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Old 05-09-2011, 09:16 AM   #1
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SlutWalks

(AP)BOSTON — An international series of protests known as SlutWalks, sparked by a Toronto police officer's flippant comment that women should avoid dressing like "sluts" to avoid being raped or victimized, is taking root in the United States.

Some women and men who protest dress in nothing more remarkable than jeans and T-shirts, while others wear provocative or revealing outfits to bring attention to "slut-shaming," or shaming women for being sexual, and the treatment of sexual assault victims.

"It was taking the blame off the rapist and on the victim," said Nicole Sullivan, 21, a student at the University of Massachusetts-Boston and an organizer of the SlutWalk planned Saturday in that city. "So we are using these efforts to reclaim the word 'slut.'"

The police officer made his comments in January to a group of York University students at a safety forum. He later apologized, but his comments were publicized widely on Facebook and Twitter. They inspired a march in Toronto last month that drew more than 3,000 people, as well as SlutWalks since then in Dallas, Asheville, North Carolina, and Ottawa, Ontario.


'Shame and degradation'

In addition to Boston, marches are planned in cities including Seattle, Chicago, Philadelphia, Reno, Nevada, and Austin, Texas.

"The event is in protest of a culture that we think is too permissive when it comes to rape and sexual assault," said Siobhan Connors, 20, of Lynn, Massachusetts, another Boston organizer. "It's to bring awareness to the shame and degradation women still face for expressing their sexuality ... essentially for behaving in a healthy and sexual way."

The events are similar to "Take Back the Night" rallies and other marches that aim to bring attention to sexual violence. But there are key differences.

SlutWalkers have danced to hip-hop, worn T-shirts with the word "slut" and held signs that read "sluts pay taxes." Some women have skated around on inline skates in lingerie, while their male supporters wore shirts reading, "I love sluts."

The rallies typically end with speakers and workshops on stopping sexual violence and calling on law enforcement agencies not to blame victims after sexual assaults.


Family event

In San Francisco, SlutWalk organizers want to make their protest a family event.

"Singles, couples, parents, sisters, brothers, children, friends," the SlutWalk SF BAY Facebook page announces. "Come walk or roll or strut or holler or stomp with us."

Connors said organizers had initially planned for about 100 people to attend the Boston event; by Thursday, more than 2,300 had responded to a Facebook shout-out. Another 2,000 people have similarly committed to attend the SlutWalk Seattle on June 19.

"Everything happened organically," Sullivan said.

The officer who made the comments, Constable Michael Sanguinetti, was disciplined but remains on duty, Toronto police spokesman Mark Pugash said Thursday.

"We said at the time that his comments were entirely unacceptable, that they didn't reflect in any way what we train and teach our people," Pugash said.



'Pimp Walk'

Pugash wouldn't comment on the movement the officer's comments have spawned.

The Boston SlutWalk group has had to delete several "inappropriate comments" about women and faced criticism from a group that promised to organize a counter "Pimp Walk" in Boston, Connors said.

"We think it was put there as a joke, but it's disturbing that a number of young people still feel that way," said Connors, referring to sexist comments left on the page.

Pages dedicated to other cities' SlutWalks also deleted inappropriate comments.


Don’t dress like a slut: Toronto cop | Excalibur Publications

Don’t dress like a slut: Toronto cop

Raymond Kwan
Senior Staff

Students and staff at Osgoode Hall Law School are demanding an apology and explanation from the Toronto Police Service after one of their officers suggested women can avoid sexual assault by not dressing like a “slut.”

On Jan. 24, a campus safety information session was held at Osgoode Hall, where members from York security and two male officers from Toronto police 31 Division handed out safety tips to community
members.

Ronda Bessner, who attended the session, remembered being surprised by what the officer suggested to women.

“One of the safety tips was for women not to dress like ‘sluts.’ He said something like, ‘I’ve been told I shouldn’t say this,’ and then he uttered the words,” said Bessner, Osgoode assistant dean of the Juris Doctor Program. “I was shocked and appalled. I made contact with the police [...] and we’ve asked for a written apology and an explanation.”
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Old 05-09-2011, 09:24 AM   #2
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A radical Muslim cleric said this in Australia a few years ago. I find it remarkable that a cop could be near-sighted enough to say that on record, even if I see where he's coming from.
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Old 05-09-2011, 09:30 AM   #3
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I can't see where he's coming from. A police officer should not be blaming the victim.

Not to mention the fact that it's terrible advice- because not dressing like a "slut" will not prevent sexual assault. No matter how you look or what you wear, it can happen to you.
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Old 05-09-2011, 09:37 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by MrsSpringsteen
I can't see where he's coming from. A police officer should not be blaming the victim.

Not to mention the fact that it's terrible advice- because not dressing like a "slut" will not prevent sexual assault. No matter how you look or what you wear, it can happen to you.
Absolutely he shouldn't... but being a young guy and also seeing how other young guys act towards girls at clubs and the like, if a girl dresses provocatively she's going to draw attention to herself.

