Originally Posted on September 11, 2017
Recently, I attended a Slutwalk protest in Detroit. I had been anticipating it for weeks. I was so excited to see all the signs and the outfits. But the Slutwalk is so much more than signs and outfits. It's not just about women walking around half naked. It's about taking a stand against rape culture. It's about speaking out against victim blaming, slut shaming, transphobia, sexism, homophobia, racism; I can go on and on. Contrary to popular belief, it isn't just about women being proud to be sluts. It does play a part in it ,though. And I'm not mad about that.
Detroit's Slutwalk took place in Palmer Park. One of the bordering streets of Palmer Park, is Woodward Avenue and West Seven Mile. Woodward Avenue is a notable street for sex workers. Many transgender sex workers have lost their lives on Woodward Avenue and West Seven Mile, making it an important street to have the protest at. I remember one of the speakers asking everyone to have a moment of silence to think about all of the sex workers who had lost their lives on the street we were standing on. That was the first time I had heard about that. I remember riding past those women as a child. I never thought about how dangerous it was for them. I never realized how many had actually died on that street.
Counselors had took the time out to support the cause and to also provide support to people who could be triggered by the stories of the speakers. I will be honest and say that a lot of the stories about rape were triggering for me. I tried to hold it in and distract myself, but my friend encouraged me to talk to one of the counselors. The counselor understood that I was angry. She told me that attending the protest was a step forward to me, and I agree that it was.
Hearing stories from victims of sexual assault and domestic violence gave me mixed emotions. I balled up my fists from anger as I listened to the things they experienced. It felt like I would burst into tears at some moments. I also thought about how much courage it took for everyone to share their stories.
Screaming "Sexual assault is not our fault!" with the other protesters was empowering for me. We also screamed, "Who's streets? Our streets!" and it made me feel so happy. It felt better to know that I wasn't alone. There was no judgement. No one was there to spread violence and hate. The protest was filled with love and support. I hope to see more of it in the future.
#Feminism #GenderEquality #LGBTQIAIssues #Peace #slutwalk #detroitslutwalk
Originally Posted on August 5, 2017
In a world where Brock Turner can only serve three months in jail for a rape charge, and that’s still facing more institutional justice than 99% of assailants, the right to consent is under attack. Beyond overt sexual and domestic violence, women, in particular, face a constant barrage of harassment and discrimination in the workplace, on the street and in social media. This is a denial of the right to gender equality and personal autonomy. Metro-Detroit Political Action Network (MPDAN) has stepped up to host the Detroit Slutwalk: Consent is Mandatory march to reaffirm the right to our bodies, our choices and that no one is ever “asking for it.”
Taking place in Palmer Park on August 12th at 1 PM, MDPAN will be bringing together a diverse array of speakers sharing stories of survival and perseverance against the oppressive specter of rape culture. In addition, numerous organizations will be present to provide outreach for victims, counseling and education. Palmer Park’s southern end has two major lots along Covington, one below the pond and a smaller one near Covington/Woodward. Non-metered street parking will also be available should the lots fill up.
MDPAN is ecstatic to announce an exceptional line-up of speakers! Potential governors, radio hosts and grassroots activist leaders are all coming together to stamp out rape culture:
- Fatima Salman: Host of 910AM’s Between the Lines and Executive Director of the Muslim Student Association.
- Jeynce Poindexter Mizrahi: Transgender Specialist and founding board member of Trans Sistas of Color Project
- Bree Campbell: Executive Director and Transgender Advocate of Trans Sistas of Color Project
- Shirley Marie Johnson: Head Administrator for Women’s March Tennessee, CEO of Exodus Inc, a domestic violence shelter.
- Brianna Dee Kingsley: Chair of Transgender Engagement, Justice League Royal Oak/UMC
- Jennifer V Kurland: Slutwalk MC, host of The Offensive Feminist with Jenny K on Cave Radio.
- JoAnna Underwood: Candidate for Detroit City Council, District 7 Representative, founder of People’s Action Committee.
- Jessica Martin: Vice President of Young Democrats of Michigan, 6th District Chief of MI for Revolution.
- Nicole Vasher: Leader of MI for Revolution’s Downriver chapter, Handmaid Bonnet-mancer.
- Antia Harris: Sister of Zeta Psi Zeta sorority, class of ’16.
- Sophia von Stardust and Laurel Pleasures: Local burlesque performers highlighting positive, consensual sexuality with their routine.
- Vicki Edwards: Leader of Refuse Fascism’s Michigan Chapter.
- Rachel Montgomery: Secretary General for MDPAN
- Robert Fidler: Media Director for MDPAN
In addition to our speakers, we have a wealth of organizations providing outreach for victims of violence and harassment, counseling services and avenues for political action to advance the cause of feminism:
- Counseling Team: Shawn Force and Cayte Boyer are licensed counselors on hand to help our attendees, look for them wearing fluorescent tape at the rally.
- Scotsdale Women's Center: A Detroit, pro-choice family planning center serving the community with a caring and non-judgemental atmosphere for over 30 years.
- Haven: Provides shelter, counseling advocacy, and educational programming for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in Oakland County.
- Turning Point: Serves Macomb County by proving resources and programs to help victims of domestic violence and sexual assault take back their lives.
- WC Safe: A center providing compassionate and trauma-informed care to sexual assault survivors in Wayne County.
- Trans Sistas of Color Project - Detroit: A group that seeks to uplift, influence and impact the lives and well being of trans women of color in Metro Detroit.
- Women's March: All inclusive direct action organization dedicated to fighting bigotry and intolerance. Michigan and Tennessee Chapters will be represented.
- Zeta Psi Zeta: A Detroit based LGBT friendly sorority focused on promoting a different breed of femininity. Will be hosting chalk art at the event.
- Feminists of Oakland University: On-campus feminist group focused on educating the campus about gender inequality. Will be hosting a face painting booth.
- No Good Girls Allowed: Community organization the works on benefits such as food kitchens and suicide prevention.
- Detroit Green Party: Our nation's most prominent third party, where feminism and care for the environment are core concepts.
- Restaurant Opportunities Center: Fights for a living wage and end of discrimination in food service.
- Michigan for Revolution: Grassroots organization aiming to effect progressive change and the local and state level.
- Refuse Fascism: Direct action group fighting against fascist and white supremacist elements in the US.
- Michigan for Choice: MDPAN's women's rights wing, will have sign making and other art projects available for open participation.
Come out on August 12th and Palmer Park and stand with us to demand that consent is always mandatory!
Photography courtesy of TJ Samuels.
#slutwalk #consentismandatory #MDPAN #Feminism #rapeculture #Detroit #scotsdalewomen'scenter #fatimasalman #abdulal-sayed #detroitgreenparty
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
#herstory about the #detroit #slutwalk on the Civic Action Center. #feminism #endrapeculture #stoprape #sexualassault #domesticviolence Share your story about your #activism as well! #slutwalk #detroit: #consent is #mandatory. An important #civicaction is happening in just a couple hours. Get there if you can. More info and 2 blogs by Rob Fidler on Detroit Civic Action Center. Link in bio. Thanks @detroitsolidaritymovement for your leadership. #mdpan #feminism #stoprapeculture #stoprape