Courtesy of Andre S. Belcher-El
Courtesy of Sharnell BBiscuit
Like in media texts many of these images have different layers of meanings and thus one "cannot take texts at face- value" ( Gamson 1992: 381). The point of many of the images relating to SlutWalk is first to either make the audience laugh or feel shock, and then reflect on the implications of such an image. The implications are not just about the values of the movement, but what this means about society. The first image I give as an example very much embodies the message of SlutWalk, in this case it says 'lets have crazy sex, but only if we both consent first'. Yet this still warns against rape or at least the attempt or threat of rape. The second image is one rejecting victim blaming, and the speaks to how we treat women after an assault based on their appearance and history. SlutWalk uses its Facebook group to share these images, as I will discuss in a later post.
These types of images help to further the message of SlutWalk in many important ways. To begin with, they have the ability to reach people in a deeper way than just hearing or reading about SlutWalk, or any other cause for that matter. It is said a picture is worth a thousand words, so by circulating photos such as the one above those who wish to raise awareness and prevent sexual assault can reach people in a way speeches never will. It also allows those observing SlutWalk to stop and think about what they are seeing, much the way signs do in protest.
For more information:
Gamson, William A. and, David Croteau, William Hoynes and Theodore Sasson
1992. Media Images and the Social Construction of Reality. Annual Review of Sociology. 18.