Slutwalk Aotearoa in Wellington, a review.

Ok, so anyone looking would have noticed that I haven’t said anything so far about this global phenomenon. FWIW, the arguments that american feminists have amongst themselves are not my problem, so I’m not gonna recap on that, google it yourself or check out the Handmirror, Julie’s done a reasonable recap here, and so has Luddite Journo.
And in the vein of my ever-increasing updates to this post, here’s Jane Clifton’s take on the story at The Listener, which was published on 2 July, before the marches took place, but will live behind the subscriber firewall until 18 July, 2011. She manages to identify my old thesis supervisor without referring to her doctorate, which I’m pretty sure she doesn’t do for Dr Jon Johanssen, or Dr Russell Norman, both of whom have politics PhD’s, as does Alison Laurie. Play spot-the-discrimination along with me…
Latest Listener has Diana Wichtel’s TV review focussing on Slutwalk reporting in the media, not bad. Not behind the firewall, either.

I went on the march after a few of us had voiced some misgivings, but basically the issue is too important not to get involved in, whatever the minor differences of style and analysis we have between our various organisations.

MJ Scannell and Pollyanne Pena did a good job for people who haven’t ever done this before. It’s so long since I was on my first Reclaim the Night organising collective that I have to stretch to remember how much I sucked; thankfully for all concerned, I wasn’t a major part of that group, and lots of people helped me to come up to speed, which is a favour I return practically every time I get involved in running a march. There are lots of things to know how to do, and there are some obstructive bureaucrats who try to stop us every time.

There were great speakers, our own Green Party Candidate standing in Mana electorate, Jan Logie, being one of them. Brooklynne Kennedy, co-convenor of the Young Greens also spoke, and so did Natalie Gousmett who some in green circles may know, speaking for Rape Crisis.
Other speakers represented the Wellington Young Feminists Collective, Young Labour, and the NZ Prostitutes Collective, whose speaker reminded us that it’s eight years since the legislation passed decriminalising prostitution, and that nobody ever ‘deserves to be raped’, whatever their relationship to their rapist, whatever their sexual history, whatever is worn, wherever it is.
There were hundreds of marchers; young, old, men, women, gay, straight, everything in between as well. The recent ‘Queer the Night’ march in Wellington to highlight homophobic violence had a flow-on effect to Slutwalk here, with many young members (and some not-so-young) of the GLBTI community coming out to march against sexual violence crimes.

The main media outlets have focussed on simple things like the word ‘slut’ and ‘skimpy clothing’ images.
If they had honestly reported the speeches, they’d have heard MJ Scannell plead for media to stop using language that blames victims of rape, that implies that the sex was somehow consensual, that says ‘s/he must have asked for it’, that perpetuates the myriad of rape myths that are current in our society.
For those reasons alone, I’m not linking to any ‘mainstream media outlets’ websites – again, you can go google it yourself or search TV3, TVNZ, stuff and nzherald websites using the ‘slutwalk aotearoa’ search term.

Update:
Jan Logie’s excellent speech is online here at her blog.
And also Brooklynne Kennedy’s speech is here.

Now some pictures!

The crowd was thickly spread across the dryer parts of Waitangi Park, the starting point.


MJ Scannell speaking to the crowd in Civic Square


Jan Logie in mid-speech, with hovering press photographer.


Brooklynne Kennedy, bravely challenging the crowd on transphobia and rape issues.


Nicole Skews from the Wellington Young Feminists Collective

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3 thoughts on “Slutwalk Aotearoa in Wellington, a review.

  1. I went on the Auckland Slutwalk and was asked by a journalist what I thought about women attempting to reclaim the word “slut”. Pity the MSM couldn’t focus on the real issue, which is sexual violence.

    My reply, BTW, was that given the word “slut” is used in a disparaging way almost solely towards women, the reclaiming of it is something for women to discuss among themselves, and not something that is appropriate for men like me to comment on.

  2. Pingback: Walking « The Lady Garden

  3. Toad, I would gladly stand beside you and claim our mutual sluthood. 😉

    And there were a few guys with “I’m a slut too” kinda placards in the Welli march, which was pretty cool; one of them got up & spoke briefly during the open mic at the end.

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