West Point cadets wore jeans Tuesday in support of raising rape victim awareness as part of a social justice event called #DenimDay.
“Today, the Corps is wearing jeans in support of #DenimDay,” West Point wrote on its Facebook page.
“Denim Day was originally triggered by a ruling by the Italian Supreme Court where a rape conviction was overturned because the justices felt that since the victim was wearing tight jeans she must have helped her rapist remove her jeans, thereby implying consent,” the post continued.
The ruling was initially referred to as the “denim defense,” according to The New York Times.
“The following day, the women in the Italian Parliament came to work wearing jeans in solidarity with the victim. Peace Over Violence developed the Denim Day campaign in response to this case and the activism surrounding it. Since then, wearing jeans on Denim Day has become a symbol of protest against erroneous and destructive attitudes about sexual assault.”
The group Peace Over Violence has run the Denim Day campaign for 18 years.
West Point also posted a photo on Instagram showing cadets wearing jeans around academy grounds.
The event represents a growing trend towards a more activist atmosphere at the academy, which has not gone unnoticed. One former West Point cadet told The Daily Caller News Foundation that “cynicism is rampant at the academy because young men go expecting a transformative warrior experience but instead find a culture that’s been watered down so that women can compete.”
“The Academy thinks it can repress male-female sexual dynamics with enough group presentations, motivational speakers, and silly moral signaling efforts,” the cadet continued. “For obvious reasons they will fail because sexual dynamics are intrinsic and cannot be altered, only shaped to productive ends.”
Last year, after conducting an investigation, West Point decided not to discipline 16 black female cadets who were pictured in uniform raising their fists in a black power or Black Lives Matter salute.
Military code prohibits “participating in any political activity while in military uniform as proscribed by Reference (c), or using Government facilities or resources for furthering political activities.”
West Point concluded that, contrary to first impressions, the fists raised were actually intended to demonstrate “unity” and “pride.”
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