10 Reasons Why You Should Attend Slutwalk Johannesburg

10 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD ATTEND SLUTWALK JOHANNESBURG THIS SATURDAY:

  1. “LEGITIMATE RAPE” –  Really? REALLY?!
  2. GOGOS, WHO SHOULD BE  REVERED, SPENDING NIGHTS IN FEAR – I cannot even conceive of my grandmother having to fear getting raped.
  3. BABIES BEING RAPED AND RAPED 5-YR OLDS BEING CALLED SLUTS – I can but shake my head in horror.
  4. GIRLS IN MINI-SKIRTS BEING ASSAULTED BY HORDES OF MEN – and no, it’s not because of cultural norms. Think of topless maidens in reed skirts.
  5. YOU BELIEVE THAT NO-ONE  DESERVES TO BE RAPED, REGARDLESS OF WHAT THEY MIGHT BE WEARING, OR DOING, OR DRINKING, THEIR SEXUAL ORIENTATION, SEXUAL HISTORY OR THEIR GENDER
  6. VIOLENCE AGAINST TRANSGENDER PEOPLE
  7. “CORRECTIVE RAPE” – In the same class as “LEGITIMATE” rape. BULLSH*T!
  8. THE ALMOST NEVER REPORTED RAPE OF MEN AND BOYS – One of my best male friends is HIV+ because of rape
  9. YOU DON’T BELIEVE THAT RAPE IS CAUSED BY ANYTHING OTHER THAN THE RAPIST.
  10. YOU WANT TO PROTEST SEXUAL ASSAULT AND VICTIM-BLAMING AND SHOW YOUR SUPPORT FOR SURVIVORS.

Come as you are. Come as you want to be. Just be there!

Here is the Slutwalk Johannesburg Press Release:

Slutwalk Johannesburg

It’s a dress, not a Yes!

P.O. BOX 44170 LINDEN 2104  http://www.slutwalkjhb.co.za    slutwalkjhb@gmail.com

Slutwalk expresses the notion that no victim of sexual assault is the cause of that assault. No one ever asked to be raped.

Slutwalks originated in Canada in January 2011 when a representative of the Toronto police told a group of students, “women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized”. A furore ensued, followed quickly by a protest march, the message of which reverberated so that there have now been Slutwalks in over 100 cities around the world. This August 25th 2012, Slutwalk is coming to the streets of Johannesburg for the second time.

We, the organisers of Slutwalk Johannesburg see Slutwalk as an international movement which can help us raise awareness around a number of sexual assault issues; victim-blaming, corrective rape, gender violence and questioning the acceptance of a “rape culture” which has become the norm in our country. This is in line with the focus of the original Toronto Slutwalk.

In our country it is obvious that sexual violence is a very pressing issue and in spite of Slutwalk this year being during Woman’s Month, it is not only a woman’s issue, it is an issue that all of society need to address.

The participants at Slutwalk are ordinary people, mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters – people who believe in the vision of an equal society. Some dress provocatively to emphasize the absurdity of much of society’s view on the issue, others dress in normal work or casual clothes in solidarity.

To quote Heather Jarvis, founder of Slutwalk: “From the very beginning in 2011 people were always encouraged to challenge slut-shaming language like “slut”, “whore”, “ho”, “skank”, “tramp”, etc. and never told they had to identify (with) one or another in order to participate. We’ve always maintained people should be safe to be who they are, how they are.”

If you’re human and believe that nobody, despite their age, sex, gender, sexual orientation or sexual history deserves to be raped, then come support Slutwalk and spread the message.

 

CONSENT IS NOT NEGOTIABLE

JOIN SLUTWALK JHB AND LET’S UNITE AGAINST VICTIM BLAMING AND SHAMING AND AGAINST ACCEPTABILITY OF ANY FORM OF RAPE

BLAME THE PERPETRATOR, NOT THE VICTIM!

DETAILS OF THE DAY:

ORGANISERS:

Slutwalk JHB is being organised by founder Sandi Schultz, Gina Jacobson, Nadia Assimacopoulos and Walter Pike

TIME & LOCATION:

The march is happening 25 thAUGUST 2012 starting and ending at Zoo Lake Sport’s Club, Cnr Westwold Way and Lower Park Drive, Parkwood. People are asked to arrive at 10h30, speeches start at 11h00 and the march will start at 11h30.

