(All photos by Ryan Williams)

Chicago’s SlutWalk: ‘Yes Means Yes and No Means No’ (SLIDESHOW)

BY Ryan Williams and Candice Bernd

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Women across the globe are challenging “slut-shaming” and victim-blaming with a new slut-themed march inspired by a police officer in Toronto who in late January said women could avoid being raped by not dressing like one. On April 3, the first “SlutWalk” was held in Toronto.

On Saturday, June 4, “SlutWalk” continued in Chicago. The march peaked with about 2,000 people in attendance–some dressed comfortably, some dressed provocatively, according to attendee Corrie Wetering. “I thought it was a tremendous success,” said Wetering, 30. “It was a fantastic expression of a movement for women’s rights.”

The protesters took downtown Chicago’s streets, beginning at the Thompson Center and ending at the Daley Plaza, where organizers spoke from a stage. During the march, protesters chanted “However we dress, wherever we go, yes means yes, no means no!”

Christina Brakebill said she decided to attend after having a conversation with friends about the meaning of the word slut. “I wanted to think about [the word’s] relationship to people’s perceptions of promiscuity,” she said. “I felt bolstered by the crowd.”

Members of the DePaul Feminist Front, Students for a Democratic Society, Gender Queer Chicago and the International Socialist Organization attended the marches, which have taken place in cities across the country this spring.

—Text by Candice Bernd


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Ryan Williams is a Columbia College Journalism graduate working in Chicago nonprofits. He moonlights as a freelance photographer and writer. Candice Bernd is a summer 2011 Web intern for In These Times. She has co-hosted The Rational Radio Report with Jack Bishop on 1360 AM, KMNY, and written for Z magazine, Left Turn magazine, Truthout and the Socialist Worker.

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