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Will SlutWalk now target the Peace Corps?

An interesting juxtaposition of events has just come to my attention. 

First, from a piece yesterday at CNN:

slutwalk.jpgA police officer in Canada who reportedly advised women "to avoid dressing as sluts," has sparked a worldwide campaign against sexual violence, with protest marches planned in several cities.

In April this year thousands of women, many deliberately dressed in miniskirts and lingerie, took part in the first "SlutWalk" protest in Toronto, Canada. They were reacting to comments made in January by the officer who was speaking to students at the city's York University about community safety following a wave of sexual assaults on the campus.

According to local media reports, he said: "Women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized."

Though the officer in question was later reprimanded and an apology issued, his comments were posted on the internet, inspiring similar protest movements across the world via Twitter and Facebook.

A statement by organizers of a forthcoming SlutWalk protest in London read: "Not only was this a ridiculous and inaccurate statement (women wearing trousers get raped. So do women wearing tracksuits, t-shirts, jeans, jumpers, skiing jackets and burqas), it was incredibly damaging to women around the world, painting them as perpetrators -- rather than victims -- of a disgusting, violent crime."

Organizers have also stressed the need to reclaim the word "slut" as a source of pride rather than shame. According to the SlutWalk Toronto website, women have historically suffered under the burden of this derogatory label.

"Whether dished out as a serious indictment of one's character or merely as a flippant insult, the intent behind the word is always to wound so we're taking it back. 'Slut' is being re-appropriated."

Now we go on to the New York Times, who yesterday published this piece:

Founded in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy, the Peace Corps has 8,655 volunteers and trainees, as young as 21 and as old as 86, serving in 77 countries. For most, service is, as the agency's Web site boasts, "a life-defining leadership experience."

But from 2000 to 2009, on average, 22 Peace Corps women each year reported being the victims of rape or attempted rape, the agency says. During that time, more than 1,000 Peace Corps volunteers reported sexual assaults, including 221 rapes or attempted rapes. Because sexual crimes often go unreported, experts say the incidence is likely to be higher, though they and the Peace Corps add that it is difficult to assess whether the volunteers face any greater risk overseas than women in the United States do.

On Wednesday, the House Foreign Affairs Committee will convene a hearing to examine what its chairwoman, Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Republican of Florida, called "serious crimes" committed against Peace Corps volunteers, including murder; in announcing the hearing, her office cited reports of "gross mismanagement of sexual assault complaints."

Lois Puzey, whose daughter Kate was murdered in 2009 while posted in Benin, will testify. So will Ms. Smochek, now a board member of First Response Action, a fledgling advocacy group founded by another former volunteer, Casey Frazee. Ms. Frazee was sexually assaulted in South Africa in 2009 and came home, she said, determined to not "let the Peace Corps toss me off like I was an isolated incident."

In an interview Monday, the director of the Peace Corps, Aaron S. Williams, said he was committed to revamping the agency's practices to create a more "victim-centered approach."

In other words, the Peace Corps, according to The New York Times, has allegedly adopted a blame the victim mentality when it comes to sexual assaults perpetrated against its volunteers. 

So... would it be wrong to suggest that what the Peace Corps needs is... well... more sluts?

I could be wrong in that conclusion so I'm seeking help on this but if SlutWalk is about taking back the word slut and turning the word into something more positive, all while standing in support of victims who are blamed for sexual assaults... then I'm thinking the Peace Corps' problems are best solved, in this context, by recruiting more sluts.

You folks help correct my logic.


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Comments (13)

How do you feel about this ... (Below threshold)

How do you feel about this statement a Canadian cop made? "Women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized." Was he right?

Vote: http://www.wepolls.com/r/355099/How-do-you-feel-about-this-statemen

If the Canadian cop was Mus... (Below threshold)

If the Canadian cop was Muslim would he be in trouble for his statement or would he be considered a victim of anti-Muslim bigotry?

Wow, way to cross reference... (Below threshold)

Wow, way to cross reference. Hope your wife had a wonderful Mothers Day.....ass

I thought rape was NOT a cr... (Below threshold)

I thought rape was NOT a crime of "passion"...so this remark from the cop was stupid.
However, I believe anyone can dress the way they want....but...dressing classy and chic is a whole lot more appealing than dressing slutty.
In my opinion.

Wonder why there are no wom... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Wonder why there are no women posters left on wizbang?

Umm Steve... who would the ... (Below threshold)

Umm Steve... who would the women be offended with here? The Peace Corps? SlutWalk? Or my attempt to satirically link the two stories using progressive logic?

Hoping your case of idiocy is not terminal.

Rick, I don´t know about<i... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Rick, I don´t know about progressive logic? Yes, A victim-centered approach spoken by the Director, is perhaps an unfortunate choice of words. Instead "defending or showing sympathy with their female staff out in the field, who were raped", would be a start.. but Directors like to speak in ´newspeak'.

The serious story of the numerous rapes of young women in the Peace Corps, lays much blame deservedly with the code of silence, and cowardly, bureaucratic and sexist behavior of the Peace Corps management, who tried to cover it up or minimize it.

Steve"Wonder why t... (Below threshold)
retired military:


"Wonder why there are no women posters left on wizbang?"

Gee nice to see what you think of Tina S.

"Wonder why there are no wo... (Below threshold)
Mark L:

"Wonder why there are no women posters left on wizbang?"

Good question, Steve. Maybe it's you. I am not saying it is, but who knows?

Tell you what -- let's test the theory. Stop posting for a month. We will track the number of women posting during that month and compare them to the number that posted the month before.

This assumes that you are really concerned enough about this issue to want to investigate the phenomena, and were not just throwing a stink bomb.

You are really interested increasing female participation, right? Otherwise you would not have raised the issue.

Just out of honest curiousi... (Below threshold)

Just out of honest curiousity, what is the difference in dressing like a slut and dressing like a hooker?

How about the UN raping all... (Below threshold)

How about the UN raping all those villagers in Africa a few years back. Now there should be the focus but the left is so in love with the UN they can't bear to focus on it. ww

I meant the post writers no... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

I meant the post writers not the commentators like Tina S or mag. And I forgot about Kim Priesthap, my apology, who has just submitted a post. I wouldn´t have conflated the two stories, Rick did, but he is entitled to get a 'rise out of the audience'.. and I am to.

I'm not saying Rick is a misogynist, his support of Sarah Palin is good enough proof, and there is something that irritates me about the public Hillary.

But speaking of Hillary and feminism, here´s an extreme ilustration or rather a photo about what women in general are dealing with, still, edited nonsensical views of the world, that go back to the Old Testament.

Don't get me wrong I think ... (Below threshold)

Don't get me wrong I think what the cop said was stupid and wrong but come on, is this really true:

"it was incredibly damaging to women around the world"

A dumb statement by an individual cop in Canada is incredibly damaging to women around the world? So over this we launch a world wide protest movement. As Rick points out there are at least 1 or 2 other situations that might be a bit more damaging not to mention the status of women in places like Pakastan, Iran etc.






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