“…To recognize the Woodhull Freedom Foundation (Woodhull Sexual Freedom Alliance) for its generous and valued contributions to the recognition of sexual freedom as a fundamental human right, and to declare September 23, 2010, as “Sexual Freedom Day”… RESOLVED, BY THE COUNCIL OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, That this resolution may be cited as the “Sexual Freedom Day Declaration Resolution of 2010.”
Another Sexual Freedom Day is upon us, and this year it is perhaps more important than ever to increase our advocacy efforts for sexual and human rights. Over the past year, some of our worst fears about the impact of the current administration have come true. While racism, homophobia, anti-semitism, transphobia, classism, police brutality, and white supremacy are nothing new to the United States, we now have a President who excuses and creates space for these forms of oppression.
Sexual Freedom Day occurs on our namesake, Victoria Woodhull’s birthday. And while a birthday – and this day – was intended to celebrate our fundamental right to sexual freedom, this year we must also focus on the challenges that lie ahead. We are faced with an administration that seeks to roll back protections and rights for too many of us and a society where sexual violence is still far too common. While sexual violence has fallen 63% since 1993, another American is still sexually assaulted every 98 seconds. There is still a long way to go to create a future where everyone has the freedom to feel safe from sexual violence.
Our work to end sexual violence focuses on the ways in which race, gender, class, ability, sexual orientation, faith, and legal status interact with violence. Sexual assault is not about sex, rather it is about power and the ways in which sexual violence can be used to continue systems of oppression. Survivors not only face immense stigma from peers and institutions, but a legal and legislative system that has failed them time and time again.
In the coming year we’ll be monitoring the outcome of Betsy DeVos’s proposed changes to Title IX, and Woodhull will be there to advocate for reauthorization of the critically important Violence Against Women Act. Focusing our efforts on ensuring that there are legal protections as well as social institutions to support survivors is of the utmost importance, but we must look not just at the “after” but also at the “before” and face a culture that is rife with sexual and gender justice. In collaboration with our allies, Woodhull is working to address the systematic forces behind sexual assault and our nation’s response to it.
Please join us in celebrating Victoria Woodhull’s birthday and Sexual Freedom Day. And please show your support for our work to end sexual violence by donating today to ensure that Woodhull can continue its efforts in affirming sexual freedom as a fundamental right!