Sunday, 11 March 2012

An Introduction

     Man: Hello, I'd like to report a mugging.
     Officer: A mugging eh? Where did it take place?
     Man: I was walking by 21st and Dundritch Street and a man pulled out a gun and said, "Give me all your money."
    Officer: And did you?
    Man: Yes, I co-operated.
    Officer: So you willingly gave the man your money without fighting back, calling for help or trying to escape?
    Man: Well, yes, but I was terrified. I thought he was going to kill me!
    Officer: Mmm. But you did co-operate with him. And I've been informed that you're quite a philanthropist, too.
   Man: I give to charity, yes.
   Officer: So you like to give money away. You make a habit of giving money away.
   Man: What does that have to do with this situation?
   Officer: You knowingly walked down Dundritch Street in your suit when everyone knows you like to give away money, and then you didn't fight back. It sounds like you gave money to someone, but now you're having after-donation regret. Tell me, do you really want to ruin his life because of your mistake?

     As a title, as well as a topic, SlutWalk can be slightly shocking for those who are unfamiliar with it. This apparent bluntness of both its message and ideology is why I chose SlutWalk to be the object if my research. On the surface it seems to simply support victims of sexual assault and advocate for turning away from slut shaming and victim blaming in our society. In fact, SlutWalk has grown in the issues it seeks to highlight, especially the right of women to control their bodies and sexuality.

Courtesy of Souch, Lauren / 2011

      In this initial post I will provide information about SlutWalk and what it stands for, along with examples of the individual events which grab the attention of the organizers and followers of SlutWalk. My following posts will each examine a different aspect of SlutWalk, sometimes in relation to other social movements or protests. This blog is a project for my Anthropology class, thus it all should relate back to the anthropological principles I have learned in class. I will try to present my topics in an unbiased manner as possible. The purpose of my project is to research a current social movement. One definition of a social movement I have found is "an organized group of individuals working together to change and transform social, political or economic realities" (The Socjournal). SlutWalk for example is made up of groups of individuals from all over the globe in order to enact social change.

     SlutWalk began in Toronto as a response to a comment made by a Toronto police officer, stating that "women should avoid dressing like sluts in order to not be victimized"(SlutWalk:2011). Out of the shock and outraged aftermath of this comment SlutWalk was born. Last April thousands of people took to the streets and marched to the Toronto Police Headquarters. The marchers were armed with banners and some were dressed in types of costumes or as 'sluts'.  Many participants had their own stories of assault to share, others had come in support of friends and family members affected. This initial march in Toronto inspired marches in cities across the world, London,  Sydney, and Delhi are just a few examples. One idea of SlutWalk is to reclaim the word slut, to redefine it so it can no longer be used as a device to control the sexuality of women.

     In order to get a better sense of SlutWalk I have been looking at their website as well as following them on Facebook. The Facebook page seems to be a good indication of the other issues that SlutWalk, or at least its members, want to bring attention to, along with dates and information about SlutWalks occurring other cities.

For more information on SlutWalk:
or look them up on Facebook

And for more examples of discussions of SlutWalk:

References Cited
SlutWalk. 2011. "Why". . Consulted 3 March 2012.

Socjournal. "Unit 1: Social Movements, Social Class, and Power". Consulted 21 March 2012

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