There has been much debate surrounding the SlutWalk events, both outside of and within the feminist community. A lot of the critiques are well-founded and even the organizers admit the name itself is problematic. This has been covered more eloquently than I ever could here and here. I would urge supporters and opponents alike to read both pieces. I am not marching under the banner of sluthood and I’m not sure that I would personally be comfortable with the reclamation of that term. However, I am marching.
I am marching because in January a Toronto Police Constable offered the following as safety advice for women: “…women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized.” (The original SlutWalk was in Toronto and all others worldwide have been organized as off-shoots from the Toronto walk.) I am marching because it doesn’t matter what you’re wearing, rape is never the victim’s fault. I am marching because too often we teach how not to get raped rather than DON’T RAPE. I am marching because the NY Times thought it prudent to include details about the clothing and makeup worn by an 11-year-old girl who was gang raped. I am marching because I’m sick of worrying how much street harassment I might receive if I leave the house in a dress and heels. I am marching because my clothing is not my consent.
I am marching because rape culture needs to end and I am standing in solidarity with every victim of sexual assault and street harassment. I hope you join me.