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Women in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide are grabbing their fishnets, stilettos and leopard print to march for the right to wear what they like and behave how they want without harassment in four separate slutwalks. Notices for the latest slutwalks went up on Facebook only on Sunday, but more than people have already registered for the protest marches Australia-wide, including in Melbourne alone.
The slutwalks started with one small protest march in Toronto on April 3, when women marched in defiance of a local policeman who told 10 college students that: "I've been told I'm not supposed to say this — however, women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimised.
Since then, slutwalking has gone global, with marches planned across North America and Europe. Ms Bastow plans to dress up "as s riot grrrl, with reclaimed words written on my arms I'm a big fan of dressing up in a sexy way". With late May temperatures hovering in the low teens, Melbourne's slutwalk participants will be glad to know they don't have to be skimpily attired. Ms Clair is keen to reclaim the word "slut" as a source of pride, not shame.
I'm sexual, I have sex, I enjoy sex. I'm not going to be ashamed. But some women who support the cause hate the word "slut" and don't want to embrace it, says feminist Karen Pickering, who is also working on the Melbourne walk.
I ended up saying it was about the right to not be called a slut. But I do think that the more we use it, the more we empty it of its connotations.