One of the lead organizers of SlutWalk Vancouver, SFU graduate student Katie Raso, surprised a crowd of hundreds outside the Vancouver Art Gallery by vividly demonstrating the point of today's march.
She began by acknowledging that there have been controversies about the protest, which is designed to draw attention to violence against women—and why women should not be assaulted based on what they wear.
Katie Raso shared why she organized SlutWalk Vancouver.
"My name is Katie," she declared. "I am a daughter, I am a sister, I am a girlfriend, I'm a neighbour and a colleague and a community organizer."
She said like the hundreds of people at the protest, she is a person of value who deserves to be respected.
"My body is my own," she told the crowd. "When I say 'Yes', it means yes. And when I say 'No', you better believe it means no."
Then she said she was going to show people something that might blow their mind. With that, she peeled off her pants, put on four-inch heels, and stood in front of the audience in a shiny black miniskirt.
"My name is still Katie Raso," she reminded everyone. "I am still a daughter. I am still a sister, a girlfriend, a colleague, a neighbour, and a community organizer. Like all of you gathered here today, those who could not be with us, and those who have yet to join us, I am still a person of value. And I still deserve respect. When I say 'Yes', it still means yes. And when I say 'No', you better believe it still means no."
She concluded her speech by saying: "My body is still my own. It's just four inches taller."
Then she asked people to spread the message that just because she's showing it doesn't mean she's sharing it.
"The length of my skirt does not change my worth."
Follow Charlie Smith on Twitter at twitter.com/csmithstraight.