FIRST: BARE is having a bake sale on Friday, Sept 30th starting at 1pm in Case Center to raise money to supplement the cost of the bus to SlutWalk this weekend. There will be various delicious items and good company, so you should definitely stop by.
SECOND: I thought it would be appropriate to post the speech made by Salamishah Tillet at SlutWalk DC this past summer to inspire and invigorate those who are attending SlutWalk NYC this weekend. Salamishah Tillet is an Assistant Professor of Africana Studies and English at the University of Pennsylvania, and the co-founder of A Long Walk Home, Inc., a non-profit organization that uses art therapy and the visual and the performing arts to end violence against girls and women. If this speech doesn’t get you going, I don’t know what else will!
Good afternoon, friends. Welcome, fellow feminists. I am honored to take back the street, to take back our bodies, to take back the word “Slut” with you. I say this, proudly, as a third-wave feminist and as a feminist of color. I stand here proud and defiant as a woman who is a rape survivor.
I stand here because too many people have been made afraid to share their stories of sexual violence and exploitation.
Because too many women and girls, who look like me, haven’t always been invited to marches like this. Because during slavery, black women, by law, were considered unrapeable. And stereotypes about their hyper-sexuality were used to justify their rape, their enslavement. After slavery, these stereotypes persisted. And were used to justify the rape of black women in the South. Who were domestics. Who were considered “Help.” Black women were America’s original sluts.
Today, our bodies and stories still don’t count. Crimes against us continue to be ignored.
I am here today because the New York Post gets away with calling Nafissatou Diallo, Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s accuser, a “hooker.” Because the New York Times gets away with describing an 11-year old Texas Latina girl, an alleged victim of gang rape, of “wearing makeup and fashion” like “a woman in her 20s.”
Cause young girls, and especially girls of color, are called Jumpoffs. Whores. Sluts. Almost everyday. By friends. By strangers. By parents. By police officers.
Cause when I took that long walk home after I was raped, my spaghetti strapped dress, was turned inside out. And I was afraid to go to the police and be told it was my fault. Scared of someone telling me that being trapped in a room wearing spaghetti strapped dress with a man who threatened my life wasn’t rape.
Today, I am here to take back women’s bodies. Reclaim our sexuality. Refuse stigma. Say “NO” to violence against women. Fight back against centuries old slut shamming.
I am here to make sure that no young woman, like the hundreds with whom my organization, A Long Walk Home, works, believes it was her fault she was raped.
I am here to make sure that no one ever believes that what a woman wears or doesn’t wear is cause for rape.
I am here to make sure that no boy judges a girl’s worth by what she will or will not do sexually.
I am here to imagine. To demand.
Today, we imagine that every woman, regardless of clothing or class, race or religion, job or age, lives in a world free of sexual harassment.
Today, we dream that every woman, regardless of clothing or class, race or religion, job or age, lives in a world free of sexual violence.
Today, we tell the world, the White House, our perpetrators, our parents, our lovers, our friends, OURSELVES, that we are part of a global revolution. We demand to be sexually free and to be politically equal. We refuse to be silent. We will not be ignored.
We are Sluts. Outlaws. Bad Girls.Patriots. Bad Freedom-Fighters. Feminists. Survivors.
We are SlutWalk.
Lastly, some more reading material that may help you answer the question we’ve all been wondering…What to Wear to a SlutWalk. Can’t wait to see Skidmore represented there!