Caption: Elena, Cyrene and Heather at the Rally
By Sam Navin
Enraged feminists and women’s rights advocates took over the streets of Brisbane’s CBD to raise awareness about the prevalent Rape culture.
Styled on the SlutWalk events, the rally was organized by a group of feminists who came together in support of one another, and to demand an end to sex-shaming and victim-blaming.
During her speech, Ms. Rachael Jacobs, a women’s rights campaigner and the 2013 Greens candidate for Brisbane, expressed her dismay that in our society the victims of rape are blamed more than the perpetrators.
“By addressing this issue, we might not be able to change the whole concept of rape, but we can change the culture by doing what we are doing,” Ms. Jacobs said.
The event, which was open to all genders, attracted around 100 people who marched through the streets of downtown Brisbane shouting “However we dress, wherever we go; Yes means Yes and No means No.”
Ms. Shannon Jay, a 3rd year law and criminology student from Griffith University, firmly believes that safety against sexual violence is a human right.
“I’m offended that someday, I’m going to work for a criminal justice system that supports sex offenders rather than the victims,” she expressed.
Mrs. Lena Marlene, a BA Double Major who also worked as a stripper for 15 years, confessed during her speech that in her profession she has seen all types of men and most men who frequented her place of work were men at their worst.
“I told my parents that I might go down fighting, but I will go down with lots of DNA under my hands,” Mrs. Marlene quoted.
Most men and women at the rally had a personal story to behind their decision to fight against the rape culture, and most people believed that rape culture is a disease that’s engrained deep in the fabric of our society.
Ms. Heather, a stripper, hopes that the rally caught people’s attention so they can realize that rape is a prevalent problem in our society, and hence make a stand against future perpetrators.
“I’ve been sexually assaulted before, therefore this is very personal for me. I can’t walk down the street without being endangered by some man whistling at me or saying ‘oy, nice tits’ so I want to be able to feel safe no matter how I look,” she said.