Around 5,000 so-called “slutwalkers” took to the streets of London on Sunday to voice what they called the “radical notion that nobody deserves to be raped”.
Marchers gathered near the Hard Rock Cafe and walked to Trafalgar Square, carrying banners bearing many slogans including “It’s a dress, not a yes,” or “No means no.”
Women showed bare legs and open cleavage to say they have the right to wear what they want without the fear of being assaulted.
The Slutwalk phenomenon began after a Toronto policeman told a group of law students in January that in order to avoid being raped “women should avoid dressing like sluts”. Toronto’s march in April was the first and was soon followed by protests in other cities across several continents. The stated aim was to “reclaim the word ‘Slut’”.
London Slutwalk organisers said on their website:
“We fight for a sexual assault survivor’s right not to feel that they were guilty in crimes that were committed against them. We fight for accountability and protection from the law, police and government. We fight for the right to define the boundaries of our own personal and private lives. We fight because slut will mean ‘speak up!’ until the day that ‘she deserved it’ is no longer part of our collective vocabulary.”
By Ali Sheikholeslami