They were not your typical feminists. Many wouldn’t call themselves feminists, nor had they ever been part of a demonstration in support of women’s rights, but last Sunday, 3,000 of them marched down Toronto’s College Street protesting an offhand comment delivered by a police official to a York University class.
Don’t Dress Like a Slut
Toronto Police Constable, Michael Sanguinetti’s, remark that women who don’t want to be raped should “avoid dressing like sluts,” struck those who heard it–then and later–as victim blaming.
And so was born “Slutwalk — Because We’ve Had Enough.”
Wearing white t-shirts with the Slutwalk logo and carrying signs, young women, and more than a few young men, marched to Queen’s Park to protest the police, Constable Sanguinetti’s remark and what some felt was a culture that promoted the idea that some victims deserved what happened to them.
Although the Constable had already apologized, the police again issued a statement saying that his words were unacceptable, but the marchers believe that Sanguinetti represents a larger problem – the stereotyping of rape victims as “good” or “bad” girls, which means some rape victims are not believed or treated as the victims of violent crime that they are.
What Do You Think?
It’s 2011. Why are women still judged by their appearance and clothing when they have been violently assaulted and/or raped? Shouldn’t we be past stereotyping of this nature when it’s been established for quite some time that sexual assault is a crime of violence and not sexual at all.
It’s particularly disturbing when people in positions of legal authority still harbor such views. How can having such an opinion not affect their work?
What’s your perspective? Was the walk an overreaction or should citizens publicly call out officials who hold such outdated and dangerous views?