Illustration © Nikki McClure

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Slutwalk Kolkata 2012


24th May 2012

We are a movement dedicated to anti-victimization of people sexually molested/harassed/abused of any gender.

Why SlutWalk Kolkata?

SlutWalk has become a global protest. Not only have we seen SlutWalks in London, Paris, Chicago, we have also seen SlutWalk in Delhi, Bhopal and Bangalore! Can we deny the fact that victims of sexual harassment and rapes are not taunted, judged and vilified in our own ‘City of Joy’? Are we perfectly at peace, sitting and complaining about the system and then going back to our own ways of life? This is why we thought of organizing a SlutWalk Kolkata. We just want you to realize that we were not at fault when a certain criminal chose to exploit his / her sexual powers on us. We realized the need to fight back in the face of continuous ‘value judgment’ of victims. We believe that victim blaming perpetuates the cycle of sexual violence and places the onus on the violated rather than the violator.We realized that it is our duty to ourselves and our fellow citizens to be aware and spread awareness against the harmful effects of such a practise.

Moreover we have high hopes from this city. We believe the people here have always shown the society its way to a modern and liberal tomorrow. Kolkata has been the epicenter of culture and awareness since the times of Raja Ram Mohan Roy voicing protest against ‘satidaho’. Why shouldn’t Kolkata take up the onus one more time and fight against the wrongs in the society?

5 things you should know about us first:

1. This SlutWalk wants to tell the society (police, moral police, politicians, kaku, jethu, mashi, pishi, everyone) that a person was/is harassed/molested/abused/raped because the perpetrator was/is a pervert and had/has committed a criminal offence. Not because the person wore a “provocative” dress, or has a “flawed” character, or was “inviting” the perpetrator in any way. Violation, by its very definition, CANNOT BE ASKED FOR. Sexual harassment and rape are violations on the victims and can cause severe emotional, mental, physical and sexual trauma. So don't judge the victim, judge the perpetrator.

2. This walk also wants to ask the society to stop telling people to dress “modestly” or behave “appropriately” in order to avoid getting sexually violated. Thousands of narratives have shown us that there is no “right” way for a person to avoid harassment/ abuse/ rape. While we agree “prevention is better than cure”, we also feel that it is important to understand that such “preventive” measures are merely strategies that are used to cope with current situations. It is therefore important to constantly question the societal structures and bodies that work towards creating an unsafe environment for people and not the “transgressions” of the victims.

3. This walk is to show the people in Kolkata and beyond that there are a group of people who are not at peace with the status quo. We also hope that our numbers will increase with each march and that the voices of dissent will grow louder each time.

4. This walk is to bring forth a bunch of people from all age groups and all genders, whom victims of harassment/rape can depend on for support and solidarity in the future, if they think they have been 'judged' by the police and government for getting sexually violated. United we stand! Divided we misunderstand, hence misjudge.

5. We hope to make the authorities more conscious and sensitive to the effects of sexual crimes and the subsequent victim blaming on victims and hope that this awareness will lead to faster actions when a case of sexual harassment/abuse/assault/molestation / rape is registered in the future. Yet again, we can hope, we can’t guarantee.