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Sat Nov 01 09:41:22 SAST 2014

Slutwalk Joburg takes to the streets

Times LIVE | 23 September, 2011 18:542 Comments
A woman shout slogans as she takes part in a SlutWalk rally against sexual abuse and inequality.
A woman shout slogans as she takes part in a SlutWalk rally against sexual abuse and inequality.
Image by: MARCOS BRINDICCI / REUTERS

This Heritage day, Saturday, September 24, Slutwalk is coming to the streets of Johannesburg at the Zoo lake Sports Club.

Slutwalk originated in Canada in January 2011 when a representative of the Toronto police told a group of students that “women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimised”.

A furore ensued, followed quickly by a protest march and the message of that march reverberated so that there have now been Slutwalks in over 70 cities around the world.

Walter Pike of Pike marketing says: “Slutwalk is a protest, a rally and a demonstration of frustration and anger.

“We are protesting victims of sexual violence for the violence perpetrated against them. No one is responsible for the for violence perpetrated against them, no matter what they wear, who they are associated with or who they are.”

He says Slutwalk is a world wide protest movement which is aimed simply at the idea that woman should not be told how not to get raped but men told not to rape.

“It attacks the practice of victim blaming, the bizarre thought that the victim is somehow to be blamed for being raped.”

The organisers of Slutwalk Johannesburg see Slutwalk as an international brand which can help raise awareness around a number of sexual assault issues; victim-blaming, corrective rape, gender violence, questioning the acceptance of a "rape culture" which they says has become the norm in our country. 

“We are trying to spread the message that you don't need to identify as a slut to be part of Slutwalk.

“If you're human and believe that nobody, despite their age, sex, gender, sexual orientation or sexual history deserves to be raped, then come support Slutwalk and spread the word.”

Pike says the use of the word slut has turned out to be extremely powerful because it challenges much of societal norms; it’s a word of liberation to many, to many others it represents feminism to others the word is deeply uncomfortable.

“What is for certain is that it can not be ignored and that is its strength - it is forcing discussion and has since it started in April in Canada represents one of the most successful rape awareness campaigns ever.”

He says the objectives of Slutwalk will do much to reinforce the goals of the governments approach to gender and child violence and in particular the section of the constitution that refers to the freedom and security of the person including that everyone has the right to "bodily and psychological integrity".

The walk will take place Saturday September 24 and will include speakers such as blogger and ad-executive Akona Ndungane, writer Fiona Snyckers, film-maker Gillian Schutte, feminist writer Jenn Thorpe, writer and academic Shafinaaz Hassim and actress and Slutwalk organiser Sandi Schultz.

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Slutwalk Joburg takes to the streets

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