Around 3000 people attended Slutwalk Melbourne last Saturday. Given the amount of media coverage it is probably unnecessary to detail the background to the event, and there is detail on the Slutwalk Melbourne website and blog. Although the declared purpose was to reclaim the word itself, it was obvious that most of those attending took a wider view, with placards and banners, not to mention slogans, focussing on sexual assault and issues of consent, gender equality, work safety (a prominent contingent of sex workers) and more. The reported comments of two young men watching the march (see The Age 29 May – there is a report also in The Australian) seemingly expressing disappointment probably reflected the feelings of any others who might have been hoping for titillation, although there was no shortage of colour in spite of the wintry day. There was certainly anger and determination in the speeches, and some of what was said was not easy listening, and there were grim faces too in the crowd, but many were also clearly enjoying the chance to make a public statement in such positive company – something that has also been strong at rallies for equal marriage rights.
Photos from the rally and march (the event continued with more speeches and some theatre in the Treasury Gardens, but we were not able to stay):
These photos and others can also be seen as a slideshow on YouTube: