“SlutWalk” Movement Hits Winnipeg October 15, 2011
On January 24th, 2011, a representative of the Toronto Police gave shocking insight into the pervasiveness of a certain view of sexual assault by stating: “women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized”. In response to this comment a global phenomenon was born. The first SlutWalk occurred on Sunday, April 3, 2011 in Toronto and quickly went “viral” with walks occurring across North America and in countries around the globe such as Australia, Denmark, Finland, New Delhi, Argentina and Morocco amongst many, many others.
Here in Manitoba, a small group of fellow Winnipeggers and a couple out-of-towners have joined the ranks of organizers around the world to coordinate our own local SlutWalk!
A mere month after the comments by Constable Sanguinetti, let us not forget Winnipeg’s own Queen’s Bench Justice Robert Dewar’s comments in a rape case he presided over. “Sex was in the air,” he said, noting the victim was wearing a tube top and no bra, high heels and plenty of makeup. The judge’s comments sparked a protest rally outside the Manitoba Law Courts building, with a group of about 100 people gathering to demand Dewar’s resignation. This case and countless others like it have motivated thousands of people worldwide to send out a call for action to all individuals willing to challenge the current culture, which has allowed itself to become complicit in the continuation of victim blaming, sex shaming and ultimately condoning sexual violence.
The institutions sworn to protect us “have perpetuated the myth and stereotype of ‘the slut’, and in doing so have failed us. With sexual assault already a significantly under-reported crime, survivors have now been given even less of a reason to go to the police, for fear that they could be blamed. Being assaulted isn’t about what you wear; it’s not even about sex; but using a pejorative term to rationalize inexcusable behaviour creates an environment in which it’s okay to blame the victim.”
The Winnipeg event will occur on Saturday, October 15th, 2011 beginning at the Burton Cummings Theatre (364 Smith Street) at 2:00 pm. The group will march the 1.5 kms together to the Legislative Building (450 Broadway) at which point we will have speakers on the subject of sexual violence. Together we will peacefully demonstrate our intolerance of the victim-blaming culture in which we currently live. Together we will move away from intolerance and onto awareness.
SlutWalk Winnipeg organizers encourage everyone to like the Facebook page, join the ongoing discussions, spread the word, and ultimately participate in the walk itself. More information on event activities, speakers and further scheduling details will be updated on the Facebook page as they are confirmed. For any questions, or if you would like to volunteer, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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