Lauren Bana, Contributing Writer
This past Wednesday, I had the amazing opportunity to join the National Organization for Women at Modesto Maidique Campus at the first ever Miami SlutWalk.
There was an amazing turnout, and I couldn’t believe how many strong women and men came out to spread awareness of rape culture in our community.
As we waited for the walk to begin, people were preparing signs, sharing ideas and discussing opinions.
“SlutWalk is one of many calls to action to put an end to victim blaming,” said sophomore Anamaria Zambrano. “The victim is not at fault for rape. The rapist is.”
I felt so proud to be a woman. Walking with other women, who passionately spoke their minds.
So many people were utilizing their right to protest. And all to confidently speak out against the epidemic of rape culture.
I had a chance to interview Gabriela Bonilla, a member of NOW, to discuss the overall success of the SlutWalk, and ask how she felt this would impact the people of Miami as it opens its new chapter here.
She said that she was very pleased with how many people arrived to support victims of sexual abuse, and that she was “happy to see this movement reach people outside the FIU community, and had supporters from all different ages groups, especially happy to see so many men show up.”
I was also surprised to see so many men coming out to, both, represent men who have been sexually abused, and to support their female friends. I think that this alone really shows the potential that Miami has to stand up for victims of sexual assault.
When I asked Bonilla what her stance was on how an event like this would affect Miami locals, she stated that it was an empowering experience to be a part of, and that she hopes for it to affect the people who witnessed it, and people who just heard about it.
I could tell that she was very passionate about this, and she really invoked a fiery spirit inside of me to continue to argue against people who will ignorantly combat against this issue.
Though the turnout was impressive, Bonilla did have a few concerns about the accomplishments of the event and whether or not it got enough attention.
“[It] could have reached a larger audience in our education initiative,” she said. “I still feel like there are a lot of students, and people of the community, who don’t understand the meaning behind the movement.”
During the walk Bonilla also voiced her opinion about the word ‘slut’ and what she believes is the meaning behind it.
“[It’s] not conducive for an environment free of sexual violence. The language we use to describe women is just another way in which we facilitate violence against women,” she said.
“It’s time Miami becomes intolerant to all forms sexual violence,” she said, and I couldn’t agree more.