SlutWalk Demonstration in Tampa
Last Saturday (ironically, right after the Walk to End Alzheimer’s) a SlutWalk event was held in downtown Tampa. You’ve probably heard of this movement by now, but if not: In January of this year, a Toronto police officer claimed that women should “avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized.” The implication was that victims, and not perpetrators, are to blame for sexual assaults. So the SlutWalk movement was launched as a way of protesting this mindset.
The Tampa Bay Area is not always the most forward-looking place when it comes to social issues, so I was happily surprised the event was sanctioned for downtown in Joe Chillura Courthouse Square, across the street from the Hillsborough County Courthouse. It was a festive atmosphere – there may have been counter-protesters, but I didn’t see any.
A number of people shared their personal, heartbreaking stories of torment and abuse. It’s shocking that such things still happen in 21st-century America, but here we are. You can find more about the movement at the SlutWalk Tampa blog, or at the city of origin, the SlutWalk Toronto website. Whether or not you agree with the approach, the message is clearly important: No one, men or women, should be objectified based on appearance, and attire is never a justification for violence or harassment.
Notice the photo below has been censored to maintain a PG rating: