Bonjourno my friends!
Currently, I am enjoying a rainy, lazy Sunday afternoon and it is awesome. Sadly, the thunder has stopped, but it’s still a nice murky grey. Just murky enough for me to not feel guilty about lounging around on my couch watching terrible movies. And also good movies (bought Black Swan Blue Ray on Thursday!!).
So welcome to my serious post. I put my serious hat on to write it. These are few and far between and I only write serious posts about things that truly bother me to my core. So here goes:
Last Sunday I attended SlutWalk Toronto which I have been looking forward to for quite some time. This kind of event takes me back to my college days when I was minoring in Sexuality Studies. Back then, my life was overflowing with feministy friends eager to discuss nerdy feministy subjects. I also really miss my classes in that program. It was like getting credit for participating in the most interesting conversations ever and sometimes I re-read my class books for fun. NERD.
So, the event:
In January, Toronto Police Const. Michael Sanguinetti spoke at a personal security class at York University where he told the students that “women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized.” Sanguinetti has apologized for his comments, but the statement exposed underlying truths about the Police Force’s lack of effective training in this area.
Instead of writing 5,000 words on the subject (because when I get angry, I can write a lot), I’m just going to link to a couple of articles that I think sum it up nicely. But the main points are these:
Rape happens to people wearing all kinds of clothes. A person is not more likely to be raped when they are wearing revealing clothing. This is a fact.
Perpetuating the myth that women who are dressed a certain way are “asking for it” is extremely harmful and misleading. It puts the blame on the victim not the attacker, which should never ever be the case. No person is ever asking to be raped, regardless of what they are wearing. No exceptions.
Women have the right to wear what they want, they have the right to feel sexy, and they have the right to enjoy sex without equating these things to attracting sexual assault.
The more we blame victims for the assaults against them, the more reason we give them to not come forward and report the crime. This allows their attacker to go free without consequence and it leaves the victim with no one to turn to for help.
Slutwalk is a demonstration to raise awareness that those who experience sexual assault are not the ones at fault, without exception. Rape is a crime of power and humiliation and is less about sex than most people think. SlutWalk is also a challenge to the Toronto Police Force to stop victim-blaming and improve the training they provide officers so they can in turn, educate the public about the true motivations of sexual assault and how we can prevent it.
If you are are a nerd and enjoy reading about this stuff and getting all fired up about it, here are some fun reads:
Realizing how many people still believe something that I think is archaic.
Feeling like I’m helping to move something in the right direction. Feels gooood.