique.
- By trying to deconstruct the link sometimes made between clothing and sexual assault, it also has the merit of freeing the floor among teenage girls who all have something to say on the subject.
A dress with; simple flowers. A black tank top and jeans. A brown jacket. That's it! the outfit that these Nantes victims of rape wore at the time when; their life has changed. Since this Thursday and for a few days at; the prefecture of Loire-Atlantique, these clothes are presented associated with; their testimonies, anonymous, as part of the traveling exhibition How were you dressed?. “It’s an adaptation of an initiative born in the United States, explains Isabelle Hérigault, president of the association Question Confidence. It aims to to denounce the fact that in the collective imagination, it is still believed that raped women have sometimes really sought it, because of provocative attitudes.”
In front of black leggings and a girl's t-shirt hanging from a a grid, two high school girls among the hundred students invited to attend; the inauguration of the expo discuss. “”It really hurt to think that even a 5-year-old girl can live çthis,” school,” said Oumraziat, 16. Already Convinced that “clothing has nothing to do with whether or not you get mugged”, the young woman admits however that the subject is not so simple. “There is always the gaze of people that weighs on us, that influences us a little, she continues. If you dress too short, you are seen as provocative. If you're too covered, you're stuck.”
“Jogging over my evening dress”
A little further, at side a thick black coat and suede ankle boots, a small text written on the inside. the first person tells how “a banal evening between friends turned out to drama.” A trip alone to; foot, an “insistent” boy, then “the black hole”, followed by the “physical sequels” A testimonial that also echoes among teenage girls, who all have something to look forward to. to tell about. “A guy followed me insulting me for an hour in the street, down to my girlfriend’s house, said Hari, a high school student, still very badly at home. comfortable. I cried, I was so scared.” The young woman, dressed in a large sweatshirt with a hood, confesses to having developed a surprising habit. “When I go to a party, I put sweatpants over my outfit, and take it off when I get there. We camouflage ourselves, it’s like ça.” “They hide to protect themselves from the gaze of men,” laments Isabelle Hérigault.
At school, on a walk, in the metro… The exhibition also aims to show that attacks can unfortunately take place anywhere, and especially within the family. As proof, 43% of women are victims of sexist acts in their homes, recalled the prefect Didier Martin, at the eve of the international day for the fight against violence against women. If the exhibition highlights the journey of a woman who has been “considered as an object” by her spouse, who notably obliged her to wearing very feminine outfits (like the gold high-heeled sandals on display), the thoughts and behaviors can come from other family members. “My 70-year-old uncle looked at me. one day saying to myself: “Oh la la, if I were 20 years younger”, confides a high school student. I didn’t even understand at the time. Since then, I don't feel safe. in his presence…”