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Chicago gears up for Slutwalk

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It began in Canada with a small group of five friends who were outraged after a Toronto police officer told law students they would be safer if they didn’t dress like “a slut.” What began as a conversation among friends grew into a multinational movement, with protests scheduled across the world.

The protests, known as SlutWalk, began in Toronto on April 3 and have since spread worldwide. SlutWalk is coming soon to the streets of Chicago.

“SlutWalk isn’t just about rape and assault – it’s not about judging people on their sexual behavior and on double standards,” Jamie Keiles, a co-organizer of the Chicago SlutWalk said. “Instead, let’s judge them as a person.”

Since SlutWalk’s inception, it has become “a lot broader of an idea,” Keiles said. “It’s about promoting sex positivity and giving people agency over their identity.”

Keiles hopes the movement will inform people about victim blaming -“the idea that victims of rape are at fault and somehow their actions contributed to the fact that they were assaulted,” she said. “It’s an accountability for all people to know that’s not true.”

Many DePaul students plan to participate in Chicago’s SlutWalk protest on June 4.

“It is never the victim’s fault, and the notion that women were ‘asking for it’ is exactly what the victimizers use to explain their actions,” freshman Andreja Lapsys, who plans on participating in the Chicago SlutWalk, said. “Girls dress to attract the attention of guys, but so do they. Why should women be forced to change what they wear?”

DePaul freshman and political science major Angelika Giatras also plans to attend the upcoming Chicago march. Giatras said the Canadian police officer’s statement was “completely ridiculous” and added that, “It reveals the problem of stereotyping in society, and such thinking unfairly places blame on victims for crimes against them.”

But not everyone disagreed with the police officer’s “slut” remark, “Women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized,” according to the Associated Press.

“Honestly, I kind of agree with that statement, if a girl is dressing promiscuous that obviously means they want some sort of sexual attention,” Alanna Bagladi, a freshman majoring in digital cinema, said. “If they’re going out to the bars and not looking for sexual relations they shouldn’t be so suggestive.”

Some DePaul students said that how a woman chooses to dress doesn’t necessarily have to do with sexual attention.

“Everyone is entitled to dress and express their own sexuality however they please and should never be shamed for those very personal decisions,” Melina Lindsey, a junior majoring in secondary education, said. According to Lindsey, students “can recognize that what people choose to do with their bodies is entirely up to them.”

Chicago’s own ‘SlutWalk’ protest is scheduled to take place on June 4, with the walk assembling at the Thompson Center Plaza an hour before marching at noon. There will be live music and entertainment followed by a social gathering for drinks and conversation on the patio at Zella, 1938 N. Clybourn, around 3:30 p.m. after the walk.

Giatras encouraged students to participate in the walk. “The only way you can affect change is to take the time and effort to protest and make your voice heard.”

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Chicago gears up for Slutwalk