More than 500 people attended the SlutWalk anti-rape demonstration in Wellington this afternoon.
What is this "SlutWalk"? According to Wikipedia...
The SlutWalk protest marches began on April 3, 2011 in Toronto, Canada and have since become an international movement of rallies across the world.
They are a protest against the belief that any aspect of a woman's appearance might explain or excuse rape.
The rallies began in response to remarks made by Constable Michael Sanguinetti, a Toronto Police officer, who suggested that in order not to be victimized, "women should avoid dressing like sluts."
The protest take the form of a march, by mainly young women, where some dress in ordinary clothing, and others dress provocatively; there are also speaker meetings and workshops.
According to MSNBC...
The police officer made his comments in January to a group of York University students at a safety forum.
He later apologized, but his comments were publicized widely on Facebook and Twitter. They inspired a march in Toronto last month that drew more than 3,000 people, as well as SlutWalks since then in Dallas, Asheville, North Carolina, and Ottawa, Ontario.
In addition to Boston, marches are planned in cities including Seattle, Chicago, Philadelphia, Reno, Nevada, and Austin, Texas.
Wikipedia point out...
"Such protests have not been universally accepted as appropriate; for example some objectors have remarked that this approach is an example of women defining their sexuality in male terms."
"Some have noted that the use of the word "slut" raises the hackles of those anxious about the "pornification” of everything and the pressure on young girls to look like Barbie dolls." Others have said "Women should not protest for the right to be called slut."
British Tory MP Louise Bagshawe has objected to SlutWalk "on the grounds that it "lionises promiscuity", which she says is harmful."She also added "promiscuity is not equality."
Tracey Barnett a Herald columnist said SlutWalk confuses rape message.
She felt that, by using sexuality to satirise a crime that, above all else, needs to be seen as a crime of violence, has backfired on the message.
The walk was also held in Auckland.