Early this year, a Toronto police officer suggested that women shouldn’t dress like “sluts” if they wanted to avoid being raped or assaulted. This is like when you go at sea in a small boat, you need to wear an orange rescue vest; or like when you step out of the car on the Autobahn, a yellow high visibility jacket to safeguard your own life, for obvious reasons. You don’t have one in your car? Well, that’s illegal and you’ll be fined by the police.
What made the Toronto policeman associate slut-dress code with life-saving designed vests that are mandatory in specially dangerous situations? Possibly the high incidence of crime in the big cities. As you gotta make yourself visible, or floatable, for speeding vehicles or for deep and treacherous waters, the same way, if you are a woman, you should beware of the rapists roaming the urban jungle by making you invisible. And if you’re a man? Sexually uninteresting for rapists? Then it’s good to keep some money at hand for the potential assaulters around the corner, just in case. Not to drive them mad or they might kill you.
Now comes the thousand dollar question. What’s the job of the police? Traffic police rightfully enforces yellow vests on motorists. Makes sense to protect pedestrians from vehicles legitimately driving at high speeds. But are rapists legitimate? Creating a situation where women have to wear a mandatory burka on the streets, just to avoid being raped? Perhaps this is why some countries enforce burkas. Is Canada akin to those distant lands? Let’s hope that this is still a civilized and woman-friendly society, governed by law and ruled by Gentlemen, not scared by criminal beasts.
Closing this real but appalling story with a quote from Montreal CTV News.
Maryse Rinfred-Raynor from Universite de Montreal’s school of social work said it’s not surprising women are so outraged by the police officer’s comment.
“I really feel that women who react to that kind of thing are right to do so, because no woman should be perceived only sexually – a woman is much more than that,” she said.
It’s a lesson SlutWalk attendee Jenny Cockburn said she wants to teach her seven-year-old daughter.
“Her value as a woman is beyond her sexuality, but that there’s also no shame in her having her sexuality and expressing her sexuality,” she said.