SlutWalk Denver plays host to a bizarre, somewhat creepy Facebook comment war
Update, July 3: See photos from SlutWalk Denver
Given that its very name is designed to provoke, it's not all that surprising that SlutWalk would be creating some controversy. Set off by a Toronto police officer who had no idea what he was getting into when he suggested a group of women avoid rape by not dressing like sluts, the concept has been blowing up around the nation and the world, with its message that women -- no matter how short their skirts -- are not to be held responsible for rape. Seems like a no-brainer: as SlutWalk organizers point out, there is not statistical correlation between attire and assault, and even if there were, rape is rape, and it's pretty pig-headed to blame the victim. Nevertheless, there are evidently some holdouts to that hoary old "she was asking for it" adage, and they are making their views loudly -- and kind of creepily -- known in a surprisingly public forum.
Courtesy of Seattle Weekly
Moreso than the Facebook page for the SlutWalk group itself, it's the group's event page that's been bearing the brunt of the controversy -- possibly because it's getting circulated by more people. "We had over 8,000 people RSVP to our event page," notes Samuel Schimmel, one of the organizers of the Seattle SlutWalk, which happened last week, and the guy whose job it was to moderate the comments on that page -- and, as it turns out, he had exactly the same problem. "Pretty much everybody in Seattle got invited, and it was just this constant barrage of trolling. One of my biggest jobs, actually, was just moderating the Facebook page. It was kind of a full-time job."
As far as what kind of timbre the comments took, Schimmel adds, "There were really two directions: There were the misogynists who say that women should not be allowed to dress as they wish, and then there's the whole radical feminist take, which is just a whole 'nother beast -- I had a discussion that ended in a barrage of fruitless attacks."
Courtesy of Seattle Weekly. See more SlutWalk Seattle photos Slutwalk Seattle.
It would appear that, in Denver at least, the criticism is coming mostly from the former group. Because the event page is essentially a public forum, we've elected to give some examples in the form of unedited screenshots. And some of them are pretty shocking.
And that's actually one of the tamer ones. The best, below, were probably the ones that subtly and unintentionally implied that the commenter himself had rapist inclinations.