I was one of many people,both men and women who took part in Melbourne's annual SlutWalk event over the weekend and I found the march and the speeches beforehand both very exhilarating and empowering. For those who are un familiar why the event exists and what the event is here is an explanation I found on the event page-
"SlutWalk is a global movement and public protest that rallies against the notion of “victim blaming”- the concept that people who have been assaulted or raped made themselves a target through the way they dressed or acted."
As a woman who has faced emotional abuse by past lovers, public sexual assault at the hands of strangers and a women who has been 'cat called' since a teen and groped in public as a child, plus also been told the "it was because of what I was wearing" as a young adult, I felt it was my duty to be there and say "no, this behaviour is not ok" . Being there with people, both men and women who have felt and dealt with what I have dealt with was a great feeling. Making change and being part of a meaningful movement is a great feeling but this was something more.
While walking through Swanston Street we crossed traffic light's and pedestrian crossings. I smiled as an older women who was crossing adjacent to myself yelled at us "good on you girls!". She gets it.
We walked from where the speeches started, on the steps of the State Library all the way up the steps of Federation Square with our banners, our hand held signs and our pride and we chanted. It was my first protest/ march and yes, my first SlutWalk but it won't be my last.