Some 2 000 provocatively dressed protesters marched through Cape Town on Saturday, bringing an international campaign against the notion that a woman’s appearance can excuse attacks to a country where rape is seen as a national crisis.
Men wore miniskirts and women draped sexy lingerie over their street clothes as they walked a route where fans partied during last year’s football world cup. Some protesters pushed their children in strollers and carried signs declaring, “Rapists rape people, not outfits”, and “Weak men rape”.
“It’s very important that women should understand that their dignity should not be taken away from them,” said Tayla Orgill, who was among the Cape Town walkers.
According to the most recent police statistics, more than 55 000 cases of rape and indecent assault were reported in South Africa from 2009 to 2010. The number of sexual offences against women climbed nearly 20% from the previous year, according to police.
When Toronto policeman Michael Sanguinetti offered advice to students on how to avoid sexual assault he could not have imagined that he would spark an international movement that manifested itself in Johannesburg and Cape Town.
“Women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimised,” Sanguinetti told a crime safety forum meeting at a Toronto university in January this year.
His throwaway comment inspired Slutwalk, a protest movement against linking rape to what women wear.
Johannesburg will host a similar event …
South Africa’s Slutwalk organisers say whether you are “a fellow slut or simply an ally, you don’t have to wear your sexual proclivities on your sleeve. We just ask that you come. Come walk or roll or strut or holler or stomp with us.”
The whole piece is here.
Am I the only one to see the idiocy that is a ‘slut walk’ (!) for female dignity? Certainly, woman walking the city streets scantily clad in lingeries is no answer! It’s just so sad to see that modesty and decency are no longer the order of the day…