CHICAGO — On Saturday, August 22nd, Chicago's largest annual feminist demonstration returns to Water Tower to demand an end to rape culture. Now in its fifth year, SlutWalk Chicago is a vast, diverse array of people who refuse to accept the normalization of sexual and gender-based violence in all of its forms.
"Currently, we all live in a world of oppression where we cannot walk down a street without harassment; we cannot walk down an alley without fear of rape or assault; and we cannot feel safe in our own skin. When these acts of violence are perpetrated against us, this culture blames us for their occurrence. For the five years, we have taken to the streets in a show of our strength and power, proving to society that actively dismantling rape culture and patriarchy is possible," said Brit Schulte, Slutwalk Chicago organizer.
List of Speakers:
Nikki Nigl with About Women
Kara Krutcher with The Courage Campaign
Alicia Swiz with Pop Goes Alicia
Roger Fraser with Gay Liberation Network
Darling Shear ( Performance )
Midwest Access Coalition
Emily with Sex Worker Outreach Project
Brit Schulte with Slutwalk Chicago
This year's march and speakers will explicitly take up the question of rape culture as it relates to other forms of oppression.
"Everyone who experienced any form of rape culture be it racism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, classism, body shaming, harassment, assault or rape is encouraged to bring a sign, noisemakers, and anything you can think of in order to make your voice heard and know you are not alone!" said Jackie Spreadbury, SlutWalk Chicago organizer.
The SlutWalk movement began in 2011 when a Toronto police officer told a group of young women that they should "avoid dressing like sluts" to prevent rape. In response, Toronto activists staged a demonstration against the victim-blaming narratives that are so pervasive in our society. Shortly after the protest in Toronto, SlutWalks sprang up across the world to demand an end to sexual violence and the culture of silence, shame, and victim-blaming that perpetuates it. The first Chicago SlutWalk was held in 2011.
Rape culture is a broad term that describes a range both explicit and implicit phenomena that encourage and normalize sexual violence; victim-blaming, slut-shaming, and refusing to believe survivors are just some of its manifestations. Rape culture also describes the state of our institutions: police who commit sexual assault, judges who question the victim's state of intoxication, Justice Departments that refuse to test rape kits, media pundits who say victims 'ask for it', and a criminal justice system that frequently incarcerates women and LGBTQ-identified individuals for defending their bodies against sexual assault. Rape culture refers to an entire cultural fabric of gender stereotypes and policing, rampant sexual harassment, catcalling, street harassment, the elimination of resources for survivors, and the entire neoliberal narrative that individuals, not systems, are responsible for the ills that befall them.
Youtube channel ( posted immediately after action ):
Facebook event: www.facebook.com/events/1627539120797383/ .