Linda Colling: Who wants the right to dress like a slut?

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COMING to a city near you – a SlutWalk.

What kind of woman would brand herself a slut?

The very term denegrates womanhood. As this global march phenomenon grips Britain, the ethos behind it is great that women should be able to wear whatever they want without being seen by men as fair game and up for it.

But it’s all taking on a carnival guise, where women who are up for stripping down to scanty bras and pants and emblazoning the word “Slut” across their flesh are bringing what is a serious message into an excuse for a circus.

“Hey, look at me I’m wearing as little as possible and joining in a very jolly jape.”

Newcastle and London are all set to follow suit next month mimicking the hundred protesters in Dallas, decked out in various stages of undress who marched chanting: “Hey, hey, ho, ho, we understand that no means no.”

While it is great that women are rebelling to end the “victimisation and the culture of blame” towards rape victims, how many are really on the march with serious intent?

It is indeed right to raise awareness for rape victims to tell people that they are not to blame, no matter what they wear, but if only they had chosen a better name than this.

Of course organisers embraced the term after a Canadian policeman told women on a campus to stop dressing like “sluts” to avoid being raped.

Pc Michael Sanguinetti’s comments came in a health and safety talk in Toronto and they were seized on. He has since apologised and been disciplined.

This doubtless well-meaning man, who didn’t use the word rape but “victimised”, sparked outrage, that women who dress like slags are partly responsible if they are attacked, sexually harrassed or raped.

As unfortunate as the policeman is the choice of name.

It is not about standing up for feminisim or liberalism but the right to dress like a hooker and reclaim the word slut.

I want neither.

While I applaud any reminder to men that however a woman dresses it is no excuse for pleading he was provoked into a sexual attack, I don’t want the right to dress as a slut. No right-thinking woman does.

If you think anything about yourself you won’t either. SlutWalks are getting masses of publicity and the march is to turn into an annual event to tell people that anyone can be a victim of rape, despite what they wear or do.

Let’s not forget there are more women raped in their home than on the street; far more by someone they know and trust, than by a stranger, just as with murder. And rape can and does happen to women who are covered up.

I would like to see more responsible attire being worn on these marches to match the message.

And also looking closer to home for men who can be a danger.