SPEAKERS:

BULELWA MAKEKE – Head of Communications at NPO

BRIDGET MAKHONZA – Activist from Khulisa

ROCHELLE PIMENTEL – Survivor/Activist

SIMONE HERADIEN – Head of Genderdymanix

PARKING:

Parking has been organized on the cricket field on Westwold Way and will be R10 per vehicle. The organizers kindly ask that participants carpool where possible and that no one park on the streets, in keeping with the resident’s association’s request.

For more info on Slutwalk Johannesburg, we have the following in place:

We would like to express our gratitude to the following:

Afrihost – for sponsoring our website

Etana – for covering our Liability Insurance for the event

Lola Montez – for assistance with T-shirt costs

Foot Fashion SA – for donations

Please make any donations to:

FNB Savings Account

Slutwalkjhb

Acc : 62325235902

Branch Norwood Mall

250655

my slutwalk jhb speech

this was my speech for slutwalk jhb, september 24th, addressing the crowd before the march.

because other speakers were dealing with the controversy around the name and with statistics, i kept what i spoke about pretty personal, seeing that i started this initiative out of a passionate need to “do something”. i did this not because of  some intellectual understanding (that too), but more out of the knowledge of what it means to be a survivor and wanting to find a way to create a world where, idealistic as it may be, there will be no more of us.  

Welcome to Slutwalk JHB – it’s been months in the planning and I can’t tell you have happy I am that today has finally arrived .

Though I have to say – I wish we didn’t have to be here. I wish we didn’t need a Slutwalk Jhb, I wish we didn’t need marches protesting sexual violence, marches that need to point out that there’s never an excuse, that no one by definition ever deserves or asks to be raped. That rapists rape people, not outfits.

When I first heard about that ignorant comment that women should not dress like sluts so that they don’t get victimized, I had a visceral reaction. I happen to know from experience that what one wears has absolutely nothing to do with getting assaulted.

What I’m wearing is the closest approximation I could find of what I was wearing when I got raped. Does this outfit really scream, “Rape me?” the reality is that rape is about violence  – and a short skirt, or too many drinks at the bar, or a checkered sexual history, or choosing a same-sex partner is never an excuse for assault. The statistics are staggering – I won’t get into them as Jenn Thorpe will be talking about them later, but I will say that there are too many of us. You might see numbers on a page, but behind every number is a face and a name and a shattering experience that takes years and a strength you cannot imagine to overcome. I call us survivors the society of the secret handshake – the handshake that says, I know you. I am you. And there are way too many of us.

When we first started organizing slutwalk jhb I felt that reclaiming the word slut was not necessarily relevant to us here in South Africa. Addressing the issues of sexual violence that permeate the very heritage of our land seemed much more important. However, words are important. Words are powerful things. We can wield them to wound or we can rally them to right age old wrongs. And just recently I remembered  something that made me rethink the reclaiming of the word slut.

When I lived in the states, I hadn’t been home in a long time and  I landed up in Malta where I met a south African pilot. I was so excited to meet up with someone from home and to feel a connection with Africa – but then one day as we encountered each other, he said, “Daar’s die klonkie!” Now for those of you who don’t know, Klonkie is a derogatory term used for someone classified Colored. I was stunned. I couldn’t believe what I’d just heard and I was outraged. I didn’t say anything in the moment, but I wrote him a letter and left it at the hotel desk, so he’d know just how offended I was.

However when I moved back to South Africa, and I had to name my company, I remembered that  encounter and I wound up calling my company “Klonkie Made Media” – because some people might think that someone who looks like me should be the klonkie maid in the kitchen, but look at what this klonkie can do, just look at what this klonkie has made, and can make possible. And so I reclaimed what was a thoughtless insult and used it in a way that I felt validated me. Now I still might not necessarily want to call myself a slut, but it has made me rethink the value of reclaiming the word. Just think of the word queer. Or nerd.

