The first SlutWalk was held this April in Toronto, in response to a police officer advising women at a safety forum to (in a nutshell) stop dressing like sluts if they didn’t want to be raped. Since then, women all over the world have been organising similar protest walks in their cities.
The aim of these SlutWalks, as I see it, is to educate people on two primary things.
Firstly – how one chooses to dress has nothing to do with a rapist’s choice to rape. It is preposterous to blame victims or argue that they brought the assault upon themselves. Blaming victims is known as secondary victimization, where the victim is re-victimized by society and/or legal authorities.
The second aim: The word ‘slut’ has been used to dehumanize and objectify women and we need to re-appropriate the word.
I’m fully in favour of the first aim. Rape is a pretty easy word to understand. It means forced and unwanted sexual intercourse. Forced and unwanted are also fairly easy words to understand. When one is forced to do something, it’s generally the case that they do not want to do it and have not agreed to do it – they do it against their will. When something is unwanted, it is unwelcome. Most of us know what these words mean. It is for this reason that I’ve always been confounded by talk about women asking to be raped.
The above article is by Anu Selva-Thomson.The writer is a former teacher who is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in philosophy at the National University of Singapore. She is also the founder and editor of The Mohini Myth website, a platform for sharing views on feminist issues.
Read the full article on Aware's website.
SlutWalk Singapore is planned to place in December.