Toronto, April 4 (IANS) In what could possibly be the world’s first such SlutWalk, thousands of young women and men came out on the street of Toronto Sunday to protest a Toronto police officer’s remarks that dressing like a slut is an invitation to rape.
With many dressed provocatively and dancing to the beat of drums , the protesters marched from the state assembly to Toronto Police headquarters to demand punishment for the police officer.
‘Just cause I am a slut doesn’t mean I want to be raped,’ said one female protester.
Condemning the comment that suggestive dressing in invitation to sexual assault, another protester said, ‘Anyone can be a slut. The most respected, powerful woman can be degraded down to nothing because of what she’s wearing.”
Protest leaders said, ‘We want to feel that we will be respected and protected should we ever need them, but more importantly be certain that those charged with our safety have a true understanding of what it is to be a survivor of sexual assault – slut or otherwise.”
Protest organizer Jeanette Janzen said ‘SlutWalk’ is aimed to condemn the long-held belief that a woman’s way of dressing ‘makes you a target.”
The protest was triggered by remarks from city police constable Michael Sanguinetti who during a campus safety session with students in January suggested that girls can avoid sexual assaults by not dressing like a slut.
Toronto Police chief Bill Blair said the cop was ‘inexperienced” and uttered ‘something stupid and he has apologized.’
The organizers said they expected only a few hundred protesters, but thousands turned up to put police in the dock.