Thanks, Karen, you’re pretty dope yourself <3
I’m glad you’re feeling ready, and I’ll be right there with you.
This is a tricky question for me because I never want to be telling people that it’s their responsibility to keep themselves from being assaulted. That having been said, I have experienced some very discomfiting interactions around my toplessness both with people participating in and “spectating” the march. So I think it is important for us to strategize about protecting ourselves and each other while making our opposition to rape culture very, very clear.
I don’t have a whole lot of answers on this, and I’d love to hear from any followers who have suggestions.
Some things that have made me feel safe or would have made me feel safe at previous dyke marches:
- Taking pictures of creepers who take pictures of us: there will be sketchy straight cis dudes taking pictures of topless dykes at the march, this is an unfortunate fact of the culture we live in. I really appreciate when people take pictures of those people because it helps us let them know that they can’t do it with impunity; they are not anonymous—we know who they are, and we are watching them back.
- Standing up for your friends: when someone at last year’s dyke march sexualized and touched my body without my permission, I was so stunned, that I could only laugh nervously. If you can, call out people you see doing this, that way it won’t go unchecked in our communities.
- Shout about it: This can mean making sure that some of your chants are against rape culture, but it can also mean making noise if you see something that’s not ok. I always want to believe that if someone is being assaulted at dyke march, they can call to the dykes around them, and people will respond with direct swiftness and fury. I’ve never had occasion to see whether my faith in people is warranted, and I’m sure it’s not for lack of need. Remind people why we take to the streets without a permit in the first place. We’re trying to shake shit up, and if we’re just perpetuating and creating permission for the same stuff, we might as well not march.