SlutWalk – the "modest" version: Some 70 activists, mostly women, took part Friday in a protest march that started from Jerusalem's Paris Square and ended at Horse Park in the city center. Some of the demonstrators wore risqué outfits and carried signs reading "No more harassment," "Enough – blame the rapist," and "I'm a proud slut."
A police escort secured the protesters, who shouted "We're not weak!" and "We won't be exploited!"
Despite the opposition of the city's Ultra-Orthodox population to the march, the demonstration concluded without event, although far from unnoticed. David Davidov, an observant resident, called the SlutWalk "a provocation. The provocative clothes of the marchers – and women in general – prompts men to attack them."
The SlutWalk movement grew out of an incident that occurred in Canada in 2011 in which a police office said that women should keep themselves safe by "not dressing like sluts." The first SlutWalk was held in Canada, and the idea took off around the world. The Jerusalem version – organized by Or Levy, 22 – comes on the heels of two marches already held in Israel, in Tel Aviv and Haifa.
'I'm in charge of my body!' Women at Friday's SlutWalk in Jerusalem. (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
"The women here all have a common goal. We are against harassment and want to feel safe walking in the street, no matter what we're wearing. It's every woman's right to feel safe, just like men feel secure," Levy said.
"This is not meant as a provocation against the haredim," Levy explained. "We live in this city, so this is where we're demonstrating. We understand the sensitivity of the haredim, and the protest isn't against them – it's against the men who harass us daily."
Lily, a 28-year-old Jerusalem resident who also took part in the SlutWalk, said that "too often, we hear the victim being blamed by questions like 'what was she wearing? Why did you drink? Why did you leave the house alone so late? The society that supposedly lets you do what you want is quick to judge."
Passers by watched the march with interest. Lital Levy agreed that the marchers were "right," but said that she "wouldn't join a protest like this in Jerusalem. There are people here who are really sensitive to this kind of dress, and it offends them."
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