September 2013

My First Slut Walk

Two weeks on from the last parade I attended and this time I am walking as one of the protesters. Emotions and hemlines are running high as we march down Bank Street. Somehow I end up at the front screaming out chants and slogans with the leaders of the protest. This is my first experience of a Slut Walk and it’s one I have been looking forward to since they first began.

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Slut Walk is a protest against the belief that a rape survivor somehow provokes their rape, deserves it or are “asking for it”. When in reality it doesn’t matter what you wear or how much you drink, it is never your fault. Rapists choose to rape. They make the conscious decision to violate your body and neglect asking for consent. The march is set up to challenge society’s relentless slut-shaming, put pressure on the government to deal with rapists more harshly, and show support for rape survivors.
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Protesters don the sluttiest outfits they can coordinate to make the statement that we should be able to wear what ever we like without having to fear sexual assault. I am wearing a leopard print half-corset bra, a vest top and a short skirt as I walk alongside my peers in solidarity and comradeship. We share the same belief that rape is rape and there are no excuses. We have the same goal; to create a safer world where men and women can wear what ever they damn well want without having their moral integrity questioned and their health put at risk. Humans are sexual beings so we should have the freedom to have fun and have our choices and consent respected.
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We voice our opinions by chanting slogans; “a dress is not a yes”, “no matter how we dress, no matter where we go, yes means yes, and no means no”, “my body, my rules” and “two, four, six, eight, just go home and masturbate”. And my favourite one, for it’s blunt honesty, “yes means fuck me, no means fuck you”.

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We get car horn beeps and cheering from people on the street who support our cause and admire our protest. I loved my first slut walk and cannot wait for next years. I have since applied to volunteer at Carleton’s Womyns Centre where I will be helping with their campaign to tackle sexual assault and support rape survivors. Fingers crossed I can do some good.

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Love Jill

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