Gender Equity Center encourages Penn State community to participate in Denim Day

April 20, 2021

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — April is nationally recognized as Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month (SAAPM) and as part of that, the Gender Equity Center and University partners encourage the University Community to take part in Denim Day on April 28.

To participate in Denim Day, the Gender Equity Center is asking community members to take a picture of themselves in denim on April 28 and share on social media tagging @pennstategeneq, using the hashtag #DenimDay2021, and telling followers why they support survivors by wearing denim. If individuals do not have social media, pictures can be emailed to Becca Geiger at rxg5421@psu.edu and will be shared on the Gender Equity Page.

Earlier this month, the University Park Undergraduate Association, in collaboration with the Gender Equity Center, and other campus partners and student organizations hosted Sexual Violence Awareness and Prevention (SVAP) Week in recognition of SAAPM with the theme of "Conquering Distance through Empathy." While SVAP week has ended, the Gender Equity Center wants to make sure the community knows that there are opportunities to display empathy and show support for victim survivors throughout the year.

Becca Geiger, assistant director of the Gender Equity Center, a unit of Penn State Student Affairs, noted that students who would like to take action can apply to be a peer educator with the Gender Equity Center. In addition, all University community members can continue to show support through events like Denim Day.

“We know everyone who is interested in violence prevention may not be able to donate their time or talents. Participatory action and awareness campaigns such as Denim Day enable anyone to get involved by choosing to do a small act to show support for survivors of sexual violence, and send the message that at Penn State we refuse to accept the normalization of sexual harm and victim-blaming narratives our society often touts,” Geiger said.

Partnering with the center on the Denim Day initiative are the Office of Veteran Programs, the Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity, the University Park Undergraduate Association, Penn State Alpha Phi Alpha and the Penn State Panhellenic Council. This annual event was started by Peace Over Violence in response to a 1998 ruling by the Italian Supreme Court and the activism associated with it. In the case, a rape conviction was overturned because the justices claimed the victim was wearing very tight jeans and she would have had to help her rapist remove her jeans, thereby implying consent.

Follow the Gender Equity Center on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram using @PennStateGenEq to stay up to date, or visit studentaffairs.psu.edu/genderequity. Join the Gender Equity Center listserv by e-mailing rxg5421@psu.edu.

Last Updated April 21, 2021