Thursday, June 25, 2009

Eyes Wide Open: The Clothesline Project

(originally posted 4/09 at

by Talia Jae Potter

At PCC we have made T-shirts to hang in the main walkway for a week. The t-shirts are messages by women about their own personal experience with some form of sexual abuse or for someone close to them who has had an experience, surviver or not. Its an amazing project to be a part of and I used some club time to make t-shirts with my fellow student parents. It was moving, overwhelming, and cathartic to be a part of these women expressing themselves. I also made my own t-shirt about my own experience with sexual assault.

Now we have just hung the t-shirts along the walkway for everyone to view over the next week. Their are so many T-shirts, different colors for different types of sexual abuse. It can be overwhelming to look at. They are not nice, delicate, gentle messages. They are truths, truths that may or may not have been spoken until now. That makes this project even more powerful.

Today when I got on campus I walked by the t-shirts to see a woman standing infront of them reading them, tears streaming down her face. It was like my heart swelled and ached at the same time. I felt overpowered with feelings. Feelings of sadness for my and others' experiences. Feelings of love for knowing that these messages we women bravely have shared is now touching another woman. Feelings of being proud of myself and the women at the WRC for making this project happen so that women can speak truth to other women and men about the reality of sexual assault and how sadly common it is. Thank you to all the women who participated in speaking out against sexual assault. You have made a difference more than you will know. This is what makes my job worth doing to my best everyday.

*1 in 3 college men would rape a woman if they could get away with it. 1 in three women are sexually assaulted in their lifetime (not accounting for the women who never report the incidents). 3 men (spouses, boyfriends, close friends, and relatives) assault and kill their female partner or friend every day.

*These are actual statistics gathered. I plan on posting a photo of the clothesline soon.

1 comment:

Osa Taas said...

I remember this project and like the woman you saw, I also cried while reading the messages. Are the shirts photographed anywhere? I would like to see them again.

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