Slutwalks: Part of the solution or part of the problem?
A panel discussion at the Feminist Legal Analysis Section of the Ontario Bar Association, in Toronto, Nov. 3, 2011. Panelists: Sonya Barnett, co-founder of SlutWalks, Prof. Brenda Cossman, University of Toronto, Karin Galldin, Ottawa lawyer with a feminist practice; Moderator - lawyer Shelley Quinn.
- The original "SlutWalk" came in reaction to comments by Toronto Police Const. Michael Sanguinetti, who told women at a Jan. 24 safety forum at York University's Osgoode Law School that women could avoid being raped if they stopped "dressing likes sluts." Sanguinetti later issued a written apology that said “Violent crimes such as sexual assaults can have a traumatizing effect on their victims. . . . My comment was hurtful in this respect. I am embarrassed by the comment I made and it shall not be repeated. I apologize for any ill feelings my comment may have caused,” according to an email reported in the Toronto Star newspaper on Feb. 18.
- On April 3, the first SlutWalk brought men, women and children – media reported about 1,000 in total – to the streets in a march from Queen's Park, site of the Ontario Legislature, to Toronto Police headquarters. Signs included "I was wearing pants and a sweater. Was it my fault too?" "Slut Pride," "Because we've had enough" and "Sorry, but I wasn't just asking for it."
- The movement, promoted on Facebook and through Twitter, went viral and co-founder Sonya Barnett says that seven months later, there have been at least 150 SlutWalks in cities around the globe.
- U of T law Prof. Brenda Cossman positions the SlutWalks within the framework of the "sex wars" between "second wave" and "third wave" feminists.
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