Right sign: Consent is sexy
Wood does not equal should
Marching up Colfax in Denver, CO
So, as you can see, there were many different people with many different awesome messages. I took many, many pictures while at the event, so these are just some of them. And, just to note, I received consent from each person to take her/his picture. Consent is sexy, right? Right!
Between the two marches that were held, keynote speaker Pamela White spoke. Pamela has worked as a columnist & journalist for 19 years and was the first woman editor of 2 different Colorado newspapers and has largely focused on covering women’s issues, including sexual assault, intimate partner violence and women in prison. In 2010, White wrote Senate Bill 193, which became law on Jan. 1 of this year and which bans the use of shackles on inmates during labor and childbirth. White is the recipient of numerous state and national journalism awards, including the National Journalism Award for Public Service, the First Amendment Award, and the 2011 Keeper of the Flame Lifetime Achievement Award from Colorado SPJ for her body of work. She is a multi-published novelist and the single mother of two grown sons. Her talk was inspiring, honest, and empowering. She ended her keynote address with the following tips (which accurately place blame in the right place):
!!! Sexual Assault Prevention Tips Guaranteed to Work !!!
1. Don’t put drugs in women’s drinks.
2. When you see a woman walking by herself, leave her alone.
3. If you pull over to help a woman whose car has broken down, remember not to rape her.
4. If you are in a lift and a woman gets in, don’t rape her.
5. When you encounter a woman who is asleep, the safest course of action is to not rape her.
6. Never creep into a woman’s home through an unlocked door or window, or spring out at her from between parked cars, or rape her.
7. When you lurk in bushes and doorways with criminal intentions, always wear bright clothing, wave a flashlight, or play “Boys Who Rape (Should All Be Destroyed)” by the Raveonettes on a boombox really loud, so women in the vicinity will know where to aim their flamethrowers.
8. USE THE BUDDY SYSTEM! If it is inconvenient for you to stop yourself from raping women, ask a trusted friend to accompany you at all times.
9. Carry a rape whistle. If you find that you are about to rape a woman, you can hand the whistle to your buddy, so s/he can blow it to call for help.
10. Give your buddy a revolver, so that when indifferent passers-by either ignore the rape whistle, or gather round to enjoy the spectacle, s/he can pistol-whip you.
11. Don’t forget: Honesty is the best policy. When asking a woman out on a date, don’t pretend that you are interested in her as a person; tell her straight up that you expect to be raping her later. If you don’t communicate your intentions, the woman may take it as a sign that you do not plan to rape her.
So, the moral of the story is that the best way to prevent rape is to not rape anyone. And, if rape or sexual assault in any form occurs, it is never the victim's fault. We must stop victim blaming and excusing behavior.