The title may be catchy and provocative at first glance, but the motivation behind the “SlutWalk” sends a bold message: Stop sexual violence against women.
Organizers of the movement called their SlutWalk an “in-your-face protest movement” to stop violence against women and “challenge the sexist culture” which they said teaches women not to get raped rather than telling men “do not rape.”
The grassroots effort, which started in Canada and has found its way to Washington, D.C., will take place at 11 a.m. on Aug. 13 in front of the White House. On their Web site, DCslutwalk.org, the group said they formed a D.C. version of the event to end “victim-blaming and slut-shaming.” Participants are expected to include feminists, activists, artists, immigrants, and the gay, lesbian and transgendered community.
The eye-catching title was no accident. Organizers said whatever a participant’s feelings about the word “slut,” they agree on the ultimate goal to end sexual assaults against women.
“While some women embrace the term ‘slut’ to represent their sexual liberation, slut is still a term that is viciously used against women to demean our worth, thoughts and decisions,” the Web site stated.
Samantha Wright, founder of SlutWalk D.C., told D.C. radio station WTOP that she decided to organize a march in the District after she saw the movement spreading across the country.
“Victim-blaming is something that is universal and I really, really wanted to bring the conversation here,” Wright told the radio station. “I wanted people to know that this attitude is out there and people really do blame victims for sexual assault.”
Participants will march from Lafayette Square to the Sylvan Theater where women from different organizations will be slated to speak.
The SlutWalks began in Toronto when a cop made a comment that women should not dress like “sluts” if they did not want to be sexually assaulted. Since then, SlutWalks have sprung up in Boston, Dallas, Seattle and other places, including Delhi, India, according to WTOP.