Feature Friday: Alicia Swiz + SlutTalk
Alicia is originally from the east coast and has been in Chicago about 6 years. She came here (from North Carolina) to find a more creatively thriving community.
Alicia tries to create feminist performance spaces where people can be entertained but also asked to question conventional wisdom around women, sex and gender. She is committed to raising awareness of feminism and women’s issues through humor, candid observation and being really smart.
She has spent most of her career, and personal life, working passionately to facilitate conversations about gender, feminism, and women's issues that are both entertaining and educational. She writes feminist rants, raves and film critiques for The Frisky, RoleReboot and The Huffington Post and is an Adjunct Professor of Humanities at Harold Washington College in #Chicago where she teaches Media and Pop-Culture via Feminist Theory.
Alicia was inspired to start SlutTalk because of the way culture judges and mistreats women’s bodies and the choices they make with their bodies, especially when it comes to sex. She feels one of the most subtle ways we shame and blame women is through language and the use of the word “slut.” Women are the targets of slut shaming and sexual judgment that often leads to assault and violence.
Her goal is to buy a van and travel the country: interviewing, education and performing with women. Empowering them to tell their stories and to relinquish the shame or celebrate the victory of being a sexual beings.
She's done 8 performances in 6 different venues and each show has been a different experience. Always emotional. Always cathartic. Always fun. Alicia shared with me that the women who perform tell her that the room is one of the most comfortable and inviting - some have told stories they never told ANYONE before.
Her proudest moment with SlutTalk so far is their show at The Silver Room. Not only did her personal friend tell a beautiful, heartbreaking but inspiring story, but her Mom was in town and she came on stage and did an impromptu interview about her relationship to sex, sexuality and the “sluts” of her era.
Alicia recently appeared on the Hanging With Apes podcast and hosts #Feminist Happy Hour at The Whistler each month - a feminist friendly comedy show featuring performers from all disciplines.
THANK YOU Alicia, for being a bad ass #ladyboss and creating SlutTalk to empower women and create an educated, positive discussion around sex, women and gender in media, and slut shaming in our culture.