This Smart Dress tracked how often women are groped at clubs
The numbers are in, and they're unnerving
The fight to get people to believe women's experiences has been a long and trying one, and it's more present now than ever. Unfortunately, there are still people who need empirical evidence. So, here it is.
The beverage company Schweppes noticed that men in Brazil weren't taking the issue of female harassment in nightclubs seriously, though 86% of Brazilian women have reported that it was an issue for them, Quartz revealed. Many thought it wasn't a big deal, and some even questioned women's motives to go out, as if there was nothing else to desire on a night out than being groped by men.
On behalf of Schweppes, an advertising agency called Ogilvy designed a touch-sensitive dress that could track how often, and with what degree of intensity, women were groped on a night out.
The project, titled “The Dress for Respect,” consists of a dress embedded with sensor technology that instantly sends information from the sensors to a visual system, so researchers could track the harassment in real-time.
Putting the dress to work, researchers sent three women to a club and recorded what happened, all while the women were still rejecting advances and asking men not to touch them. As the night progressed, a heat-map of the dresses repeatedly lit up where the women were being grabbed. The areas in question were largely the lower back, backside, and arms, though men were also spotted on camera touching the women's hair, pulling their hands, and trying to kiss them.
In just 3 hours and 47 minutes, the women were touched a combined total of 157 times. That's more than 40 times per hour.
The goal was to show men that harassment at clubs is a real issue, and so Ogilvy brought men in from the same party to review the experiment. They were largely shocked and surprised at the now-bruised heat-map image of the dresses.
Well, they needed the cold, hard, empirical truth—and they got it. Now maybe men will think twice about their actions on a night out.
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