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Brazil: “SlutWalk” Throughout the Country in Images

This post is part of our special coverage Global Development 2011 and SlutWalks 2011.

Two hundred women and men have marched through the streets of several cities of Brazil on June's Saturdays to put an end to exploitation of the female body as an object and the culpability of women for being sexually assaulted.

Holding banners, posters and catch up slogans, they rocked São Paulo on June 4, Recife on June 11, Belo Horizonte and Brasília, the Federal Capital, received the feminists last Saturday, June 18, and made society think a little about gender oppression. In this article we share the best moments in images by brazilian citizens.

[All links in this post lead to Portuguese language pages.]

"SlutWalk" in Recife. Photo by Adalberto Rodrigues (@Rodriigues_jr) on Twitpic

"SlutWalk" in Recife. Photo by Adalberto Rodrigues (@Rodriigues_jr) on Twitpic

The initiative was inspired by the “SlutWalk”, that began in April in Canada, after a policeman declared that women should stop dressing themselves like sluts to avoid being victims of rape. The statement caused an outrage and a huge movement on the Internet, which started in early April with the protest in Toronto and has happened in more than 20 North American and Australian cities until now.

On June 4 it also occurred in Los Angeles, Chicago, Edmonton, Estocolmo, Amsterdam, Edinburg, and the first one in Brazil was in São Paulo.

Protesters holding posters.At least 200 people attended the SlutWalk in São Paulo, inspired by a protest in Canada in April with women fighting against violence and for the right to use the kind of clothes they want. Picture by Andre M. Chang, copyright Demotix (4/6/2011

Protesters holding posters. At least 200 people attended the SlutWalk in São Paulo, inspired by a protest in Canada in April with women fighting against violence and for the right to use the kind of clothes they want. Picture by Andre M. Chang, copyright Demotix (4/6/2011)

The calls to march were made on Facebook. In Sao Paulo, though 6000 people confirmed they were going to attend the event on the social network, the real number of participants was around 300. Concerning Recife's March, Jesus Toic, one of the creators of the event on Facebook, wrote:

A Marcha das Vadias Recife reuniu cerca de 400 pessoas interessadas em expressar sua indignação contra o histórico controle machista sobre o corpo das mulheres. Frases que culpabilizam as mulheres, e não os estupradores, advinda de um imaginário doentio, foram rechaçadas com inteligência lúdica.

The Recife SlutWalk gathered around 400 people who wanted to express their outrage against the historic male control over women's bodies. Phrases that blame the women, and not the rapists, arising from a diseased imagination, were repulsed with playful intelligence.
Rape is not a joke, it is violence. SlutWalk Brasilia 2011. Photo by rogeriotomazjr on Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Rape is not a joke, it is violence. SlutWalk Brasilia 2011. Photo by rogeriotomazjr on Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

The comments of the comedian Rafinha Bastos were remembered by the protesters, who ended up the walk in front of his Comedian Club and put banners on the doors. Rafinha, from the Brazilian CQC, created a controversy when he said in Rolling Stone magazine that ugly women should be thankful for being raped.

Thank you for letting us exposed to cruelty -   SlutWalk São Paulo. Picture by Leandro Pena on Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Thank you for letting us be exposed to cruelty – SlutWalk São Paulo. Picture by Leandro Pena on Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Another member from CQC was remembered. The actor and journalist Marcelo Tas was booed for attacking Lola Aronovich, one of the most famous feminist bloggers of the country, when she published a text where she criticizes a report made in his program about the #mamaço (#breastfeeding) in São Paulo.

Tas and his colleagues satirized the attitude where mothers were breastfeeding in public saying they should cover their breasts. The women were protesting because a mother was prevented from breastfeeding in a bank.

Marcha das Vadias, Sao Paulo. Foto de Marcel Maia no Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

SlutWalk, Sao Paulo. Picture by Marcel Maia in Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

In reaction to the first Brazilian SlutWalk, Lola Aronovich, said:

(…) a sexualidade de uma mulher é dela, não é pública, não é do homem ou da sociedade, e que deve ser respeitada. Respeitada de todas as formas, desde não ser julgada (sim, queremos a mesma liberdade sexual a que os homens têm direito) a não ser invadida, seja através de estupros, seja através de “passar a mão” (que, assim como as grosserias verbais na rua, funcionam como uma espécie de terrorismo sexual).

(…) a woman's sexuality is hers, it's not public, it does not belong to men or society, and must be respected. Respected in all ways, from not being judged (yes, we want the same sexual freedom that men have) to not being invaded through rapes or a “hand over” (that like much verbal rudeness on the streets works like sexual terrorism).
Bingo #Slutwalk: Make your bets! Examples of verbal rudeness towards women. Image by @slutwalkbr shared on Twitpic by @umadeboravieira

Bingo #Slutwalk: Make your bets! Examples of verbal rudeness towards women. Image by @slutwalkbr shared on Twitpic by @umadeboravieira

On Twitter, the hashtags #MarchaDasVadias and #MarchaDasVagabundas were widely shared and user @slutwalkbr spread awareness and updates on the events.

If the body is from the woman, she gives it whom she wants to. SlutWalk Brasilia. Photo by @josipaz on Twitpic.

If the body is from the woman, she gives it to whom she wants. SlutWalk Brasilia. Photo by @josipaz on Twitpic.

The Federal Deputy from the Workers Party, Erika Kokay(@ErikaKokay), on June 11, called:

Chega de sermos culpadas pela violencia que sofremos! Estarei na marcha das vadias.Vamos todas! #marchadasvadias

Enough of being blamed for the violence we suffer! I will be on the SlutWalk. Let's go, all of us!

The reasons of the Brazilians are the same as other women around the world: respect. The blogger Lia Padilha wrote about it:

Nós brasileiras nos deparamos cotidianamente com o controle da sexualidade feminina. A concepção conservadora-religiosa é repressora e dita que a mulher deve esconder o corpo ante a sociedade e se resguardar para o marido. Por outro lado, a voracidade do capitalismo tem interesse pelo corpo feminino descoberto, e nesse caso expõe, banaliza, explora e agride a sexualidade feminina.

We brazilians are faced everyday with the control of female sexuality. The religious-conservative conception is repressive and tells women that they should hide their bodies from society and save themselves for their husbands. On other hand, the voracity of capitalism has interest in the naked female body all, and in this case, exposes, trivializes and violates female sexuality and attacks.

This post is part of our special coverage Global Development 2011 and SlutWalks 2011.

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