Let's Talk SlutWalk!
Including the #MeToo Phenomenon and So Much More
by SJW Aspen Lofgren
Saturday, October 7th, 2017, SlutWalk Twin Cities held their seventh annual event. For those who do not know, SlutWalk is a transitional movement of protest marches for an end to rape culture, this includes victim blaming, and slut shaming of sexual assault victims. This movement began April 3rd, 2011, in Toronto, after a police officer suggested that “women should avoid dressing like sluts” as a precaution against sexual assault. This created a magnitude of outrage; thus the SlutWalk was born.
This was my fourth time attending SlutWalk Twin Cities and I was very excited but there was also a feeling of “Why the fuck are we still fighting this?” I do understand the rationale behind it, I just don’t understand why we still are not able to treat each other like human beings? Why do we need to bring up what the victim was wearing? Whether they were drunk? Whether they were high? That should NEVER be brought up... the only reason why it is, is to blame the victim.
I still hear from my peers that rape culture doesn’t exist, how if the victim hadn't dressed in a certain way then they wouldn’t have been assaulted. In these circumstances, I get silent. I get flashbacks of when I was sexually assaulted and will feel like maybe it was my fault. I can’t speak up to these people and then I get so angry at myself because I am supposed to speak up and tell them what’s what. I am supposed to tell them that I was wearing long pants, an ugly Christmas sweater, wasn’t drunk or high, and was never asking for it… but I just can’t speak. I question myself more and more.
- Maybe I did give him a look that made him think I was asking for sex.
- Maybe I should not have offered him a sober ride.
- Maybe I should have never been friends with him. Maybe I should have pushed harder to get his drunken body off of mine.
I know it wasn’t my fault, but I still question myself if I could have done something differently… like maybe have said, STOP! Society has fucked up my brain to make me think that I could have done something, that it was MY fault.
It was HIS fault, not MINE!
IT IS NEVER THE VICTIM'S FAULT! WHY IS THIS CONCEPT SO DIFFICULT TO GRASP?!
Rape culture is real. Victim blaming is real. It's time we ALL wake up and acknowledge this.
The good news is, at the SlutWalk Twin Cities, I am surrounded by people who know victim blaming is real. People who want to fight rape culture. People who will chant:
- “Hey-hey-ho-ho slut-shaming has got to go”
- “I don’t know what I’ve been told, rape culture is getting old”
- “My body, my rules!”
- “My body, my voice, consent is given with my voice”
- “Trans women are women too, if you don’t like it, fuck you!”, and
- “1,2,3,4, you can’t ignore us anymore."
I see signs reading:
- “No means No”
- “Boys will be b̶o̶y̶s̶ Respectful”
- “Don’t g̶e̶t̶raped̶”, and
- “Clowns aren’t scary, rape culture is."
SlutWalk has given me a voice, it has given a voice for all victims of sexual assault and rape; it has given a voice to anyone who is tired of victim blaming.