SlutWalk started in Toronto in Feb of 2011 as a response to Constable Michael Sanguinetti’s statement at a York University safety forum that “women should avoid dressing like sluts in order to not be victimized.” This sparked a backlash which has resulted in SlutWalk groups forming all over the world — from Seoul to New York City to Helsinki to Delhi to Johannesburg — to protest a culture that blames victims for rape, and to challenge the attitudes that come with that, which usually leave sexual crimes under-reported as a result. We recognize that we need to end not only the acts of sexual violence, but the excuses that allow that violence to continue.
This Dec, Singapore will also be having our very own SlutWalk. We are proudly taking a stand against sexual violence and the bully tactics of victim-blaming, as we are tired of being oppressed by slut-shaming; of being judged by our sexuality and feeling unsafe as a result. We recognize that we need to end not only the acts of sexual violence, but the excuses that allow that violence to continue. This is not just a women’s issue or a men’s issue; it is everyone’s issue — regardless of gender identification, class, religion, race, or any other identity markers.
We seek to:
- Challenge the sentiment that it is acceptable to live in a victim-blaming society as we do, where we are taught “don’t get raped,” instead of “don’t rape.”
- Emphasize that no means no, yes means yes, and that only our words can consent for us — not our bodies or our clothes, and regardless if we participate in sex for pleasure or for work.
- Fight the stereotypes and myths of sexual assault (e.g. men jumping out of bushes) and supporting a better understanding of why sexual violence happens (not limited to physical violence), supporting victims and survivors.
- Create an understanding that sexual assault affects all genders, while acknowledging the fact that it disproportionately affects women.
- Create a network of safe spaces for survivors of sexual assault to seek solace and empowerment.
- Reclaim the right to express our sexuality without fear by critically examining the value system imposed upon the word ‘slut’. One does not need to identify as a ‘slut’ to be part of SlutWalk — our ultimate goal is not to reclaim the word, instead we are reclaiming the right to express our sexuality without fear.
One does not need to identify as ‘slut’ to be a part of SlutWalk. We are asking you to join us for SlutWalk, to make a unified statement about sexual assault and victims’ rights and to demand respect for all. You do not have to wear your sexuality on your sleeve, we just ask that you come gather with us. We are not asking for you to “vamp it up” either, as that would be falling into the traditional stereotype that we are working hard to break. SlutWalk Singapore is asking you to COME AS YOU ARE — whether in t-shirt and jeans, in fishnets, in a sari, in a jacket, or in a tudung. No matter how you visually identify, we are welcoming ALL those who feel that prevailing attitudes as to why sexual assault happens need to change. We believe in the simple concept that everyone deserves to be respected for who they are. There will also be a series of talks and workshops the day before to contextualize our effort, to spark further discussion and to engage one and all in meaningful dialogue to create awareness about the various issues surrounding sexual assault, sexuality, and consent.
Join us in our mission to spread the word that those who experience sexual assault are not the ones at fault, without exception. Sexual assault is never justifiable, regardless of age, gender, class, profession, or race. We demand respect.