Are Women Who 'SlutWalk' Just Looking for Attention?

Kim Conte
22

slutwalkGird your loins, America: The sluts are coming for you!

If you haven't heard of "SlutWalks," well, that's about to change. The term refers to a movement that embraces sluttiness as a way of preventing sexual assault. It started in Toronto earlier this year, when two women organized a protest of provocatively dressed marchers in response to a police constable’s advice that the best way to prevent sexual assault is to "avoid dressing like sluts."

The idea spread like wildfire, and now satellite SlutWalk groups are springing up in Europe, Asia, Australia, and North America, too; protests are scheduled for Asheville, Dallas, Hartford, Boston, and Rochester.

It appears the sluts are taking over! But are they really bringing awareness to their cause, or is this just an excuse to dress in as few clothes as possible?

I'd say their message is crystal clear: The SlutWalkers are out to debunk the mentality that victims (instead of the perpetrators) should be blamed for sexual assault. We've heard the old victim-blaming shtick before, and it goes something like this: "She was drunk and wearing a short skirt so she totally deserved it ..." I don't think I need to say more.

But by dressing provocatively, the SlutWalkers are intent on showing that it doesn't matter what a woman wears or how she acts -- rape should not be permitted. As one of the original organizers explained:

The idea that there is some aesthetic that attracts sexual assault or even keeps you safe from sexual assault is inaccurate, ineffective, and even dangerous.

If you think about it, the idea that rape could be prevented if a woman dresses more conservatively or hides her sexuality is offensive to men, too. As Alex Moore writing for Death + Taxes notes: "It implies that guys are sexual beasts or overgrown toddlers who can’t restrain themselves, and reinforces the myth that sexual violence comes from normal sexual urges."

You hear that, guys? Men should SlutWalk, too!

Of course, the movement has its critics, who accuse participants of getting "high off the attention" and other such nonsense. Their drivel is evidence these sluts are getting attention -- too bad it's the GOOD kind.

 

Image via troismarteaux/Flickr

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