A couple of months ago in Ottawa, a man in a car asked a girl for directions. She approached the car and was held at gunpoint and sexually assaulted. One of the guys at work said, “She deserved it. You don’t approach strangers.” I’m usually a pretty low key kinda gal and really don’t like conflict. But that ignorant and malicious comment conjured up the lioness in me. And oh did I roar (and walk out of the lunchroom).
I hate ignorance and mysogny. So when I heard about Slut Walk Toronto, I was thrilled. It’s an event that gathers people together who believe that how you dress or how you act does not give anyone the right to take advantage of you sexually. And there’s a walk in Ottawa!
This Sunday, April 10, meet up at Minto Park (Elgin/Gilmour Street) in Ottawa at 1:30 pm and take a stand on discrimination and abuse. We’ll sign letters addressed to the Ottawa police asking for more support for our safety and walk to the station to deliver them.
A little note from the promoters of this event:
Historically, the term ‘slut’ has carried a predominantly negative connotation. Aimed at those who are sexually promiscuous, be it for work or pleasure, it has primarily been women who have suffered under the burden of this label. And whether dished out as a serious indictment of one’s character or merely as a flippant insult, the intent behind the word is always to wound, so we’re taking it back. “Slut” is being re-appropriated.
We are tired of being oppressed by slut-shaming; of being judged by our sexuality and feeling unsafe as a result. Being in charge of our sexual lives should not mean that we are opening ourselves to an expectation of violence, regardless if we participate in sex for pleasure or work. No one should equate enjoying sex with attracting sexual assault.
We are a movement demanding that our voices be heard. We are here to call foul on our Police Force and demand change. We want Police Services to take serious steps to regain our trust. We want to feel that we will be respected and protected should we ever need them, but more importantly be certain that those charged with our safety have a true understanding of what it is to be a survivor of sexual assault — slut or otherwise.
Toronto and Ottawa are not the only cities hosting events. There are being held globally – from Yellowknife to Dallas. And you can start your own too. Learn more here.
A little Tori to get you in the Slut Walk zone: