Friday, August 17, 2012
Maria Alyokhina, 24, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, and Yekaterina Samutsevich, 29 were arrested for performing on the steps of a Moscow Cathedral a punk prayer asking to "Throw Putin Out."
In cities such as London, Paris, New York, Dublin, and Rio many are protesting the two year sentence these women have to face.
Today at 3pm at the Russian Consulate there will be a protest and another at 6:30 at the Justin Herman Plaza. I urge all of you to go to show solidarity and support for this amazing band. For more information on how to get to these places please visit the official Facebook event page at http://www.facebook.com/events/424888970880304/
(information found on the BBC news report)
Thursday, August 2, 2012
Summer isn't over yet but here is a look back at some of the great events Slutwalk SF has attended.
On June 16th Slutwalk Sacramento had their first Slutwalk March on the West steps of the State Capitol building. The lead organizers of this march which include Stephanie Isaac, Jennifer DeCima, Ashley Fleming and overall everyone involved with getting the march and rally together did an amazing job. The day was hot and a bit humid (for someone from SF I was sweating from the scorching sun) but that didn’t stop the many participants and spectators to come out and protest against the war against women and support the constantly growing Slutwalk Movement.
The Rally consisted of a plethora of personal stories being told to the crowd on topics ranging from sexual assault, the need for sexual liberation, and sex education. It was touching to hear stories from women of different backgrounds and ages and organizers Stephanie, Ashley, Jennifer and Diane did a great job with focusing on the theme of Rape Culture and Slut Shaming. The theme of the March and rally was both sex positive while commented on sexual assault in a very cohesive manner.
Like the other speeches given during the open mic section of the rally, I really enjoyed the speeches from the organizers. Stephanie's main focus was on gender politics and Ashley's speech focused on the importance of Slutwalk and why this movement is named Slutwalk. One of my favorite lines (and I'm paraphrasing) that really stuck with me was when Ashley explained that how can we as a movement talk about slut shaming while many try to walk around the word itself (this was in response to many criticisms of naming the movement Slutwalk) and how can we as a society talk about sexual violence and assault when we don’t want to talk about sexuality.
These are great question that I think we all need to think about especially people who are against this movement because of the name itself. Towards the end of the rally Jennifer read a moving statement written by Heather Jarvis, one of the founders of the Slutwalk movement. I appreciated her emphasis on the need for the Slutwalk movement to grow and for the organizers to keep going even when we face harsh criticism but as well as to keep educating ourselves.
As well as hearing from the organizers many people in the crowd spoke up and the issues ranged from sexual assault, rape culture, slut shaming to even sex education. It was very moving to hear the stories from survivors of sexual assault. One women in her late fifties even reenacted her story, crawling up the steps as she told her story about how her neighbor upstairs that she thought she could trust ended up not being so trustworthy. As she noted women get assaulted all the time and not only on the bases of provocative apparel.
Another memorable speech was given by a young women who depicted the various moments with her boyfriend who insisted that she be his, "little slut," "I want you to be my little slut," he would demand from her, a statement that many people seem to hold of women. From the stories told one can learn that acts of Rape and sexual assault is about power, it's about humiliating someone and making another person feel weak by being verbally abusive and using sex as a tool to accomplish this. Rape culture in general is about suppressing female sexuality, an idea learned from the book Yes Means Yes, a collection of essays discussing different aspects of feminism. Women need to be the agents of their own body to combat this standard narrative society deems as okay.
After the rally all the participants marched around the capitol building hearing cheers from some passer-bys and cars while also getting some flak from others. Here are some of the pictures I took at the march.
Slut Pride! All the posters were amazing. Many of them were provided by Slutwalk Sacramento who worked hard to make sure everyone had a sign to hold. The sign I was holding stated, "Feminism Back by Popular Demand." I wrote the same message down for the sign I was carrying during the pride march.
Slutwalk SF table. Not very pretty but the main goal was to do more outreach and let people know about the upcoming events and march in the Bay Area. I also brought some books with me to showcase to the Slut walkers including Emma Goldman's Living My Life, Laurie Penny's Meat Market: Female Flesh Under Capitalism and the local SF publication Whore Magazine.
It's great to see so many cities in California holding a Slutwalk March. I had a great time and I can’t wait for Sacramento's March next year.
Slutwalk SF also walked in the pride parade alongside other feminist groups in SF including MissREVOLutionaries, BACORR, CA NOW, and WORD (Women Organized to Resist and Defend).
This is a group photo of all of us just moments before we walked the parade. Much thanks to all the support from the crowd and everyone that walked in the march. Along the route a representative from each group spoke up into the sound system discussing a range of topics that included slut shaming, violence done towards women and the dangers of crisis centers.
It’s was great to see other smaller groups as well such as the Free Bradly Manning group and Occupride. Though each of us has different goals the point of pride is to raise awareness on the injustices we see around us especially those injustices on a legislative and social level done towards women and the LGBTQ community. As what many other bloggers and participants at the parade are critiquing, pride shouldn’t be about the corporations (Well’s Fargo, Bank of America, Facebook, Google) but about creating a strong community that takes care of one another. The focus should be on creating more homeless youth shelters, health clinics and food drives and focus less on fancy floats sponsored by banks. I sensed this from the crowd as we walked past. It was great to see the support and to meet the women from the other Feminist groups in the Bay Area.
Slkutwalk SF also had its first fundraiser at El Rio a couple of Fridays ago. Thanks to all the people that came and the organizers for their hard work and dedication for putting this fundraiser together. There’s more to come. On Friday August 24th at the Center for Sex and Culture will be a “Women’s Herstory,” fundraiser from 5 to 7. It will be a 5 to 10 donation at the door to get in and will include speakers and performers sharing their Feminist experiences. More details are to come.
Hope all is well!