I came to the panel with mostly reservations and criticisms of SlutWalk, mostly in regard to its effectiveness as an activist tactic. But as I listened to each of the panelists speak about their experiences with the local event, it became increasingly clear that SlutWalk is not about making a statement to the general public. It’s not even about sexual liberation or semantic reclamation. SlutWalk is about survivors.
SlutWalk creates a safe space and audience for survivors to express themselves and share their experiences. SlutWalk fosters solidarity and the inspiration to progress along a journey toward healing. It empowers survivors to choose to rise above the words that some may use to try to control them.
Empowerment was something that SimplyNay hit on a lot during the panel discussion. One way that she tries to empower people is by encouraging them to move outside their social circles and comfort zones to try and see things for themselves, instead of just what they hear from their peers or the media.
But the problem is nobody has time to do their own research on every issue or ever news story. We only have so many resources to devote in a day. And herein lies the issue that I still have with SlutWalk as an activist tactic. Because unfortunately, one audience that desperately needs to hear the core message of SlutWalk is the one that won’t be motivated to devote its resources to digging deeper. So while the media may be an uncontrollable “evil,” its a necessary evil of progressive action. The core message of SlutWalk is important to the masses, but it’s too often muffled by its own radical soundbite.
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