Radio Times

‘Slut Walk’: Feminists fight back against rape

August 4, 2011


The SlutWalk in Boston, Mass., on May 7, which organizers described as a demonstration against those who blame the victims of sex crimes. (AP Photo/Josh Reynolds)

Hour 2

Philadelphia will be host to its first Slut Walk on Saturday. It’s the latest in a series of events that started in Toronto in April, when local women took exception to a police officer’s now-infamous comment to a safety education class; he said, “Women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized.” Now, women in cities throughout the world are taking to the streets in revealing clothes and fashion sometimes derided as “slutty,” protesting cultural attitudes that link violence perpetrated against women to how those women choose to look. But reclaiming a loaded word like “slut,” and pairing a strong message against sexual violence and societal attitudes with purposely titillating clothes, has elicited mixed reactions from feminists. Joining us today is one of the featured speakers at Saturday’s event, AISHAH SHAHIDAH SIMMONS, a Philadelphia-based documentary filmmaker, incest and rape survivor, whose “NO! The Rape Documentary,” is a much-lauded exploration of sexual violence among African Americans. We’ll also speak with REBECCA TRAISTER, a senior writer at Salon.com whose wrote about her mixed feelings about the Slut Walk in The New York Times Magazine, in an essay titled, “Ladies, We Have a Problem.”

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