On June 25th from 2pm, people from all walks of life will be banding together in Wellington and Auckland for one simple reason – we have had enough. Enough of being angry. Enough of wanting better education, awareness and treatment around sexual assault and seeing nothing. Enough of being accused of ‘oversensitivity’ and ‘political correctness gone mad’ when we object to rape jokes. Enough of the pervasive and continuing myths and stereotypes about who is sexually assaulted and why.
For those who don’t know the origins of SlutWalk, it started in Toronto, Canada when a police officer stood up at a safety talk at York University and stated, “I’ve been told not to say this… but women should avoid dressing like sluts if they don’t want to be victimised.” SlutWalk Toronto was held on April 3rd and attracted over 4,000 participants after just six weeks of organisation. Women and men of all ages marched together – most carrying placards, ranging from the humorous: “Sluts say yes!” to the heartbreaking: “I was 10 years old and he was my father. Does it really matter what I was wearing?” Some were dressed in stereotypical ‘slutty’ clothing, while others dressed for a, still fairly cold, Canadian spring afternoon.
SlutWalk is about unity. We are fighting the myths around the types of people who are sexually assaulted, who is responsible, and why they occur. We are rallying to place the blame for sexual assault where it belongs: on the perpetrators. We are promoting the idea that women should be able to dress however they like without having to wonder if they will be blamed if they are attacked – and that ‘slut’ should not be seen as an inherently bad thing. We aim to put an end to victims’ sexual history being brought up at trial as a weapon for the defence, and we wish to get the message out there: no means no, yes means yes, and only our words can consent for us – not our bodies or our clothes. We also firmly stand behind the truth that sexual assault is not only something done by men to women, and that not all sexual assault is rape.
Sluts and allies of Aotearoa, please consider joining us on June 25th for the simultaneous marches in our two largest cities. Full details, including event pages for both events, can be found on our website, on our Facebook page, and updates can also be found on Twitter: @SlutWalkNZ. You can also email the organisers at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or concerns.
And of course, we are constantly on the lookout for volunteers in both cities, so if you think you can help out, please send an email our way with your contact details!
Slutwalk Aotearoa protest, Auckland Chapter: More info.
Slutwalk Aotearoa protest, Wellington Chapter: More info.
This was originally a guest post at The Stroppery, a short-lived but awesome-while-it-lasted NZ feminist collective blog. As they’re now shutting up shop, I’ll repost this here to make sure the blog is preserved!