South Florida Needs a SlutWalk!
If you haven't heard, so-called "SlutWalks" are all the rage among feminists and the otherwise forward thinking types who not only oppose rape, but also find reprehensible the idea that a rape victim might at any point be asked what she (or he) was wearing at the time.
The first SlutWalk was a few weeks ago in Toronto. It came about after a Toronto police officer thought he was giving sound safety advice to a group of college students...
"I'm not supposed to say this," he told a group of students at an Osgoode Hall Law School safety forum on January 24, but to prevent being sexually assaulted, "Avoid dressing like sluts."
Because it's Canada, the officer apologized quickly. But the gaffe set off a series of "SlutWalk" demonstrations, first in Toronto, but then in several other cities across North America, include one at UCF not long ago.
Essentially, a large number of women (and some men) take to the streets -- many dressed scantily -- with signs reminding people that society seems to send the message: "Don't Get Raped" instead of the more prudent: "Don't Rape."
The only time it's appropriate to ask the victim of a rape what she/he was wearing at the time is never. That goes for police officers, lawyers, hospital employees, and anyone else. Because what the victim is wearing has nothing at all to do with a crime perpetrated against that person, and to imply otherwise is, not to put too fine a point on it, fucking disgusting. If a house is robbed, we don't tell the homeowner that he/she shouldn't have had such a nice house.
There are more marches planned in Dallas, Boston, Portland, Detroit, Denver, and several other places. One place there is no SlutWalk planned, however, is South Florida. There are no South Florida links on the original SlutWalk site, no South Florida SlutWalk Facebook groups, and you don't even want to know what pops up if you search "Slut Walk South Florida" or "Slut Walk Miami."
The fact that there has not yet been a walk planned for this region is strange. The weather here is much more conducive to outdoor demonstrations. The people here need to be reminded of these basic tenants just as much as anyone else. And many of the women in South Florida -- more than most places -- are already perpetually dressed for just such an occasion.
So, this is a call for action. South Florida needs a SlutWalk.
Here's a video from the Toronto walk for inspiration:
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss New Times Broward-Palm Beach's biggest stories.