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SlutWalk Movement Reaches New Delhi

SlutWalk Movement Reaches New Delhi

Do you remember the Toronto police officer who told a group of college students they should avoid dressing like sluts so they wouldn’t get raped?

I’ll never forget it and I’ll also never forget the movement this comment ignited by those, like myself, who are sick and tired of the victim-blaming that so often follows the aftermath of a sexual assault. After the incident, over 3,000 people marched in Toronto against the officer’s comment in what was coined a “SlutWalk.”

Since the first demonstration, other cities like Boston, Chicago, and Hamilton have held their own “Slutwalk” events and now the movement is heading east – far east – all the way to New Delhi.

Slutwalk Reaches New Delhi

A 19-year-old college student, Umang Sabarwal, from New Delhi believes it’s time for her city of 16 million to confront the problem of women’s safety with their very own “SlutWalk.”

Last year, one quarter of all the rapes that occurred in India were reported in New Delhi. And that’s not all. According to a survey conducted by a human rights organization, four out of five women say they’ve been verbally harassed, half say they’ve been stalked, and one-third admit to being victims of physical assault.

“Things are getting worse in Delhi for women and we haven’t been doing anything about it,” Sabarwal says. “You get on a metro (subway) car here and men stare like animals at you, like you’re meat…You have these police checkpoints around and assaults happen right in front of them by men driving around in their cars. This violence against women is something we talk about every single day in our classes.”

The “SlutWalk” is scheduled to take place in late July and according to Facebook more than 4,000 people have confirmed their attendance. Angered that women may dress “slutty” on the walk, a Facebook user commented the following:

“Women are responsible for the consequences of wearing such outfittings. It is a very sensitive issue…There are other ways of emancipation. They are going back to 5,000 years. How about men start walking on the street exposed? Let’s all make the street interesting.”

Obviously this user has misunderstood the purpose of the walk but maybe getting the conversation started with the “SlutWalk” is a step in the right direction to raising awareness of victim-blaming and sexual assault in a city where women feel so unsafe.

Related from Care2:

Police Officer Advises Women to Avoid Sexual Assault By Not Dressing Like a “Slut”

Students March to Protest Stereotyping Rape Victims

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Photo by WeNews used under a Creative Commons license - http://www.flickr.com/photos/wenews/5166706887/

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225 comments

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3:57PM PDT on Oct 13, 2011

I am glad women are taking charge.

5:47PM PDT on Aug 26, 2011

The way you dress doesn't excuse the rapist or sexual assaulter. They're responsible for their own actions.

2:06PM PDT on Aug 1, 2011

Salome W., Jun 19, 2011 8:25 PM
Sorry, but I wasn't able to send you a Green Star for your comment, but know that I really appreciated it.

2:03PM PDT on Aug 1, 2011

So, Susmita R., if I dress in a sack and ashes I will then avoid looks and sexual attention from men and, obviously, not become a rape victim? Because it's the clothes I'm wearing and the fact that I'm out alone, in the dark, or enter a man's home or smile at a man or say hello to him that encourages him to do whatever he likes, because, as you know, I had it coming! The image of women as only an appendix to men has way passed it best before date. A woman of any age should be able to walk naked in front of a crowd of men and NOT be attacked, physically or verbally. That's how MY male friend puts it! Because they feel that having sex with someone against their will is the most despicable act a man can do. I guess they are all feminists.....

5:38AM PDT on Jul 20, 2011

I don’t favour the name of this campaign, Firstly, it carries too much capacity to confuse people. The strategy of irony rests upon contradiction, which is too risky for such a serious issue.

The sign in the photo (above) demands that rape be taken seriously. However, many of the marchers present themselves in exaggerated stereotype that is anything but serious.

This mixed message in one parade – on the one hand demanding blunt honesty and transparency – on the other, displaying silly and frivolous costumes - could have many onlookers wondering whether they’re being asked to sympathise or to chuckle. I find no humour in this issue.

Secondly, I want the unhelpful and unhealthy manufactured stereotypes to rapidly fade out, along with the related aberrations of discrimination, disrespect, domination, exploitation and violence. Society needs women and men alike, to claim their birth rights in authentic ways.

5:20AM PDT on Jun 23, 2011

"This officer should not have a badge, and should be monitored in his personal and public life, since maybe he is a criminally minded individual."

Better yet Janet lets incarcerate him for his thoughts. Wouldn't it be wonderful. You could imprison everyone who thinks differently than you.

4:14AM PDT on Jun 23, 2011

I can't say anymore than what we on society already know to be the truth. . . what a woman wears, or how she acts, should not make her to blame for any attacks! The USA is a free country, and if that is considered "asking" to be a victim, than how come some European countries, have no laws against public nudity, and yet, they have less violence in general, but including rape and violence against women? Going with this theory, all women in these nations should be raped and assaulted for what they "don't wear!

This officer should not have a badge, and should be monitored in his personal and public life, since maybe he is a criminally minded individual.

11:34PM PDT on Jun 22, 2011

Someone said there are instances where women ask for it.How? By wearing sexy clothes? I don't care if a woman is dressed like a hooker,no man should rape her.It's called being a decent,civilized human being.They're the sick ones,they're the criminals,if they can't control themselves when they see women dressed a certain way.Most men don't rape,so there is the proof that normal men can control themselves.It is not the victim's fault,period.Why is this concept so hard for some people to grasp?

3:15PM PDT on Jun 20, 2011

Tammy and Susmita, both of you should go and do your homework for you've really not got a clue what the Slutwalk was all about. White Fang no female ever "asks for it" your comment is an insult to every victim of rape.

1:29PM PDT on Jun 20, 2011

Tammy --

If anything has been drilled into your head it is the concept that rape is about power and control. This is the standard feminist orthodoxy which you and 100's of others repeat on these forums, dozens of times a day. Trouble is all of you are full of %$#% because none of you know what goes on in the mind of a man, much less in the mind of a man bent on obtaining sex through violence.

Go take a few megadoses of testosterone and then you might have a small idea how men view things, but it will only be a glimpse. All of you women are talking out of your arses on this subject.



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Julie M. Rodriguez Julie M. Rodriguez is an arts, green living, and political writer based in San Mateo, CA. Her work... more
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