it was the middle of the night. i was in bed, wearing baby-blue boy’s pj’s.
so i was obviously asking my rapist to break into my house and sexually assault me, right? because that’s what the police chief in toronto implied earlier this year, when he said that women shouldn’t dress like sluts so that they don’t get assaulted.
and when i was 4 and my stepfather decided that i was the perfected receptacle for the outpouring of his sexual desire, i was, by extension, obviously asking for that too. not so?
i know this might sound shocking to you, but victim-blaming and shaming happens all the time. remember the movie with jodie foster? and there are so many other non-fictional examples (scroll to the bottom of that linked page) that leave my skin crawling.
this is why, when i read about the slutwalks happening in toronto and around the world, it resonated inside me like a gong. i *know* from experience that rape and sexual assault have nothing to do with what you’re wearing or what you’re doing. there is nothing wrong with sex. at least, as far as i’m concerned, there is nothing wrong with CONSENSUAL SEX between CONSENTING adults. rape, however, is not about sex. rape is about violence. and how someone is dressed, or the fact that they might be sexual, or even like sex, does not mean an open invitation to assault them.
slutwalk johannesburg is one of over 70 international slutwalks. we need everyone who believes that it’s time to stop blaming survivors for the violence perpetrated upon them, who believes that it’s time to do something to change our “rape culture”, that it’s time to break the silence, to come march, stomp, skip, walk and make your voice heard.
dressing (or identifying) as a slut is not a prerequisite for our march (what *is* a slut, in any case?!). come as you are! wear your pj’s, your ball-gown, your tracksuit, jeans, fish-nets, whatever, just come! slutwalk johannesburg is not primarily aimed at women. sexual violence can happen to any of us, male, female, whether we’re 4, 44 or 104.
the march is happening september 24th. join the fb page for updates and a slew of very informative links and follow us on twitter to show your support. if you’d like to volunteer to help make this happen, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com!
no matter what you wear, or what you look like, or what you’re doing, you have the right not to be sexually assaulted, and if you are, you have the right not to be blamed for it.
don’t blame the victim, blame the perpetrator!
By Sandi Schultz, founder of the SlutWalk JHB march