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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Promoting zero tolerance for slut shaming

    Students+create+signs+in+the+Womens+Resource+Center+to+address+the+concept+of+slut-shaming+and+what+the+word+%26%23698%3Bslut%26%23698%3B+implies+at+the+Sip+n+Bitch+event+on+Wednesday.+The+posters+made+will+be+displayed+during+SlutWalk+Tucson+on+Saturday.+The+SlutWalk+is+an+inclusive+event+meant+to+create+a+hate-free+environment.
    Savannah Douglas

    Students create signs in the Women’s Resource Center to address the concept of slut-shaming and what the word ʺslutʺ implies at the Sip n’ Bitch event on Wednesday. The posters made will be displayed during SlutWalk Tucson on Saturday. The SlutWalk is an inclusive event meant to create a hate-free environment.

    When Toronto police officer Michael Sanguinetti remarked that “women should avoid dressing like sluts” in order to prevent sexual assault in 2011, the organization SlutWalk Tucson was formed.

    Kelly Ancharski, an intern at the Women’s Resource Center and a political science senior, has been organizing SlutWalk Tucson for three years. Ancharski said the main purpose of the walk is to “make visible the prevalence of victim-blaming, rape-culture, street harassment and sexual violence.”

    SlutWalk has expanded since its beginning to now include “many intersecting forms of violence and harassment that people encounter in public spaces,” the official SlutWalk Tucson Facebook page states. This new movement promotes zero tolerance for sexism, racism, classism, ableism, fatphobia, homophobia, transphobia and countless other types of hatred found in everyday situations.

    “SlutWalk Tucson realizes that it is not only women who are affected by violence and sexual actions,” Ancharski said, “but also the queer and trans communities, sex workers, disabled communities and people of color.”

    One of the main goals of the event is to reclaim the word “slut.” By showing all the different people the word is applied to, the walk aims to humanize the label.

    Feminists Organized to Resist, Create and Empower plays a large part in the event, as the group host activities leading up to the walk — such as Sip n’ Bitch, at which participants can make posters to carry at SlutWalk.

    Other campus groups participating in this annual event include the Men’s Project, the Oasis Program and Students Promoting Empowerment and Consent. Many other groups from off campus, such as the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation and the Wingspan Anti-Violence Programs, also join in SlutWalk Tucson each year.

    Over the years, SlutWalk Tucson has increased in size, and Ancharski expects there to be about 200 people in attendance this year. A portion of the participants generally make signs and create outfits to hold or wear while walking.

    “Some people will be dressed in bras and non-gender-conforming outfits,” Ancharski said, “but others will be in ‘normal,’ everyday clothing.”

    She believes the absence of clothing on some attendees reinforces the idea that clothing, appearance or identity does not make a person accountable for violence perpetrated against them.

    SlutWalk Tucson aims to have a larger impact on the community. The participants, by taking a part in the walk, declare that a radical, unapologetic self-love does not divide our communities. People who walk in the march acknowledge they all have differences, but they are united by the titles they have been given or their experiences in which they were told they were to blame. Through the walk, they want to spark discussion regarding topics such as rape culture and violence in the community.

    Ancharski said she believes that through these conversations, people will realize the common rationalizations for the prevalence of these issues in society and help put a stop to them.

    SlutWalk Tucson will take place on Saturday at 4:30 p.m., starting at the Women’s Plaza of Honor.

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    Follow Chelsea Cook on Twitter.

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