SlutWalk started in Toronto, Ontario, Canada in April 2011 in response to the slur of a Toronto Police officer who suggested that women could remain safe by avoiding dressing like ‘sluts.’ Since then, the movement has spread across the globe as a worldwide protest against aggression and rape. Activists are reframing the dialogue, calling on societies to place the blame on the perpetrators, and not the victims.
We’ve covered the social justice angles in our OpEd, connected the dots between environmentalism and women’s issues, and revealed that Israel is the first country in the Middle East to organize three SlutWalks. Now we’re providing interested readers with links to the Facebook event pages, including dates and location information (please note: most of the information on Facebook is in Hebrew).
Tel Aviv SlutWalk will take place on Thursday, March 22, 2012, (starting off at Gan Meir at 18:00). The Haifa SlutWalk is scheduled for March 30, 2012, and the Jerusalem SlutWalk is set for Friday, April 27, 2012.
From the Tel Aviv SlutWalk facebook event page (please note, the organizers are clear that attendees from all walks of life are invited, including those who prefer modest dress):
When all over we are hearing the claim that women who choose to dress revealingly, drink alcohol or act in a certain way are responsible for being raped and sexually harassed we have to protest.
This assumption hurts not only the rape victims but also women in general. Women feel that their basic rights to live and act the way they choose is threatened. Men, too, are also affected by this attitude. They are treated as incompetent beasts with no self awareness and who therefore cannot control themselves.
In the 24th of January, 2011, a policeman in Toronto, Canada, said that to stay safe and not become victims women must not dress like sluts. A sentence like this, that was said in an official conference of the Canadian police force displays the sad state that exists all over the world. And so was born the idea of The Slut Walk, which spread all over the world.
In Israel, the situation isn’t different. When victims finally muster up the courage to ask for help they are often answered with the sentence: “you asked for it”. This general state of mind, blaming the victims themselves for what they went through, climbs up into the highest ranks of government and army.
Because of the initiative of The Slut Walks in Haifa and Jerusalem, we’d like to have a walk of our own – here, in Tel Aviv. Let’s prove that our wardrobe is our own choice and ours only. Our body is our own and therefore we have the right to dress and look the way the way we want – whether it pleases other people or not. It is no excuse for rape, or any form of sexual harassment.
Come with revealing clothes, or don’t come with revealing clothes. Come dressed exactly the way you want to dress. No one will judge you- that’s the cause. It is everyone’s right, men and women, to dress the way they want. We will be walking from Gan Meir to Rabin Square in revealing clothes. Dress the way you wish and come march with us!
As the only democratic country in the Middle East, it is not surprising that Israel is hosting the first SlutWalks in the region. Morocco has a Facebook page devoted to similar efforts, but Israel remains the leading edge nation in the region with regards to women’s rights and environmental activism, with hundreds of participants expected to show up in Tel Aviv, Haifa and Jerusalem for the planned protest marches.