In what is easily the coolest demonstration of the year, dozens of Colombian men and women are protesting sexual violence by putting on mini skirts and parading in front of a popular Bogota restaurant where the owner, Andres Jaramillo, made some disturbing comments about a sexual assault that occurred on his property
After a 20-year-old woman was raped in the parking lot of Jaramillo’s restaurant, this asshole decided to blame the woman’s miniskirt for her assault. Using the hashtag “#Yomepongounaminifaldayque,” or “I wear a miniskirt — so what,” women’s rights activists across the globe took to Twitter to condemn the disgusting remarks.
Chanting “Miniskirts are not an invitation!” and “When it’s no, it’s no!”, close to 200 Colombian activists took the criticism directly to Andres Jaramillo’s front door. Both men and women rocked miniskirts at the event, in a pretty badass display of solidarity against the mindset that women’s clothing somehow invites (or deters) rapists.
Also important to consider is the context of this protest in Colombian society. Sexual assault against women is extremely common, and has been used as a tool of war by guerrilla groups, paramilitary forces, and government troops alike. Oxfam suggests that 2 of 10 displaced women in Colombia are forced to leave their homes due to rape.
It’s always interesting to me when men participate in protests against sexual assault. For so many men, the idea of sexual assault is terrible, but a victim-blaming mindset still persists. It is essential that men get involved in the dismantling of rape culture, and this protest in Colombia is a great example of men who understand that.
Feminists in the U.S. could definitely take a few pointers from this group of badasses in Colombia, who made a very important argument in a visually striking way. These types of protests are much more likely to put pressure on people who are vocally supportive of rape culture and victim blaming.
Instead of taking to Twitter and Change.org every time some celebrity or politician says something misogynist, we should show up at their front doors with our picket signs and outrage in tow. Miniskirts optional.