The SlutWalk returns to campus
The annual SlutWalk led by the University of Arizona’s FORCE program will take place on Nov. 13. It will begin on campus at the Women’s Plaza of Honor and end at the Rialto Theatre in Downtown Tucson.
FORCE, or Feminists Organized to Resist, Create, and Empower, is the university’s feminist internship program that participates in many other community outreach programs besides the SlutWalk, such as showing films and hosting a weekly Sip n’ Bitch.
The program within the Women and Gender Resource Center focuses on letting feminist voices be heard on campus. The SlutWalk has encouraged the community for years to protest their beliefs and stand up for changing the sexual violence culture on campus.
The SlutWalk aims to represent people of all LGBTQ+ communities and genders, sex workers, people with disabilities and people of color. The protest shines a light on the frequent occurrence of victim blaming, rape culture and street harassment.
Lilly Cain is an intern for FORCE who works with marketing and logistics as well as being on the organizing team for the SlutWalk.
The rally begins on campus at 5 p.m. There will also be a poster-making session prior to the walk.
“Around 4 p.m., we are going to start at the Women’s Plaza of Honor,” Cain said. “If you want to show up early and make signs, that’s the time to come.”
Cain also said that there will be another opportunity to meet before the SlutWalk.
“We will also be having a sign-making and volunteer session the day before,” Cain said.
After preparing together near Old Main, the group will walk downtown together at dusk.
“By 5 p.m. we should be marching away from the Women’s Plaza of Honor, and then we will be ending at the Rialto Theatre downtown,” Cain said.
Cain and her fellow organizers added new facets to the event. While the movement helps bring the community together, entertainment does as well.
“We were able to talk to different performers and community members this year,” Cain said. “There’s going to be bands and musicians playing, so whatever you want to get or need to get from the event, hopefully you can.”
This year’s SlutWalk has an overall theme of celebratory healing and will focus on encouraging those on their progress and voices being heard.
“I feel like most of the time SlutWalk is associated with fighting and resistance,” Cain said. “Shifting it to healing and being really intentional about celebrating how far everyone has come in their survival journey is really important and cool.”
Many people, and especially college students, can go through traumatic experiences that take a lot of time and healing to begin moving forward. Busy lives and schedules can hinder this progress, but it’s never too late to begin trying.
“Healing isn’t very straightforward, it takes a lot of different approaches,” Cain said. “All those approaches are always valid.”
Cain explains that many people feel drawn to the SlutWalk after understanding this positive aspect because many people haven’t felt safe in their identity, and now there’s finally a place to express that new turning point in their lives.
“We’re trying to fight back against this narrative that anyone ever deserves it,” Cain said. “That’s just not true.”
Students of all kinds can get perspective from this event by gathering with the community on Nov. 13.
“It’s supposed to be a scenario in which you don’t feel alone,” Cain said. “Everyone in the room has intentions to create a safe place where you can feel however you need to feel.”
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