Dressed in their underwear, protesters have taken the streets of New York today after it emerged the NYPD were warning women in Brooklyn to cover up in the face of sex attacks.
The “slutwalk” protest comes a day after women in Park Slope were warned by police short skirts should not be worn and shorts that show too much leg have been deemed inappropriate.
On today’s march the protesters chanted “No means no – however we dress, wherever we go.”
Speaking to the New York Post, organizer Sammy Lifson, 21, said:
“The cops in Park Slope have really stepped up their presence and they’re trying to be helpful.
“But to focus on women isn’t going to help catch the perpetrator.”
The international series of protests known as SlutWalks, sparked by a Toronto police officer’s flippant comment that women should avoid dressing like “sluts” to avoid being raped or victimized, is taking root in the United States.
Some women and men who protest dress in nothing more remarkable than jeans and T-shirts, while others wear provocative or revealing outfits to bring attention to “slut-shaming”, or shaming women for being sexual, and the treatment of sexual assault victims.
The police officer made his comments in January to a group of York University students at a safety forum.
He later apologized, but his comments were publicized widely on Facebook and Twitter.
The police officer comments inspired a march in Toronto that drew more than 3,000 people, as well as SlutWalks since then in Dallas, Asheville, North Carolina, and Ottawa, Ontario.
The movement has since spread around the world, with slut walks organized in several countries.
Yesterday’s “advice” was given out in response to at least 10 unsolved sexual attacks that have taken place in the area since March.
But in Park Slope, which is famous for being liberal and feminist, the campaign has provoked fury.
Jessica Silk, founder of neighbourhood watch group Safe Slope, told the Wall Street Journal that such a measure was “completely inappropriate”.
One of the women who had been spoken to, who identified herself only as Lauren, told how she was three block from her home when she was stopped for wearing shorts and a T-shirt.
She claimed a cop asked to speak to her then did the same to two other women wearing dresses.
Lauren, 25, claimed he asked if she knew about the sex attacks and when they all replied yes he “pointed at my outfit and said, <<Don’t you think your shorts are a little short?>>”
“He pointed at their dresses and said they were showing a lot of skin,” she said.
Lauren claimed the cop said such clothes could make the rapist think he could get “easy access”.
The officer then said that they were “exactly the kind of girl this guy is targeting”.