And just what is a slut in any case? My first reaction when I heard that stupid statement was, “Hell no, I aint no slut!”, but if you follow the logic of that statement., “women shouldn’t dress like sluts so they’re not victimized”, – I was raped, so therefore, I must be a slut. Now, ironically I felt lucky that I was wearing my baby blue pj’s and was in my own bed in the middle of the night when I got raped, because it made it absolutely clear that I was not at fault.

moment captured by angel conradie

moment captured by angel conradie

 However, what if I wasn’t wearing my baby blues? What if I was wearing this instead? (and this is where I took off my pj’s and put on my outrageous red tutu and revealed a much more skin-baring outfit).

pic by wonderwoman, jeanette verster

Would this outfit make it my fault? Because you know, there are times when I dress like this? Would the logic of that statement make it ok for someone to violate me?
We live in an age of media and advertising. We all want to look good, to feel confident, to know that  we can turn heads. However, our society seems to be at a point where the necessary education and guidance isn’t happening at home or at school. Our children are not being taught essential lessons about respect and consent . when I used to go to the burning man festival in the Nevada desert , the only rule in that temporary society was , whatever you do that involves someone else, ask them first. First get their consent. Maybe that’s a lesson that we need to carry over into the larger society – whatever you do involving someone else, first get their consent.

Maybe then, we wouldn’t need a Slutwalk in jhb. Maybe then my short skirt can be about the fabulous weather and not an unspoken invitation to unimagined horrors. I initiated Slutwalk jhb because I’ve been a firm advocate for survivor’s rights and for the need to break the silence, to realize that the survivor is never at fault, but I sincerely hope that there will come a time that Slutwalks and protest marches are obsolete. A time when consent is queen and yes means yes, and real men and women, honorable people, the kind we like to believe we are, can respect that no means no.

My dress is not a “Yes!” I’ll see you out there on the march!

pic by jeanette verster

what to wear, what to wear?

i’ve been thinking seriously about what i will be wearing for slutwalkjhb this coming saturday september 24th, because being a survivor and being the person who was crazy enough to initiate this march, whatever i wear will make a huge statement. i’m still not sure.

decisions, decisions, i tell ya. do i wear something that looks like what i was wearing when i was raped? that means going out and buying a facsimile. do i wear what i normally do, seeing that this is a come as you are event? now that’s tricky because i wear such a wide range of clothes/styles – all depends on my mood. should i choose to wear the kind of thing i’d wear to burning man, my shitkicker boots, fishnets, a tutu and corset, would i be buying into the stereotype of what’s expected? i’m seriously stumped. what do you think?

and then i was also thinking about what my poster would say?

if i’m wearing my baby-blue pyjamas, maybe “Does this outfit say “rape me?”

if i’m wearing something more flashy, maybe “This outfit says FUN, FEARLESS, FEMALE – NOT F*CK ME!”

these are the slogans we’ve compiled so far. will you be marching? what will you be wearing? what will your poster say?

SLUTWALK SLOGANS

  • IT’S A DRESS, NOT A YES
  • CONTROL YOURSELVES, NOT WOMEN
  • RAPISTS RAPE PEOPLE, NOT OUTFITS
  • THIS IS NOT MY “I WANT YOU” FACE
  • MY SHORT SKIRT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU
  • I WEAR WHAT I WANT
  • DON’T TELL WOMEN NOT TO GET RAPED, TELL MEN NOT TO RAPE
  • REAL MEN TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER.
  • REAL MEN DON’T RAPE
  • DOES THIS OUTFIT SAY, “RAPE ME?”
  • SEXUAL ASSAULT – IT’S NOT SOMETHING ANYONE EVER ASKS FOR.
  • CONSENT IS SEXY
  • THIS OUTFIT SAYS FUN, FEARLESS, FEMALE, NOT “FUCK ME!”

Thank you to Heather from SlutWalk Des Moines for compiling this list!

