It began in 1999 in response to an Italian Supreme Court (Corte di Cassazione) decision that overturned a rape conviction. There was a dispute about consent. In overturning the decision on the consent issue, the court found that it is nearly impossible to slip off tight jeans even partly without the active collaboration of the person who is wearing them. There is an interesting law review article about this case, Blue Jeans, Rape, and the De-Constitutive Power of Law, in 35 Law & Society Review 89 on HeinOnline.
There was a second, similar case in 2008 where the Supreme Court (Corte di Cassazione) reviewed a lower court decision with very similar reasoning. This time the high court overturned the lower court and its own 1999 ruling. This development has “closely aligned the Italian Supreme Court with the European Court of Human Rights’ dictates, and ultimately has marked a step forward towards gender equality and women’s right to sexual autonomy.”
Women continue to be victims of sexual violence around the world as seen in recent news reports. Denim Day serves a reminder to combat such attitudes.
photo by CananZembil