Rozin noted that she arrived at the march in order to "protest against rape culture – a culture that determines that if you conduct yourself in a certain manner you deserve to be harassed. An attacker is the one who should be blamed; not a victim."
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According to Tsipi Erann, who is behind the Israeli march, the Slutwalk "battles common beliefs that women are to blame when they are being hurt. Nowadays when a woman is raped or attacked she is forced to prove her innocence before the fact that she was subjected to violence can even be discussed."
'Proud slut' (Photo: Motti Kimchi)
Translating the event's name into Hebrew was not easy, as organizers wanted to maintain the offensive nature of the term "slut," thereby choosing the word "sharmuta," meaning slut in Arabic and prevalent in Hebrew slang.
"The mere use of the word 'Sharmuta,'" Erann said, "is used to oppress women in regards to their sexuality. Sexuality cannot become a negative expression; you can't discipline women's behavior and oppress them for being sexual. Women are allowed to be sexual. It is their right as much as it the right of every man. We reclaimed the term so as to debilitate its sting."
Tsipi Erann (Photo: Motti Kimchi)
Some 400 women and men took part in the walk, which works to challenge Israeli conventions regarding gender and sexuality. "It's about time that people all over the world realized that it's everyone's right to behave, dress and look the way he or she sees fit," said Alexandra Bozhilov, one of the protesters. "Not according to religious or social norms, or someone else's subjective perception that licenses verbal of physical abuse of others."
Renowned actress Gila Almagor spoke at the assembly, saying "It's inconceivable that people who do harm to women continue to get such light punishments. Every person has the right to dress and behave how she or he wants… it does not allow anyone to rape, harass or harm anyone else."
(Photo: Motti Kimchi)
The Slutwalk is a protest march that began in 2011 in Canada, after a Toronto police officer said that "women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized." A rally consequently broke out in Toronto, protesting against tradition of blaming victims of sexual assault instead of focusing on aggreasors, stressing that sexual assault occurs regardless of the victim's attire.
The founders of the protest stated: "We are tired of being oppressed by slut-shaming; of being judged by our sexuality and feeling unsafe as a result. Being in charge of our sexual lives should not mean that we are opening ourselves to an expectation of violence."
Next week, the Slutwalk will be marching in the streets of Haifa.
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