Monday, June 13, 2011

SlutWalking: Redux

So, as promised, I wanted to revisit my experience with SlutWalk Austin.

To put it in one word: Amazing. I was so happy to be a part of this awesome event. I will say, I got pretty emotional. As Brooke Axtell spoke about her experience as a survivor of rape, I felt chills...the powerful words she spoke to the crowd stayed with me as we embarked on our trek, "Keep talking until somebody listens...Rape is soul murder and the resurrection is extremely painful. Only you can tell the story you need to tell to honor the truth."


I had a lump in my throat as I walked with my dude in support of all people facing rape survivorship, to support them and to clearly display the message: the victim is never to blame.

I was moved by the range of people in attendance. There were people of all ages, colors, gender expressions, sexual orientations, and backgrounds of all kinds. This video, from the story above, much better tells the story:

Slut Walk from The Daily Texan on Vimeo.

HOWEVER, I will say, I was very, very disappointed to hear the event organizers say that "this is not a feminist event, this is a humanist event."

Besides being categorically wrong (there's not much more feminist things than SlutWalk!) this idea perpetuates the negative stereotypes of feminism as a movement. When we are afraid of the word "feminist" and opt for words that people don't find so scary (ie humanist) we give more power to feminism's detractors. We've got to stop accepting the "I'm not a feminist but" mentality and understand that those of use who want to end sexism, who care about empowering girls, and who walk to end victim blaming are feminists. The solution, is to advocate for widespread acceptance of the term, not avoid it.

Anyway, I loved SlutWalk. I loved chanting with other feminists (and YES men can be and are feminists!) about the end of victim blaming. I loved everything about it!

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