I want to go to Toronto this weekend.
SlutWalk, a beautifully conceived and organized protest against this kind of women-hating, starts at central Queen’s Park at 1:30 this Sunday and winds up at Toronto Police Headquarters at 40 College St. Wear anything you like, the organizers told me when I emailed them. Because it isn’t what you’re wearing that matters, it’s that cops, and indeed rapists, will assess you whatever you wear. Their assessment will invariably be different from yours.
SlutWalk will feature people in all sorts of garments and gear, dressed for the office, clubbing, yoga, walking the dog, whatever it is that people wear as they go about their lives not asking to be raped. It is a message of love and strength to all women (and men), especially those who have been assaulted at the core of their being.
Well, I want to go to Toronto as long as I don’t have to file a police report about being sexually assaulted. This is what set off the SlutWalk.
“Women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized,” Toronto police Const. Michael Sanguinetti told a class on rape at Osgoode Hall Law School.
Yes, he said this recently. Yes, he said this as part of a class at a law school. No, attitudes like these are not remotely uncommon or marginalized.
Heather Mallick, a Toronto columnist who intends to participate in the walk, explains why that reasoning is wrong and harms victims. Along with that, I think it’s time to remind people how we actually prevent rape.