Sunday, May 22, 2011

That makes more sense now.

_49K6655-Edit by wanderingval
_49K6655-Edit, a photo by wanderingval on Flickr.

Okay, the fact that it was in response to specific comments from a stupid officer makes more sense. I can't believe that there would be such surprise that so many stupid cops exist. There are some great police officers to be sure but plenty of idiots. The officer at my college who gave a safety lecture back in Boston told the women there that if they are being raped they shouldn't try and fight it because they could get more hurt they should "just lay back and try to enjoy it." WTF?! So I have a better grasp of what the Slutwalk was trying to do but I don't think it really hit the mark.

Boy Slut meets Clothing optional on Slut Walk, Toronto © Linda Dawn Hammond / '11
The Slut Walk protest march was held in Toronto on April 3rd, 2011 in response to offensive remarks made by a Toronto police officer during a safety forum at York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School this past January. Constable Michael Sanguinetti allegedly told the meeting that “...“I’ve been told I’m not supposed to say this, however, women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized.” (as victims of sexual assault). It was yet another example of blaming the victim for their behaviour rather than that of the perpetrator.

Walk co-founders Heather Jarvis and Sonya JF Barnett addressed the crowd at the start of the march. Barnett explained the provocative decision to incorporate and thus re-appropriate the word "Slut "', which she conceded "... is a strong word with a strong meaning. If we had not used it many less of you would be here today... " The "Slut Walk" dress code did not require participants to necessarily 'dress like a slut', the point being made that to be targetted for rape does not require any particular outfit, let alone a provocative one, on the part of the victim. Nor should wearing clothes designed to attract be considered an invitation to assault. or absolve an attacker of responsibility for their actions.

Hundreds of protesters and supporters, male, female and other, walked from Queen's park to the Toronto Police Headquarters on College Street. Speeches were held at police station by Deb Singh of the Toronto Rape Crisis Centre, Michael Kaufman of the White Ribbon Campaign, Alyssa Teekah, SWTO York Liaison, and Jane Doe, the activist and author who successfully sued the Toronto Police in July, 1998, for failing to warn her about a serial attacker, known as the Balcony rapist, who was operating in her neighbourhood. "Doe" is still under a publication ban and could not be documented.

See the following sites and articles for further information.

SLUTWALK Toronto website

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