Tuesday, July 22, 2014

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Walk Uses Provocative Methods to Send Serious Message

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Rochester: Walk Uses Provocative Methods to Send Serious Message
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It’s an event that’s making headlines, not just because of its cause but also because of its name. A group of local students are highlighting sexual assault in an unusual way.

Some say a woman can send the wrong message just by the clothes she’s wearing.

“Look at me," said Eddie Kelly. "That’s the message it sends. I want to stand out."

But with short skirts, revealing tops, high heal shoes, and other skimpy clothing, the message from these ladies was clear.

“It’s pretty much to raise awareness to victim blaming,” said organizer Susan Frank. “It’s not an invitation for violence. It’s not an invitation for rape. It’s personal style. I can dress anyway I want."

The outfits aren’t the only thing turning heads; the name of this event is SlutWalk.

“Slut is a word that’s right for reclaiming because it has so much power but still has the ability to cause harm,” said Emily Plessas, a student.

However it’s offensive to some, like Stephanie Robertson and her two year old son.

“I think it’s disgusting and he shouldn’t see that,” said Robertson.

Still it’s a bold way to draw attention to sexual assault.

“They have the right and they have the right to say no matter how I look it’s not an invitation to sexual assault me,” said Barbara Moore of the National Organization for Women.

As part of SlutWalk, dozens of students and community members gathered at Rochester’s Liberty Pole.

“As my sign says real men take no for an answer and that’s the bottom line,” said Madeson Saglibene, a student.

The SlutWalk movement started in Toronto and has spread through cities throughout the country. Its message wasn’t entirely clear to those just passing by Saturday.

“It made me stop and think, why slut first, and foremost then the clothes,” said Kelly.

“I agree with it but I think it should have been done somewhere else, said Robertson. "Maybe not the middle of downtown."

But organizers say women shouldn’t have to worry about sexual assault, no matter where they are or how they are dressed.

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