Sluts Unite!

Here is an excellent protest that I wish I could go to:

http://www.thestar.com/news/article/965577--mallick-what-to-wear-for-slu...

Too many police officers, journalists, “concerned” mothers, and any other number of ignorant sexists in the media have taken to blaming the victims of sexual assault for their own attacks. Recently, an 11-year-old-girl in Texas was blamed for her own gang rape, both in a New York Times article, and at a town hall meeting by a number of her neighbours. The article stated that she “dressed older than her age” (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/09/us/09assault.html?_r=3).

More recently, a Toronto police constable advised women to “avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized.”

I feel like far too many stories like this are cropping up lately. The onus is being placed on women to pre-empt their own sexual assaults, and when we fail to do so, blame is laid. For the way we dress, or the way we act, or basically for anything we do which doesn’t adhere to some imaginary code of failsafe un-rapeable virtue. Essentially, it is our job not to get raped.

Here’s a thought.

What if the onus were on rapists not to rape people.

I know women who have been assaulted under any number of sartorial circumstances. Sweatpants. Tank tops. Soccer shorts. I’m sure I could name pretty much any item of clothing and at least one person with whom I have at least a passing acquaintance will have been assaulted while wearing it. Because most of the women I know have been assaulted in some way. That is just a fact. And it’s not because they were asking for it. It’s not because their thong was poking out of the top of their Dorinhas (though maybe it was). It’s because we live in a culture which sanctifies rape, which shifts the blame, which wrings its hands over compromised judgment and circumstance and mixed signals, and does everything it can to make rape something that rapists (note that I do say rapists, not men. Rapists come in all genders, all shapes and sizes) can get away with, with little to no hassle.

I’m sick of it.

How about a Slutwalk Vancouver? I’d be so into it. C’mon, ladies!