SlutWalk Chicago 2013 (SLUTWALKSLUTWALKSLUTWALK is amazing!)
September 11, 2013 Leave a comment
This past weekend I participated in Slut Walk Chicago 2013!
It was amazing. There were speakers, comedians, performers. It was fantastic and I had a blast! (Even though no one would go with me. Boyfriend offered, but our pup had his stitches removed that morning and someone had to stay home to make sure he didn’t re-open the wounds).
But the demonstration was a blast. It was really amazing, after railing in professional and personal environments about rape culture and victim blaming, being around a group of people who understand the importance of this movement and who are willing to put themselves out there was moving. Hearing the stories of what can be considered “everyday victims” of rape culture–all of us who are faced with sexual pressures, street harassment, disrespect, etc–and victims of more horrible abuses was revealing about the culture we live in and motivating to want to make an impact on that culture.
Jodie Rapheal, JD spoke and promoted her book Rape is Rape (I finally broke down and bought it from her directly, I figured I should since I’ve cited her in professional presentations enough). Representatives were there from Rape Victims Advocates. But the most amazing thing was the people there. Both women and men standing together against rape culture. There was a lot of Robin Thicke hate floating around, which made me Oh So HAPPY!
There was something quite interesting though: The people of Chicago didn’t all seem to quite get it. Despite obvious signs condemning rape culture, supporting victims of abuse, and promoting healthy sexual attitudes, they didn’t get it. One woman looked at me and straight up asked “What are you protesting?” As I carried a sign that said “Consent is sexy. Everything else is Rape.” And while people around me carried even more straight forward signs. Maybe people were getting confused by the more clever signs?
Anyway, for those of you confused about what rape culture is and what Slut Walk is all about here I tell you this: Rape Culture is a culture in which the victim of sexual abuses is somehow blamed for what happens to them, while the actions of the abuser are considered “normal” behavior and acceptable. How the victim dressed, spoke, laughed, carried themself, their sexual history, and their assumed mental state are pieced apart so that they are forced to take accountability for the abuse. Further, verbal and implied violence is encouraged by others in a mob mentality (again, think of Robin Thicke’s rapey lyrics)
Examples of rape culture can be seen in the Steubenville rape case, the recent case in which a judge declared an underage girl raped by her teacher to be “older than her chronological age” and thus the rape was less severe (the girl eventually committed suicide), and this lovely piece of sportsmanship in Halifax, http://www.salon.com/2013/09/05/college_students_cheer_sex_abuse/.
Any questions? I refuse to leave on an angry note. So more Slut Walk pictures! And thank you to all the people who organized this wonderful event!