Dear SlutWalk Melbourne Organizers and Attendees –
When SlutWalk began last year, it was a small idea built on anger. Anger at ongoing experiences of sexual violence. Anger at victims being told it was their fault. Anger at words like “slut, ho, whore, slapper” and others being used to degrade women. Anger at powerful voices perpetuating myths, judgements and ideas that continue to harm survivors. And this small idea somehow resonated around the world.
The last year has been both remarkable and challenging. We are continually astonished and inspired by the amazing action we see and hear of happening in other cities as SlutWalk evolves and continues internationally, in over 200 cities and counting, by the name ‘SlutWalk’ and other names, and is taken up as a platform for addressing numerous issues related to equity and violence. Events and efforts have been in Toronto, Buenos Aires, Kolkutta, Sydney, London, Johannesburg, Seattle, Tel Aviv, Kuala Lumpur, Sao Paulo, Yellowknife, Mumbai, Amsterdam, Mexico City, Berlin, Morocco, Houston, Hong Kong, Bogota, Melbourne and many many more.
You are fighting back. Demanding better. And supporting each other. This is an incredible action in and of itself and should be recognized as it’s own form of survival and resistance. People of all genders face life scarring sexual violence, rape, harassment and exploitation at staggering numbers everyday. You are fighting for your bodies and our bodies, fighting for respect and fighting to live without expectations of violence. We are thankful we are fighting together.
From SlutWalk Toronto, we wish you every success in your second event this year. We owe much of our continued existence as a diverse collection of people and communities all committed to fighting sexual violence, to the work and passion of organizers and SlutWalk participants the world over who have taken action against victim-blaming.
Thank you for being a part of the revolution to create stronger and safer spaces for survivors. We’re there with you in spirit.