SlutWalk: A Walk to Take Back the Word SLUT

When a Toronto police officer stated that women shouldn’t dress like sluts if they don’t want to get raped, women in Toronto decided to organize an event to protest what they call rape culture and slut shaming. And the SlutWalk was born.


Boston’s first SlutWalk will start on May 7 at Government Center and participants will walk to Boston Commons. It is one of many occurring around the world after the first event in Toronto inspired women and men to organize protests in their own cities.


“When I heard about the event in Toronto, my first thought was ‘I hope one happens in Boston,’” said Siobhan Connors, one of the organizers of the independently-run event. Connors said that although the walks aren’t officially affiliated, the organizers try to support each other.

According to the Boston group’s Tumblr, “It's a walk to take back the word SLUT in order to show that the nature of your being is not determined by how many sexual partners you have.” The website also stresses bringing attention to the issue of slut shaming, when a rape victim is disregarded because of her past sexual history, and rape culture, in which rape is tolerated if the women is drunk or dressed a certain way.

“We want to bring attention to the fact that women are condemned for their sexuality,” said Connors, who also volunteers at a rape counseling center. “[We want] people to think about this issue from a different perspective.”

Women don’t have to dress provocatively in order to attend, but they are encouraged to make signs. Connors said that both men and women are welcome to attend, and that there will be resources for members of the LGBTQ community as well.

Said Connors: “Our goal is to show that feminism can positively affect the community.”