But that's besides the point and the cop's water-cooler talk is out of line.
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Old 05-09-2011, 09:50 AM   #5
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Drawing attention to yourself is not an invitation to sexual assault. It's not besides the point.

A woman who covers her body in a burqa can be the victim of a sexual assault. A reporter doing her job (like Lara Logan) can be sexually assaulted.
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Old 05-09-2011, 10:21 AM   #6
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I completely agree with both of those points, all I'm saying is a girl who wears a skirt so short it looks like a belt and a tight-fitting top is going to draw more attention from sleazy guys.
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Old 05-09-2011, 10:29 AM   #7
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And the quiet guy next door can be a rapist-that's all I'm saying. Not all "sleazy guys" are rapists.

Anyone can go out on a date with the most clean cut appearing guy and end up the victim of a sexual assault.
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Old 05-09-2011, 10:37 AM   #8
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And here I was thinking a Slut Walk was kinda like a Pub Crawl....
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Old 05-09-2011, 12:10 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by MrsSpringsteen View Post
SlutWalkers have danced to hip-hop, worn T-shirts with the word "slut" and held signs that read "sluts pay taxes." Some women have skated around on inline skates in lingerie, while their male supporters wore shirts reading, "I love sluts."
[/B]
The police officers remarks were wrong no doubt but I have no idea why these women would want to perpetuate the term 'slut' by displaying it with pride

It is a highly offensive term of disparagement with no male equivalent and it should not be considered ok that men can go about calling women this.

People have a right to be angry about his comments but I think they are going about protesting this the wrong way.
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Old 05-09-2011, 12:26 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by jonnytakeawalk View Post
The police officers remarks were wrong no doubt but I have no idea why these women would want to perpetuate the term 'slut' by displaying it with pride

It is a highly offensive term of disparagement with no male equivalent and it should not be considered ok that men can go about calling women this.

People have a right to be angry about his comments but I think they are going about protesting this the wrong way.
Since I'm a guy, I probably should not even be responding, but I think their point is two-fold: first, they're taking ownership of the term and, secondly, (and the main point) they're saying that what they wear should have no bearing on the actions that men take.

So I don't believe they're displaying it with pride.
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Old 05-09-2011, 12:47 PM   #11
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Very 1990s.
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Old 05-09-2011, 12:51 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonnytakeawalk View Post
The police officers remarks were wrong no doubt but I have no idea why these women would want to perpetuate the term 'slut' by displaying it with pride

It is a highly offensive term of disparagement with no male equivalent and it should not be considered ok that men can go about calling women this.

People have a right to be angry about his comments but I think they are going about protesting this the wrong way.
I agree with you 100%.

An ex-friend and I would frequently have variations on this conversation:

Immodestly dressed woman appears in his sight (his version of immodestly dressed is even more strict than mine)

He: What a slut.

Me: Don't call her a slut, you don't know if she's a slut.

He: Lookit how she dresses.

Me: You don't know her, so you don't know if she's a slut. You can say "She dresses too immodestly for me".

He: She's a slut.

Me: Jiminy Cricket.


I do think that teenage girls and women should be more careful about how they dress in public, particularly because teenage guys have enough problems focusing on things that don't involve women body parts, as it is.

However, rape is never any part a woman's fault. A rapist will want to rape, no matter the clothing. And on the other hand, a non-rapist won't rape, even if a woman is buck-naked.
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Old 05-09-2011, 01:38 PM   #13
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I'm from Toronto, and the actual slut walk didn't have the dramatic effect that was desired to happen, in my opinion.

The cop in question, was absolutely wrong with what he said, and issued an apology statement.

Women can dress however they want to dress. Why a woman would want to be identified with in the confines of a derogatory term is beyond me.
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Old 05-09-2011, 02:08 PM   #14
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i think it's a cool protest! i see it like they're just giving the middle finger to that whole attitude where the victim is to blame, calling out the stupid comment by the cop...

as a woman, i don't think "dressing like a slut" is derogatory - the problem lies with the onlooker with the derogatory attitude! as a woman it's nice to dress up or down and look/feel sexy and feminine sometimes lol

me and my friends often describe gorgeous shoes as "hooker" shoes, and we don't mean it in a derogatory way either, just drop-dead gorgeous shoes with attitude lol

hell, Nigella even has a recipe she calls "slut's spaghetti" based on pasta putanesca, and it is delicious!
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Old 05-09-2011, 02:12 PM   #15
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It's almost like.....


What's that? You called me the "N" word?

Well then....I'm gonna have an "N" walk. Let me gather all my black friends.

The problem does lie with the onlooker with the derogatory attitude. I don't think my "N" walk and me associating myself with the word is gonna help my cause.

But that's just my opinion.
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