  • STOP VICTIM BLAMING/SLUT SHAMING/RAPE CULTURE
  • CONSENT IS SEXY
  • NO ONE DESERVES IT
  • MATURE FOLK TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER
  • IT’S MY BODY, I’LL SEX IF I WANT TO
  • THIS IS WHAT I WAS WEARING
  • MY LITTLE BLACK DRESS DOES NOT MEAN YES
  • MY CLOTHES ARE NOT MY CONSENT
  • ARE 1 IN 4 WOMEN IN YOUR LIFE SLUTS?
  • I WAS WEARING {INSERT CLOTHING}. WAS IT MY FAULT?
  • THE SKIRT IS NO EXCUSE FOR RAPE
  • **HOW TO STOP RAPE

1: DON’T RAPE ANYONE

2: SEE ABOVE **

  • **I WAS RAPED BECAUSE:

__ I WAS WEARING A SKIRT

__ I WAS FLIRTING

__ I HAD TOO MUCH TO DRINK

X   I DIDN’T CONSENT **

  • STOP SEXUAL PROFILING
  • MEN GET RAPED. CHILDREN GET RAPED. WERE THEY SHOWING THEIR BREASTS TOO?
  • STOP POLICING OUR WARDROBE. START POLICING OUR STREETS.
  • SLUTS ARE LIKE UNICORNS. THEY ARE BOTH IMAGINARY CONCEPTS
  • SHAME ON RAPISTS, NOT VICTIMS
  • DON’T TELL ME WHAT TO WEAR. TEACH HIM NOT TO RAPE.
  • THE WAY LITTLE GIRLS DRESS DOESN’T CREATE PAEDOS. THE WAY BIG GIRLS DRESS DOESN’T CREATE RAPISTS.
  • SOCIETY TEACHES “DON’T GET RAPED” RATHER THAN “DON’T RAPE”
  • BLAME RAPE ON RAPISTS, NOT BOOBS.
  • ASK ME WHAT I’M ASKING FOR
  • SEX IS SOMETHING PEOPLE DO TOGETHER, NOT SOMETHING YOU DO TO SOMEONE ELSE.
  • NO MEANS NO
  • “FUCK YOU” MEANS NO. “FUCK ME” MEANS YES
  • RAPE IS THE ONLY CRIME IN WHICH THE VICTIM BECOMES THE ACCUSED.
  • BY DEFINITION, YOU CAN’T ASK FOR RAPE
  • CHECK OUT MY MAGIC ANTI-RAPE JEANS
  • JUST BECAUSE I PUT IT ON, DOESN’T MEAN YOU CAN TAKE IT OFF
  • CLOTHING IS AN OPTION. RAPE ISN’T.
  • SLUTWALK: THE RADICAL NOTION THAT NO ONE DESERVES TO BE RAPED
  • CONSENT IS THE ONLY PASSWORD
  • I LOVE CONSENSUAL SEX
  • BLAMING VICTIMS HELPS RAPISTS
  • I’M A BITCH IF I SAY NO, BUT A SLUT IF YOU RAPE ME ANYWAY
  • I DON’T LIKE ROHYPNOL
  • I DRESS FOR ME, NOT FOR YOU
  • I’LL FUCK JUST ABOUT ANYONE/BUT NEVER WITHOUT CONSENT
  • I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR SEXUAL MISCONDUCT.
  • HIJABS, HOODIES, HOTPANTS, OUR BODIES, OUR CHOICES
  • EVEN IF I DRESS FOR YOUR ATTENTION, DOESN’T MEAN I DRESS FOR YOUR AGGRESSION.
  • I CAN SAY YES AS MANY TIMES AS I WANT…NO STILL MEANS NO.
  • WHY DO YOU CALL ME A SLUT WHEN I SAY I WON’T SLEEP WITH YOU?
  • DISARM RAPISTS – SMASH SEXISM
  • MEN GET RAPED TOO
  • MARRIAGE IS NOT A SEX CONTRACT
  • I DON’T ATTACK YOU WHEN YOU RUN AROUND SHIRTLESS.
  • I DON’T ATTACK YOU WHEN YOU WEAR MUSCLE SHIRTS.
  • MY SKIRT DIDN’T ASK YOU TO RAPE ME; IT CAN’T TALK.
  • MY DRESS DOESN’T HAVE A MOUTH, BUT I DO AND I SAID, “NO!”
  • I’M WEARING SHORTS = IT’S HOT OUTSIDE. NOT I WANT TO HAVE SEX WITH YOU
  • I”LL FUCK JUST ABOUT ANYONE, BUT NEVER WITHOUT CONSENT
  • HORNY, SINGLE, BISEXUAL…AND I CAN STILL SAY NO.
  • HOS CAN SAY NO
  • JUST BECAUSE I WANT TO HAVE SEX, DOESN’T MEAN I WANT TO HAVE SEX WITH YOU
  • RAPE IS ABOUT POWER, NOT SEX

the extreme dream…

when i lived in l.a. i used to hear diana nyad reporting on public radio, really the only radio i listened to at the time. she has a rough, raspy quality to her voice with an unmistakable accent that you only find on a new yorker. (i should know. i was married to one.)

