The measure of a woman and the length of her skirt
In the now-viral image photographed by Capilano University student Rosea Lake, a young woman lifts her skirt, with words written up the length of her leg: moving, the labels become increasingly degrading, ranging from "proper" at the knee to "provocative" at mid-thigh, then going up to "asking for it", "slut" and "whore".
The photo, titled “Judgment,” was posted on Lake's Tumblr site, and has been liked and re-blogged nearly 300,000 times since. Lake has been flooded by comments from women and men who thought her message was timely and important.
"The idea for that photo in particular came from a graduated cylinder – I was trying to compare the way we impersonally measure liquid in vials to the way we judge and measure a woman's worth by what she's wearing," Lake told The Vancouver Observer in an email.
"Almost all of the feedback has been positive," Lake explained, of the reactions to her photo. "But there is the occasional bigoted commenter -- it wouldn't be the internet without them -- who says things like 'The shorter the skirt, the more of a slut one is. Females have known this for thousands of years.' Although, not all of the negative comments have been from men."
While the photo was initially created as part of an AP (Advanced Placement) Art project, Lake has managed to touch a nerve with people internationally, with comments coming from as far as Europe and the Middle East.
"People message me from far-off countries (Turkey, Holland, France, etc.) to tell me that my message has reached the news in their country and has touched them," she said.
"I've barely travelled outside Canada, so I'm completely delighted that I've made an impact on the world outside my little Vancouver bubble."