If you don’t know what it feels like to stand in solidarity with an ocean of victims, survivors, and strong supporters who are unwilling to back down, all in resistance of a culture that points fingers at the wrong people, then I am truly sorry; there is nothing like it.
On October 1st, a community of people came together as one, in support of SlutWalk NYC, to eradicate the misinformed notion of victim blaming. SlutWalk is a movement that began in reaction to a Toronto police officer’s comment that, “women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized.” With such a claim, then follows the question: When did being victimized become preventable? The answer: never.
Protesters refused to accept such a victim-shaming culture and demonstrated it by marching and chanting, words of empowerment; “Blame the system, not the victim!” Their cries for justice shook the entire city. Survivors held signs professing the story of how they were raped and supporters stood in solidarity with those victims and with the people of the world who have been subjected to misplaced blame. Marchers that day were vehicles of change: they taught truth to the misinformed and hope to the fallen.
SlutWalk demands that the finger be pointed not at the victim, but at the victimizer. It requires that we stop teaching, “Don’t get raped,” and start teaching, “Don’t rape.” It assures that, “Asking for it,” can only be done with words.
The predicted forecast for October 1st in New York City called for rain and gloom. But the message that afternoon was clear– and so were the skies.