Wednesday, June 29, 2011

More on Slutwalk in Grand Rapids

In yesterday's video post, I included the following video and commentary.

It is a movement against the belief that any aspect of a woman's appearance might explain or excuse rape.
Remember, the social component of sustainability is about promoting a just society. So is the movement described above.

Also, this happened in Grand Rapids? I'll have to search to see if this was the first one in Michigan. I'd be surprised if Grand Rapids beat out Ann Arbor.
I did some searching, and sure enough, it looks like Grand Rapids held the first slutwalk in Michigan. Congratulations, Grand Rapids, you beat out Ann Arbor, East Lansing, Detroit, and Ferndale in something progressive!

Even better, the event received a fair amount of coverage. For starters, WOOD-TV 8, the creators of the first clip I embedded, followed up on their story.
Hundreds of people gathered in downtown Grand Rapids this afternoon to take part in an event that organizers called 'SlutWalk,' designed to spread the message that victims of sexual assault and rape shouldn't be blamed because of what they wear.
Organizers of the event say that their message is simple: The victim of sexual assault is never to blame, regardless of what they choose to wear.
Organizers say they were pleased with the turnout to the event, and they were glad to get their message to "stop blaming the victim" out to so many people.

WZZM, TV 13 in Grand Rapids, also covered the story.

Nearly 150 people gathered at Veterans Park in downtown Grand Rapids Saturday, for the event known as 'Slutwalk'.

Women and men from around West Michigan protested against the belief that a woman's appearance may explain or excuse the act of sexual assault. The marchers walked down Fulton Street, through Monroe Center, for a round trip that concluded back at Veterans Park.
"I think there are a lot of aspects of rape culture that people don't understand. So I think this is a good place to start with events that address rape, assault, reproductive rights, sexuality, and consent," said organizer Briana Urena-Ravelo.

MLive had the longest story and some of the most colorful quotes.
Some wore backside hugging teeny tiny boy shorts and skin tight skimpy halter tops. Others sported colorful ripped fishnet stockings a corset or bra. And a good many wore ordinary shorts and T-shirts.

Regardless of what they wore, all in the large crowd that marched through the streets of downtown Saturday for "SlutWalk Grand Rapids" had one clear message: Stop blaming victims of sexual assault no matter how they dress.

"It's not you personally that causes whatever happens," said Clara Rouse, 22, of Rockford who came dressed in fishnets, fur covered boots, a tank top and colorful beaded jewelry.

"If someone's going to rape you, they're going to rape you regardless if you're dressed like this or if you're in a baggy T-shirt and shorts," Rouse said.
Read the rest of this article. Also look at the photo gallery, which does an even better job of showing the signs and protesters than the video. As for the comments, well, you take your chances.

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