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SlutWalk Toronto Releases An Anti-Racism Statement

In News on November 8, 2011 at 5:40 pm

Don’t let the name fool you. It’s just a double entendre on a sexist term used by a Toronto police officer who actually told a woman that if women wanted to do something productive to slow or stop sexual harassment(and possibly rape) they should stop dressing like what he called “sluts.”


Image by alexindigo via Flickr. I love Toronto: big city, diversity, free health care.

The good folks of Toronto (or at least some of them sensitive to feminism and equality) decided a marching protest was called for. They later formed a group they called “SlutWalk” that would march in protest on a regular basis, across the world, to protest perceived incidents of sexism.

The protest movement, as noble and worthwhile as it may be, lacked diversity, as many black women refused to participate in the walks, being offended by the unattractive name of the movement and its resultant walks.

So, the founders of the peaceful protest movement has finally addressed the topic, and below is a link to their response.

What do black women think of these protest marches? Does the name of the movement really make that much of a difference in whether or not you decide to get involved, or are there other issues that make more of an impact?

  1. As a black woman, I support the overall message of SlutWalk, which is to stop blaming women and what we wear for the vicious, violent, sociopathic behavior of men who sexually harass, assault and/or rape women.

    However, I do think it is good that the movement is addressing its lack of diversity and insensitivity to women of color.

    If I had been at the SlutWalk NYC and saw the young woman holding up the sign saying “Woman is the N-word of the world,” I would have felt highly insulted. That sign to me represents the insensitivity of many white women, who have no awareness, care or concern for the issues women of color face, just because of our color.

    Many white women I have met throughout my life are all for fighting misogyny and the chauvinism they face from men. But because they really don’t have to deal with racism, they don’t care about how it affects those of us who do.

    Many white female feminists want women of color to stand with them and fight brutal sexism, but they don’t have the courage to stand up against and fight racism with us, and on our behalf. That “Woman is the n-word of the world” sign was a slap in the face.

    Did it ever occur to that woman that there might be black women in the crowd, participating in SlutWalk? Did it ever occur to her to think about how a black woman might feel seeing that sign?

    To me, it was a very stark reminder that I will always have more than one battle to fight- one against sexism and one against racial insensitivity.

    The fact that that woman felt so comfortable holding up that sign, probably without considering its impact on the people, especially black women, around her, makes that abundantly clear.

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