Sluts on the Loose: Student Activism Today

Sluts have been roaming the streets of Toronto, Boston, and Chicago to name a few cities.  Not just sluts, but the worst kind of sluts, college student sluts.  The SlutWalk is the organized march of women to take back the word slut.

The SlutWalk was spurred by the comments of a Toronto police officer to students at a Toronto law school.  He told students that “women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized” when he was giving a presentation about sexual assault on January 24, 2011.  Founded by victims of sexual assault, the SlutWalk was founded to fight for victims’ rights.  The goal of SlutWalk is to finally banish the idea that the way women act creates sexual assault.

The idea of SlutWalk is for a woman to be able to dress the way she wants without being controlled by the male idea of sexuality.  This movement reminds me and this blogger of Third Wave Feminism, and especially the Riot Grrrl movement of my childhood.  Riot Grrrls were hard rocking Feminists of the early 90s.  Bands like Bikini Kill and Sleater Kinney sang about Girl Power and Revolution Girl Style Now!

They made really cool zines and dressed “slutty.”  Kathleen Hanna, lead singer of Bikini Kill, famously wore a Catholic schoolgirl skit and wrote SLUT on her stomach for Spin Magazine.  Riot Grrrls dressed this way so they could kill the negative connotations of words like slut.

As the new generation deals with the issues Riot Grrrls faced in the 90s, museums and books have also taken on these issues.  At the Experience Music Project in Seattle, a Riot Grrrl Retrospective examines the influence of Riot Grrrls on modern music and culture.  I am excited to see college students all over the nation taking up the Riot Grrrl torch and can’t wait to see where these Rebel Girls take the fight for equality.

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