This year’s March to End Rape Culture (formerly known as SlutWalk Philadelphia) on September 27 will be the most collaborative march in the event’s history. The march this year has the most co-sponsors, speakers, and volunteers than any other year, according to lead organizer Christie Eastburn.
“The Philadelphia SlutWalk chapter rebranded as the ‘March to End Rape Culture’ last year in an effort to be more inclusive and to diversify its participants, sponsorship, and volunteers,” said Eastburn in an email.
“In addition to being a less polarizing name for the event, the rebranding of the SlutWalk into The March to End Rape Culture also helps in broadening the scope of issues that are addressed in relation to rape culture beyond just focusing on victim blaming and slut shaming.”
Rape culture, according the event’s Facebook page, is a term used to describe a culture in which sexual violence is accepted as a part of everyday life. Many different aspects of society contribute to rape culture — including victim blaming, rape jokes, transphobia, slut shaming, keeping survivors in silence, racism, the use of bodies as sexual objects, the sexualization of violence, lack of education around consent, intimate partner violence, homophobia, and sexist media messages.
The first SlutWalk Philadelphia was August 6, 2011, and was to changed to the March to End Rape Culture in 2013. Sponsors of this year’s event include Pussy Division, Hollaback Philly, Project SAFE, Factory Girls, PAVE Philly, Permanent Wave, Take Back the Night and Fireball Printing.
“[The March] is truly a healing and supportive place for survivors of sexual abuse/assault. It is also a great way to raise awareness and get new people involved in the fight,” said Eastburn about why she got involved in the march.
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The march is gathering at Thomas Paine Plaza at 1401 JFK Blvd at 11 a.m. on Saturday 27. Thomas Paine Plaza is located next to City Hall and across the street from Love Park. The march starts moving at noon sharp.
“Showing up on Saturday, September 27th and participating with other members of our local community to fight rape culture and liberate ourselves from its’ tight grasp on humanity is the only way that the message will continue to spread and gain momentum,” said Eastburn. “We all deserve to live in a world without fear of sexual assault.”
Find out more about the event on the March to End Rape Culture Facebook Event.-30-
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