Charlie - posted on 05/07/2011 ( 12 moms have responded )




WHAT started as an ill-conceived comment from a Canadian police officer has spawned an international movement that is now on its way to Sydney.

More than 60 SlutWalk protest rallies have been organised around the world in response to Toronto police officer Michael Sanguinetti's advice to students at a personal safety talk in January.

''I've been told I'm not supposed to say this. However, women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimised,'' he said.

In response, a group of Toronto women organised the first SlutWalk to put an end to what they believe is a culture in which victims are blamed. Almost 300 people have indicated they will attend the Sydney SlutWalk, to be held in Newtown on June 13.

It follows SlutWalks held all over Canada, the US and others planned for Argentina, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden and Britain.

Manager of the NSW Rape Crisis Centre Karen Willis said the protest movement indicated the community was fed up with the notion that women invite rape.

''I think it's trying to take on one of those really foundational myths about sexual violence,'' she said.

''This idea that rape is caused by the way women dress and behave, all it is doing is blaming the victim.

''All the myths around sexual assault have one of two aims: one is to blame the victim; the other is to give excuses to the offender.''

The first SlutWalk march in Toronto last month attracted almost 3000 people. All were united by the belief that rape is about the rapist, not the victim.

One sign at the rally said: ''It was Christmas Day. I was 14 and raped in a stairwell wearing snowshoes and layers. Did I deserve it, too?''

For his part, Constable Sanguinetti has issued a grovelling apology while he faces discipline by the Toronto Police Service. ''I am embarrassed by the comment I made and it shall not be repeated,'' he said.

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Personally I think women should dress how they like , we dont have to like their fashion sense but it should not be an excuse for men to behave like uncontrollable animals .

The ONLY person ever in the wrong in a sexual assault is the perpurtrator .


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Shae - posted on 05/15/2011




To be honest, I'm a fair bit torn about this.

I totally agree that rape is entirely the rapists fault, no one has the right to take another persons human rights away.

But saying that, I wouldn't let my daughter go around at ten years old wearing a skirt that shows her knickers; and I wouldn't wear anything that shows my knickers, and I avoid showing my bra.
Not because it 'invites' rape, nothing 'invites' rape. But because men are visually stimulated creatures. I don't trust some random John down the street not to think I'm 'inviting' him, because he might think I am. Even if I, and every other person in the world, don't think I am.

Of course I'll teach my daughter, 'wear whatever you want to wear', I will also try to teach her 'but keep it appropriate for the occasion'.
You can look sexy with a dress down to your knees and up to your throat, and that could make a guy want you just as much as a mini skirt. So I think the judge mentioned earlier deserves to be chucked out of the justice system, and that while we CAN wear what we want, we should be aware that these prejudices are in our society and make allowances to prevent them being able to be used on us.

I hope the SlutWalk brought the problem to the surface, well done all who organised it.

Charlie - posted on 05/08/2011




I think you can reduce risk by being alert and knowing self defence , carrying saftey devices , I just dont think clothing should EVER be the issue , no one should have to hide who they are for fear .

Isobel - posted on 05/08/2011




see...I get that we have the right to walk into a bar naked and not get we believe, honestly that it would be a wise thing to do?

I honestly get a little torn in some cases. I will always tell my daughter that NOBODY ever has the right to touch her if she doesn't want them to no matter what...I will also tell her to avoid dark alleys at night, to carry a whistle, to yell fire instead of help...

is there really NO truth to the thought that we CAN minimize the risk?

Tia Melissa - posted on 05/08/2011




I am reminded of a movie from the 80's where a cop treats a rape victim with utter callousness - blaming her, degrading her, disregarding her dignity - until he is the victim of a gang rape while on a morning run. Don't remember how the rest of the movie goes but I digress.

I completely agree with these women that there is NOTHING a woman does, says or appears in that could possibly justify rape. EVER. Rape is about power and dominance in the most invasive and demeaning manner possible. No woman, man, child, teen or elderly person deserves to be the victim of rape. It is completely the onus of the perpetrator. Completely.

What do people today think the human race did prior to the advent of textiles? They made weather appropriate clothes from animal skins. Sometimes, those only cover what is practical to cover. (I wouldn't want my bare parts sitting in dirt & grass!) I'd be interested to see sexual assault stats within primitive cultures - and I'm not talking during tribal invasions either.

That being said, as the child of police officers, I do know that there are some practical steps I can take to make myself less of a target. Those do NOT include how I dress unless it is to make clothing removal more difficult for the assailant or my escape impractical due to shoes or hampering skirts.

I would absolutely participate in a SlutWalk to get the message across that it is never the victims fault - not previous behavior, not profession, not attire, not speech, not hair color, not make up, not sexual orientation, not ANYTHING. Geez, ignorant people make me furious.

Jenny - posted on 05/08/2011




A woman can walk into a bar buck naked and it is still not "inviting" rape. I can't believe people still make these bullshit excuses. There will always be people who do believe that but hopefully marches like this will push that attitude to the fringe.

[deleted account]

They may have forced him to apologize but they haven't changed his mind. Tha'ts why he said he knew he wasn't supposed to say it in the first place. He knew it would cause an uproar but it's his opinion and I'll wager it still is. While I agree 1000% on being able to wear what I want, etc. I don't think a slutwalk changes the opinion of the idiot like that judge Jennifer mentioned.

Jenni - posted on 05/08/2011




Seriously? Wow! That's freakin awesome.
My sister lives in TO and she sent me the youtube video of the police officer's interview.
...and suddenly we were all thrown back into our kitchens with aprons tied neatly in a bow in the back, bobs and apple pie baking in the oven... safe and secure in our aquamarine kitchens, awaiting our hard working husbands.

Didn't they just have a case in BC or Alberta where a judge let an alleged rapist go because the woman he raped was dressed provocatively? "Sex was in the air" as he put it... so she deserved to be raped.
Wow. I'm ashamed of how backwards our country is on women's lib.

I'd join the slutwalk!

Sneaky - posted on 05/08/2011




So I was reading this book a few months ago about sexual predators (mostly child molesters but it went into serial rapists and other sexual attacks too) and this reminds me of a story in the book about a mum just out for her daily walk, wearing the daggy track pants and sweating unattractively in her suburban neighborhood, who was tackled from behind pushed into a ditch and raped.

Post incident she is having her first meeting with a 'victim advocate/counselor' type person (who is a WOMAN) who says something along the lines of "well that will teach you to wear provocative clothes and walk in dark places alone at night". Umm, yeah, ok. !!!!!

THAT is why (in my humble opinion) that things like domestic violence, date rape and child molestation happen - because so many people who are suppose to be 'protecting' the victims, blame the victims, even when it could not possibly be the victims fault :o(

I should add, that when I hear about a girl wearing a short mini skirt walking through the park alone at night that gets sexually assaulted (one just happened here recently) I shake my head in disbelief. Though I KNOW it is every womens right to wear whatever she wants and she should be able to walk down any street or through any park at ANY time of the day without fear, that just is NOT the society we live in and as responsible adults I think we should avoid putting ourselves in vulnerable situations when ever possible. I feel the same way about journalists that travel to war zones or tourists that travel to countries were terrorists are highly active. (Note: this is a vent about the SITUATION not the clothes). So yes, I think the slutwalk is a good idea - I only hope that it helps some men understand that women are not just sex toys.

Jocelyn - posted on 05/08/2011




I'd totally do the Slut Walk :D
We have every right to dress how ever the hell we like. A woman wearing a mini skirt is NOT asking to be raped.

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