Slut Walks

In terms of third-wave feminism in the U.S. this year has been a pretty busy one.  Partially because the rights of women all over the nation are being stipped away (reproductive health, anyone?) but also because of a massive social movement that started earlier this year and has blossomed into an international movement.

I am refering, of course, to the Slut Walk movement.  For those of you who don’t know what it is I’ll give a brief history.

In January of this year (2011) Toronto Police Constable Michael Sanguinetti told students at York University that “women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized.”  This article appeared on Canada’s CBC news on April 3rd to talk about the birth of this movement.  Several students were extremely bothered by this statement and began to organize what they called a Slut Walk even in Toronto.  The point of the event was to show that women wearing all kinds of clothes could be victimized.  The point is not that women (or men) are wearing provocative clothing.  The point is that there is someone in the vicinity that has decided to victimize that person through a variety of means.  Clothes have nothing to do with it.

Due in part to the fact that we live in a world were news travels very quickly this event turned into a movement. There have been Slut Walk events all over the globe.  Women are not only being victimized in Toronto.  They are being victimized all over the world.

You’re probably asking at this point why I’m talking about the Slut Walk movement.  If this started in April then this is old news, right?  Wrong, because Slut Walk events are still happening all over the world and women are still being victimized.   In the United States 1 in 6 women will be the victim of an attempted or successful rape in their lifetime.  Of that 1 in 6, 44% are under the age of 18. 

I feel that the Slut Walk movement is important to bring visibility to an issue that women have been dealing with for an extremely long time.  It’s important because we need to change the way that our society thinks about sexual assault.  IT IS NOT THE VICTIMS FAULT!

Whether or not you think that the name of the movement lacks credibility is somewhat beside the point.  If you understand the historical context to it I think it makes perfect sense.  If you agree with what they’re trying to do you should do everything that you can to bring that movement forward.  Attend a Slut Walk event if there’s one close to you.  If you can afford it donate to an event.  I urge you to support anybody who is trying to bring an end to gender inequality.

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4 thoughts on “Slut Walks”

  1. About that 1-in-6: I can’t find the citation, but I remember several people in various places saying that it’s even higher for women who’ve attended college. Which is not a cheery thought at all!

    Hope you keep up with the blog; it’s lookin’ good so far.

    (Hope you don’t mind me self-linking on my very first post here, but this is kinda pertinent.)

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  2. Daz, thanks for your comment and I don’t mind you linking to your blog one bit :).

    Defintely not an encouraging thought about women attending college. I think (and like you, not sure about the citation) that the sexual assault rates for women who are in college are much higher because if you go to a traditional college you’re in a lot more situations where someone might overpower you.

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