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Walk Like a Slut
The annual SlutWalk is the least empowering thing women can do.

Slutwalk 2011 in Berlin, Germany (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

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If the feminists had written a constitution, the preamble would probably read something like this: “We hold this truth to be self-evident, that the less clothing a woman wears, the more respect she will gain . . .”

This idea was epitomized at Sunday night’s Video Music Awards by Beyonce, who somehow managed not to bust out laughing while she smized in front of huge letters that spelled out “FEMINIST,” after completing a performance that mainly consisted of her gyrating and pole-dancing just like every man in America wanted her to.

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The gigantic capital letters of FEMINIST in the background nicely characterized the feminist movement: in-your-face and unnecessarily loud. (Real feminism, I think, is much quieter and involves much less fanfare, like a woman asking for a promotion in a male-dominated industry.)

The annual tradition of “SlutWalk” celebrates all of these aspects of the modern feminist movement: the nudity, the crassness, the loudness, and the hypocrisy.

The first SlutWalk occurred in Canada in 2011, to protest a Toronto police officer who’d suggested that women could keep themselves safe from sexual assault by avoiding “dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized.” Since the initial march, protests have spread globally to cities like Washington, D.C., Salt Lake City, Chicago, London, and even New Delhi.

The “sluts,” which are mostly straight women, but recently have included members of both sexes and any sexual orientation, are ostensibly protesting the “blame the victim” attitude toward sexual assault. And also rape culture. And slut-shaming. And oppression. Also, according to SlutWalk D.C.’s Facebook page, “We want Toronto Police Services to take serious steps to regain our trust.” Yes, the Toronto police department should definitely apologize to the women of Washington D.C. for a statement one police officer made three years ago at a law school in Ontario. Makes total sense.

The American Spectator’s Robert Stacy McCain covered last year’s Washington, D.C., SlutWalk, where many of the women wore lingerie and other sexually explicit clothing. Some were topless, and they chanted such sayings as “Blame the system, not the victim!” and “We want consensual sex!”

So let me try to understand this. A bunch of half-naked women calling themselves “sluts” met in public, bore signs that were “deliberately provocative” and shouted to anyone within earshot that they wanted to have sex, and we’re supposed to believe that the SlutWalk is advancing women in the eyes of society? As McCain wrote, “The SlutWalk movement is about rape in pretty much the same sense Nazism was about the Versailles Treaty — it’s the legitimate grievance that empowers a movement of irrational hatred.”

SlutWalk also seems to essentially be a trendy costume party, to take some of the images from last year’s protest as evidence. A simple Twitter search of #SlutWalk shows young women in bikinis or less, many wearing wigs and costume makeup. You wouldn’t think that they were about to protest something as serious as rape. In fact, the SlutWalk seems to be taken as seriously as Halloween, where girls dress in slutty costumes because “no other girls can say anything about it.” 

If all it takes to end the violent act of rape is for women to walk down the street in high heels and colorful wigs, maybe Halloween should be considered a key feminist holiday. Isn’t it about time for the word “witch” to be re-appropriated, anyway?

— Christine Sisto is an editorial associate at National Review Online.



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