Return to search

Justice, Equality, and SlutWalk: The Rhetoric of Protesting Rape Culture

The international SlutWalk protest phenomena emerged in 2011 in Toronto, Canada as a feminist movement determined to speak out against two key aspects of rape culture: slut-shaming and victim-blaming. SlutWalk protesters simultaneously advocate a sex-positive stance while lashing back at rape culture. This thesis examines SlutWalks as a form of modern protest that utilizes the Internet to create a membership of mostly young people working within third wave feminist theoretical frames. The role of online organizing is examined for its potential for globalization from below, and the limitations of the digital divide are explored. Additionally, the reclamation of slut is seen as a key rhetorical move of SlutWalk protesters. The author examines three forms of reclamation present in protest, and examines the potential and limitations of each. It is argued that SlutWalk uses synecdochal framing on two levels that both enable and constrain the protests. Issues of representation are explored as they relate to individuals at various standpoints and intersections with rape culture. It is argued that tensions between resistance and control exist, especially as they relate to individuals most marginalized and oppressed by discourses of rape culture. Overall, the author argues that SlutWalks revive consciousness-raising in the third wave of feminism and work to deconstruct oppressive discourses in society. However, the limitation of SlutWalk to speak for all women, especially women of color, is of serious consideration for imagining feminist futures that build coalitions and work in solidarity with other feminist organizing efforts.
Date27 June 2013
CreatorsUnderwood, Dana Whitney
ContributorsSara Hayden
PublisherThe University of Montana
Source SetsUniversity of Montana Missoula
Detected LanguageEnglish
Rightsrestricted, I hereby certify that, if appropriate, I have obtained and attached hereto a written permission statement from the owner(s) of each third party copyrighted matter to be included in my thesis, dissertation, or project report, allowing distribution as specified below. I certify that the version I submitted is the same as that approved by my advisory committee. I hereby grant to University of Montana or its agents the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible, under the conditions specified below, my thesis, dissertation, or project report in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. I retain all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis, dissertation or project report. I also retain the right to use in future works (such as articles or books) all or part of this thesis, dissertation, or project report.

Page generated in 0.0025 seconds