'Slut Walk' Cleveland Rally Aims to Stop Folks From Blaming Sex Assault Victims

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Cleveland has joined a list of cities from around the globe that plan to host a rally in honor of women’s inalienable right to sluttiness.

It’s called a Slut Walk, and the point of the August 27 endeavor, say organizers, is to “take back” the offensive word. Slut Walk demonstrations have been sparked the world over in response to one of the more notable gaffes in the history of Canada.

Back in January, a Toronto police official was addressing a group of York University students after a rape occurred on campus. The good constable helpfully noted that “women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized.”

While the policeman was left to ponder his odds of ever getting laid again, women from London to Seattle cued the outcry. Enter Casey Schroeder, a Case Western Reserve grad student and host of the feminist program Voices and Choices on WRUW radio. Upon learning that Cleveland had no such plans to march, she took on the job herself.

According to Schroeder, the event isn’t a man-hating exposition, but an effort to take down the “blame the victim” mentality often associated with sexual assault.

“We have a problem with the idea that you deserve somehow less respect if you’re dressed in what is considered slutty clothes, whatever that means,” she tells Scene. “This is about demanding respect, safety, and fair treatment regardless of the way that we’re dressed.”

Schroeder and five others have formed a planning committee, and word has been spreading steadily through Facebook and Twitter.*

(* Note to Cleveland officials: Despite spreading through the internet, this is not a flash mob. Slut Walk is looking into permits and should be exempt from the city’s new, wonderfully ridiculous “Improper Use of Social Media” law.)

Early estimates call for some 200 honorary sluts to join the downtown walk, not counting those left over from Friday night in the Warehouse District.

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