Written messages of protest flooded the intersection of 1st and Hill streets in downtown Los Angeles on Saturday morning. Signs that read “I was never asking for it,” and “Still not asking for it” expressed the positions and feelings of the marchgoers who attended the SlutWalk.
The statements were handwritten on large colorful signs, displaying the thoughts and feelings of hundreds of advocates fighting against “sexual injustice, victim blaming, derogatory labeling, and gender inequality,” according to the 2018 Amber Rose SlutWalk website.
The 2018 Amber Rose SlutWalk took place Oct. 6, simultaneously as Judge Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Signs against Kavanaugh were spotted around the crowds, showing opposition toward the decision, including one that read, “A predator on the Supreme Court. So this what we doing now?”
One supporter had “Stop raising Brock Turners to be like future Brett Kavanaughs,” written in black marker on their back.
Berali Carrillo, a SlutWalk participant and Cal State University, Northridge graduate student, said the march is an opportunity for women to still have a voice despite what happened in the Supreme Court.
“Even though this is taking place, and our government is kind of turning their backs on us, we can still come together and show our strength as women and do something together to show that we’re not weak and this isn’t going to change or stop us from speaking out,” Carrillo said.
Kavanaugh received the confirmation vote after facing sexual misconduct accusations before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Rose announced the confirmation of Kavanaugh as a part of her speech to the marchers.
“My team said we should have a moment of silence, and I say (no). This is a day to celebrate women,” Rose said. “Instead of sitting here in silence, we’re going to celebrate these women that came forward.”
Rose said the women are heroes and noted the women that came out against Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein.
According to its website, the Amber Rose SlutWalk is a march and festival that “plays a monumental role in the movement towards gender equality.”
The initial movement started before Rose’s event and was the response to a 2011 incident where a Toronto police officer told a crowd of college women that if they wanted to avoid sexual assault, they “shouldn’t dress like sluts,” according to the SlutWalk’s website.
After the incident, organizers campaigned and created marches against the Toronto police officer and other individuals who shared what the organizers considered to be a victim-blaming mentality. They showed up in more than 200 cities across the world (including 70 in the United States), according to the Journal of Feminist Scholarship.
Rose said in an interview with Bustle she started her own event four years ago to continue the movement.
“I usually cry a lot at SlutWalk because I see a lot of survivors out there and thank you for speaking up. Thank you for helping other women speak up against the sexual predators that are out there,” Rose said in her speech.
SlutWalk participant Eden Bethune said that although marching is important, voting and donating to campaigns are ultimately what makes a difference, and that the confirmation came as a result of women not being represented equally in government.
“This Brett Kavanaugh (vote) has me so upset because he will be a Supreme Court justice for the rest of my life. It really upsets me,” Bethune said, holding back tears. “My daughters are 25 years old. For their entire adult lives, Brett Kavanaugh will be a Supreme Court justice.”