Some people are prone to draw a sharp line between sexually-tinged remarks and actual sexual assault. And yes, there is a huge difference. But such remarks are along the spectrum of harmful behaviors, and because they are too often deemed “minor” or even “charming” and “flirtatious”, they go undiscussed and unaddressed. I am encouraged by events such as slutwalk even despite the difficulties of translating it across cultures. Slutwalk helps to air a problem that has proven intractable despite years of take back the night marches—women’s ability to be free from sexual assault or harassment in public spaces. The only way we will make any headway is for women to talk openly and honestly about the problem.
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-Lolita Buckner Inniss