There is a new feminist movement that is capturing the attention of people around the world: SlutWalks. Though the title suggests that the movement could be of a scandalous nature, the events tackle the stereotypes of women who become victims of sexual assault while calling attention to the need for more education about sexual violence. People of all backgrounds are invited to participate in the walks, which have popped up all over the globe.
* The SlutWalk movement began as a direct response to Canadian police officer Michael Sanguinetti. He told a group of law school students earlier this year that women should “avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized,” reports the Guardian.
* SlutWalk marches originally began as a form of protest against the policeman’s words, and those who think along similar lines. Participants hope to call attention to the fact that no one deserves to be the victim of a sexual assault, regardless of what they may be wearing.
* The first SlutWalk took place in Toronto on April 3, 2011. Nearly 1,000 people attended the march, which took place in the city where Sanguinetti works as an officer.
* Though the great number of people participating are women, the march organizers have invited people of all genders to participate. Groups like SlutWalk Chicago recognize that men are not the only perpetrators of sexual violence, and women are not the only victims. Organizers hope to get as many people involved as possible in the protests.
* A SlutWalk in New Delhi was forced to change the name of the event after controversy surrounding the term “slut” caused the march to be delayed twice, according to Radio Australia. The New Delhi event was changed to “The Walk of the Shameless.”
* The name of the movement has also drawn some undesired attention. A group in Boston threatened to hold a counter-protest referred to as a “pimp walk.” Several groups’ Facebook pages received vulgar comments, and even those who support the idea behind the movement have questioned the moniker, notes The Associated Press.
* All participants in the marches are encouraged to wear whatever makes them feel comfortable. While some women prefer to dress according to society’s definition of a slut, others choose to dress conservatively.
* SlutWalks such as those in New Delhi call attention to more than just rape. Organizers there hope to send a message against forced marriage, honor killings, female foeticide, and dowry murders. The location is appropriate for such a protest; New Delhi is considered to be the most dangerous city in India for women.
* These marches quickly spread from Toronto to the rest of the world. There have been marches held in Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Washington, Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, Sweden, Great Britain, Argentina, and India. With more events being planned in other cities, the new feminist movement does not seem to be fading away anytime soon.