Tuesday, May 24, 2011

SlutWalk Chicago

It's called SlutWalk Chicago, it takes place on Saturday June 4th. From Newser.com: It all started with some ill-considered advice from a Toronto policeman. To prevent rape, he told a group of law students, “Avoid dressing like sluts.” That gaffe sparked a head-turning wave of protests dubbed “SlutWalks” in cities across Canada, in which women—some dressed in plain old jeans and t-shirts, others showing more skin than is practical in Canada—took to the streets to decry victim-blaming and slut-shaming. “We had just had enough,” says Heather Jarvis, founder of SlutWalk Toronto. Now, the Huffington Post reports, the phenomenon has gone global, spreading virally to Europe, Asia, Australia, and the US. Most major US cities have or will have SlutWalks—Boston, Dallas, Hartford, Asheville, and Rochester."

I proudly add Chicago to that list!

My U.C. Berkeley women's studies professor (26 years ago) talked about rape by asking, "Is a man who walks around in expensive clothes, spending lots of money, asking to be robbed?" I thought, of course not. Oh, I get it. But infuriatingly, lots of people don't get it and still believe that looking attractive means you want someone to violently assault you and invade your body in the most intimate, psychologically damaging way possible. People still believe that men can be driven to violence simply by the appearance of a woman, so it's up to us to keep our bodies out of sight.

SlutWalk Chicago invites everyone to march with them. There are two poster-and-prep nights on Sunday 5/29 and Wednesday 6/2. The details are on their website. The walk begins at 11 a.m. in the Thompson Center Plaza and the after-parties start at 3:30 p.m. The email I received states,

SlutWalk is for everyone: singles, couples, parents, sisters, brothers, friends. People of any age, race, gender identification and sexual orientation are welcome! Come walk, roll, strut, holler and stomp. Wear your favorite slut clothes and bring your favorite slut sign.

But the website assures that you can dress however you want, as uncovered or as completely covered as you prefer.

It sounds like fun, but I won't be in Chicago that weekend. June 4th is my ex-boyfriend's wedding, remember? But I will definitely join these walkers in spirit, since Robert and Nidia are having an evening wedding in New York City and I probably won't have an escort.


Mick said...

Can understand Canadians doing this when it was one of their Policemen that made the gaffe but why Americans and other countries ?
Certainly haven't heard about this in England yet.

Regina said...

SlutWalk isn't about that one officer. It's a statement against the ignorance that his comment expressed. The erroneous belief that women's clothing causes violent assault is universal, sadly.

Here's a link to the story in England: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-13332349 . I'm disappointed that it didn't get enough coverage for you to have heard about it.

Sandii said...

i was reading about this the other day in Melbourne... interesting!