SlutWalk centers on empowerment of women to own their sexuality, to reconstruct or destroy traditional gender roles in which women who enjoy sex are criminalized as “sluts” and even worse, asking for rape.
“We are tired of being oppressed by slut-shaming; of being judged by our sexuality and feeling unsafe as a result. Being in charge of our sexual lives should not mean that we are opening ourselves to an expectation of violence, regardless if we participate in sex for pleasure or work. No one should equate enjoying sex with attracting sexual assault [as Toronto Police have in 2011],” (via SlutWalk Toronto)
SlutWalk stomps past raising awareness to cast off the shackles of accepted misogyny, normalized patriarchy and rape culture. Feminists (whose ranks include men, too!) are joining forces to deny their consent to this domination and seek to build a world without sexual double standards and victim blaming.
At its core, SlutWalk is a feminist awakening, seeking to undo decades of damage from cultural and societal pressures which have caused us women (and men) to believe that because we enjoy sex, there is something wrong with us. One of my favorite quotes on feminism is by Cheris Kramarae: “Feminism is the radical notion that women are human beings.”
And guess what?
HUMAN BEINGS HAVE SEX
As soon as we as a society start looking at women as beings instead of pretty, empty objects to be controlled, marginalized, and dominated.
SlutWalk is forcing us, as activists to educate and empower the public across the world what it means to be human and how to treat our fellow humans as equals. Men and women have fought to tear down gender walls in:
Sackville, ON Canada, Ottawa, CN, Vancouver, CN, Waterloo, CN, Saskatoon as part of Consentfest, Montreal, Hamilton, Halifax Orlando, FL, Asheville, NC, Tempe, AZ (Arizona State University), Dallas, TX, Hartford, CT, Boston, MA, Rochester, NY, Santa Cruz, CA, San Luis Obispo, CA, Riverside, CA, Portland, ME, Chicago, IL, Los Angeles, CA, Portland, OR, Savannah, GA, San Diego, CA, Austin, TX, Philadelphia, PA, Spokane, WA, Seattle, WA Detroit, MI, Grand Rapids, MI, Denver, CO, Houston, TX, Indianapolis, IN Baltimore, MD, D.C. NYC, Olympia/Tumwater, WA Olympia, WA, SF Bay, CA, New Brunswick, NJ (Rutgers Campus) St. Louis, MO, Greensboro, NC Reno, NV, Fort Lauderdale, FL Albuquerque, NM, Miami, FL, Milwaukee, WI, Sacramento, CA, Salt Lake City, UT, Tucson, AZ, Tampa, FL, San Jose, CA, Minneapolis, MN, Edinburgh, Scotland, Brisbane, Australia, Amsterdam, NED, Adelaide, Australia, London, UK, Sydney, Australia, Wellington, New Zealand, Auckland, New Zealand, Birmingham, UK, Stockholm, SW, Buenos Aires, ARG, Cardiff, UK, Dublin, IRL, Johannesburg, SA, Cape Town, SA, Newcastle, UK, Bishkek, KYRG, Melbourne, Australia, Bristol, UK.
Furthermore, SlutWalk is about reconstructing consent. In the context of sex, consent is not the absence of no. Consent is:
Fuck YES! I want to explore YOUR body and my SEXUALITY and our mutual ATTRACTION until we both feel AMAZING together!
or something like that. That, or something like that, is my declaration of sexual consent. Sometimes I’ve said with my eyes, most times I say it with big, loud tomboy mouth. And I’ve had some great sex because I know when I really want my partner to put his/her hands on me. Because I’ve defined what consent means, I can continue enjoying the electricity of physical human contact on the terms that function best for me. If that makes me a slutty feminist, I own it.
Consent is NOT:
-if you want to
-okay, because you bought xxxxxxxxxxxx
-sure, because it will shut you up
-I guess, because i’m obligated to, because of our monogamy
Yes, FUCK YES! I’ve had that kind of sex, too. It was not nearly as satisfying, electrifying and enjoyable as the sex I’ve had where I actually and wholly consented to.
Consent is because YOU want to. Consent is yours to hold on to, to give away, to change your mind about. Consenting to sex, or deciding not to, does not label anyone anything. Learning to see one another as complex individual human beings with desires and emotions is only the beginning to treating one another as equals. We do that first by burning the labels that enslave our sexuality. As soon as we internalize this concept of consent, we begin to purge patriarchy with its damages of slut-shame and marginalized sexuality. We begin to enjoy our lives, each other, our sexuality and our experiences reshaping and rebuilding our world.