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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Slutwalk: NYC Edition

Posted by Alex Zielinski on Tue, Oct 4, 2011 at 11:59 AM

Wall Street's 99 percenters weren't the only ones occupying New York City last weekend. NYC Slutwalk participants took to the streets on Saturday, Oct. 1 to rally against sexual violence in their skivvies. While a bit larger (some say up to 4,000 attended), the NYC walk wasn't a far cry from Portland's August edition: Girls in short shorts, leering men, organized chants.

However, journalist and Slutwalk participant Sady Doyle puts the eye-candy event into perspective, marking it important, but not the future of feminism. Doyle targets the outfits as Slutwalks primary problem:

"The name, the outfits; it’s all an implicit demand for attention. Lots of people wonder whether that attention is productive. Those iPhones were not whipped out to record the chants of 'blame the system, not the victim.' And I didn’t see any film crew surrounding the girl in denim shorts and a t-shirt, holding a sign that read 'this is what I wore when I was raped.'"

She goes on to speak with Slutwalk critics, comparing its purpose to the longer-running "Take Back the Night." Nonetheless, Doyle's participation in the walk left her content. But not blown away.

"As we rounded the corner and headed back to Union Square, I noticed the protesters in front of me looking up at a nearby window. And this time, they were cheering. Three older women were standing there, beaming and waving at us. And they were fully topless. I cheered for them too. I didn’t believe it represented all of feminism. And I certainly hoped it wasn’t feminism’s end point. But in the moment, it was impossible to believe getting those ladies’ attention and support was not a good thing."

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