This weekend Fort St. John will play host to two walks of ill-repute. Both are starting at Centennial Park this Saturday and the participants will likely be cold, but otherwise there is very little these two events have in common.
The SlutWalk sets off first, headed towards the police station. Its purpose is to raise awareness about the prevalence of rape culture in society and to emphasize that no matter what she says, does or wears, no woman is ever asking for it.
SlutWalks became a world-wide phenomena after a protest was staged in Toronto in response to Constable Michael Sanguinetti’s suggestion that “women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized."
While some might be tempted to come by and just gawk, people who prefer a larger clothing to skin ratio can also show their support. Nothing is manlier than standing up against injustice, and it would be great to see some men lend their voices to this cause.
Needless to say, these marches of large groups of scantily clad women have drawn criticism everywhere they have taken place, so it will be interesting to see how Fort St. John responds.
However, in terms of shock value it will likely be overshadowed by the second event of the day, the Zombie Walk.
As they stagger through town screaming for brains, their costumes will be adorned with fake blood and rotting flesh. While participants will be raising donations for the food bank, the real purpose here is to bring the community together for a good time. And also to ask whether we would survive a Zombie Apocalypse.
Reading between the lines, the question of how Fort St. John such as crisis is really a question about sustainability and food safety. If Ottawa is obliterated and Victoria falls into chaos, would we survive? That’s a good question for us to ponder, even if the answer is yes.
Shock and awe isn’t just a military strategy, it’s also a political one. Both walks take this to the extreme in an attempt to bolster their cause.
It is guaranteed that there will be people who question the appropriateness of these events. Should we be promoting this behaviour in our girls? Will children be afraid of the costumes? Won’t the walkers catch a chill?
The controversy around these walks demands that we think about these issues and re-evaluate our priorities. What is worse – hunger or a Hallowe’en costume? What should we work to eradicate – sluts or rape?
The question has been posed, and the answer is yours.
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