Thank You!

We would like to thank everyone who came out to the event yesterday – speakers, marshalls, attendees, media, those who participated in the self-defense workshop – and anyone else we haven’t listed!
The event was amazing yesterday, and we look forward to hearing feedback, and seeing your photos. 
Thank you for contributing to our on-going fight against victim-blaming!

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My SlutWalk: Nila

My Slutwalk starts about 15 years ago, when they told me to be in brownies, not cubs. And then girl guides and not boy scouts. My Slutwalk continued when they questioned why so many of my good friends were boys, why I was always scraped, bruised, dirty, and often bare-foot,  why I wasn’t wearing clothes that complimented my pixie face. And My Slutwalk worsened when I listened to the judgement. When I tried to Please. Later when I tried to wear makeup and buy the clothes in the stores I thought were expected of me, why I was showing so much skin. Cover up. Not pretty enough. No boobs. Too much makeup. Too much leg. Fresh Meat. Not enough leg. Nice legs. why were so many of my good friends boys? Flirt. not pretty enough to have that many guy friends. She must be sleeping with them.  Slut….. and on and on it went. I’m a teen mom, now an adult single parent. I’m a slut until proven otherwise in most eyes upon first glance. My Slutwalk is saying let me be heard without judging me first. My Slutwalk says I get to have a voice too. My Slutwalk says Fuck Your Ignorance. My Slutwalk says Fuck Your Judgement. My Slutwalk says No More Shame On Me. Shame on YOU for dismissing me before hearing me out. My Slutwalk  asks why can’t we all just get along? My Slutwalk asks why we all can’t agree rape is wrong? Why can’t we all agree that no does not mean yes? Why can’t we all agree that unconsciousness means don’t fucking touch them? Why can’t we all agree that getting super messed-up together to a point of incoherence does not mean yes? Why can’t we all agree that rape is not sexual, it’s violent? That rape is not about sexy, it’s about power? And if there were general equality there would be significantly less violent power struggles like rape? My Slutwalk says that judging someone, like calling them a SLUT, is showing you feel power-over someone. My Slutwalk is trying to explain to everyone who doesn’t understand that RAPE IS ABOUT POWER. My Slutwalk says subjectively termed ‘sluts’ are raped because their rapists feel they have power over their victim. Sluts are raped for the same reason children are raped, for  the same reason people with disabilities are raped, for the same reason visible minorities are raped, for the same reason the elderly are raped, for the same reason women are raped, because someone felt they had power-over that person. My Slutwalk says let’s change that. Let’s give the victim’s their voices back. My Slutwalk says if we stop the racism, the misogyny, the sexism, the ageism, the judgement, the hate, we stop the dominant power. If we fight the system that says rape is ok, we stop the rapists. After all, most of our rapists don’t think they did anything wrong. And after all, they’ve been told so.

My SlutWalk: Sam

                Nine years ago it stopped. One year ago I took my voice and power back. It all began at the age of four. My stepfather stole my innocence. Along with that, he stole my: trust, dignity, self-respect, childhood, voice, joy, and power. For over ten years, I was silenced. I had no voice, and I had no power. Every memory of my childhood was plagued with disgust and hate. I was so full of negative emotions that the idea of suicide was constantly in the back of my mind. When I was sixteen, I began dealing with my past and healing. Not long after the healing began, I was sexually assaulted by two “good” friends on two separate occasions. Again, my voice and power was stolen away. This time around, it was my fault. Every “friend” I had turned their back on me and blamed me for the sexual assaults. Never in my life would I ask for these awful things, and never in my life would I wish them upon anyone else. I had to once again pick up the pieces and begin healing again. This time I chose to take back my power and take back my voice. I decided to do something with it. I had no idea where to even start or how I could take a proactive position on the battle of victim blaming and sexual assault. I did a lot of research and various workshops, events, and organizations related to sexual assault and sexual abuse came up. None caught my eye as much as Slutwalk did. To meet like-minded people with goals very much the same as mine, was an amazing feeling. It could not have come at a more perfect time. I have been blessed to be a part of something more than just a walk. It’s a movement. Fighting for rights of victims and survivors of sexual assault and sexual abuse is my calling. It’s a powerful protest against something that has affected everyone. Victim blaming. I am now proud to be an advocate for those who have had their voice taken from them. I am proud to be an advocate for this who are too afraid to speak. I am proud to be an advocate for those who feel powerless, and unable to speak out. I’ve found something that has given my life purpose. It’s given me drive, and something to fight for. I never thought I would be an advocate for sexual assault and sexual abuse victims and survivors but I am, and I am honored to give them a voice. This is my calling. This is my passion.

