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Deconstructing SlutWalk

August 9th, 2011 - 3:58 am

San Francisco hosted its first SlutWalk on Saturday, August 6, and I — along with two fellow sluts — simply had to go check out this latest protest fad.


For those not familiar with the concept of a “SlutWalk,” this sign pretty much sums it up: Unwanted Exposure to Scrotum Is Never OK! At SlutWalks, feminist desmoiselles trying to look both sexy and intimidating gather in public for a communal howl against rape and victimhood. Sometimes — as in this example (one hopes) — they have a great sense of humor; other times, not so much.


The crowd assembled in San Francisco’s Dolores Park for a march through town. In case you’re wondering what’s so controversial about rape that it needs to be protested against — well, you accidentally just hit the nail on the head. Because, in truth, basically everybody on all sides of all political spectrums already thinks that rape is among the most evil of crimes. So: why a protest? For that answer, we must plumb deep.

The SlutWalk concept started earlier this year at a crime prevention conference in Canada (yes, Canada) where a clueless Toronto policeman, invited to instruct assembled students how to not become the victims of rape, concluded his talk with one extra bit of advice: “Women should avoid dressing like sluts.”


Result: Outrage. Implicit in his statement, the Canadian students felt, was the insinuation that rape victims who dressed provocatively are partly to blame for what happens to them. This Toronto constable opened a Pandora’s Box! A few months later, Canadian feminists organized the first “SlutWalk” to protest against the very principle of this “don’t dress like a slut” attitude, and from that day forward SlutWalks have erupted in cities all over the globe. The only surprising part is that it took four months to reach San Francisco. We’re not used to being this far behind the curve!


Dressing for a SlutWalk is a delicate balance. The goal is to be as enticing and as repulsive as possible — simultaneously. Sometimes this is accomplished by exposing as much flesh as you dare, while sporting angry man-hating political diatribes, often inked directly onto your body, as we see here.

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