Students gathered in the Cistern Yard, making signs out of poster board and their own bodies as they prepared for the College of
Charleston’s first “SlutWalk.” Phrases like “It’s a dress, not a yes” and “My tits, my choice” were written above bras and across cardboard as participants waited for the walk to commence. The “SlutWalk” was a protest against rape culture, particularly the double standards against female appearance and victim blaming.
Corazon Steglin stood with the three other organizers on the Cistern as she explained the rules of the walk. Outside of basic safety, the most important thing she stressed was feeling comfortable, regardless of what participants decided to wear. Many students opted to wear normal clothing and used signs to speak for them, while others chose to wear lingerie to communicate the message.
“One of the purposes of the SlutWalk is to make people comfortable in their own skin,” Steglin said. “What matters is your comfort and safety.”
Student Kristy Abd-El-Malak decided to join in after overhearing a conversation about the event between classes, and seeing how her
opinions were strongly supported by the cause.
“Women have the right to decide what happens to their body,” Abd-El-Malak said. “Not society, not culture, not media, no one else except the actual woman.”
Walkers started and ended at the Cistern Yard, with three public safety officers escorting them the entire time. Victim Services and People Against Rape were there to offer support and counseling in case anybody was triggered during the event. Afterward, there was a poetry reading featuring local poets reading original works.