This is MY Slutwalk.

My SlutWalk: Deanna

On a very basic level, one of the reasons I am involved with this movement is because I am offended by the idea that anyone has the right to judge me for the choices I make regarding my body. There are few domains over which we have complete control, and the notion that someone else feels they have the privilege to dictate how I express myself, effectively denying my agency, is utterly incongruent with my fundamental beliefs.

Before SlutWalk, the thought had never occurred to me that victim-blaming existed. If I were ever to be raped or attacked, the first thing I would have done is go to the police; the fact that the safety and justice present there is now called into question shakes me to the core. What kind of society chooses to magnify the suffering a survivor experiences by denying and vilifying them for their attack, and subsequently questioning their morality?

Constable Sanguinetti triggered action by stating “women should avoid dressing like sluts in order to not be victimized.” As a result, many of the individuals involved in this movement are attempting to “reclaim” (or more accurately co-opt) the word “slut.” However, this is a culturally constructed word laden with judgement and derision, and I’m not sure I believe this is necessarily an achievable or laudable goal. My SlutWalk works to educate society and bring awareness to the fact that this kind of language is inherently damaging.


Violence and sexuality are inevitably conflated in this movement, and it is my goal to find a means of untangling the two concepts. Unapologetic sexuality is something to be celebrated, however society seems to view this is an excuse to demonize women, and has constructed a population of rape apologists. Rape is an act of power and humiliation; a means of putting the survivor into their “proper place,” whereas sexuality is a beautiful expression of identity and intimacy. How our culture consistently manages to confuse these two ideas is incomprehensible to me.

My SlutWalk highlights the fact that no matter where our lives take us – marriage, queerness, sex work, or the nunnery – no one has the right to force their will onto ours. My agency deserves respect, and if someone violates it, then I deserve unconditional justice and support.  The fact that a rape trial or investigation so frequently gets side-lined into scrutiny of the credibility of the survivor’s “goodness” and therefore “deservingness” of justice only highlights the entrenched cultural standards that continue to exist regarding female purity.

I would like to shift society’s focus to where it rightly should be: onto the behaviour of the attacker. There must be a cultural shift towards recognizing the mindset that blames the survivor for the supposed “provocation” of the rapist. We are *all* responsible for working to achieve this – cis-men, cis-women, queer folk, feminists, parents, members of the legal system etc. There are no “clumsy Don (or Donna) Juans,” and we all need to take ownership for the transformation of our current rape culture.

My SlutWalk: Kassiy

This is my SlutWalk
I tend to think of myself as a rather logical person, but something I’ve never quite understood has been stereotypes. All they do is hurt people; in particular, the world ‘slut’. I personally have never been called a ‘slut’, but I know many people who have been hurt by the word. I also know quite a few people who have been sexually assaulted and raped. Including myself, but I’d rather not talk about that. I’d rather talk about how society has put the blame on us for rape.

When someone is raped it becomes their own fault, because they are ‘sluts’, because they are ‘asking for it’. What is a ‘slut’? Is it someone who wears revealing clothing? Someone who enjoys sex? I don’t see anything wrong with either of these things. How can you be ‘asking for it’ without saying ‘yes’? Does being naked in your bed mean ‘yes’? Does drinking too much and flirting a lot mean ‘yes’? NO, it does not. The thought that it does needs to change. The only word that means ‘yes’ is YES.

It’s my body; I should be able to do whatever I want with it, without being judged by others around me. That is why when I discovered a little event happening called SlutWalk, and I found out it was coming to Winnipeg, I decided to do whatever I could to help. I’m just that type of person who wants to rid the world of evil; in whatever small way that I can. The problem is that my social anxiety disorder sometimes gets in the way of my ability to help. But I know that there is strength in numbers, and that my just being there is helpful.
To me, SlutWalk is just one step on the way to ending bullying and harassment. I was bullied a lot as a child, and I never want anyone else to go through the mental pain that I did. I believe that calling people names is wrong. You never know what they’ve been through until you’ve lived their lives. If you’re called something enough, you’ll start to believe it. You’ll give into the pressure of society. Start to believe that yes, your rape was your own fault. SlutWalk is a way to rebel that pressure. It brings light to the darkened tunnel that became your life. Rape is NEVER the fault of the victim. Not society, not pop culture, not anyone, should ever claim that it is. Don’t ever let words hurt you. You have one life, one body, and one mind, and should be able to do as you please with them. This is MY SlutWalk, and I won’t let anyone take that away from me.

