If the aim of the SlutWalk mobilisation is to utterly confuse the idea of what a ''slut'' is, it's succeeded.
SlutWalk marches began in April in Canada and are now a global movement of rallies: Auckland and Wellington had theirs last weekend. They’re protesting the belief that a woman's appearance might explain or excuse rape. The rallies were in response to a Toronto policeman saying that, in order not to be victimised, women should avoid dressing like sluts. The protestors are mainly younger women, some dressed in normal clothing, others provocatively.
As SlutWalks spread into less liberated countries, it'll be interesting to see the response – in India, for example, will women replace saris with shorts? Will Saudi women dare to show their arms?
And do those on SlutWalks actually understand the full meaning of the word (not just today’s "she's dressed like that so she must be gagging for it" misinterpretation?) Do they even care?
There’s a time and place for everything...dressing appropriately for any situation is the same as leaving keys in an unlocked car: it’s ‘risk management’. While a woman should be able to wear what she likes wherever and whenever she likes, it is a sad fact that a small percentage of males may see risqué clothing as a draw-card…just as it’s a sad fact that in certain areas of the city, the unlocked car with the keys in it will disappear. She – and that car – should be safe at any time, anywhere. But the reality is – they aren’t.
Women can call themselves any NAME they want.
Women can dress any WAY they want.
Women can go anyWHERE they want.
But just as I value my car, so they too should use 'the better part of valour'.
And all men must understand the meaning of "NO".