UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Slutwalk Edinburgh

Last Saturday, around 70 people braved Edinburgh's summer weather to take a stand against the victim-blaming culture that surrounds sexual assaults. A year on from the birth of the global movement that was sparked by the ministrations of a Toronto police officer to a group of young female students - that to prevent sexual attacks, "women should avoid dressing like sluts", the issue hasn't gone away. http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/news/content/view/full/121173

For many, it was the first march they had been on that was completely umbrella-covered, with others dressing 'provocatively' to drive home the message that the blame should rest with the attacker - not the victim. Speaker after speaker drove home that message when the march rallied outside the Scottish Parliament.

It's important that UNISON activists support local activism such as Slutwalks, as it's our members who support women that have been attacked - if they're able to access support services at all. We must also take a stand against the 'lad' culture that propagates the idea that because a woman is 'fair game' because of how she dresses. This is typified by sites like Unilad (http://www.facebook.com/uniladpage) that have reinforced misogyny on university campuses across the UK.

A year on, the victim-blaming culture highlighted by the initial Toronto Slutwalk and the global movement that followed, hasn't gone away, we can't sit back and hope it does - we must take the message to the streets to show that it's not acceptable in any form.

Graham Smith