Approximately 11,000 people attended Iceland’s fourth annual SlutWalk last Saturday. Reykjavík, which has been experiencing one of its darkest summers on record, was blessed with sunshine and warm weather for the duration of the walk, visir.is reports.
This year the walk’s slogan was “put the shame where it belongs,” that is with the perpetrators of sexual violence and not with its victims.
The walk began on top of Skólavörðuholt at Hallgrímskirkja and ended at Austurvöllur where several people gave speeches and a concert was held.
The opening speaker was María Lilja Þrastardóttir, pioneer of the walk in Iceland, who said that “for [her] being a slut is to be a woman who does not follow the rules of the patriarchy.”
She was followed by MP for the Bright Future party, Björt Ólafsdóttir, who proclaimed “I’m proud to be a slut,” referencing María Lilja’s earlier comment. She also used the occasion to announce that when parliament convenes in the fall a parliamentary resolution supported by a coalition crossing all party lines, and which addresses the systemic issues sexual assault victims are faced with, would be proposed.
Embla Guðrúnar Ágústsdóttir, editor of the webzine Tabú, spoke of how pervasive sexual violence against disabled women is, stating that “it’s much more rare to not to be the victim of sexual violence if you are a disabled woman.” This was in reference to statistics which claim that 75 percent of disabled women are abused at some point in their life.
The last speaker was Cynthia Triliani of Women of Multicultural Ethnicity Network (W.O.M.E.N in Iceland), a support group for women of foreign origin living in Iceland. She spoke of prejudices against women of foreign ethnicities, particularly towards herself as an Asian woman. She described her experiences with men asking “how much it cost to spend time with her,” being turned away at night clubs by doormen claiming that they were “upholding the place’s good reputation” and being told to get a job as a masseuse before being about her experience or qualifications.
The walk then concluded with a concert, headed by the all-female rap group Reykjavíkurdætur, or ‘Daughters of Reykjavík.’ The group had been commissioned to write a song for the occasion, which they entitled D.R.U.S.L.A. or ‘S.L.U.T.’
The video to the song was released last week and is available on YouTube.