You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Sat, Oct 22, 2011 : 2:44 p.m.

SlutWalk participants march through Ann Arbor

By Lisa Carolin


University of Michigan students show off their signs supporting the Slut Walk in the Diag, in downtown Ann Arbor, on Saturday.

Joe Sharp | For

Nearly 75 people marched today through downtown Ann Arbor to the University of Michigan Diag as part of the international movement SlutWalk with the shared goal of ending victim blaming when it comes to rape.

Student organizers Megan Pfeiffer and Nicole Corrigan brought the movement to Ann Arbor.

"Ever since all the sexual assaults in Ann Arbor this summer, people have been telling me what not to do," said Corrigan. "They tell me not to stay at the library after dark and not to wear dresses that are too short."

"There is no excuse for violence against anybody," said Pfeiffer. "The FBI's current definition of rape is exclusive. It only includes certain types of rape, and we're asking people today to sign a letter that supports the newly proposed, more inclusive definition of rape."

The SlutWalk began after a representative from the Toronto Police Service in January said "women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized" by sexual predators.

"Hearing what happened in Toronto is not okay," said Kari Borse, a U-M student who attended today's rally. "This is how we are standing up and saying we won't stand for that. You need to teach people 'don't rape' not 'don't get raped.'"

Participants in today's SlutWalk chanted, "However I dress, wherever I go, yes means yes. No means no."


Chavon Taylor of Southfield poses for a photographer during the Slut Walk in the Diag in downtown Ann Arbor, on Saturday.

Joe Sharp | For

"It's never the girl's fault," said participant Paige Hansen from Owasso, adding that she was sexually assaulted when she was 14.

Ashley Scheetz from St. Clair Shores, also a victim of sexual assault, said, "We need to break the stereotype of victim blaming."

"It's about our misogynistic culture," said participant Alysa Hodgson, a student at Lansing Community College. "Men can't do whatever they want to women."

Her friend Michael St. Charles, a student at Michigan State University, came to support Hodgson and the cause.

"People need to understand the definition of rape, and know that what they're doing is wrong," he said. "Everybody needs to stand up for this."

SlutWalks have been held in cities throughout the U.S. and Canada, including New York City, Boston, Washington D.C. and Ottawa, Ontario.


Woman in Ypsilanti

Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 4:08 p.m.

What is the matter with the name "SLUTWalk"? I mean, people in this day and age don't still think that there is something wrong with young women having sex with whomever they would like and dressing in a way that they hope will make them attractive to those young men with whom they wish to have sex, right?


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 10:45 a.m.

Seems like a bunch of women with nothing to do ---- geez, get a life.


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 10:30 a.m.

These girls should have stayed home and done something productive. For example, if they really wanted to protect themselves against rape, they could have attended a self defense class or taken a CCW training class. It's a shame that these young women have been conned into thinking that silly little "marches" will have any impact on predators intent on raping them. This was a total and complete waste of time. Rape will be minimized when women take action to physically defend themselves and when our society implements the harshest form of punishment against these offenses. Need I mention that left wing groups like the ACLU simultaneously oppose both practical solutions. Conducting a "slut walk" is an absurdity. What these girls seem to be demanding is that they can act anyway they want, including being harlot-like, and suffer no practical repercussions. That's as immature as the "occupy" crowd. Please grow up, ladies. You'll go farther in life that way. And if you're afraid of being raped, take the actions I mentioned above.

Chase Ingersoll

Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 1:59 a.m.

I think the statistics are that something like 1/5 women college age and older have been assaulted: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> I don't know that a shotgun approach of &quot;public protest&quot; is an efficient way to further the cause to decrease the number of rapes. Meanwhile the opportunity to look at some very relevant statistics is ignored, and I am referring specifically to those types of statistics that identify the population of rapists, such as male sports team members comprising 20% of the population of men involved in sexual or attempted sexual assaults, even though they are only 2% of the population. So at the very least, shouldn't the slutwalk take place down by the athletic fields where it is 10X as likely to encounter one of the rapist that needs confrontation or re-education? <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> I find the second links statistics mind boggling. But I think most interesting, if correct are the claims that 43% of the survivors of rape again, have sex with the rapist. Again, I just don't think that this protest actually leads to a greater understanding of the problem and any constructive ways to decrease it.


Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 11:18 p.m.

Really? Slutwalk? They couldn't find a better name?

Wolf's Bane

Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 1:51 a.m.

I think they're looking for dates?


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 1:08 a.m.

Slutstrut? Whore walk?


Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 5:49 p.m.

A point not mentioned: As stated, rape is about opportunity, violence, and control. If a potential victim is so inclined, a good method of prevention is concealed carry. If the odds indicated that the rapist's potential victim(s) may be armed, the rapist could be deterred. If he isn't, then at least he won't do it again.

Steve Gorman

Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 5:17 p.m.

Rape is a crime of power and control and has little to do with sex. Victims are usually selected because the perpetrator has determined them to be vulnerable. Walking home from the bar alone at 2AM on an isolated street would certainly tempt an opportunistic criminal.


Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 5:34 p.m.

Exactly, point being don't put yourself in a situation where you don't have control of things. Even law enforcement will preach this to you. Also, there is a reason before the Women's rights movement, that women and men both dressed reasonably and covered up for the most part. Plenty of cultures today still demand reasonable dress from both sexes. If women want equality, it should be equal across the board. Dress respectively to if you demand to be treated respectively.


Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 3:18 p.m.

No one invites rape and for someone in this day and age to imply that anyone is doing so is rather regressive and continues to contribute to the basic problem. Blaming the victim is considered to be &quot;the second injury&quot;. The first excuse a criminal gives is that it is the victim's fault. They should have locked their door, not worn a high cut dress, not had a business in that side of town. Child molesters frequently blame the children for their own abuse by saying they consented to it or they looked &quot;much older and more mature&quot;. All of this constitutes their own delusions of course but the community and law enforcement should not be perpetuating such myth.


Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 3:04 p.m.



Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 2:55 p.m.

Good for them! And I demand the right to walk down the street at any time of the day or night with $50 bills, precious stones, gold jewelry, and the title to all my real estate attached to the outside of my clothes. And I don't wanna hear any of you people judging me either. I have rights you know! I demand that the taxpayers of this city pay whatever it takes in taxes to assure me that I can wear my lifetime savings and my entire net worth on the outside of my clothing anytime and anywhere.


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 4:59 p.m.

Thank you Sarah for pointing out that there is not a similarity between being robbed of your money or jewelry, and being raped!

Charlie Brown's Ghost

Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 12:36 p.m.



Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 1:07 a.m.

Go Eagles!


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 1 a.m.

The fact that you just associated a woman's body with physical possessions frankly disturbs me a little.


Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 3:24 p.m.

You do have that right. And if you get robbed, the thief will be the criminal, not you.


Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 6:20 a.m.

Now I believe this a &quot;bite off your nose to spite your face&quot; case.


Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 5:21 a.m.

I do want to commend the young woman on the far right for coming out after being attacked. As a victim, it is difficult to regain your feelings of control over your life after an assualt, either sexual or otherwise. There is often, still, a stigma associated with assualt that can cause a withdrawl from society; often garnering a lack of confidence in being able to take back the control over your life that was violently ripped away.


Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 5:36 a.m.

why was my other comment removed? Exactly how did I violate the guidelines? By using the word penis? Or commenting about the actual ongoings of downtown A2 every weekend? Or is a blind eye to the truth to be expected? No one has the right to assault anyone else. That being said...I would not step into a pen of starving wolves with a huge steak tied around my neck....just common sense. And before you get all uppity and holier than thou...I am a victim of rape...not by one man but two. Walk a mile or block in my shoes before you decide to judge me or condemn my opinion.


Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 5:22 a.m.

assault...can't believe I keep typing it backwards, my apologies.

J Shaker

Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 1:19 a.m.

I was lucky enough to be standing on Liberty with my little girl as the march came down the sidewalk. It warmed my heart to see and hear you stand up for what is right. Thanks, and good for you!


Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 9:57 p.m.

Oh my goodness, that makes me so happy! I was one of the marchers and I felt a little guilty every time we went past someone with a kid; I thought we might have been scary with our signs and chanting.


Sat, Oct 22, 2011 : 11:16 p.m.

I completely agree that our society still largely run by men doesn't take rape as the violent crime it is and looks to blame the victims rather the the perpetrators. This is also a problem with the press looking to sensationalize crime. A man pre meditatively guns down 8 people in a salon in California, what do we hear? He has PTSD! What everyone with PTSD is now a psychopathic killer? A woman is raped at 2:00 AM? What is she doing out there? People form opinions via the press especially in these days of multitasking and constant cell phoning when the y don't take time to think. This brings me to my main point: The best name you could come up with is SLUTwalk? Nothing else came to you? I'm sorry with a name like that you demean a very serious subject.

Charlie Brown's Ghost

Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 12:36 a.m.

I think we see here and other places where this is discussed that they are not being taken seriously because of the name. The best thing for women to do would be to shun the group that has taken this name and continue with rallies, education and efforts for social and legal change under a name that will bring respect to the movement.

Deb Anderson

Sat, Oct 22, 2011 : 11:13 p.m.

The &quot;Take Back the Night&quot; slogan rather than devaluing ourselves and our entire gender by calling it a &quot;Slut Walk&quot; is much more empowering for all of us. Remain strong and aware of your surroundings. Use common sense. But it really riles me to take 50 steps backwards by calling ourselves something we are not -- no matter how young or old we are. Rapists are opportunists.

Charlie Brown's Ghost

Sat, Oct 22, 2011 : 11:03 p.m.

&quot;The FBI's current definition of rape is exclusive. It only includes certain types of rape, and we're asking people today to sign a letter that supports the newly proposed, more inclusive definition of rape.&quot; How hard would it be for the writer to actually look into what this is, instead of leaving this part of the article unfinished?

Wolf's Bane

Sat, Oct 22, 2011 : 10:11 p.m.

I think &quot;Take Back the Night&quot; makes more sense. This is justa muddled attempt at Social Media fame.

Blanch DuBois

Sat, Oct 22, 2011 : 9:23 p.m.

What if the penalty for rape was....well let's just say &quot;an eye for an eye&quot;?!


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 6:17 p.m.

I'm not EXACTLY sure what, &quot;an eye for an eye&quot; means in this case. I would have no problem whatsoever with the solution offered by Islamic justice.


Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 5:10 a.m. got a point...

Macabre Sunset

Sat, Oct 22, 2011 : 9:18 p.m.

I think the marchers are missing the point. Rape is not about sex or sexy. It's about power and cruelty. The focus should be on ensuring that those who decide to rape someone are never let out of prison. The marches should occur every time there's a parole hearing for one of those predators.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 7:31 p.m.

Sarah, Macabre and I are in complete agreement on this one. Rape is a heinous act. Confusing the issue with the tired &quot;men don't respect women&quot; mantra makes the problem worse. The key is to focus on the crime as Macabre has done.

Macabre Sunset

Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 4:07 a.m.

Sarah, it just doesn't come across that way. I understand the desire to make this about yourselves - to say that you control your sexuality. I sympathize and agree. I agree with your friend, too. But rape is not about taking control of your sexuality. It's an act of violence that has almost nothing to do with sexuality. The key here is taking on officials and lawyers who try to make this about sexuality. You're undermining exactly the cause you're trying to support. Rape is one of the hardest crimes to prosecute because so many don't understand it's not about sex. The focus must remain on the perpetrators and not the victims.


Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 10:04 p.m.

For Sunset: As a friend of the girl with the &quot;fat&quot; sign, I can assure you she was thinking of exactly the same message as everyone else. As quoted in another article, she says that men often tell her that she should be grateful for any attention they give her, and that includes unwanted sexual attention. It's the same disgusting idea that women who act or even exist in a certain matter want this attention in some way. Although I understand that the point is often muddled, the intention of Slutwalk isn't to call ourselves sluts. It's a direct, worldwide attack on the idea that &quot;sluts,&quot; or sexually active women, must have provoked their attackers. Even though we don't live in Toronto, this happens everywhere. I think it's actually more inspiring that everyone is reacting to this one event, even when we don't live there. For 1bit: No. It's not a different message at all. Men should respect women, no matter how they dress or who they sleep with, and this respect and equality completely disappears when victim-blaming happens.


Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 12:51 p.m.

&quot;Here, it's just calling attention to yourselves in a bizarre manner.&quot; Well said, Sunset. I also didn't understand why the man in the picture above is holding a sign saying &quot;Men of quality support gender equality&quot; when the purpose of &quot;SlutWalk&quot; is (should be) something completely different.

Macabre Sunset

Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 4:22 a.m.

We don't live in Toronto. That might be an appropriate response if your march was in Toronto and aimed at getting the policeman reassigned to parking ticket detail. Here, it's just calling attention to yourselves in a bizarre manner. There's a heavy woman in a low-cut top pictured who wrote, &quot;fat does not mean grateful for anything.&quot; I don't even think the attendees had the same political message in mind. The end result is a rally that isn't about rape awareness. It's about the sexuality of the marchers. And I don't think there are that many people in Ann Arbor who even find that controversial.


Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 3:55 a.m.

As a marcher, we understand rape is about power, but the walks started in response to the Toronto police saying that dressing slutty would get girls raped. That's where it came in.

Queen of Dragons

Sat, Oct 22, 2011 : 7:58 p.m.

Sounds to me most people are missing the point in this. When a women gets raped what is the first thing you think of? Is it that was wrong or was it what was she doing? cause lets face it most people will think and ask what was she doing? was she drinking, dancing or maybe she was just dressed a little to sluty so she prevoked that to happen to her. that is the point they are trying to make which is Think first that she is a victum not her fault no matter what she may or may have not done. and quite honestly seeing these comments it needs to be said as most of these people missed the point.

Wolf's Bane

Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 5:41 p.m.

I'm actually male. A male wookie, but yes, I am angry. Very, very angry wookie. I hate stupidity.


Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 3:57 p.m.

Angry feminists drive the opposite viewpoint.

Wolf's Bane

Sat, Oct 22, 2011 : 10:04 p.m.

When I hear that a woman has been raped I think about how horrible that is and how best to help the victim and catch the offender. I would NEVER blame the victim!!! That is just crazy talk and offensive!


Sat, Oct 22, 2011 : 8:12 p.m.

Well summarized. I was planning on writing the same thing. This has nothing to do with hating men. I am a man and I support slut walk. Its about trying to break the misconception that women are raped because they are engaging in risky behavior. Rape happens because men want to exert power over their victims. Frankly, as usual there are far too many ignorant comments being made about this.


Sat, Oct 22, 2011 : 8:11 p.m.

Well summarized. I was planning on writing the same thing. This has nothing to do with hating men. I am a man and I support slut walk. Its about trying to break the misconception that women are raped because they are engaging in risky behavior. Rape happens because men want to exert power over their victims. Frankly, as usual there are far too many ignorant comments being made about this.


Sat, Oct 22, 2011 : 7:39 p.m.

&quot;It's about our misogynistic culture,&quot; said participant Alysa Hodgson, a student at Lansing Community College. &quot;Men can't do whatever they want to women.&quot; Precisely which men is she referring to? The serial rapist? This is one guy as far as we know. What about the vast majority of men - husbands, fathers, brothers, etc. - that have never physically or mentally harmed a woman? Who is blaming the women for being victims exactly? Is this really a protest or is this a gathering of women (and the puppy-dog boyfriend) that hate men? Offensive.


Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 1:02 p.m.

And 99.9% of all husbands, fathers, brothers, etc. have never raped anybody. Gender bashing will not solve anything.


Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 3:52 a.m.

Don't group husbands, fathers, and brothers in the innocent category so quickly. more than 73% of rapes are by people the victim knows. Stranger rape is only a small percentage.

Blanch DuBois

Sat, Oct 22, 2011 : 9:17 p.m.

Husbands, fathers, brothers, etc. should have been out there too. Males need to send the message to other males that rape will not be tolerated in our society. I think the whole point of this demonstration is to show that the crime of rape is essentially being fought by &quot;a gathering of women&quot;.


Sat, Oct 22, 2011 : 7:37 p.m.

My only question out of all of this is: Isn't that girl in the tank top cold? It's 50 degrees outside, not 80.

Kari Richelle

Sat, Oct 22, 2011 : 8:11 p.m.

I was only cold when the wind was blowing, but with the sun, it really wasn't that bad out.

Susan Hurt

Sat, Oct 22, 2011 : 7:31 p.m.

And everyone who has posted so far has missed the point and has missed the importance of this message. If someone decides to walk down the street completely naked (not smart but that's not the point), they are not giving someone permission to rape them! What is SO hard to understand? One in nine women have been sexually attacked by the time they are 18 years old. If your daughter tells a boy no, and he continues, it is rape. What a woman wears or how she dances or if she has a drink or two are NOT permission for someone to force her to have sex with them. For the person who says it's being human, imagine telling that to your little sister if someone brutally rapes her on the way home from school. And all she did was wear jeans, a t-shirt, and flip-flops. Did her bare toes provoke this? Was her t-shirt too tight? Reducing the risk might sound reasonable, except that 80-year-old women have been raped in the last year. Do you think the rapist thought her walker was sexy? Rape is about violence and control - not sex. It's not about something she's wearing being too sexy for a 'man' to handle. If you believe that it's just because women dress to 'turn men on and it's their own fault&quot; - here's the reality. If a man can't deal with seeing a body part without losing control, the MAN is sick. It is perverse and deranged for someone to become violent and a rapist because someone wore something provocative.


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 10:33 a.m.

Rapists don't care what you wear, Susan. Rape is an act of domination and violence, not sex. All your dressing up like a harlot does is make men think you ARE a slut. They won't rape you, they just will never respect you. If that's what you want (respect), you're not going to get it that way.


Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 3:56 p.m.

I totally get it &quot;Slut'walk.

Wolf's Bane

Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 11:56 a.m.

Hmm, sorry, you missed the point. You are assuming that most women are raped for wearing something provocative or sexy! This is never the case, actually. Woman get raped because the &quot;rape&quot; is about power and taking advantage of those who are weak, e.g. a drunk, a drugged, or anyone and vulnerable. This event has managed to reverse all of the progress by the sisterhood and for what? Fame


Sat, Oct 22, 2011 : 7:22 p.m.

. . . more proof we have all lost our minds. 'Slutwalk'.

Michigan Reader

Sat, Oct 22, 2011 : 7:08 p.m.

What the authorities and other people are telling you is, reduce the risk. You're free to invite rape, but it's not a good idea. The perp is still responsible, but that doesn't do you any good after the fact.

Michigan Reader

Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 4:50 p.m.

O.K. Buzz, I will. Grandmothers, reduce your risk of rape, seek the advice of your local cops. The man is still to blame, totally, but that won't do YOU any good after the fact.


Sat, Oct 22, 2011 : 7:26 p.m.

Tell that to all the grandmothers out there who are raped every day in the US.


Sat, Oct 22, 2011 : 7 p.m.

I guess humans will be human.