They’ll be wearing fishnet stockings and mini skirts. They’ll be waving signs with messages that read, “My corset is not consent.” They’ll be storming the nation’s capital. All for the right to dress like ‘sluts.’
SlutwalkDC is one branch of an international movement that claims to raise awareness for victims of sexual assault. During the event, participants wear racy clothing and chant slogans to demand their right to dress and act promiscuously without having to face the consequences. On the DC group’s Facebook page, 1,000 people have already signed up to march this Saturday from the African American Civil War Memorial to Malcolm X Park in slutty solidarity.
The movement started in January 2011 in Toronto, Canada, when a police officer told a woman at Osgoode Hall Law School that women can avoid sexual assault by not dressing like ‘slut[s].’” The comment sparked outrage from the staff and the first slutwalk, SlutwalkToronto, was born:
We are tired of being oppressed by slut-shaming; of being judged by our sexuality and feeling unsafe as a result. Being in charge of our sexual lives should not mean that we are opening ourselves to an expectation of violence, regardless if we participate in sex for pleasure or work. No one should equate enjoying sex with attracting sexual assault.
The phenomenon eventually made its way down to the States and is now popular on college campuses. To name a few, New Mexico State University, The University of Maryland, Monmouth College all held Slutwalks and Slutwalk UConn paraded its own March to End Victim Blaming. I had the (dis)pleasure of witnessing one of these walks on my own campus. The main message I took away from it was these young ladies’ attitudes of self-righteousness. In their minds, they should be able to dress how they want without so much as a man even looking at them. Sorry, but that’s not how life works.
I have to agree the Toronto policeman’s comment was insensitive, but I am more offended by these young women’s reactions and their dismissal of personal responsibility. Somehow, I don’t see how dressing in a black bra and underwear is going to combat sexual violence.
Their cause may be noble, but their method is shamefully skewed. If you’re planning on touring DC this weekend, beware of a little more skin than you bargained for.