Home / Spring 2012 / 2012-04-26 / Slut Walk seeks to change norms

Slut Walk seeks to change norms

 VSU has chosen to participate with the Slut Walk Valdosta today on the Palms Quad beginning at 5 p.m. for Sexual Assault Awareness month

 The Slut Walk will proceed around the campus, and end at the starting point where there will be tables set up with information.

 There will be speakers present at the event from the police department and counselors from the community to speak on sexual assault and consent.

 A Slut Walk is a march in which participants protest against excuses for rape or sexual assault because of the way a woman acts or dresses.

 The idea stemmed from a comment made by a Toronto police officer after dealing with a rape case, suggesting that women should “avoid dressing like sluts” to stay safe.

 Dorothy Sumner, administrative assistant for the Women and Gender Studies Department, elaborated on the subject.

 The Slut Walk has been brought to VSU to bring awareness about sexual assault and to let people know that this can occur anywhere, regardless of how a person is dressed.

 “Most college students who have been assaulted feel guilty,” Sumner said. “A lot of times they feel [like] they blame themselves.”

 The movement hopes to eliminate victims blaming themselves for being sexually assaulted, and it hopes to build up community awareness to ensure the safety of others.

Because the word “slut” has been used with malicious intent, members of this movement hope to re-appropriate the word and its negative connotation.

According to the mission statement for the movement, the enjoyment of sex should not mean a person is fair-game for an attack:

“We are tired of being oppressed by slut-shaming; of being judged by our sexuality and feeling unsafe as a result,” the mission statement said. “Being in charge of our sexual lives should not mean that we are opening ourselves to an expectation of violence, regardless if we participate in sex for pleasure or work. No one should equate enjoying sex with attracting sexual assault.”

Support for the movement among faculty and students has been well received.

“We sent out a mass-email and we only had about two negative replies concerning the name of the event,” Sumner said. “We’ve been asked to change the name, move the location and to just plain out not do it.”

For more information on the Slut Walk, visit the Facebook page: Slut Walk Valdosta.

Only about five percent of rape incidents are reported to the police, but most women on campus will tell you they’ve been in a threatening situation.

Students can find out how safe their campuses are by creating an account and logging on to the website of Students Active for Ending Rape.

Students can also organize their own campaigns to make their campus a safer place for both women and men, just like the women of VSU.

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