Toronto Cop's Comments Spur 'SlutWalk' Protests

Flippant comments about rape spark international protests that surface in the United States.

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Fresh from our "Isn't it 2011?" file, MSNBC is reporting that an international series of protests known as SlutWalks, sparked by a Toronto police officer's flippant comment that women should avoid dressing like "sluts" to avoid being raped or victimized, is taking root in the United States.

The article reports that the police officer made his comments in January to a group of York University students at a safety forum. He later apologized, but his comments were publicized widely on Facebook and Twitter. They inspired a march in Toronto last month that drew more than 3,000 people, as well as "SlutWalks" since then in Dallas; Asheville, N.C.; and Ottawa, Ontario. A SlutWalk was held in Boston on Saturday.

In addition to Boston, marches are planned in cities including Seattle; Chicago; Philadelphia; Reno, Nev.; and Austin, Texas. Russell Contreras of MSNBC reports, "The event is in protest of a culture that we think is too permissive when it comes to rape and sexual assault," said Siobhan Connors, 20, of Lynn, Mass., a Boston organizer. "It's to bring awareness to the shame and degradation women still face for expressing their sexuality ... essentially for behaving in a healthy and sexual way."

Some women and men who protest dress in nothing more remarkable than jeans and T-shirts, while others wear provocative or revealing outfits to bring attention to "slut-shaming," or shaming women for being sexual, and the treatment of sexual-assault victims.

This debacle is yet another affirmation that what is done in the dark will come to light, especially with access to social networks. How sad is it that we still have to remind folks -- even cops -- not to blame the victim in cases involving rape? It's a crime about power, not clothing.

Read more at MSNBC.

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