So on saturday, I went on the Auckland Slutwalk with about 400-odd other people, concurrently with another march in Wellington. I have a VERY loud chanting voice apparently, so I was belting it out near the front like I owned the place and a lady from Newstalk ZB (UGH I HATE THAT STATION) asked me to comment on why I was marching. I can't really remember what I said at all, but I remember panicking and wishing that I had this post from Scuba Nurse in front of me to quote from:
"...because I want to raise kids in a country where they do not have to drop rape charges just because they have had sex in the past, and their dating history is visible online. I want to raise my kids in a country where the first question the police ask is “are you ok?” not “did you fight back?” I want to hear that my kids can talk about their experiences of assault without the event being a mark on THIER reputation. I want victim blaming to STOP NOW."It was an astounding day, and I spent the whole thing full to the brim with emotion. Most of the time it was glee that so many people had turned up to support such an important cause. Some of it was fury at the stories the speakers told, of the despicable way so many people have been treated for having the audacity to be assaulted. And some of it was awe and admiration at the strength of the people who had the courage to speak out about their experiences and call out the bullshit they (and the rest of us) have to deal with.
I know there are problems with Slutwalk, the biggest one being that there has been a rather conspicuous and unfortunate lack of participation by people of colour, for lots of good reasons, and a tendency to be erasing of trans and non-binary experiences. And of course, some people are very uncomfortable with the idea of reclaiming the word slut*. These problems were very briefly acknowledged at the rally, which I was glad about, though of course mentioning a problem ain't gonna solve it.
I very much hope that some form of Slutwalk continues to happen, every year (hell, once a month would be pretty awesome, but I don't think the frequenters of Queen Street would be very happy about it), hopefully in a way which is inclusive of all people** (I may be being naive, but I think we should try to address these concerns).
I wish I could have also been at the Welly one, perhaps with the assistance of a time machine/teleportation device, especially to see my babin' friend Coley speak (including this gem) and hang with several other awesome ladies who live in the capital. Our very own new women's rep Shona Jowett (who I'm hoping to introduce on here soon) also spoke!
And now, some more linky love for you:
- My photos here.
- MOAR photos milkshakelog, akchimp, Voyager, Nicola Elizabeth, and facebook photo albums from Jia Luo, Nykie Grove-Eades, Jason Mann and Richard Symons.
- Posts from sexshitandrocknroll, gravey dice, Queen of Thorns, Curvaceous Dee, Julie at THM, and an EPIC linkfest also by Julie at THM.
*Thanks very much to Octavia for generally being awesome, but also giving me lots of links to steal.
**Except for rapists, obviously.