Who speaks for Slutwalk NYC?

My experience helping out with SlutWalk NYC has been incredible and uplifting. While I haven’t been able to be as involved with organizing efforts because of my schedule, I’ve had the pleasure of attending several meetings and helping out where I can, and I’ve been very inspired by the enthusiasm, innovation, and resourcefulness that has characterized the largely grassroots movement.

I’ve watched a group of well-intentioned and fired-up rookies morph into a team of strategic, inclusive, and efficient organizers (still well-intentioned and fired-up!).

Unfortunately, the mainstream media has often seemed more interested in talking about SlutWalk — what it means, what it stands for, what it’s doing right, and what it’s doing wrong — than it has in talking to or with it. On the topic of SlutWalk, I’ve seen the voices of almost everyone BUT actual SlutWalk organizers featured. Op-ed’s, editorials, and long features describing and often critiquing the movement have been published and almost immediately risen to the top of the “Most viewed” list without as much as a quote from a real live organizer. Which is funny, because we have a whole media team that’s been working really hard to place opinions and get mentions for our event. As Melissa Marturano, a SlutWalk NYC organizer who has been active with the media team, told me “I don’t think we have been represented very much at all and therefore, not very accurately.” Could it be that, once again, the media would rather pontificate about young women’s activism and sexuality than let them speak on it for themselves?

All this sets the stage for the importance of the video below, made by filmmaker Rachel Steele with post production help from Cameron Shaharay. The video quite literally gives voice to NYC SlutWalkers, featuring their personal views on SlutWalk specifically and feminism in general, “from the horse’s mouth,” as they say. I’m damn proud to be briefly featured in it, along with a ton of fellow organizers who I’ve been thrilled to come to know and respect over the past few months. Peep the video below. And if you’re going to be anywhere near New York City on October 1st, be sure to come out for the walk itself!!

Music by Le Tigre, Sleater-Kinney, and MEN.
We are working on getting a transcript and multiple translations, so please be patient and let me know in comments if you can help. Thanks!

Brooklyn, NY

Lori Adelman is a writer and advocate focusing on race, gender, and sexual and reproductive rights. In addition to her work at Feministing, Lori is an Associate Director at Planned Parenthood Global. Lori has previously worked at the United Nations Foundation, the International Women’s Health Coalition, and Human Rights Watch, and has written for a host of print and digital properties including Rookie Magazine, The Grio, and the New York Times Magazine. She regularly appears on radio and television, and has spoken at college campuses across the U.S. about topics like the politics of black hair, transnational movement building, and the undercover feminism of Nicki Minaj. In 2014, she was named to The Root 100 list of the nation's most influential African Americans, and to the Forbes Magazine list of the "30 Under 30" successful people in media.

Lori Adelman is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Partnerships.

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