On January 24th,2011 a Toronto police officer stated; “You know, I think we’re beating around the bush here,.......I’ve been told I’m not supposed to say this, however, women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized.”
Constable Michael Sanguinetti Toronto Police Officer.
On February 10th officer Sanguinetti recanted, “I made a comment which was poorly thought out and did not reflect the commitment of the Toronto Police Service to the victims of sexual assaults........ Violent crimes such as sexual assaults can have a traumatizing effect on their victims. . . . My comment was hurtful in this respect.I am embarrassed by the comment I made and it shall not be repeated. I apologize for any ill feelings my comment may have caused.” Constable Michael Michael Sanguinetti Toronto Police Officer.
In the wake of these comments a storm of hot reaction is occurring in America and across the globe. A long buried but raw nerve has been ignited in the intelligentsia and foot soldiers of feminism. More than that people are speaking up about a long harbored resentment that women must "dress down in order to avoid violence. That they must be discreet and dour in appearance in order not to invite unwanted and forceful sexual advances. As the sexual revolution rolls on despite the presence of factors such as HIV, religious fundamentalism and political conservatism women are becoming far more sexually assertive and expressive.The result of which is a personal sexual ownership. This is exemplified in areas as diverse as children's toys to the proliferation of at home participatory porn as well as fashion trends over the last 20 years or so, and a sense that men should not have a power over them that is reminiscent of the relationship of a paper doll to it's owner. In many ways women are going beyond exploitation and are now owning their sexualities for all to see. The general feeling seems to be rising that one's sexuality is one's own and therefor in the context of human rights....... inviolate.
Thus the rationalizations for violence based on sexual perceptions are now completely undefendable.
A movement called "Slut Walk" has grown from this officers unfortunate utterance. The movement seems to have sprung from the the tide of "Third Wave Feminism " (See wikipedia below for an explanation of this movement.)
On Saturday, June 4th, 2011 at the West Hollywood Park the first Los Angeles Slut Walk march was held. There have been several marches to date, the first having occurred on April 3, 2011,in Toronto Canada with marches following that in the US, Canada, UK, Australia, the Middle East and Europe. There were events being held simultaneously in Chicago and some other cities worldwide as well. Wikipedia has an great entry on slutwalk. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slut_Walk
The pre-march rally had a number of speakers who were rape survivors. One woman named Alana Evans http://www.alanaevans.com stood out in a rather Los Angeles fashion in that she was a professional and award winning adult actress who had been drugged and raped. Her presence at the podium was electrifying and made the point that no matter what, rape and sexual violence could not and will not be excused, rationalized or tolerated.
There was a sorry lack of representation by the transgendered community, who suffer vastly from sexual violence due to their lack of opportunities in the workplace ( forcing many transgendered males to seek prostitution work for survival ) and their perceived open sexualities.
The march was supported by a cavalcade of feminist and human rights groups such as Planned parenthood, CA National Organization for Women, Peace over Violence, Sex Workers Outreach Project LA ,http://www.swopusa.org The Pleasure Chest ( a local adult products store ) National Sexual Assault Hotline , Butch Voices Los Angeles , Ms. Magazine Blog, and grrrlVIRUS.
On the leglislative side, SlutWalk LA is trying to raise awareness for these three bills in the California State Assembly...........
AB 322 Requires local law enforcement agencies responsible for taking or collecting rape kit evidence to annually report to the Department of Justice any statistical information pertaining to the testing and submission for DNA analysis of rape kits as specified. http://www.aroundthecapitol.com/Bills/AB_322/20112012/
AB1373 Would authorize school districts to provide research-based education programs to promote healthy relationships and prevent teen dating violence.
SB 534 Would ensure that those who are sexually assaulted don't need to immediately agree to prosecute in order to get a rape kit done.
All in all it was a fantastic protest. The march went down Santa Monica Blvd to La Cienega to Sunset Blvd and on to San Vincente. It was one of the first protests where to this reporter found smiling in the California sun was appropriate. There was a wind of release and joy in the air as women declared their right to dress in any way that they desired at any time in any place. The point was made......... There is no excuse for rape and there never ever was.
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