SlutWalk will be coming to Singapore if everything goes according to plan. It is planned for 4 December 2011, 4pm at Hong Lim Park. There will also be workshops on relevant issues on 3 Dec.
For the uninitiated, SlutWalk is a protest march against explaining or excusing rape by referring to any aspect of a woman’s appearance. It started in Toronto, Canada, where a police officer suggested that to remain safe, “women should avoid dressing like sluts.” The first SlutWalk took place on 3 April 2011 in Toronto and started to spread worldwide.
I can understand why the people in Canada organise SlutWalk to protest against the police officer’s comment. But do we have this problem in Singapore? Do we blame the rape victim for wearing revealing clothes?
Here’s a quote from the SlutWalk Singapore Facebook page.
We are proudly taking a stand against sexual violence and the bully tactics of victim-blaming, as we are tired of being oppressed by slut-shaming; of being judged by our sexuality and feeling unsafe as a result. This is not just a “women’s issue” nor is it just a “men’s issue”; it is everyone’s issue. We seek to challenge the thinking that it is acceptable to live in a victim-blaming society as we do, where we are taught “don’t get raped,” instead of, “don’t rape”.
People who don’t live in Singapore might think that we have the culture of blaming the rape victim.
Do we have this problem in Singapore? Not that I know. Even if there is any, it is most likely a few individual and not a widespread issue. So why is there a need for SlutWalk Singapore?
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not against free speech or protest. In fact, I strongly feel that we need more freedom of speech and rights to protest. But are we protesting because it is an issue in Singapore or just because it looks cool and others are doing it? Are we just following a trend?
If you seriously think that victim blaming is a major issue in Singapore, then please go ahead and protest at Hong Lim Park on 4 Dec. I just hope you are not going because it is trendy to do so. I’ll end this blog post with a video from Penn And Teller: Bullshit!