Sunday 12 June 2011

SlutWalk London: Hundreds turn out in lingerie for the march

Organised to insist that women should be allowed to wear as much or as little as they want without facing harassment from men, some ladies turned out in provocative and revealing outfits for the colourful march, which began at Trafalgar Square the capital.

The idea for SlutWalk was born in Toronto after a police officer caused outrage by stating that 'women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimised' during a speech to university students.
Police officer Michael Sanguinetti told students at Osgoode Hall Law School during a campus safety talk: 'Women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimised.'

Female empowerment: SlutWalkers marched from Hyde Park Corner to Trafalgar Square in central London
The first SlutWalk was held in Toronto in April.
The protest soon spread to cities around the world where women joined in to challenge the mindset that victims of sexual assault should bear a degree of responsibility on the grounds that they were 'asking for it'.
The London march, which had been planned since May, kicked off behind a banner reading 'SlutWalk London: because we've had enough'.
View more pictures from SlutWalk London here
Others carried placards reading 'It's a dress, not a yes', 'Women against rape', 'No means no' and 'Hijabs, hoodies, hotpants, our bodies, our choices'.
One sign read 'We are all chambermaids' – a reference to the recent Dominique Strauss-Kahn sex case.
The former International Monetary Fund chief has pleaded not guilty to seven counts of sex crimes, including attempted rape, against his 32-year-old female cleaner.
One protester, student Sofia Capel, 25, said: 'It's not the victim's fault if they're raped. Some men think they own the right to women's bodies.'
Rachel Sullivan, 35, another protester who was casually dressed in jeans and a t-shirt, said: 'It's unusual for us in England to demonstrate like this, but this is too much, what this policeman said.'
Several men joined the protest too. Among them was Andy Fell, a 27-year-old sound engineer.
He said: 'I came to show my solidarity with my girlfriend, and with the issue as well.'
A man and a woman, walking arm in arm, both wore bras and had the word 'slut' written across the midriff.
Caitlin Hayward-Tapp, one of the event's organisers, said: 'We are using the word slut because that is the word the officer used.... and by using it so often we feel we have taken some of the power out of it... it can't hurt us anymore.'