Originally posted May 28, 2017
In early August of 2015, Amber Monroe was found murdered in Detroit’s Palmer Park. A trans woman of 20, she had to scrape by as a sex worker and was a repeated victim of assault before her untimely death. The park, once reputed as a hub of violence and drug trafficking, has experienced a revival after residents organized and saved it from the budget chopping block and rampant crime. Due to its past brutality, and present as a vibrant community center, the Metro Detroit Political Action Network (MDPAN) chose this as the site for their SlutWalk rally and march on August 12th, between 1 PM and 4 PM.
While the President of the United States brushes off his boasts of sexual assault as "locker room talk", women's rights are under attack across the country. Rape victims are silenced, through social stigma, administrative cover-ups, threats of litigation and further violence. In the case of Brock Turner or Nolan Bruder, even when prosecuted, law enforcement will see fit to grant them laughably lenient sentences, providing neither solace nor safety to those they violated. In the face of this assault against sexual agency and human dignity, SlutWalk will strike back with the message that consent is always mandatory and no excuse will be tolerated. No one is ever asking for it.
Beyond the threat of violence, women face a barrage of harassment in everyday life. A constant paradox of being branded a slut for wearing revealing clothing in public, then logging in to a social media outlet or game server and being hounded for nude photographs. A demand that someone cover up due to their weight, or be told to eat a cheeseburger if they're too skinny. To the catcallers, stalkers, body-shamers and coercive authority figures, SlutWalk will say "no, and we always mean it!"
All are welcome at this event to fight for the right of equality and ownership over one's body. MDPAN is fortunate to have a wealth of speakers and co-sponsors joining the rally, before the people take to the streets:
- Women’s March: Immediately recognizable by their pink hats and tidal wave of fury brought down on Washington DC after the inauguration of Trump, Women's March fights for universal equality through mass direct action.
- Planned Parenthood: A leading source for maintaining sexual health, reproductive justice and education on family planning.
- Let’s Have Girl Talk: A champion of Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy, Let's Have Girl Talk provides a therapeutic mentoring program for young girls.
- The Offensive Feminist with Jenny K: A podcast that covers social issues, religion, sex, gun control, racism, sexism, climate change. Jenny K seeks to engage, inform, and discuss the important topics of liberals today.
- Scotsdale Women’s Center: A compassionate pro-choice family planning and reproductive health center that offers financial assistance for low income women seeking an abortion. They provide gynecological, prenatal, contraception and counseling services.
- Oakland University Feminists: An on-campus feminist group focused on educating Oakland University's campus on gender inequality and the minority status of women in contemporary cultures. They accomplish these goals through various events, discussions, and actions that engage students with feminism.
- Michigan for Choice: MDPAN's own wing for women's rights, it specializes in upholding women's reproductive rights through education, volunteering and direct action.
- Detroit Water Brigade: A rapid relief volunteer group that provides emergency water and restoration to Detroit residents facing a water shutoff.
- Young Democrats of Michigan: An organization committed to engaging people between the ages of 16 and 36 in progressive polities and ideals.
- Refuse Fascism: Just like it says on the can, fighting fascism wherever it takes root.
- Michigan for Revolution: A grassroots organization that seeks to reform the Democratic party and government.
- Boyle for Michigan: An environmentally focused candidate looking to run in 2018.
- Restaurant Opportunities Center: An organization committed to ensuring fair compensation for food service employees and combatting restaurant lobbies.
- Taking Back Orange: MDPAN's silent protest against the Trump Administration.
- RealVoices: A local podcast that seeks to provide a platform for the marginalized in the Detroit area. They will also be recording the event.
On August 12th in Palmer Park, take a stand with MDPAN and deliver a thundering NO to rape culture, sexual harassment and body shaming!
#slutwalk #MDPAN Metro-Detroit Political Action Network #sexualviolence #bodyshaming #feminism