The Slut Walk

One student stumbles upon the Slut Walk and shares her experience

A few Saturdays ago, I decided I would make my way downtown and go to the Portland Art Museum with an old friend. Upon leaving the museum, we saw a large group of bicycle policemen. I had thought to myself that maybe they were just having a midday powwow, however, once I walked down the sidewalk a few feet more, a massive sign caught my eye. The sign read “God hates you” and below it was a huge hand that was balled up and pointing forward. There was also another sign that read “He who committeth sin is of the devil and all shall have their place in the lake of FIRE.”

Instinctually, I had to walk closer and see what was actually going on, then I saw it; just in front of the two men holding the inflammatory signs was a massive group of about two hundred semi-naked men and women holding up their own signs that all were along the lines of “before you have sex with me you better have some consent”.

I was intrigued, entirely and uncomfortably intrigued by the signs, chanting and the atmosphere. My friend and I stepped even closer and were now on the very outer rim of the group of seemingly nice people, but we still made sure to keep our distance. Then a small lady with multiple face piercings walked up to us and started telling us about what was actually going on. She informed us that we had stumbled upon the slut walk, a “protest against rape culture” and an overall empowering way for women and men to speak out for how they feel about sex and how to defend their rights when it comes to consent. Further intrigued, we decided to join the surrounding group and listen to the speakers at the front of the crowd.

I learned something quite valuable that day, and that was the good old saying: “don’t judge A book by its cover”, in this situation “a huge group of naked or minimally clothed people” being the cover. I was – after doing my fair share of investigating- totally and utterly enjoying listening and being part of a group of such passionate and beautiful people.

After joining the actual walk and participating for a bit, we started to notice that the men holding the signs were only background noise. They were soon drowned out and, in my opinion, only made the walk more fun because it was as if we were an army of people all against them. This didn’t mean anybody was provoking them, in fact, we let them bring more attention to us which helped the group gain more support from people walking by the pure absurdity the sign holders were spewing.

I observed that, in the end, the two or three men holding up negative signs weren’t even talking about things relevant to what every other person there was marching for. Which only goes to show that, in the end, love will always overpower hate.

Words by Daisy Schwimmer
According to Oregon law, student journalists are responsible for determining the content of this publication, except under limited circumstances. The subject matter, content and views of the news, features and opinion sections in this paper do not reflect the views of Portland Public Schools or Woodrow Wilson High School.