SlutWalk Chicago.

Via Brooks Hall
on Jun 4, 2011
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SlutWalk Chicago

When I arrived at Thompson Center Plaza for SlutWalk, I saw this woman with her buns showing under a wrap that went around her hips—hardly a skirt—and tears came to my eyes. Somehow I just really believe that we should live in a more permissive society.

SlutWalk Chicago

Here’s a description from SlutWalk Chicago’s Facebook page:

Inspired by SlutWalk Toronto, SlutWalk Chicago is a march in support of education and against intolerance.

On January 24, 2011, a representative of the Toronto Police Service was quoted saying, “Women should avoid dressing like sluts in order to not be victimized.” SlutWalk Chicago aims to combat the myth of “the slut” and the culture of victim blaming that prevails the world over.

Our mission is to enforce the truth that those who experience sexual assault are never at fault– no exceptions. We seek to combat a culture that teaches “don’t get raped,” as opposed to “don’t rape.”

SlutWalk Chicago
I see SlutWalk as potentially an effective event. It’s not just the huge attendance. It’s because of what might be able to be accomplished through events like this.
SlutWalk Chicago
SlutWalk holds the form of a protest. And when looked at from a certain angle it is just that: a protest against the prevailing rape culture. Yes, I said it. We live in a culture that condones the rape of certain people including sex workers, people who dress slutty, drunk people, someone in a marriage in some cases gives up the ability to give permission for sex, lesbians in some cases, people in prison, transgender people or gay men might also be at risk for sexual assault or other violent acts.
SlutWalk Chicago
Sexual assault (or rape) is not okay. Ever.
SlutWalk Chicago
So on one level the event is a protest against sexual assault. And one might wonder what good a protest like this could possibly do. Like, how could this possibly make a rapist change their behavior? I don’t think that the event is really about that.
SlutWalk Chicago
An event like this can really stoke the fires of inner resolve for participants. A real and very positive effect is to feel the support of others and to strengthen our ability to say “no” to inappropriate touch and behavior. It is never the victim’s fault when an assault has happened. But, I know that for me there have been times where it’s almost like I didn’t realize that “no” was an option.
SlutWalk Chicago
An example is when I thought I wanted or needed someone in my life, and I let things slide that now I wish I had felt the power to stop. I wonder if I had just been able to speak up for myself if that situation might have turned out differently. (repeat story a few times…)
SlutWalk Chicago
So I think that as we strengthen ourselves by coming together and showing, saying and dressing how we feel that there is also a great potential for a revolution of our culture from within ourselves. Things can become better defined and understood so we can more clearly know what we need to fight against, and where we might be able to say “no” to wrong behavior.
SlutWalk Chicago
The slightly more variation in dress just seems liberating and right to me. It reminded me of the one time I went to Burning Man—it was a clothing optional event. And I just loved seeing how people really wanted to dress or not dress, and every variation in between.

SlutWalk Chicago
Sign language interpreter at SlutWalk Chicago

I felt held by my yoga community, too, through some of us that were part of SlutWalk. Also, as I was SlutWalking a Chicago police officer who was overseeing the event was saying something to me. At first I wondered to myself if he was talking to me. Then I recognized him as someone who has attended some of my yoga classes. He was just saying, “hi!” What a wonderful small big city I live in: Chicago.
SlutWalk Chicago

* This article is provided compliments of Yogic Muse *


About Brooks Hall

Brooks Hall is a Yogic Muse from Chicago, Illinois. In this capacity she teaches Yoga, writes about Yoga, and generally enjoys it. You can find her at:


16 Responses to “SlutWalk Chicago.”

  1. Thanks for this report on an important event and a critical issue, Brooks.

  2. carrie says:

    what a powerful message no one derserves to be harrassed or assulted

  3. Nice one Brooks – thanks!

  4. Pamela says:

    I love this. The police actually said that? Please define slut is what I would say.
    I think rape is on the increase today, I don't know if that is just a media impression I am getting. But somehow it still is such a difficult area. I know that something like only six per cent of cases are convicted in Britain. No one seems to believe that it happens to women, or, like the above, that some how it is acceptable if a woman "asks for it". Shocking the inhumanity of it all. I didn't mean to imply that women are the only sex to get raped either.

  5. Kay says:

    Free Merriam-Webster definition.. .
    Thank you, Brooks, for delving into this topic. I've seen you say before that you feel it is an important one to unmask, uncover, surface — not sure how you said it but I am in total agreement with you. The conversation needs to start somewhere and what you are doing by making it an open topic is important. I love you for all that you are and do!

  6. dan says:…. :
    "The U.S. Department of Justice estimates that at least 216,600 children and adults were sexually abused in prisons, jails, and youth detention facilities in 2008 alone … On average, victims in adult facilities were abused three to five times each over the course of the year. [Of] Children and teens … nearly one in eight youth in juvenile detention had been sexually assaulted at their current facility in one year. Shockingly, 80 percent of the reported abuse was committed by staff"

  7. Kavindra says:

    There was a very good article about this in Sunday's Washington Post

    These young women are angry, and rightly so. I didn't think we still needed this sort of protest anymore, until I read what the Toronto cop said. And you're right, it extends to everyone, prisoners, gays, drunks, etc. I'm very proud of you for marching!

  8. Monique says:


  9. EcoYogini says:

    fabulous to see the protests spread to the States. The OPP (I'm pretty sure it wasn't RCMP) has formally apologized and committed to providing more sensitivity training….
    Which is a step- but I believe, as you said, it really is an example of how we continue to live in a culture where women don't have the same rights as men. The SlutWalk can help a new generation of women (and men) join together for equality and respect.

  10. Candice says:

    After the acquital of the Rape Cop in NY (wasn't it in NY) I am glad to see this. No woman deserves or asks to be raped, ever, not if she's drunk, not if she's dressed "slutty", never.

  11. AlpineLily says:

    However, if a woman takes a pole-dance class with her girlfriends for fun she WILL be called a slut by Walyon/EJ

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  15. Dana Lundin says:

    While I appreciate the purpose of the event, and that rape is a crime and there is no excuse for it, I feel that women are missing something very important about the dynamics of power and gender issues. Men don't rape for sex, often it's about power over. They are biologically programmed to respond to visual stimulation, and if we want to be taken seriously and respected as human beings instead of sex objects we sabotage that end by dressing up to maximize our sex appeal to people we pass on the street. I say, wear the slut clothes for the party we are interested in exploring the passion we arouse by our appearance! Sexual energy is powerful, and when women manipulate men with their beauty and sex appeal, it's demeaning to both. And in this time of such economic injustice with men being so emasculated by society, arousing them by provocative dress and being indignant about their behavior is a prescription for disaster in my humble opinion.

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