Organizers of annual UA SlutWalk plan block party on the Mall

Instead of walking, event to support women will feature give-aways and community involvement.

Christa Freer, El Inde Arizona
SlutWalk is a celebratory space where attendees can express themselves freely and support one another in the fight against rape culture. Photo courtesy of @force_ua on Instagram.

In January 2011, a Toronto police constable was giving a presentation on personal safety at York University when he said something he couldn’t take back: “I’ve been told I’m not supposed to say this – however, women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized.” 

This spur-of-the-moment comment sparked a revolution known around the world as Slutwalk. What started as a march protesting victim-blaming and sexism has grown into a celebration of bodily autonomy, sexual agency, intersectionality and reproductive rights. 

The University of Arizona’s intersectional feminist student group FORCE (Feminists Organized to Resist, Create and Empower) continues the tradition annually. This year’s Slutwalk will be from 5-8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 8, on the UA Mall.

“The Slutwalk happens every year, though with each new pair of co-directors it will look a little different because they get to instill their own perspective on what a Slutwalk entails,” said Audrie Ford, coordinator for the University’s Women and Gender Resource Center. 

This year’s co-directors, Nousha Aldhefery and Grace Harrington, are putting intersectionality and community at the forefront of the event. “We want it to be a creative, intentional space that celebrates queer and BIPOC people,” said Aldhefery. “Violence and sexual violence affects all genders, LGBTQ+ communities, sex workers, folks with disabilities and people of color.”

Ten community and campus groups will be showing their support for this year’s SlutWalk. Many of them will be giving away free merch and resources, such as the custom tote bags provided by FORCE pictured here. Photo courtesy of @force_ua on Instagram.

Slutwalk this year will not be an actual walk, as Aldhefery and Harrington wanted it to be accessible for all. Instead it will be something like a block party – there will be Slutwalk tote bags and other merchandise given out on a first come, first served basis; booths from community groups and other UA clubs, such as Tucson Bail Fund, Survivor Advocacy, UA Planned Parenthood Generation Action and El Rio’s Reproductive Health Action Plan; and there will be an open mic opportunity for those willing to speak or perform (though marginalized voices will be elevated).

The theme of this year’s Slutwalk is slumber party, so attendees are encouraged to come dressed in pajamas, lingerie or whatever they’re most comfortable in, as well as to bring their own pillows and blankets. 

You can learn more about Slutwalk and sign up for the open mic on FORCE’s Instagram page (@force_ua).

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