You Don't Need to 'SlutWalk' to Blow the Whistle on Rape

slutwalkMost Americans have been worked up more about our national debt lately than much of anything else, but there's another important fight going on that has the whole world talking. Although they began in Toronto, Canada, SlutWalks -- a movement in which women dress in provocative clothing and march in protest of sexual violence -- have started happening all over the globe. Most recently, yesterday morning, people in New Delhi, India marched to spread the message that sexual assault will not be tolerated there. 

Something to bear in mind, though, is that the atmosphere for women in the Indian capital is very different from that of Toronto, or any big U.S. or U.K. city that has participated in a SlutWalk. Trishla Singh, a coordinator of the event and college student, asserts that "in places where it's very crowded, people take advantage of the crowd and try to molest you." Obviously, these women live a nightmare -- every day.

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Sure, we may feel violated in other ways in New York (catcalling, whistling, etc.), but it seems like in New Delhi, women are dealing with harassment and violence on a whole other level. In fact, incidents are so frequent on the public transportation in New Delhi that certain subway cars are restricted to female passengers. Overall, the number of rape cases reported has grown 678 percent since the country began keeping statistics 30 years ago; rape is now considered the fastest-growing crime in the country.

Given that, it's no wonder that they kind of had to "downplay" their SlutWalk. For instance, it couldn't be called that. It had to be tweaked in Hindi to "Shameless Front" (still a great message, I'll say). Hundreds of protesters carried signs that read "Stop Staring: This Is Not an Invitation to Rape Me" and "I Have Nothing to Be Ashamed Of." Also, women didn't dress up in slutty outfits and red lipstick the way they had in previous marches.

And that's okay. Because at least they did it! Not that this message doesn't need to be sent in other countries as well, but judging from the outrageous statistics and personal anecdotes of women involved in the "Shameless Front," it's desperately needed in India. The women involved are especially brave, and it's incredibly important that their voices must be heard by the government -- and the rest of the world.

New Dehli showed the whole world the SlutWalks' message is a protest that spans across countries and can and should be tailored to various cultures, so the message is heard loud and clear. With hope, SlutWalks only continue to spread like wildfire.

What do you think about the SlutWalks' message?


Image via Man Alive!/Flickr

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