Slutwalk Hong Kong 2017: Marching Towards Consent

Slut.

Notice the immediate connotation in your mind when you read this word. A judgment? Promiscuity? Since when did dressing in mini skirts and low-cut shirts mean the sexual assault victim was “asking for it”?

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Representatives of Gabriela Hong Kong giving a speech

These were the questions that the organisers and advocates of the Slutwalk Hong Kong 2017 posed through organising an open march from the Chater Garden to Lan Kwai Fong in Central. The annual walk was joined by around 200 participants with banners and stickers echoing their main theme, “My body, my choice”, while it also managed to gain turning heads in every street of the bustling district.

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One protester with message “Dont teach me how to dress, teach them not to rape” on her back
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Banners saying, “My clothing is not an invitation” “No means no”

Chanting slogans on microphones, Slutwalk (SW) activists made a noise on the 19th of November to put an end on victim-blaming within the city’s silence and suppression of conversations about sexual harassment. “It is very difficult for people to participate in small workshops,” says Miss Wong, one of the organisers of SlutWalk Hong Kong, “as it might be a little too personal when people think sex is a taboo subject.”

This is not a new concept to the conservative mindset of Asia’s metropolis city Hong Kong, though. Just back in February, South China Morning Post had published an article on how nine out of ten women do not report their attackers while blaming the police force and the judicial system for the “victim-blaming culture’. “Because most of the time, (women) are always blamed or judged that they “deserve” to receive such consequence as they wear less or conduct inappropriate behaviours to seduce men,” adds Ng.

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Groups marching down the street

The bold move speaking about bringing a halt to rape culture and slut shaming is not just confined to Hong Kong. Being an international movement, the march first happened in 2011 in Toronto when a police officer publicly made a statement saying that women should be careful with what they wear as that’s why they are raped. Since then, the SlutWalk movement has gained a momentum of support from citizens globally, including the current face of SlutWalk in Hollywood, Amber Rose.

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One of the organisers making a concluding speech for the event

As protesters of SWHK reached their final stop at Lan Kwai Fong, several volunteer groups including students from Li Po Chun United World College made speeches concerning the issue. Quoting from their press release, sexual violence is not just an issue of individual morals, but it reflects the wider oppression of women under capitalism and patriarchy. This year, marching on the Sunday before the International Day Against Violence Against Women, what SWHK is trying to do is to unite HK citizens together to fight for gender inequality that can happen everywhere. Fairness can only be brought with concerted effort and attention.

Watch the live footages of the event:

<Video coverage of SlutWalk Hong Kong 2017>

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