I present to you: the first crop of Speak Up! participants.
I don’t quite have the words to describe Speak Up, except to say that it was seriously amazing, and I am so glad that I put in the (heaps of) time to make it happen.
I need some time to put my thoughts together, but I thought I’d put up a quick post to say that we survived and it was fantastic. I also want to do a big shout out to the people who made the workshop possible, especially the Sex Blogger Calendar ladies, the Harm Reduction Coalition (our host for the day), and XES Lounge, where our cocktail hour(s) took place.
More after I’m back on track!
**Update** – I’m going to post links to some of the participants’ blog posts about the training as they put them up.
Here is a slice of what Miss Calico had to say. Read her full post here.
The toughest part for me was when we ran mock interviews with an antagonistic â€œreporterâ€. I didnâ€™t do so well. My mood nosedived as I pushed back against questions like â€œWhy do you think women feel the need to prostitute themselves like this on Craigslist?â€ There was palpable frustration as we slumped back in our seats to review the videos. After a morning of pre-interview prep, I wasnâ€™t feeling particularly â€œempoweredâ€ â€” more like â€œdespondentâ€.
â€œDid anyone interrupt the reporter, or ask her a question?â€ Audacia asked. Holy shit. One woman had, and while we listened to her tape, I grew increasingly excited. I had been fending off the â€œreporterâ€â€™s rude and prying inquiries about whether I was a prostitute (Iâ€™m not, at least for these purposes, and neither was the victim), how much money I made (Iâ€™m not a prostitute!), how I would screen my clients (Donâ€™t you see, itâ€™s not about watching our drinks and the length of our skirts, itâ€™s about men not killing women!).
And Iâ€™d been waiting those endless three minutes for my reporter to ask the question, waiting for the one that would let me tell her everything I thought about this womanâ€™s death and the insulting tragedy of the media coverage: waiting for permission. But this was a conversation. Conversations went two ways. I could ask her questions, instead of just defending myself! I donâ€™t need anyoneâ€™s permission to speak, any more than I need to answer them when they ask. Oh my God, I could have vibrated right out of my seat.