Daily, uninvited cat calls. Being told what to do with your body. Victim-blaming. Mansplaining. For these reasons and for so many others, women deserve to be mad right now. But it's not enough to just be mad; volunteer, protest, make your voice heard — don't stop. The Amber Rose SlutWalk is a great place to start: The event, which will take place on Saturday, Oct. 6, is a one-day festival that's all about self-expression, unity, shedding stereotypes, and supporting one another — and, honestly, there's no better time than now for women to stand up and be there for each other.
For the fourth year in a row, Rose is leading the Amber Rose SlutWalk in Los Angeles, California, and this time around, she's partnered with Fashion Nova to make the event free for general admission. The nonprofit event's goal, according to its mission statement, is to impact and uplift women of all races, genders, and ethnicities, "while shifting the paradigm of rape culture." The SlutWalk will start with the actual march, then it will transition into a day-long festival full of fun, important feminist activities, all of which will take place in an incredibly supportive community. And, quite frankly, the power of community and connection is especially needed during this bleak, misogynistic time we're currently living in.
With less than 40 days until the midterm elections, Rose tells Elite Daily in an exclusive interview that she recognizes the importance for her, as a woman with a platform, to use her voice and speak out about injustices that affect so many: If you know the feeling of being told your clothing determines your level of consent, if you've ever suffered from mental or emotional abuse, or even if you simply stand with and believe women when they come forward about sexual assault, Rose's platform is speaking directly to you.
Rose is quite active on social media when it comes to many of these issues, and she tells me the SlutWalk is all about taking her activism off-screen and onto the streets to create a strong, secure, and strikingly loud real-life community. "[The festival] is a safe place where you can tell your story amongst women from all walks of life. You can talk to anyone about anything you've lived through because they'll understand," Rose explains.
The SlutWalk is a place to come to no longer feel alone, says Rose. "Sometimes when you go through trauma, you feel like you're the only one, and no one will understand," she tells Elite Daily, "but the SlutWalk provides [this]: No matter where you're from or what gender you identify with, there's someone there for you."
To that point, the 34-year-old activist says there will be counseling professionals at the SlutWalk for attendees to come up to and talk with. These experts, who come from Los Angeles Family Therapy — a team of multiple types of therapists trained in various specializations, including women's issues, depression, and recovery, among others — will be there to offer and explain the services they can provide offsite (the organization will give you the opportunity to sign up for further outreach from one of the counselors, if you're interested), and they'll act as a support system for SlutWalk attendees the day of the event.
Additionally, Los Angeles Family Therapy will have a booth set up at the SlutWalk called “SHARE YOUR STORY,” which will invite attendees to come stand in front of a mirror displaying all kinds of derogatory labels, and speak positive affirmations to themselves as a way of combating such hateful rhetoric.
According to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN), in the U.S., one out of every six women, one in every 33 men, and 21 percent of transgender/genderqueer/nonbinary people has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape. Every 98 seconds, as per RAINN, an American is sexually assaulted. There are too many of these stories, not to mention so many more from people who still don't feel safe talking about their experiences. But the SlutWalk, Rose tells me, provides a comfortable, all-inclusive space to educate and empower people from all walks of life.
Rose also describes the 2018 SlutWalk as an opportunity for people to gather, to learn something, to get loud, and to get active. She's even partnered with the Hip Hop Caucus' Respect My Vote! campaign, and voter registration booths will be set up at the SlutWalk so you can guarantee your voice is heard in the upcoming election on Nov. 6.
At the event, Rose tells Elite Daily, you'll also have access to things like free breast cancer screenings, HIV testing, and tons of other educational, empowering opportunities. You can also enter contests and giveaways at the SlutWalk, make memories in the photobooths with old and new friends alike, dance your heart out during live musical performances, and so much more.
While the SlutWalk provides a wide variety of important and educational opportunities, Rose tells me the work doesn't stop at this one-day festival. "Throughout the year I speak at colleges. I talk to the younger generations, I talk to the older generations, I have conversations with people randomly throughout the day," Rose tells Elite Daily. "I live in Los Angeles, which is where the SlutWalk is, so a lot of people come up to me daily when I'm out and about — I give them my time, we converse, we continue to spread the awareness."
Rose tells me that a lot of the women who approach her express feelings of loneliness; she says many of them feel like they're alone in the traumatic experiences they've had. And while there aren't always clear-cut answers for how to cope with such trauma, "[these women do know] that they don't want to feel like this anymore," Rose tells Elite Daily — and that's why she does this work, she adds: so that survivors can feel heard, supported, and more confident in using their voices.
"There's always a lot more work to do," Rose says. "But that's why I don't stop working."
If you’ve experienced sexual assault, you’re not alone. To speak with someone who is trained to help, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800.656.HOPE (4673) or chat online at online.rainn.org.