Slut Walk Delhi: A Fight To Reclaim Dignity And Rights

Posted on June 9, 2011 in Specials

By Alam Bains:

What is the most common reaction to a woman who is dressed ‘provacatively’? That she has no morals, she is loose charactered and is inviting trouble. Isnt it? Women and girls who become victims of sexual abuse are often told that they must have courted undue attention by dressing inappropriately. Does that mean that women are to be blamed for the conduct or rather misconduct of men? Is it that only women who are “inappropriately” dressed are raped and abused? Haven’t we heard of scores of women clad from head to toe being raped and molested as well? Is such an attitude implying that women who dress in a way not acceptable to the society can be raped and molested and then be blamed for it as well?

These are some of the questions being raised by the members and supporters of a protest movement called the Slut Walk, which after successfully conducting protest marches across the world is coming to Delhi on the 25th of June. The movement started in response to the comments of a representative of Toronto Police who said that “women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized”. Being sexually assaulted or raped is not about what you wear but using it to rationalise inexcusable behaviour creates an environment in which the blame falls on the victim.

The Slut Walk has had its fair share of supporters and cynics. The women who are supporting it believe that its high time that women reacted to the vulnerability they are subjected to owing to the onslaught of baseless judgements of the society and that women should be free to wear whatever they want without being held accountable for other people’s behaviour. The criticisms are basically directed towards the name i.e Slut Walk. People feel the name is not appropriate. It is seen as insulting and derogatory. The founders and the supporters of the movement have justified the name by saying that “we want to reclaim the word ‘slut’ and use it in a positive, empowering way. Historically, it has been used by misogynists to degrade women who are sexually assertive — whilst men in the same position have been hailed as ‘studs’ or ‘ladies’ men’. We wish to make it know that women are well within their rights to have consensual sex and to display their sexuality however they like”. Moreover, in a city like Delhi, it is felt that the protest march may become a visual with no or little impact.

The Slut Walk is a good initiative and is addressing an important issue but what is required to make movements like these successful is sensitizing the society. Women should be respected and so should their rights to live their life the way they want. If you feel that this issue needs your support then participate in the slutwalk which is scheduled on the 25th of june, 1 p.m- 8.30 p.m around Connaught Place and make yourself count.

You can also mark your attendance on the Slut Walk Delhi Facebook page here.

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