Victim Shame, Body Blame is an analysis of American rape culture, toxic masculinity and the ever lasting effects our patriarchal society has had on both men and women, as we continue to blame and shame the victims of sexual violence, as perpetrators are rendered free from culpability. This body of work scrutinizes the amalgamation of victim shaming tropes that men and women are taught throughout their lives, both passively and actively, through social norms, pop culture, our educational and legal systems, religious establishments, and familial influences and upbringing.
Many of the sculptural forms are inspired by the idea, that, as women, no matter what we cover our bodies with, we can never escape our physical forms and, therefore, are never able to escape societal blame for any sexual violence brought upon us. The society and culture women live in has always placed blame on us and our bodies, and there is no escaping this simple truth.
Our patriarchal history of religion and laws have continuously given men and women mixed messages about sex, the overall meaning of consent and rape and the rights of sexual partners and how men and women should feel about sexual activity, what their roles look like within this intimate setting, and the notion of sexual enjoyment and moral piety. Victim Shame, Body Blame evaluates this history through sculptural interpretations, using varying structural elements, from frailer materials, including, textiles and paper, to more durable mediums, such as plaster, and audio elements and text.
Victim Shame, Body Blame, is an analysis of American rape culture. As I continue to peel away the skin, stitched and scarred, we hear statistical data, and historical law and precedent surrounding how the American government has defined rape and how the legal system has treated the victims of rape.
Edited in collaboration with Jeffrey J. Demos and Darren Golda