CHICAGO (CBS) — Hundreds of women and men rallied at Daley Plaza and marched through the Loop Saturday with a message — that the victims of rape should not be shamed or blamed by society.
The protest went by the attention-getting name “SlutWalk Chicago,” and it is now in its third year.
Speakers ranged from rape crisis counselors to feminists, and from university professors to sex workers.
Carly Johnson provides counseling on what constitutes rape and consent to classes from junior high school to college, and said she is often angered by what she hears when she walks into a classroom.
She denounced “the things that come out of their mouths about victim blaming, about how she deserved it, about how what she was wearing.” But she said as she explains that the clothing a woman wears or her state of sobriety does not constitute a green light, many of the men begin to understand.
“I see it in their faces, when that guy realizes that he can’t have sex with that drunk girl or when she realizes it was okay that she went to that party alone and it’s not her fault.”
DePaul College of Law visiting professor Jody Raphael said she believes the law is indifferent to rape for a variety of reasons. She said some police officers and prosecutors consider the women to be hysterical, others say that they were “impure” to begin with and said some women who consider themselves feminists see rape as getting in the way of “sexual liberation.”
Raphael said the latest challenge to taking rape seriously comes from anti-abortion activists who believe that a woman who is raped cannot become pregnant, or consider those who say they were raped and want abortions are lying.
She compared “rape denial” to Holocaust denial and said each is unacceptable.
“SlutWalk” is a national campaign.