then last year i started reading about a diana nyad who was about to attempt an impossible 103 mile swim between cuba and florida. without a shark cage. she’d attempted it once before, more than 30 years ago and at the age of 60 had decided to give it another go. turns out diana nyad the reporter, was the same feisty woman who holds the world record for the longest open water swim without a shark cage.

nyad-pool620.jpg

then the months rolled by and the swim never happened. apparently the favorable conditions needed for the swim never materialized and she had to abandon the attempt. amazingly, she spent another year training and finally at the end of last week, the window opened and after almost 2 years of planning and fund-raising and diplomatic wrangling between two antagonistic countries for  clearances and visas, she was in the water.

an agonizing almost 30 hrs later, vomiting, freezing, asthmatic, stung painfully all over her body by jellyfish and already way too far off course, she wisely opted to get back in the boat. to some it might seem like defeat, but as i start to contemplate my own mortality, realizing that i have lived more than half my life , wondering what i’ve achieved/will yet achieve and starting to feel the fragility of years of taking my body for granted, i am inspired and in awe of this amazing woman. yes, it was an extreme dream, but she not only dreamed it, she went to huge lengths to try to make it a reality and in the process she inspired legions. and i applaud her for that.

i was thinking tonight that the only way to try to achieve the impossible, is by not knowing that that’s what it is. whether one achieves it or not, the work to get there is not optional.

my own extreme dream at the moment has been initiating and taking on organizing the slutwalk in johannesburg and maybe if i’d know what a tough, frustrating, stressful process it would be, i might have thought twice. but here i am. i’m not alone. and it’s not optional.

slutwalk johannesburg

it was the middle of the night. i was in bed, wearing baby-blue boy’s pj’s.

so i was obviously asking my rapist to break into my house and sexually assault me, right? because that’s what the police chief in toronto implied earlier this year, when he said that women shouldn’t dress like sluts so that they don’t get assaulted.

and when i was 4 and my stepfather decided that i was the perfected receptacle for the outpouring of his sexual desire, i was, by extension, obviously asking for that too. not so?

i know this might sound shocking to you, but victim-blaming and shaming happens all the time. remember the movie with jodie foster?  and there are so many other non-fictional examples (scroll to the bottom of that linked page) that leave  my skin crawling.

this is why, when i read about the slutwalks happening in toronto and around the world, it resonated inside me like a gong. i *know* from experience that rape and sexual assault have nothing to do with what you’re wearing or what you’re doing. there is nothing wrong with sex. at least, as far as i’m concerned, there is nothing wrong with CONSENSUAL SEX between CONSENTING adults.  rape, however,  is not about sex. rape is about violence. and how someone is dressed, or the fact that they might be sexual, or even like sex, does not mean an open invitation to assault them.

slutwalk johannesburg is one of over 70 international slutwalks. we need everyone who believes that it’s time to stop blaming survivors for the violence perpetrated upon them, who believes that it’s time to do something to change our “rape culture”, that it’s time to break the silence, to come march, stomp, skip, walk and make your voice heard.

dressing (or identifying) as a slut is not a prerequisite for our march (what *is* a slut, in any case?!). come as you are! wear your pj’s, your ball-gown, your tracksuit, jeans, fish-nets, whatever,  just come! slutwalk johannesburg is not primarily aimed at women. sexual violence can happen to any of us, male, female, whether we’re 4, 44 or 104.

our tentative date is july 9th. join the fb page for updates and a slew of very informative links and  follow us on twitter to show your support. if you’d like to volunteer to help make this happen, please contact us at slutwalkjhb@gmail.com!

no matter what you wear, or what you look like, or what you’re doing, you have the right not to be sexually assaulted, and if you are, you have the right not to be blamed for it.

don’t blame the victim, blame the perpetrator!