SlutWalk Melbourne ~ PHOTOS!

Today was the long awaited SlutWalk Melbourne. The most recent instalment of the global SlutWalk movement (Brisbane also had their SlutWalk today). I was there with my mummy (love ya mum!) and a colleague. I didn’t dress up, but I did wear my most fabulous red boots with diamantes and silver piping, so I was feeling festive.

There was an  incredible turn  out of fabulous  men and women  and  some  children waving  a plethora of interesting and insightful banners  and signs, many of  which I managed to grab a photo of and will  splatter across this post.  My favorite vision of the day was as we  walked down Swanston Street,  the absolute stream of people on ahead  and behind. It was a quieter  protest than I might have hoped for, the  PA system wasn’t as good as  it could have been so I missed most of the  speeches. Karen Pickering  was vocal enough to be heard introducing  Monica Dux and the  representative from the Scarlett Alliance was  VERY good at getting  her point heard, but in the end, we knew what  we were there for, to  protest against the culture of victim blaming and slut shaming which permeates our world.

There was some lovely and creative costumes on offer, although as I looked around me at the crowd I couldn’t help thinking that the young women who I had seen on Chapel Street the night before would have been more representative of the modern use of the term “slut” than some of the caricatures on offer at the State Library. This was a reminder that sometimes these rallies, really are opportunities to preach to the choir and that as can be seen in a lot of the media surrounding the event over the last few weeks, misinterpretation is rife and speculation is unlimited. In fact, last week at work I found myself having two very different conversations on the same topic within a few hours of each other.

The first was  with the  Executive  Director of a  national  women’s organisation who had called me to chase up a  SlutWalk organiser for an interview as she had been  getting regular calls and not being an organiser,  couldn’t answer their questions. She wanted to know my  opinion (knowing that I have one on everything) and we  proceeded to have a good chat about the idea of the  reclamation of words and the process that the Australia feminist movement was going through across the country in homes and workplaces and online of conversing and contradicting and contrasting each other. We were both celebrating the joy of an active, vocal and creative movement of women, the like we had not see in years. However at the same time, the dissent and debate surrounding the event and its beginnings has been somewhat disappointing for those of us who like to make some noise. Which leads me to the second conversation I had last week, with a volunteer at my work who talked about not wanting to set a bad example to her younger sister by attending an event which encouraged women to dress “inappropriately”. Now I have a great deal of respect for this young woman and really value the contrast she brings to a lot of our discussions however I couldn’t help but feel like she, along with a huge number of the general population (including card carrying feminists) had completely missed the point of the whole exercise. I seem to be having the same conversation on repeat. That SlutWalk is LESS about reclaiming a word and dressing in skimpy attire and MORE about refusing to accept the status quo of “women are to blame for their own assaults”. And let’s be honest here… if you don’t agree with that, you need a good talking to!

SO, I will be honest when I say that I had some disappointment not to see a few faces outside the State Library this afternoon, but my disappointment was more than surpassed by my excitement by the diversity of people present at the march. These young women (photo) were resplendent with their colourful and demanding slogans, there was an excellent ratio of men to women, with hardly any indication that this was a march for a “women’s issue” and when we reached Treasury Gardens the organisers had some final words for us followed by vocal cheering and hollering. My heart skipped a beat when the core organising team turned to each other with a massive sigh of relief and had a mini-celebration of their own achievements. And WHAT an achievement. You brought together, not only a fabulous group of women, but an amazing line up of speakers, some incredible supporters and the spectrum of sluts and allies including MY MUMMY!

 The following line up of photos are in your honour  SlutWalk Melbourne Organisers. Congratulations on an  incredible effort and an amazing outcome.

We at feminaust SALUTE YOU! xxxxxxxxxxx

 

This entry was posted in Original comment/article, Reviews by MsElouise. Bookmark the permalink.

About MsElouise

MsElouise is a community programs worker and feminist from Melbourne Australia. She likes to travel, write, rant and make people feel uncomfortable about their assumptions. She hopes to one day be remembered for changing the world just a little bit. Right now she does this by proving that teenage girls are a higher order of beings.

4 thoughts on “SlutWalk Melbourne ~ PHOTOS!

  1. Pingback: Welcome to Monday ~ 15 August 2011 | feminaust ~ for australian feminism

  2. who is the main organiser of the slut walks are there councelor who can help deal with parental presure to dress the way you want

    • Slutwalks are independently organised in every city. As far as in aware they are not connected in anyway to mental health care providers but if you are need to support and are in Astralia call Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800 or contact your nearest community health centre.

  3. Pingback: Why the Roast Busters are just the tip of the iceberg | Five Degrees of Chaos

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