Should gymnasts continue to wear leotards?
Olympic gymnast and sexual assault survivor Aly Raisman was recently asked that question. And in her fierce response, she makes it clear that she won’t tolerate people blaming survivors — specifically gymnasts — who have been sexually assaulted.
No one asks to be assaulted, no matter what she wears — and on Sunday, Raisman tweeted her thoughts on this:
I was recently asked if gymnasts should continue wearing leotards. Leotards r not the problem. The problem is the many pedophiles out there & the adults who enable them. By saying clothing is part of the issue, u are victim shaming/implying survivors should feel it's their fault.
— Alexandra Raisman (@Aly_Raisman) March 25, 2018
This isn’t the first time Raisman has been outspoken about how women should dress and be however they want. In this year’s Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, for instance, she posed nude with the words “women do not have to be modest to be respected” written all over her body. Clearly, Raisman knows how to make powerful statements.
In January, the gymnast also testified at Larry Nassar’s sentencing hearing about being abused by him — becoming an advocate for survivors everywhere. During her testimony, she said, “Larry, you do realize now that we, this group of women you so heartlessly abused over so long a period of time, are now a force and you are nothing. The tables have turned, Larry. We are here, we have our voices, and we are not going anywhere.”
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Women do not have to be modest to be respected– Live for you! Everyone should feel comfortable expressing themselves however makes them happy. Women can be intelligent, fierce, sexy, powerful, strong, advocate for change while wearing what makes them feel best. The time where women are taught to be ashamed of their bodies is OVER. The female body is beautiful and we should all be proud of who we are, inside and out. Thank you so much @si_swimsuit @mj_day @darciebaum @ja_neyney @taylorbphoto & the rest of the team.
But that’s not all: Raisman is trying to change the system so others won’t be abused. Earlier this month, she filed a lawsuit against the United States Olympic Committee, claiming they knew about the abuse while it was happening — and how that is unacceptable, stating:
I refuse to wait any longer for these organizations to do the right thing. It is my hope that the legal process will hold them accountable and enable the change that is so desperately needed.