November 2, 2015
People across the world march for all kinds of noble reasons: AIDS awareness, breast cancer research, Alzheimer’s—the list goes on and on. However, until 2011, no one had taken up the mantle and marched for “sluts.” The word is in quotations because it illustrates the overall point of the march: to raise awareness of the perceived double standards of a society that perpetuates sexual assaults by frequently blaming the victim.
It’s a hot-button issue, to be sure, and one that strikes a nerve, as evidenced by the hundreds of women who showed up to Downtown Los Angeles’ Pershing Square in revealing clothing, all showing their solidarity (and some skin) for the cause. Here’s everything you need to know about LA’s recent “SlutWalk.”
“Slut shaming” is nothing new
Long before the term caught on in popular culture, the idea of blaming victims of sexual violence was a common occurrence. There were men out there (and many women) who questioned victims’ wardrobe and suggested that wearing revealing clothing invites assaults.
This notion was further propagated in 2011 when a Toronto police officer admonished certain segments of women by all but declaring that if they didn’t want to be raped, they shouldn’t dress like “sluts.” The word caught on, and the SlutWalk was born. Marches were held in many cities, including Toronto, before coming to LA on October 3rd, 2015.
Amber Rose took the lead
Amber Rose, a former stripper and hip-hop model, took the lead at Pershing Square. Dressed in a black negligee and holding a sign that read “strippers have feelings too,” she galvanized the crowd (which included some men). Rose strayed slightly from the topic at hand due to her mother holding a sign (too graphic to print here) that was a not-so-subtle shot across the bow of Rose’s ex-boyfriend, one Mr. Kanye West. The two have verbally sparred before, but despite the airing of some dirty laundry, the day seemed to come off without a hitch.
What do you think? Is taking the SlutWalk on the road a good way to raise awareness of an issue that affects many women on a daily basis?