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NYC Young Professionals Amnesty International Message Board › First NYC 'SlutWalk': March against Rape Culture, 10/1, Union Sq.

First NYC 'SlutWalk': March against Rape Culture, 10/1, Union Sq.

avra c.
New York, NY
Post #: 1,586
Excerpt from Mac McCelland's essay in GOOD Media Blog (6/27/11):
"Last September, the first time I went to Haiti, I spent my first day out accompanying a rape victim we'll call Sybille to the hospital. The way her five attackers had maimed her in addition to sexually violating her was unspeakable. The way the surgeon who was going to try to reconstruct the damage yelled at her, telling her she'd got what was coming to her because she was a slut, was unconscionable."

March for Equality: First NYC 'Slutwalk'
Date: October 1st
Time: 12 Noon

We have long identified one of the root causes of human trafficking as being a culture that accepts treating women as objects that can be bought and sold. Here is an event that aims squarely at changing that cultural landscape!

SlutWalk began after a Toronto constable told women students at a safety seminar at the University of Toronto “not to dress like sluts” in order to avoid being victimized.

As Canadian writer Hilary Beaumont has astutely noted: "Society teaches us 'Don't get raped' rather than 'Don't rape.'"

For more detailed information on the origins and organizing principles of this grassroots movement, please see their website:

Despite some acknowledged controversy over the name of the event, their mission statement seems unassailable:
No matter who you are
No matter where you work
No matter how you identify
No matter how you flirt
No matter what you wear
No matter whom you choose to love
No matter what you said before:
NO ONE has the right to touch you without your consent.

SlutWalk NYC is part of a worldwide grassroots movement challenging rape culture, victim-blaming and slut-shaming, and working to end sexual and domestic violence.

This event strives to be all inclusive with respect to age, race, sexual identification and political orientation. There are no fees associated with participation. There is no dress code prescribed. Come join us, and thousands of fellow feminists, in supporting a march for true equality.

avra c.
New York, NY
Post #: 1,621
From the blog, by Sarit Rogers

June 6, 2011
What Being at Slutwalk Taught Me About My Activism: SlutWalk LA
Filed under: Event,Sexuality — Tags: activism, activist, rape, slutwalk — Sarit @ 9:57 pm

I attended Slutwalk in my jeans and Converse, a flower in my hair and a camera posed before my eye. Frankly, I didn’t feel like I needed to be adorned in something revealing in order to take back my dignity. In fact, I don’t even think the word “slut” has the qualities of empowerment, and when folks started chanting “I’m a slut, so what,” I didn’t participate. Still, as a survivor of sexual abuse, I jumped on board with the Slutwalk movement viewing it as an opportunity to shed some light on the darkness and bring awareness to those witnessing the march itself. For the most part, I still feel that way, but actually being there, immersed in the energy of the march, I did find myself struggling with an internal rift.

I started to pay attention not only to the list of remarkable speakers (Zoe Nicholson, Shira Tirrant, Morgane Richardson, Hugo Shywzer, councilwoman Lindsay Horvath, and several others), but to the varied media presence. I’m skeptical by nature, so when I noticed the CBS camera paying the most attention to the scantily clad Forest Nui Cobalt or the adult film star Alana Evans, I felt the familiar frustration I always have with the media’s propensity toward exploitation: Would the media actually “get” why we were really there in the first place? (Note, fortunately, the CBS footage ended up being pretty well-edited and the seriousness of the event was captured. In this case, the media did the right thing.)

It was empowering to listen to the likes of Zoe Nicholson encourage a passionate call-and-response: “Just because I breathe…” “…you may not touch me.” Her fervency alone made me proud to be there. It felt good to hear so many survivors stand courageously before a crowd of cheering allies to share their incredible stories. In many ways, this was the reason I was there, as I’d kept my own mouth shut for too long. For a moment, I even felt remorse in not volunteering to share my own story! Nevertheless, there were some things I wish I had heard: Perhaps a more varied perspective on rape and sexual assault: spousal abuse; men who’d been victimized by sexual violence. Maybe next year.

I knew from the beginning that there might be a conflict of interest. I knew there would be a presence of sex-worker advocacy, and therefore sex-workers, and while I have no issues with sex itself (seriously, it’s fantastic, I just don’t want it to be my primary identifier), I do have issues with pornography. For me, there’s too much of a divergence in ideologies between stopping violence and a business that feeds on violence and rape culture. Do I think someone who works in the adult industry deserves to be victimized by rape or sexual assault? No, of course not—I don’t believe that anyone deserves that, regardless of their job, their attire, their level of intoxication, their sexuality, or their flirtatious nature. Their body is theirs, no question about it, but I do have to ask why one would continue to work in that same industry after being raped. Alana Evans, one of the speakers who courageously shared her story still works in the adult industry. In fact, she says, “It’s just a job.” But is it, if it’s a job that continues to subjugate and objectify women? Is it, if its job is to feed the male fantasy of women always being “ready and willing” to suck, fuck, and be submissive? Sadly, it only took me about 3 seconds to find an image of her on her own site where she’s victimized by violence. While sex workers certainly deserve the same legal protection against rape as I do, I’m still not inspired or intrigued by their career choice. If anything, I feel it’s contributing to the problem we’re trying to eradicate. Regardless, there is something to be said for a movement that brings vast awareness to the issue of rape. As Shira Tarrant said in her recent interview for Ms. with Melanie Klein:

“SlutWalk is imperfect. All political movements are imperfect. Human beings are imperfect. But while we’re fighting amongst ourselves, sexual assaults keep happening.”

I can’t agree with her more.

As a photographer, I’m often asked why I won’t photograph certain things. Fellow photographers have told me, “Sometimes, you just have to do what the client asks” or “You can’t always pick and choose your clients.” But the truth is, I won’t sacrifice something I believe in for a paycheck. Heck, if I were offered a huge payout to photograph the likes of Dov Charney, I would decline. I feel this way about porn as well. My role as a photographer is collaborative, and subjugation is never an option. Sometimes, being an activist and believing in something means sacrificing the convenience and the luxury of having something at the cost of retaining something inherently more valuable: dignity, morals and self-respect.

Bottom line: I’m glad I was at Slutwalk, despite the fact that I will never claim “slut” as a title.

Photograph by Sarit Photography. For complete SlutWalk LA photo album, click here.
avra c.
New York, NY
Post #: 1,631
Safe Horizon's Amy Edelstein Discusses Increase in NYC Reported Rapes

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