Cristel speaking at Slutwalk London on behalf of Black Women’s Rape Action Project.
Caitlin’s poem from Slutwalk. More footage hopefully to come!
Slutwalk London has a YouTube channel! We’ve put up a trailer for an upcoming documentary about the day, and we’ll upload footage of the speeches soon, so keep your eyes peeled!
In the meantime, here’s an earlier recording of my (Caitlin’s) first poem. It’s not recited quite as well as on the day, but the words are the same!
When I see a man approach and I cast down my eyes
I’m not laying down a hand, I’m not looking for a prize
It’s just a force of habit, this avoiding the male glance
Cos it isn’t worth the trouble and it isn’t worth the chance
Of them thinking that you’re actively ‘giving them the eye’
And not simply acknowledging a fellow passerby
And no, I don’t know what they’re thinking but I know what men have THOUGHT
And I live by my experiences and the lessons I’ve been taught
In a society where one such glance could put me in great danger
I’d rather look down at the floor than smile at a stranger
And in this tragedy of modern times where every man’s a threat
And every woman on her own is clearly ‘asking for it’
I fight and fight and fucking FIGHT to keep my head held high
So if I’m not catching your glances I’ll be looking at the SKY
And I’ve seen the way things could be and I’ve seen the way things are
And there’s nothing nice or wholesome about murder, rape, or war
And there’s absolutely nothing fair about the lack of equal pay
Or the fact that thousands of women are assaulted EVERY DAY
And that’s what’s running through my mind as I walk down the street
So don’t judge me if I look away
And if our eyes SHOULD meet
Just ask yourself how you would feel before you turn to shout
If you were always half-afraid of men when you went out
And ask yourself how you would feel if every single day
When you went to your wardrobe or you walked a certain way
You had to wonder what a judge would say about your skirt
And whether if you wear those heels you’re asking to get hurt
And whether you should have a drink or stick with lemonade
Because you know how many women every minute are betrayed
By someone they thought they could trust, or who they have just met
And whether you can go outside and smoke a cigarette
Without dealing with the ‘banter’ from the usual drunk lout
And whether you’ll need the alarm in the handbag you brought out
And whether you should call a friend to walk the journey home
Because you know you’re vulnerable when you’re walking alone
So if you see me in the street don’t ask me for a smile
And don’t assume I dress for you or appreciate your vile
Assertion of ownership on a body that’s my own
When all I really want to do is make it safely home
Cos I’m already fighting to be here in the first place
Without having to worry about a smile upon my face
So don’t attempt to hit on me with chauvinistic bile
And before you comment on my shoes
TRY WALKING IN THEM FOR A MILE.
SlutWalk London 2012 - Saturday 22nd September 2012, meet 12.30pm at Top of Piccadilly (near Hyde Park Corner).
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SlutWalk London 2012!
Sheila Farmer's prosecution dropped
Photos: Tom Radenz and Claire Butler