Second annual SlutWalk Vancouver march against victim-blaming takes place today

    1 of 1 2 of 1

      A second annual march is set to take place in Vancouver this afternoon (June 30) against victim-blaming and sexual violence.

      According to organizer Rachel Malek, the goal of SlutWalk Vancouver is to raise awareness of victim-blaming and the idea that “clothing is not consent.” Another message central to this year’s event is “only yes means yes.”

      “It’s something that allows an anti-sexual violence, but sex-positive message,” Malek told the Straight by phone. “We wanted it to be a positive message, that consent is consent when it’s offered, and if it’s not, it’s not.”

      SlutWalk began in Toronto last year in response to comments made by a police officer at York University.

      “He was speaking to college students and describing that if they wanted to avoid getting raped, they should not dress like sluts,” said Malek.

      Similar events have now spread to cities across Canada, and overseas to places like New Zealand and the Ukraine.

      “It’s an inclusive movement, and it’s one that many people have had their own experiences with, and can just recognize the need to end victim-blaming and end slut-shaming,” she said.

      Malek noted organizers conducted an online poll this year to determine whether to change the name SlutWalk, and the majority of people voted to keep it. She added that while organizers welcome the criticisms of the title, it’s one that gets people talking.

      “They get hit by it - they get an emotional reaction to it, and it leads them to question their own assumptions, of why do I have a positive or negative association with that, why am I offended by that,” she explained.

      “There’s a lot of people who have identified with that word or who feel like they can take away the power of it as an insult by reappropriating.”

      Last year’s SlutWalk Vancouver event drew over 1,000 participants. Malek noted that organizers are already planning to recruit volunteers for a third march next year.

      Speakers this afternoon will include Susan Tatoosh, the director of the Aboriginal Friendship Centre, Michael Vonn of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, and Susan Davis of the B.C. Coalition of Experiential Communities.

      The event will begin at the Vancouver Art Gallery at 2 p.m. this afternoon (June 30). Following the series of speakers, the march will take place between 3 and 4 p.m.

      Related article: Photos: SlutWalk Vancouver 2012



      2nd Nation

      Jun 30, 2012 at 11:42am

      Good luck with all that folks. Yawn.


      Jun 30, 2012 at 1:43pm

      Loopy, you'll notice that the article you've mentioned is from 6 weeks ago. At that time there were no plans for a walk. Now there are.

      I don't think feminists are out of the loop, I think Loopy simply has difficulty understanding what he reads.

      Ray I

      Jun 30, 2012 at 1:50pm

      Wow! And I thought Slut Walk was just what you see every morning in Surrey. Who knew?

      not again!

      Jun 30, 2012 at 1:57pm

      The theme of this march is supposedly about ending victim blaming, however I think that if a young impressionable female doesn’t understand that serial killers, sexual psychopaths and other deviant criminals exist and she sets herself up to get hurt, I think it would be reasonable to place blame with her feminist sisters.

      Germaine Washingtone

      Jun 30, 2012 at 2:31pm

      What about the people who are uncomfortable seeing people dressed in a "slutty" fashion? You know, like men with regrets and no opportunity. Also, do we know if dressing slutty increases one's chances of getting raped? Like, statistically, or scientifically, I mean. Is anyone researching that shit? It feels like that cop had to, inadvertantly. Heave forbid people share their research.

      So yeah, sluts are heroes.


      Jun 30, 2012 at 2:46pm

      I was recently looking at the "2004 Sexual Assault in Canada" report compiled by Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics which I found fascinating because Feminists are always quoting such numbers/stats. Here is some info from the report:

      To assess whether the respondent had been a victim of a sexual attack, the Stats Canada General Social Survey asked respondents aged 15 years and older the following questions:

      Sexual attack: During the past 12 months, has anyone forced you or attempted to force you into any unwanted sexual activity, by threatening you, holding you down or hurting you in some way?

      Unwanted sexual touching: During the past 12 months, has anyone ever touched you against your will in any sexual way? By this I mean anything from unwanted touching or grabbing, to kissing or fondling.

      (NOTE: The term "sexual assault" is used to refer to all incidents of unwanted sexual activity, including sexual touching. So according to this survey, if my boyfriend kissed me when I didn’t feel like it, it is considered a sexual assault.)


      Jun 30, 2012 at 5:25pm

      the comments here just make it all the more clear why such an event is necessary.


      Jun 30, 2012 at 6:07pm

      I'm glad they didn't epic fail like the TO slutwalk and change the name. They also encouraged to go naked which I also approve.


      Jun 30, 2012 at 6:37pm

      Victim blaming is pointless, because sexual predators will go after anybody regardless of what they're wearing.

      It's 20th century thinking, we are in the 21 century and live in a 'free' country. Do whatever you want, dress like a prostitute, who cares. I don't. I don't pre judge ever since my MIT professor looked like a homeless bum yet could calculate derivatives in his head faster than writing them down