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
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letter to a survivor

when i first moved back to johannesburg to act in the soap i’m now working on, it felt like there was a much bigger reason for my return.  i decided that i would go public about being a rape and incest survivor. i felt like i’d been running for so long and that i’d finally turned around, faced the demon and gone, “BOO!” i did a number of interviews, set up a website with resources for survivors, called phoenix flying and though i’d really rather not be the poster girl for rape and incest survivors (there’s so much else that defines me), from time to time i am contacted by women who make me realize that there will always be a huge need for someone like me. i got a letter from someone on face book and this was my response to her.

thank you so much for sharing your story with me. you know, i tend to think that the only use for experiences like you and i have gone through, is to be there for the next woman it happens to, to be an example, to say, “you’ll be ok. you can survive this.”

i too fled johannesburg after what happened to me – 10 000 miles away, to be exact and it took me 12 years before i was strong enough to come back here. i’m amazed that it’s taken you so little time to get to this point where you can say that you’re over it. it took me much longer, but the path of healing is one we walk our entire lives and we go through different stages on our journey.

you say you’re trying to make sense of what happened to you. i can tell you, what happened to us makes no sense. it’s not something you or i deserved, it’s not because of something you or i did wrong. we were victims of someone else’s lack of morality and lack of humanity, but the thing that sets us apart is that we can choose to be SURVIVORS and not victims. 

how are you and your family after this? did your husband cope? and your child – does he have any idea what happened and how are they dealing with it? 

you say you want to help other women – the best way is to make sure that you’re ok first. you know, all we can do is be there for the women who come after us in whatever situation we come across each other. 

Sunlight in Knowth's western passage on the Equinoxi went public with my story because i thought it was important for people to know that this can happen to anyone. i thought it was important for other “victims” to see that we can survive anything. that we can transcend the dark night and come out into the light and that’s all i can hope for any of us, to come out of that long dark tunnel and out into nurturing sunlight.

by the way, after 3 years back in johannesburg, i’ve revised my perception of my return. instead of turning round, facing the demon and saying, “BOO!”, i’ve clasped my hands together, bowed and said “namaste”.  

i’m making peace with it.