A woman in hot pants….

26 Jul

Several years ago, an international feminist outrage occurred when an Italian judge declared that a young woman had not been sexually assaulted because–her pants were too tight to have come off involuntarily.

The case was in 1999, but have things really changed? The Sunday Magazine of the New York Times published an article last weekend referring to the recent attempt to take back “slut”-in conception and figuration.


The movement began in response to a Toronto police officer’s advice to female college students to stay safe by not dressing slutty. Since this benevolently patronizing tidbit of wise advice, women in over 70 cities worldwide have participated in “slut walks.” These parades of strumpets and trollops are revelries in skimpy clothes and sisterhood, attempts by the participants to shout out their femininity and freedom in any way they choose.

But how, ultimately, does dressing like a slut shout and provide emancipation? Obviously, any and all women worldwide should and must be able to define themselves according to their own desires, cultural positioning, and sartorial standards; whether a woman chooses to wear niqab, a full-length skirt, or short-shorts must not be a factor in the determination of safety and free will.

Further, no matter what a woman is wearing anywhere in the world, she is potentially at risk for sexual assault, therefore it is her position in society in relation to that of the male that is a millions times larger determining factor than her outfit. However, no matter what she’s wearing, if she’s assaulted, her dress will come into question, scrutiny, and blame.

So, all things said, what difference does a slut walk make? Does “dressing like a slut” signal that she wants (negative) male attention? Absolutely not. Does “dressing like a slut” incur productive, feminist, positive change? Nope.


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