In a perfect world, women wouldn't have to worry about being attacked or assaulted when walking alone after dark (or at any other time of day). But, unfortunately, our world is far from perfect. Taylor Yocom wants to change this culture of fear. The 22 year old created a photo series called "Guarded." It features black and white photos of females students and the items they carry for protection. Yocom believes these items represent a “larger reality of victim blaming.” She says:
These loaded objects on key chains where trinkets should be really do portray how women are expected to always be on guard to protect themselves… when really the rapists should not be raping.Check out some of the photos below. The rest, you can see on Yocom's website. Yocom photographed the women at the University of Iowa, where she studies photography. She was inspired to create the project after women in her class took out their keychains and began comparing 'weapons.' The guys in the class were shocked as the majority of them have never thought about the need to carry such items. Do you carry items to protect yourself? Are you prompted to do so out of fear or out of a rational understanding of possible dangers? Is this a societal issue or a personal one?