| 7.2°C Belfast

March for 'sluts' attracts 2,000 in Boston

Close

Women march past the Statehouse during the SlutWalk in Boston,  Saturday, May 7, 2011, which organizers described as a demonstration against those who blame the victims of sex crimes. The walk was held in response to a Toronto police officer who said women shouldn't dress like "sluts" if they wanted to avoid being raped. (AP Photo/Josh Reynolds)

Women march past the Statehouse during the SlutWalk in Boston, Saturday, May 7, 2011, which organizers described as a demonstration against those who blame the victims of sex crimes. The walk was held in response to a Toronto police officer who said women shouldn't dress like "sluts" if they wanted to avoid being raped. (AP Photo/Josh Reynolds)

JOSH REYNOLDS

From left, Isa Stearns of Somerville, Mass., Nadia Friedler of Cambridge, Mass., Louisa Carpenter-Winch, of Cambridge, Mass., and Emma Munson-Blatt, of Cambridge, Mass, chant during the "SlutWalk" in Boston on Saturday, May 7, 2011, which organizers described as a demonstration against those who blame the victims of sex crimes. The walk was held in response to a Toronto police officer who said women shouldn't dress like "sluts" if they wanted to avoid being raped. (AP Photo/Josh Reynolds)

From left, Isa Stearns of Somerville, Mass., Nadia Friedler of Cambridge, Mass., Louisa Carpenter-Winch, of Cambridge, Mass., and Emma Munson-Blatt, of Cambridge, Mass, chant during the "SlutWalk" in Boston on Saturday, May 7, 2011, which organizers described as a demonstration against those who blame the victims of sex crimes. The walk was held in response to a Toronto police officer who said women shouldn't dress like "sluts" if they wanted to avoid being raped. (AP Photo/Josh Reynolds)

JOSH REYNOLDS

Women march through downtown Boston during the "SlutWalk" in Boston, Mass., Saturday, May 7, 2011, which organizers described as a demonstration against those who blame the victims of sex crimes. The walk was held in response to a Toronto police officer who said women shouldn't dress like "sluts" if they wanted to avoid being raped. (AP Photo/Josh Reynolds)

Women march through downtown Boston during the "SlutWalk" in Boston, Mass., Saturday, May 7, 2011, which organizers described as a demonstration against those who blame the victims of sex crimes. The walk was held in response to a Toronto police officer who said women shouldn't dress like "sluts" if they wanted to avoid being raped. (AP Photo/Josh Reynolds)

JOSH REYNOLDS

Natalie Olbrych, center, and Toni Halberg, right, both of Brownsville, Vt., participate in the SlutWalk in Boston, Mass., Saturday, May 7, 2011, which organizers described as a demonstration against those who blame the victims of sex crimes. The walk was held in response to a Toronto police officer who said women shouldn't dress like "sluts" if they wanted to avoid being raped. (AP Photo/Josh Reynolds)

Natalie Olbrych, center, and Toni Halberg, right, both of Brownsville, Vt., participate in the SlutWalk in Boston, Mass., Saturday, May 7, 2011, which organizers described as a demonstration against those who blame the victims of sex crimes. The walk was held in response to a Toronto police officer who said women shouldn't dress like "sluts" if they wanted to avoid being raped. (AP Photo/Josh Reynolds)

JOSH REYNOLDS

/

Women march past the Statehouse during the SlutWalk in Boston, Saturday, May 7, 2011, which organizers described as a demonstration against those who blame the victims of sex crimes. The walk was held in response to a Toronto police officer who said women shouldn't dress like "sluts" if they wanted to avoid being raped. (AP Photo/Josh Reynolds)

Some 2,000 protesters marched in Boston chanting "We love sluts!" as the US city joined an international series of protests known as 'SlutWalks'.

The protest movement, sparked by a Toronto police officer's remark that women could avoid being raped by not dressing like "sluts," came to Boston after advocates saw similar events — largely organized through Facebook and Twitter — pop up in Canada, England and other parts of the U.S.



"We wanted to do something to show our support," said Siobhan Connors, 20, of Lynn, Mass., a Boston organizer. "We originally planned for a small event and expected about 30 people."



But by the time the march began Saturday, about 2,000 people — some dressed in lingerie with the words "slut" written across their stomachs — were in attendance.



In January, a Toronto police officer told a group of university students that women should avoid dressing like "sluts" to avoid being raped. He later apologized. The officer who made the comments, Constable Michael Sanguinetti, was disciplined but remained on duty, said Toronto police spokesman Mark Pugash.



However, advocates in Toronto held a "SlutWalk" to protest the officer's remarks and to highlight what they saw as problems in blaming sexual assault victims. Since then, SlutWalks, organized mainly through social media, have been held in Dallas, Asheville, N.C., and Ottawa, Ontario. Organizers say the events also were held to bring attention to "slut-shaming," or shaming women for being sexual, and the treatment of sexual assault victims.



"I had watched the Toronto walk happen from afar," said Jaclyn Friedman, author of "Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power and a World Without Rape" and resident of Medford, Mass. "When I heard it was coming to Boston I just emailed the organizers and said, 'How can I help?'"

Daily Headlines & Evening Telegraph Newsletter

Receive today's headlines directly to your inbox every morning and evening, with our free daily newsletter.

This field is required


Top Videos



Privacy