Sunday, April 3, 2011

SlutWalk Toronto 2011

Where to start on this demonstration?

Well, first, it all got started because the chief of police of the Toronto force told a class of students at York University (where sexual assaults are sadly frequent), that "women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized."

Women who have been sexually assaulted were quick to call extreme bullshit on this comment, and the police were quick to issue an apology, but that's not good enough.  It's not good enough because the chief was expressing a view that the police in this city actually believe is true, and that's the problem that needs to be addressed.  So SlutWalk was born to show the police and anyone else watching that saying that a woman could prevent sexual assault by dressing differently is a myth - rape is not about sex or sexual attraction, it's about power and violence.

Exhibit A
Was it a slutty snowsuit, because you know how suggestive
those low-cut parkas can be
There were a number of speeches after everyone marched over to police headquarters, including by Jane Doe, who successfully won a lawsuit against the police on gender discrimination after being raped in 1986, and who still has a publication ban on her name and image.  A woman from the rape crisis centre also spoke, and both of them said things that were so infuriating it made the rage swell up inside.  For example, the woman from the rape crisis centre said that one woman who turned to them for support went to the police first, but they told her that they would not press charges against her rapist because she had let him into her apartment.  This flies in the face of the knowledge we have that around 80% of rape victims are attacked by men that they know.  WHAT THE FUCK, OFFICERS?  I shouted SHAME at the top of my lungs.

Exhibit B
Were they slutty jeans?  It might be your fault.
It was really uplifting to see the diversity of the crowd there today.  There were men, women, children, older people, people of different races, transgendered folk, and queer people.  Everyone was together against sexual violence.  Everyone can be the victim of sexual violence, and it was encouraging to see that there were so many people out to take back the word 'slut' and shout to the police that the victim of sexual assault is never, ever, to blame.

No comments:

Post a Comment