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What's in a name? Slutwalks and Feminism

On January 24, 2011, a Toronto Police officer told a group of students at an information session at York University that "women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized." In response, some women in Toronto organized Slutwalk, a protest march which happened initially in Toronto on April 3, 2011. Walks quickly followed in Ottawa, Dallas and Boston and there are even more planned across North America, the U.K., Australia and New Zealand. Women across the world wanted to say that there is no such thing as implied consent, that there is no such thing as dressing like a slut or dressing to be raped. While certainly a well-intentioned endeavour, controversy and debate has come up around the troubling use of the word 'slut', problematic media coverage focusing on women in bras and stilettos, as well as a focus by some of the organizers and spokespeople for Slutwalk on personal empowerment and a rejection of the term feminist. With the Vancouver Slutwalk event happening on Sunday, May 15th, Meghan Murphy spoke with local Slutwalk organizers Katie Raso and Katie Nordgren.

This interview is followed by a collective discussion among hosts Nicole Deagan, Laura Wood, and Meghan Murphy about some of the more controversial issues that have come up around Slutwalk: debates, issues, media coverage of the event and of course, the use of the word 'slut'.

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