Submitted By moldrom
Ron molder clothesline Project
October 14, 2013
Words cannot adequately describe the feelings I feel for the people behind the shirts at the clothesline project. Especially women who are beat and abused both physically and sexually, as well as raped and manipulated. I had never heard of the clothesline project before but the more than “traumatizing” experience will leave an imprint upon my brain forever.
There are two things I wish to mention at the beginning of my paper. As I was walking to the grande ballroom I was asked by a student ambassador to write something upon a wall that inspires me. I wrote “the look on a person’s face when you do something that makes their day.” And as I was walking around looking at the various t-shirts and stories the thought kept coming back: “what inspires these people to act the way they do.” I couldn’t understand why there were so many Fathers beating mothers and children, Grandfathers and uncles molesting loved ones, and so people who have been murdered. Shirt after shirt “I hate you” and “why did you do this to me” “I was only x amount years old” I was appalled. More so for the fact that these experiences are happening to us right in our neighborhoods. At the beginning I thought this was a traveling exhibit, but it is not. This is happening right in our own community, around us every day. The sad part is the fact that in a lot of cases, the victims didn’t say anything for years at a time, or due to circumstances people didn’t even believe them even police officers and people who are supposed to investigate. I still have a headache just reading those experiences, and all it does is bring back bad memories of friends dealing with these things or due to my occupation, going to aid and rescuing such victims in their time of need. The most heart wrenching thing for me to experience was to try to comprehend thee feelings that person was writing. I couldn’t put myself in their shoes. I would say the most common theme was manipulation. Somehow somewhere someone was persuaded and used to think that what they were doing was ok, whether they were too young to know, or they had some tie to that person that made it seem ok. I was shocked to see so many shirts, especially on a rack titled “made this week” I couldn’t believe it. One by one the shirts kept filing up. My heart goes out to those individuals who feel so trapped and so alone that they feel they can’t even be heard. I will be honest; I had a hard time believing all the shirts were 100% fact. I just have a hard time believing everything I hear. Regardless, the fact is, Every time you blink your eyes there is a person being manipulated, beaten, yelled at, criticized, raped or even killed. One of the most interesting shirts I read was by a man who wrote an apology on his shirt to his ex-wife and kids. Confessing that he knew what he was doing was wrong, that drugs and pornography became more important and consumed his life and that he was sorry for allowing himself to become the person he swore he wouldn’t become. I don’t remember seeing any other shirts like that one. It’s not my place to judge or to cast shadows on these people. The most important thing for them to do is to be like the man in the shirt I just mentioned. The way to stop abuse is for each individual to realize why they are doing is wrong and their acts in fact have consequences.
I’m glad I was able to participate in the Clothesline Project. It opened my eyes and made me even more aware of what’s going on in the world around us. Many people wrote saying this shouldn’t happen in “Happy Valley.” This shouldn’t happen at all! It’s time to speak out and stand strong together!…...