Seriously, is there anything more unbelievable? A few months ago, when my friend Deb and I went to a JRCC fundraiser, we spoke to one of the Center’s employees about the possibility of a Slutwalk in Israel. In the blog post I wrote following the fundraiser, I raised the question of whether such a display could ever take place in Jerusalem, mostly considering what the religious community would have to say about it (or pick a fit about it). I also indicated that perhaps it would be better to have Slutwalk in Tel Aviv.
The thing is, Tel Aviv already had a Slutwalk. So did Haifa, and so did Be’er Sheva. And if a Slutwalk ought to take place anywhere in the country, it should be in the capital, because despite what some fascist religious citizens think, Israel is still a democratic country. If anything, Slutwalk would have a much bigger impact in a city where the religious community think they own women’s bodies and where stickers that state “A modest woman prevents disasters,” and “Mothers, show your daughters a modest example,” are plastered all over the place.
I found out about Slutwalk Jerusalem from my BOYFRIEND, out of all people. When I looked it up on the JRCC Facebook page, sure enough, there was the event, Friday from 11:00 to 12:30, sluts galore marching down central Jerusalem. Over a hundred had already confirmed, including one of my friends from Tel Aviv, and one from Jerusalem who RSVP’d as “maybe,” which usually means no.
I was flabbergasted that I wasn’t invited and that neither was my grrrlfriend Deb. In any case, it wasn’t a closed event, so I joined and invited Deb.
Friday morning, I woke up with a hangover and my eyes as dry as sandpaper. My boyfriend drove me to Paris Square where the march was set to start. I didn’t recognize anyone. Deb wasn’t there. I haven’t heard from her in a while. My friend from Tel Aviv would surely not show up. Why she bothered to confirm in the first place was beyond me, but I wasn’t too surprised. I haven’t seen her in ages either.
When I got there, there were more journalists and photographers than actual participants. Many of the girls were dressed rather more covered than expected, but that was irrelevant. The point of the event was to show that girls and women can wear whatever they want, whether it’s modest or not. They started giving out stickers stating “How am I dressed? Dial 1800-Not-Your-Business,” and made posters reading “A woman of valor wears whatever she wants,” “When rapists are free, we are in prison,” and “I’m a proud slut.”
I figured if I’m the only one representing grrrlVIRUS, I thought I might as well raise some awareness, not to mention a few eyebrows. So I grabbed the proud slut poster and quickly scribbled on the back “GrrrlVIRUS ❤ Sluts.”
We started marching, with the journalists a few steps ahead of us walking backwards. The organizers shouted slogans into the loudspeakers, and the crowd chanted along. I started forgetting about my bloodshot sandpapery eyes as my throat was being butchered when I joined in the chanting.
Even though I wasn’t dressed “slutty” per se, I felt so liberated and so inspired by all the beautiful empowering women around me. I was also quite impressed by the male turnout, and even more impressed that they marched along with us, and not there to check out our asses.
I also took the opportunity of this feminist event to give out some flyers about the Crafts for a Cause Etsy shop and talk to some girls about grrrlVIRUS among other things.
After the march was over, I was hot, tired and my throat was on fire. I was introduced to the main organizer of the event, Or Levi, and we ended up going to a coffee shop for lunch. Due to the heat and all the excitement, I wasn’t up for any elaborate meal, so I got an apple pie with a side of ice cream and cold orange juice. We talked a lot about the walk and how it turned out much better than either one of us expected. The religious community was on their best behavior, the male turnout was a pleasant surprise for both of us, and not half an hour after the march was over, articles started popping out all over the internet. We made our statement loud and clear.
Or is an awesome grrrl. Deb ought to meet her and maybe we could get together and make some cool grrrlVIRUS flyers like we did last year.
Since Slutwalk Jerusalem, I gained a much bigger appreciation for short skirts and female sexuality. If I wasn’t in absolute awe of women before, I totally am now without a doubt.
Peace, love and “My short dress does not mean yes.”