Cause-hunters are at the forefront of sexualizing social issues in order to make them more relevant.–Culturewaves Q32015 Report
The symbolic act of bra burning debuted more than 45 years ago at the 1968 Miss America pageant, where feminists torched their bras and high heels in protest for women’s rights. The once-symbolic act of bra burning has now evolved into the spectacle of scantily dressed women marching the streets, participating in SlutWalks and sexual rights advocacy.
The idea that women’s clothing communicates a female’s willingness to engage in sexual acts is a menacing myth that feminists have attempted to discredit for decades. Despite years of activism and dedicated scholarly work, cultural misconceptions continually prevail.
As one Toronto SlutWalk sign stated: “Don’t tell us how to dress. Tell men not to rape.”
SlutWalks, with their intentionally controversial name, attract thousands of women and men who want to combat the social stigma of revealing garb. The message is: Women aren’t necessarily asking for sex — and they certainly don’t deserve to be raped — regardless of what they wear, what they drink or how they behave in public
In a society where feminists continually fight for the dissolution of gender bias and sexism, SlutWalks are a reminder of feminism’s grassroots past.
Often organically organized by younger women utilizing in-your-face-tactics, SlutWalks have emerged as powerful tools feeding and encouraging the Millennial generation to speak out against social injustices and the lack of equality. As the suffragists wore “bloomers” for the women’s rights movement in 1851, female SlutWalk participants utilize their indecent attire to engage cultural conversations and generate societal change.
As SlutWalks increase in popularity, it seems obvious that the sexualization of social issues is the newest method for sparking media interest and community engagement. The old notion that “sex sells” is no longer limited to the merchandising arena that daily sexualizes women to sell products. Women are now baring their flesh in the name social justice — to sell their ideas and speak out against the unfair sexualization and exploitation of women.