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A SlutWalk is a feminist gathering intended to raise awareness of rape, rape apologetics, and other forms of violence against women, generally distinguished from other such gatherings by the fact that a number of participants will be dressed like "sluts".

It is essentially third-wave feminism's version of a Take Back the Night march, an alteration of style that has made some people rather upset.[1]


The SlutWalk concept originated in Toronto in April 2011, when a Toronto police officer stated to a crowd at York University that to avoid being made victims of sexual violence, "women should avoid dressing like sluts." This statement is based on an horrible old myth that many people have been at great pains to debunk, and is highly erroneous: first because most rapes occur between acquaintances rather than strangers, second because what "dressing like a slut" actually means can vary widely (see: Sharia countries), third because some people are narrow-minded assholes that think every woman is a slut whose purpose is to receive sex, fourth because rapists are not concerned so much with women's clothes or bodies as they are with dominating and degrading them, and finally because women shouldn't have to dress in certain ways to avoid being assaulted, any more than people should avoid driving expensive-looking cars to avoid carjackings.

In response to this incident, activists began holding demonstrations to protest the sentiments expressed by the officer, carrying signs that were mostly variations on the theme, "Nobody asks to get raped." Furthermore, and more noticeably, they decided to put the word "slut" in the center of their rhetoric by seeking to redefine the term as "someone who is in control of their own sexuality."[2] This resulted in many people coming out in slut outfits, despite tut-tutting from such second-wavers as the British/Israeli/American anti-pornography feminist Gail Dines, who was concerned that these women were giving in to patriarchal ideology as well as providing fodder for rape apologists, and Maiy Azize, who claimed that these women were "defining their sexuality on male terms."[3] Other groups decided to copy this approach, and thus the SlutWalk movement was born.[4]