SlutWalk Melbourne – 28 May 2011

Part of the crowd at State Library

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):

Women in Lycra posing for photo

Banner from SeCasa - sexual assault survival centre

Placard - My Body is not your Battleground

Placard from victim of rape

Bear (?) in bra and panties

Women holding placard - Don't hate (crossed through) label me 'cos I'm beautiful

Placard - men and kids get raped, were thier (sic) tits showing too?

Leslie Cannold speaking

Sex worker speaking

Cody Smith speaking

Another speaker

Another speaker

Dog waiting for march to start

Organisers head for start of march

Banner of  Australian Sex Workers Association

Placard - I Might be asking for it, but not from you

Placard - A dress is not a Yes

More placards - My outfit has nothing to do with you/ Just coz I'm fat does not mean I'm easy

Woman in 'nurse' uniform and friend give thumbs up for photo

Male and female with placard, his reads - She shouldn't have to hang out with me just to feel safe

Young woman with 'slut' patch on  back

Placard - Don't  blame the victim/ Blame the system

Dog with multi-coloured (rainbow) ruff at end of march

This dog was not surprisingly a favourite among photographers on the day

These photos and others can also be seen as a slideshow on YouTube: