This Term Paper has been submitted by
Ms. Vishakha Gupta ID No: 212035
On Sociological Study of Slut Walk (Sociology-II) During the Winter 2013
Meera Kosambi starts her book ‘Crossing Thresholds’1 by stating that “the conventional and still popular notion of the ‘woman’s sphere’ carries with it the tenacious metaphor of the threshold, an image of restrictive, restricted, and dangerous periphery.” Whenever women strive to cross this threshold, men come up and try to suppress these women. This gave birth to the feminist movements. Feminist movements came up around 1960s. “Feminism is not just a movement for the liberation of women, but a broad social movement striving for the equality of each individual. Feminism emphasizes the importance of such values as co-operation, tolerance, nurturance, and the freedom for each person to achieve her or his potential.”2 Throughout history, women have rebelled against the pre- conceived notions of their inferiority through the feminist movements, trying to bring a change. However, “change is always viewed in conflict with tradition no matter how invented this concept itself might be.”3 Every transformation that women committed to has been antagonized by men. The cop in Toronto was simply following the custom when he said that “women should stop dressing like sluts” in order to avoid being raped. This paper discusses the campaign of ‘Slut Walk’ in the larger context of women movements. The first part elaborates on the concept of Slut Walk, whether or not it can be considered a social movement or not. The second part explains the course of the Slutwalk around the world, concentrating on India. The third part goes on to justify the need for this campaign, and its relevance in the larger context of feminist movements. The fourth part deals with the objections and oppositions which arose against Slut Walk. The fifth part discusses the legal reforms related to it. I Social movements are “organized efforts by a significant number of people to change (or resist change in) some major aspect or aspects of the society.”4 Following from this definition, the key features of social movements are mass participation and ‘major aspects of society’. In Slutwalk, though it was carried on in many countries, participation from all the sects of the society wasn’t 1 2
Meera Kosambi, ‘Crossing Thresholds’ (Permanent Black, 2007) 1. th ‘Rethinking Feminism’, last visited on 6 march, 2013 3 ‘Mapping the Women’s Movement in India’ th accessed 7 March, 2013. 4 rd John Scott and Gordon Marshall, ‘Dictionary of Sociology’ (3 ed, Oxford University Press,2008)704
present. Its objective of freedom to dress and abatement of violence against women is a part of the larger objective of freedom for women. Thus, Slutwalk can be termed as a subset of a larger feminist movement. It is a campaign striving to change the perspective of society, through which they view a girl wearing short clothes or roaming with some guys, or partying late night a ‘slut’. II Slut walk originated as a campaign in Toronto, Canada, to assert the freedom of women to wear clothes they want to, and against increasing women violence. It quickly spread to other countries such as Australia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Singapore, USA, United Kingdom, India, etc. For the large Hindi- speaking crowd in India, name of Slut Walk was changed to ‘Slut Walk arthartha Besharmi Morcha’ (slut walk means shameless campaign). The organizer of this walk in India was a young journalism student in Delhi, Umang Sabarwal. Slut Walk spread to a large number of cities in India, such as Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi, Bhopal, etc. The methods used were nonviolent. Painted faces, bold remarks, and audacious clothes marked the journey of the Slutwalk campaigners. In India, there wasn’t much skin show, considering the conservative nature of women. However, this did not stop the young participation from making dauntless statements about the injustice against women. One such...
Bibliography: BOOKS 1. Meera Kosambi, Crossing Thresholds 2. Kenneth Allan, Contemporary Social and Sociological Theory: Visualizing Social Worlds 3. John Scott and Gordon Marshall, Dictionary of Sociology
WEBSITES 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
ARTICLES 1. Mapping the Women’s Movement in India’ 2. Rethinking Feminism
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