Neil Davenport, Spiked
The protests against an apparent culture of violence towards women end up celebrating victimhood.
When a Canadian police officer, Michael Sanguinetti, went on a routine visit to Osgoode Hall Law School, Toronto in January to advise the students on personal safety, little did he know that he would unwittingly inspire a range of protests in Canada and the US, as well as fuel a debate among feminists over in the UK. As he addressed the 10 students who turned up for the pep talk, he said: ‘I’ve been told I’m not supposed to say this – however, women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimised.’
Three months later, protests over Sanguinetti’s comments and other concerns have been christened ‘SlutWalk’. This involves mainly women demonstrating in scantily clad outfits or burlesque-style garments with ‘Sluts Say Yes!’ placards. It has been eye-catching enough to raise questions as to whether sporting ‘sluttish’ clothes is either empowering or belittling for women and whether feminism remains relevant today.
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SlutWalk: a step in the wrong direction (2)