-Kassandra Swan

My SlutWalk: Kayla

SlutWalk is a radical movement for a less than radical idea. What is SlutWalk to me? I have nothing to get off my chest. I am not looking for my voice. I have found my voice. I am fighting to give justice to past victims with hope that we won’t have to fight for future victims.
I have not been raped. I have been harassed, assaulted, groped and made to feel used. I have been made to feel worthless, and dirty. I have been made to feel like a sexual object, but most importantly, I have been made to feel like a woman. For me, there was harassment before I could even understand it. I didn’t have the knowledge or experiences I have now. I knew that it made me uncomfortable and angry. The seeds of feminism were planted. I did not look at myself sexually and I still like to think that I am more than a walking piece of meat. I have my voice now. People new to me and my concepts of feminism and me a question and I have to ramble a tad. Those who know me see it coming when people ask, “What is SlutWalk?” SlutWalk and Feminism are straight forward. My journey with SlutWalk has been a learning curve and an amazing opportunity to meet new people. It’s easy to overload peoples mind’s because so much of what I have learnt seems straightforward now. I love the opportunity to share my knowledge and experience with those around me.
Off the top of my head, I can think of seven close friends who’ve told me that they have been sexually assaulted. None of them ‘deserved it’. ¼ women are sexually assaulted. Nearly all women will get harassed; be it at work or in the street. The numbers are sickening and unnecessary. I worry about teammates, friends, family, and co-workers. I would like to imagine a justice system that acknowledges its people and provides sufficient protection. I hope that as a society we can continue to grow and move forward. I am involved in SlutWalk to try and help change things.
I do not consider myself a radical freedom fighter; but I try to be decent person. As a decent person, I think we need to take a step back. I think that we need to go back to basics without any bias. We need to take care of each other. People are people. Assault is assault. Victims are victims.

Kayla Mcmillan

SlutWalk Winnipeg 2012 Event Schedule Release

The 1.5 km walk will begin at noon on Saturday, September 15th at the Law Courts, 408 York Avenue, and will end at the Legislative Buildings, 450 Broadway. Once at the Legistlative, several groups and individuals will speak on topics surrounding sexual assault and victim blaming.

SlutWalk Winnipeg organizers Samantha Harris and Sherrie-Lee Chiarot will be speaking and additional presenters include: Jenna Nelson, Dawn Simmons, Ray Eskritt, as well as figures such as Winnipeg novelist and poet Chandra Mayor, Alliance Against Modern Slavery Executive Team Member Kaylee Esperanza, Kate Winiarz from CherryStems and Lisa Parker from the Women’s Memorial March of Manitoba.

More details will be announced on the website and Facebook page regarding events following the walk, such as a self-defense and counter violence workshop offered by TheBestDefenseProgram.com with participant donations being presented in support of Osborne House.

The organizers of the Winnipeg SlutWalk are focused on demonstrating the multiplicity of experiences and communities that this movement galvanizes – emphasizing the fact there is no such thing as an “illegitimate” rape victim, all victims are real, and each deserves justice regardless of any choices they’ve made or lifestyle they lead.

SlutWalk Movement Background:
Last year’s protest march inspired by comments made by Toronto Police officer Michael Sanguinetti has gone global. Since the first SlutWalk in Toronto on April 3, 2011 the message has spread to include walks all around the world and the numbers continue to grow. A mere month after the comments by Constable Sanguinetti, Winnipeg’s own Queen’s Bench Justice Robert Dewar’s comments in a rape case over which he presided sparked a protest rally outside the Manitoba Law Courts building, with a group of about 100 people gathering to demand Dewar’s resignation. “Sex was in the air,” he said, noting the victim was wearing a tube top and no bra, high heels and plenty of makeup.

SlutWalk Winnipeg organizers encourage everyone to “like” the Facebook page, join the ongoing discussions, spread the word, and ultimately participate in the walk itself. More information on event activities, speakers and further scheduling details will be updated on the Facebook page as they are confirmed. For any questions, or if you would like to volunteer, contact: slutwalkwpg@hotmail.com.

“SlutWalk: I am not the label you place on me.”

Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Slutwalk-Winnipeg
SlutWalk Website: https://slutwalkwinnipeg.wordpress.com/

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