Thousands of provocatively-dressed women are expected to march through London next month when the growing "SlutWalk" phenomenon reaches these shores.I support them 100%. It's just a shame I'm not eligible to join the protests myself.
Thousands have taken part in such marches in Canada and the US, after a protest movement was sparked by the comments of a Canadian police officer suggested women should "avoid dressing like sluts" if they wanted to avoid being raped. On SlutWalk London's Facebook page, 3,500 people have already said they will take part in the march from Hyde Park to Trafalgar Square on 4 June.
There's something deeply wrong with our society when we focus more on what rape victims were wearing than on the rapist. For one thing it's essentially saying to women "Well, if you get raped it was probably your fault because of what you were wearing. If you don't want to get raped then you should dress conservatively all the time". Which is, of course, utterly wrong.
And for another, it's insulting to men and portrays us as some sort of lustful, uncontrollable, violent beasts. Only a small minority of men are rapists (the majority of whom are already known to their victims) and the rest of us are perfectly capable of being around a scantily clad women without raping her. We're not ruled by instinct and it's insulting that there's this view that if a woman dresses scantily then we're somehow unable to control ourselves. I'm not a rapist and I reject the view that the only thing between be and becoming one is a woman in revealing attire. When a rapist rapes someone then it is not the fault of the victim, or of some universal lack of control in men, it's the fault of the rapist. End of.
That's what these SlutWalks are about and they should be applauded.