Today, the Amber Rose SlutWalk marched through Pershing Square in Downtown Los Angeles. Crowds gathered to support the 31-year-old author/model/actress/designer/activist and her cause: A movement against sexual injustice, victim blaming, derogatory labeling and gender inequality. In addition to the march, there were panels about reproductive justice, trans rights, women of color and reproductive rights.
Amber Rose told Fusion:
When you're sexy you get slut-shamed. When you’re heavy you get slut-shamed. When you’re extremely skinny you get slut-shamed. When you’re transgender you get slut-shamed, because there’s always an excuse. My best friend Priscilla is a big girl and she always—now she calls herself a fat slut, I love that—it’s always a thing, heavier girls are more sluttier because they have sex in order to keep a man. If you [have] a sexy body you’re alluring and inviting men to come in. If you’re skinny then you overcompensate. If you’re transgender you’re automatically a prostitute. It’s the world we live in, and that’s why I’m having the SlutWalk to bring awareness to all that, because it’s all not fucking true.
She also said that politically, she supports Hillary Clinton; if she won, "It would bring awareness to the world that women can actually get things done, just like men can."
Below, some of the attendees we met at the SlutWalk:
Sesen, 22, Los Angeles
I came here to stick with my girls, girl power! Fuck boys.
I just really want girls to live in their truths without thinking twice. If I do XYZ, people are going to call me XYZ, you know what I mean? We should be able to do what guys do without feeling ashamed of it.
Robin, 20 Los Angeles
What brought me here today? Women. The love for women, it’s not anti anything, it’s just just pro choice, pro me.
I plan on being here all day. I got here at 9:30am and we have parking until 8pm.
Raymond, 22, born and raised in Los Angeles
I came for gender equality.
Natalia, 27, Los Angeles
I'm a woman hear me roar.
I came here for the opportunity to stand for women amongst women.
Anny, 22, San Fernando Valley
I came to the SlutWalk because I'm a domestic abuse survivor, twice, and I thought it was important to support this cause.
Shantel, 27, San Diego
I've been here since 10 a.m. I came all the way from San Diego to support the sluts and to raise awareness and support your fellow females and males.
Jefflyne, 22, Los Angeles
I came here to raise awareness and because of Amber Rose. I don't think it's fair how women are told how dress and how their bodies are policed.
Natalie, 26 left, Karina, 28; Highland Park
Natalie: I learned about the SlutWalk on social media. I love Amber Rose, I love the message and I love the message of no shame. We are free.
Adrian, 30, Los Angeles
I'm tired of women being blamed for sexual assault. It's a man's responsibility not rape people and we need to shift the conversation towards that direction.
It's all connected, police have power over bodies, and we also live in a culture where men have power over women's bodies. It's really about people having control over their bodies.
Jessica, 30, Los Angeles
I wanted people to think about other issues that are more important for people to focus on, instead of people's appearance or clothing.
Cory, 31, Los Angeles
People forget that women with disabilities are also called sluts. We have to be part of this conversation because we're always erased from the community.
People assume that because someone is in a wheel chair or they have an invisible disability they don't have sex or don't have men cat calling. It's ridiculous what men think they can do just because we're disabled.
Crystal, Norwalk, California
I came to the event today because of Amber Rose and her cause. This event is important because it builds awareness.
Amiiri, 24; Megan, 23; Triniti, 22
We wanted to come out and empower other women, to see other women feeling empowered and vibe off everyone's energy, creativity and expression.
Samantha, 24 (right); Lelle, 24 (left), Portland, Oregon
Lelle: I'm tired of the double standards, embrace your sexuality.
Samantha: I was a rape victim in college. I was ashamed of it for a long time because I was told it was because of what I wore and because I was drinking. But it's been three years now and I finally realized that it's not about what I wore. It was about the men and the way that they perceived me. I'm here for every person that dealt with what I dealth with.
Amber Rose, 31, Philadelphia
I was called a ho at the age of 14. I was still a virgin, I had just started making out with boys and we [played] 7 Minutes in Heaven. I was in a closet with a boy and our friends would be outside of the closet snickering. I was kissing this boy and he told me to get on my knees, and I was like why, and he said, "Just get down, I want to show you something." I get on my knees and he opens the door. All my friends and his friends are out there… And he had his penis out. I swear I remember it like it was yesterday. I had no idea what was going on. I looked at my friends and they were all like "Oh my God’ and I’m like whaaats going on? I was so oblivious. I didn’t understand.
Then I went to school and I was the slut, completely. I remember going home and crying and thinking, this is so unfair, I didn’t even do anything wrong. I wanted to switch schools, it was such a horrible moment for me. But now I call myself a slut and it’s very empowering. When I go to Starbucks I tell them to put "Slut" on my coffee. I’ll twerk in an Uber and hashtag it "hoes be winning." I just embrace it. I can tell people till I’m blue in the face who I am and they will not believe me. So I have to live my life for me. If you don’t like it, then don’t follow me.
Photography by Jorge Rivas.