There’s a little black dress that makes a big statement about how women are treated in nightclubs.
Researchers for the ad agency Ogilvy developed a touch-sensitive garment called “The Dress for Respect” to find out how often women are inappropriately groped and grabbed while trying to enjoy a night out. In a campaign for Schweppes, the Swiss beverage brand, Ogilvy (which is a MAKERS@ partner) monitored three women wearing “The Dress for Respect” on a typical night out in São Paulo.
“Every woman has been harassed in her life,” says Tatiana Rosas, one of the women participating in the study. “But there isn’t a real overview of what happens.”
Title: The Dress for Respect
— Ogilvy (@Ogilvy) November 28, 2018
Research shows that 86 percent of Brazilian women have been harassed in nightclubs, and yet often Brazilian men downplay the issue, with one anonymous man saying that women were just “complaining.”
So, researchers developed “The Dress for Respect” to track the sexual harassment that women faced in real time. Every time a man grabbed the female participants, sensors built within the dress would track where the woman had been touched and the level of intensity of each interaction.
The results? One dress, three women, and four hours later, they were touched 157 times combined — that’s nearly 40 times per hour. The data collected from the dress showed that the women were inappropriately touched on their lower back, arms, side, and backside.
“A woman is not an animal to be cornered or captured,” says Rosas after leaving the party at the nightclub. She can be seen in the video dancing alone, when a man comes and grabs her from behind.
Men from the party were later invited to watch the data collected from the dress, alongside footage of the women at the club. Men expressed shock as they watched the three female participants rejecting advances, swatting hands, and walking away from men throughout the three hours and 47 minutes that they were at the party.
“I’m an interesting person,” says Luisa Castro, one of the exasperated female participants. “I’m worth five minutes of talking.”