A culture in which sexual assault and abuse are normalized is not one that is created overnight. It is created throughout history by way of tradition and established power structure. America has become one of the many societies that has adopted this “culture”. My work explores the history of these ideals by looking into power structures through war. I aim to combat these ideals by having each piece adapt to these constructs in a progressive way for victims.
Women have been used as weapons of war for thousands of years as a way to infiltrate an enemy’s society by making it impure with their forced offspring. The reactions to the victims was to shame them and shun them from their homes and their society. When I read of this, I cannot help but be reminded of the many women in our country today who are being shamed into not speaking out against sexual violence. Some become rejected from distrusting loved ones for making their voices heard.
I want to reject this and combat it with display of a new culture in which victims stand in solidarity against these ideals. The first step I have taken to bring this idea to life is display myself for the purpose of actively speaking out against my rapists without shame. Since my attacks, I have felt that with each occurance, I lose another piece of my identity. The disembodiment represents this for me.
Choosing to put myself out on this pedestal is an attempt to show other women that it is not shameful to be a victim and that we should not feel at fault for something others have done to us. By using forms of weaponry in juxtaposition with my body, I aim to represent this idea to women as protective and operative ammunition against rape culture and those who perpetuate it. While our assailants may have thought they ruined our bodies and strength with their attacks, we have actually become stronger and more united than ever.