WELLINGTON/NEW ZEALAND (AFP) – Nearly 1,000 people, many of them scantily clad women, joined New Zealand’s “SlutWalk” marches Saturday protesting that victims were not responsible for rape.
About 500 marched through the streets of Wellington and more than 400 in Auckland carrying signs that read “Real men take no for an answer” and “A kiss does not equal consent”, reports said.
The “SlutWalk” phenomenon, which has spread around the world, was sparked by a Toronto police officer saying women could avoid being raped by not dressing like “sluts”.
Wellington organiser Maria-Jane Scannell said the same attitude existed in New Zealand and it placed the blame on the victim rather than the rapist.
“We?re all here because we agree that rape and sexual assault are never the fault of the victim,” she yelled through a megaphone.
Natalie Thorburn, 21, told Fairfax Media she joined the walk because she wanted to change the culture of blame.
“We want to make a statement to say we can wear whatever we want,” she said.
In Auckland, the crowd marched through the central city chanting: “Yes means yes, no means no, whatever we do, wherever we go.”
Rape survivor advocate Louise Nicholas said young girls going out late at night did not deserve to be raped.
“Nobody ever deserves to be subjected to such a heinous crime and that?s exactly what rape is,” she said.
Nothing troubles some people so much as having to think. Not just read a post, click a link and then press “reload” and reinforce your already held opinions, but to think. They’re just recycling whatever vapid little thought is floating around in their head.
Because if you actually think in a sober, rational, reasoned and critical way, you might have to do something human beings hate to do: change their minds about something.
And once you know something you didn’t know before you might actually have to do something about it. Like marching in a slut walk.
It might be giving Toronto Police Constable Michael Sanguinetti a bit too much credit for giving feminism a jump-start, but protest demonstrations have been fueled by less provocative words than the ones he made to a group of law students. Sanguinetti said, “You know, I think we’re beating around the bush here. I’ve been told I’m not supposed to say this–however women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized.”
With those words SlutWalk was born. Marches have been held in Canada, the United States, England and many other places around the globe.
Of course there are always creeps who think rape is all one big joke.
Everybody knows rape is wrong and you shouldn’t do it, right? No. Everybody doesn’t know that. All around the world you see example after example of a woman being raped. A child being raped. A grandmother being raped. A mass rape in the Sudan or some other war-torn place. If everybody knows rape is wrong why is there so much raping going on?
My daughter has large breasts and she’s not yet 16. Some kids bloom faster than others. Hey, it happens. I tell her all the time, “Cover up. You’re showing too much cleavage.” Now am I telling her that because I think she should dress a little more modestly (good luck telling a teenage girl something like that) or because I’m afraid some guy will see her walking down the street, cruise along behind her and go beyond just checking her out?
The other day she morning waiting at the bus stop to get to summer school. The bus rolled by without stopping. She decided to walk instead.
She had almost reached the school when a young man began following her. He started asking for her name and phone number. She ignored him and kept walking. He said, “Wait a minute,” and grabbed her by the arm. She kicked in the ankle and he backed off.
That was a scary situation. Both for her as a young woman and for my wife and I as concerned parents. You might think a girl should be able to walk wherever she likes without some asshole putting his dirty hands on her. You might think that, but it wouldn’t be true.
My daughter is tall and mature looking beyond her years. She is not a slut and she does not deserve to be treated like one.
Who gets to decide when a woman is dressed “slutty?”
Who gets to choose what’s right for a woman to wear?
Rape happens. But it doesn’t happen in a vacuum. “I accidentally raped her” is not a defense. And how a woman is dressed doesn’t have a goddamned thing to do with it. That’s shifting the blame in a way that is obscene. Yeah, I raped her, but she shouldn’t have turned me on. It’s her fault she got raped.
Will protests stop rape? Of course they won’t, but that’s no reason not to do it or support it. If only one man learns not to put his penis somewhere it hasn’t been invited to go, it’s worth it.
In a perfect world there would be no need for a SlutWalk. There would be no such word as a “slut” or “whore” and rape would be an alien concept. It simply would cease to exist.
But this is far from a perfect world. So the detractors of the SlutWalk who think it’s just a staged stunt and ultimately worthless are right about one thing; there should be no women participating in the slut walk. Women aren’t the ones putting their private parts where they don’t belong. MEN rape WOMEN.
The SlutWalk should be done by men exclusively and they should swear they won’t rape, encourage rape, tolerate rape or nod and wink at rape culture, jokes and attitudes.
That would solve the problem right there.