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Slutwalk is coming to London. It was originally scheduled for Saturday the 4th of June but apparently it’s been moved to the 11th. This is an anti-rape protest first started in Toronto, Canada.

I am troubled with Slutwalk as a movement. At first I found it difficult to put into words why this was. It made me uneasy. I consider myself a feminist, of course I am against violence towards women and I’m a fan of protesting. Protesting something we disagree with is important, we shouldn’t just accept the status quo. So when a law officer in Toronto said that women should avoid dressing ‘slutty’ to avoid rape I was pleased at the uproar.

However, as the protest movement picked up speed and organised into the ‘Slutwalk’ phenomena spreading across to the U.S.A., U.K. and Australia I became increasingly uncomfortable. And I’m not alone. People all over have been voicing concerns such as this critique by Meghan Murphy and this blog post on the f-word. ‘Reclaiming’ a negative word doesn’t automatically take away its power. It may seem empowering to call myself a slut but by doing so I am buying into the rhetoric of the word to begin with. If someone uses it against me with malice it’s negative power holds true.

Not all negative words should be reclaimed.

I think we just need to get away from describing what people wear as slutty. It’s not the clothes. After all what is thought of as ‘slutty’ changes depending on the time, the country and the person. Rather than embracing the word ‘slut’ and making friends with it I think we would do better to attack it, chopping it off at the roots. As fun as it is making a sign shouting ‘I’M A SLUT’ better, I think, to shout ‘THERE ARE NO SLUTS’.

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