The ‘S’ word

“Gay culture reclaimed the word ‘queer’,” a protester has told the BBC. “It is about picking these words up and using them with pride.”

What’s the word she’s trying to reclaim? “Slut.”

The movement started at an anti-sexual-assault forum on a school campus in Toronto when a public safety officer reportedly advised women in the audience “not to dress like ‘sluts.’”

This, of course, is the 2011 version of a decades-old rationale for sexual violence against women: “Just look what she was wearing.”

“The problem with the word slut is that it has cut women off because they have an energy around their sexual desires and we are still so prejudiced about this. But if we reclaim the word, it simply becomes an issue of ‘so what?’,” a psychoanalyst told the BBC.

A group has formed to organize “SlutWalks” in Canada amd the U.S. Dozens of U.S. cities will host the walks. None is planned for Minnesota, according to the group’s Web site.