“She was wearing clothes that barely covered her body. She was asking for it.”
In a world where rape culture is rampant and scarily embedding itself to society, SlutWalks are conducted to give a resounding, “HELL NO!” to the statement above.
SlutWalk protest marches originated in Toronto, Canada with the purpose of going against the justification that a woman’s clothes or appearance are the reasons why she became a victim of rape.
The whole movement started in the year 2011 during the time when there was a campus rape at Osgoode Hall Law School in Ontario, Canada. Constable Michael Sanguinetti gave a routine visit to that school and advised students about personal safety. During his talk he said, “I’ve been told I’m not supposed to say this – however, women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimised.” His statement sparked the SlutWalk movement which has spread to different parts of the globe including Argentina, Australia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, and the UK (Pilkington, 2011). SlutWalks are attended not only by rape victims but also by people who support their cause.
As a woman, I feel the need to discuss the importance of this movement because I think the mentality of blaming the victim and insisting that she has somehow contributed to the events that led to her rape is not and will never be acceptable. Yes is yes and no is definitely NO. And this is the war cry in every SlutWalk.
It doesn’t matter if the woman was wearing a tight tank top and a mini bandeau skirt or if she was wearing a hoodie and pants. A woman’s clothes are not your go-signal to see whether or not she has given her consent to any sexual act. Just because the woman that was raped looked like a “slut” doesn’t mean that she “deserved it” or that she was “asking for it.”
Rape is not about the rapist, it is about the victim. Never forget that. Never forget that a woman will never wish rape to happen upon herself. Never forget that “no” or “not now” does not mean “yes.” A woman’s worth is far more than what she wears or how she presents herself. Being a “slut,” “girl,” or “woman” should not be synonymous to “rape victim.” To every person that reads this, I hope you help contribute to a safer place for women like me.
— Olivia Solomon