• Adapted from an American initiative, the exhibition

    How were you dressed?

    was inaugurated this Thursday in the presence of a hundred students from Nantes, at the prefecture of Loire-Atlantique.

  • By trying to deconstruct the link sometimes made between clothing and sexual assault, it also has the merit of freeing the floor among teenage girls who all have something to say on the subject.

A simple floral dress.

A black tank top and jeans.

A brown jacket.

This is the outfit that these rape victims from Nantes wore when their lives changed.

Since this Thursday and for a few days at the prefecture of Loire-Atlantique, these clothes are presented associated with their testimonies, anonymous, as part of the traveling exhibition

How were you dressed?


“It is an adaptation of an initiative born in the United States, details Isabelle Hérigault, president of the association Question Confidence.

It aims to denounce the fact that in the collective imagination, we still think that raped women have sometimes really sought it, because of provocative attitudes.


In front of a black leggings and a girl's t-shirt hanging on a grid, two high school girls among the hundred students invited to the inauguration of the exhibition discuss.

“It really hurts to think that even a 5-year-old girl can go through this at school,” says Oumraziat, 16.

Already convinced that "clothes have no relation to being attacked or not", the young woman nevertheless admits that the subject is not so simple.

“There is always the gaze of people who weighs on us, which influences us a little, she continues.

If you dress too short, you are seen as provocative.

If you're too covered, you're stuck.


"A jog over my evening dress"

A little further on, next to a thick black coat and suede ankle boots, a short text written in the first person tells how “a banal evening with friends turned into a tragedy”.

A trip alone on foot, an “insistent” boy, then “the black hole”, followed by the “physical consequences”.

A testimony that also echoes among teenage girls, who all have something to tell.

“A guy followed me insulting me for an hour in the street, down to my girlfriend's house, says Hari, a final year student, still very uncomfortable.

I cried, I was really scared.

The young woman, dressed in a large hooded sweatshirt, admits having developed a surprising habit.

“When I go to a party, I put on a jogger over my outfit, and I take it off when I get there.

We camouflage ourselves, that's how it is.

At school, on a walk, in the metro… The exhibition also aims to show that attacks can unfortunately take place anywhere, and especially within the family.

As proof, 43% of women are victims of sexist acts in their homes, recalled the prefect Didier Martin, on the eve of the international day for the fight against violence against women.

If the exhibition highlights the journey of a woman who was "considered as an object" by her husband, who notably forced her to wear very feminine outfits (such as the high-heeled golden sandals on display), the reflections and behaviors can come from other family members.

“My 70-year-old uncle looked at me one day and said, 'Oh la la, if I were 20 years younger…', confides a high school student.

I didn't even understand at the time.



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  • Company

  • Nantes

  • Pays de la Loire

  • MeToo

  • Violence against women

  • Rape

  • Sexual violence

  • Sexism