Another successful Slutwalk protest in the streets of Melbourne.
SlutWalk is a public protest against victim-blaming and slut-shaming. SlutWalk Melbourne is one of many SlutWalk events around the world.
In Toronto in 2011 a police officer addressing a group of university students told them if they wanted to avoid being raped “they should stop dressing like sluts”. Feminist activists organised a show of strength to tell survivors that they are never to blame. SlutWalk became a spontaneous, global protest against victim-blaming, slut-shaming and the denial that these attitudes exist.
The organisers on the ground in Toronto made the decision to name the inevitable protest using the words of this police officer. This has been a divisive issue. Of course the word “slut” is offensive or re-traumatising to many people, but the intention of the organisers was to highlight the casual way in which women are dismissed as victims of sexual assault. At SlutWalk Melbourne, we believe in the merit of taking a reviled word and using it against those who seek to hurt women. It also can’t be denied that the name has garnered significant interest and attention on an unprecedented level for a women’s rights issue.
Some will wish to reclaim the word, some see its use as ironic, some hate it, but they still attend to support survivors in the fight against victim-blaming and slut-shaming.
More info here.