On January 24th ,2011 at an information on campus safety at York University, a Toronto police officer put his foot in his mouth. He advised that "women should avoid dressing likes sluts in order not to be victimized." Students and staff of York University's Osgoode Law School have demanded an apology, but some people don't think an apology is enough. After all, the police officer in question isn't the only person to share this view. It's a popular and insidious belief that women are often at fault for their own sexual harassment by dressing to provoke. Women are constantly told how to dress, act, and where to go in order 'not to get raped' and if we don't follow these rules, well, that's our fault, isn't it?

Except that it isn't. Because women should be able to go where they want, when they want, wearing what they want without fear of being harassed or sexually assaulted. To prove it, a group of activists in Toronto are organizing a SlutWalk on Sunday, April 3rd.

The goal of the walk is to re-claim the word slut, to call attention to the negative and slut-shaming narratives pervasive in our society, and to advocate for a woman's right to be sexually active and mobile.

From their website:

"We are asking you to join us for SlutWalk, to make a unified statement about sexual assault and victims’ rights and to demand respect for all. Whether a fellow slut or simply an ally, you don’t have to wear your sexual proclivities on your sleeve, we just ask that you come. Come walk or roll or strut or holler or stomp with us."

If you're in Toronto, head down to Queen's Park on April 3rd. If you're somewhere else, you can organize a satellite SlutWalk. Whatever you do, stay slutty and proud.

Photo by feminist artist Barbara Kruger.

On January 24th ,2011 at an information on campus safety at York University, a Toronto police officer put his foot in his mouth. He advised that "women should avoid dressing likes sluts in order not to be victimized." Students and staff of York University's Osgoode Law School have demanded an apology, but some people don't think an apology is enough. After all, the police officer in question isn't the only person to share this view. It's a popular and insidious belief that women are often at fault for their own sexual harassment by dressing to provoke. Women are constantly told how to dress, act, and where to go in order 'not to get raped' and if we don't follow these rules, well, that's our fault, isn't it?

Except that it isn't. Because women should be able to go where they want, when they want, wearing what they want without fear of being harassed or sexually assaulted. To prove it, a group of activists in Toronto are organizing a SlutWalk on Sunday, April 3rd.

The goal of the walk is to re-claim the word slut, to call attention to the negative and slut-shaming narratives pervasive in our society, and to advocate for a woman's right to be sexually active and mobile.

From their website:

"We are asking you to join us for SlutWalk, to make a unified statement about sexual assault and victims’ rights and to demand respect for all. Whether a fellow slut or simply an ally, you don’t have to wear your sexual proclivities on your sleeve, we just ask that you come. Come walk or roll or strut or holler or stomp with us."

If you're in Toronto, head down to Queen's Park on April 3rd. If you're somewhere else, you can organize a satellite SlutWalk. Whatever you do, stay slutty and proud.

Photo by feminist artist Barbara Kruger.

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Tagged in: toronto, slutwalk, slut, sexual assault   

The opinions expressed on the BUST blog are those of the authors themselves and do not necessarily reflect the position of BUST Magazine or its staff.


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