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Do ‘slut walks’ make a valid point?

Jessica Valenti’s June 5 Outlook article, “As slutty as we want to be,” correctly stated that “women deserve to be safe from violent assault no matter what they wear,” but (yes, there is a but) it’s also true that what they wear matters in determining whether they will be treated with respect or not. There is more to life, after all, than just not being raped.

Since it’s also true that men are made to have a strong sexual attraction to women’s bodies, perhaps women who want to be respected should show more respect for themselves and for men by avoiding “sluttiness.” It’s hard to think of any actions less likely to bring about positive changes in social attitudes involving women and men than the “SlutWalks.”

Margaret M. Whitehead, Falls Church

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The “slut pride” variant of feminism strikes me as being in part a reaction to the puritanical “Pat Robertson in Birkenstocks” variant of feminism. Puritanical feminism has allied itself implicitly, and sometimes explicitly, with the religious right against their common enemy, individual liberty. Why should people not seek a form of liberation that actually liberates them? More specifically, with regard to dress, why does “My body, my right to choose” not apply?

Finally, the “slut pride” feminists have a point when they place the onus on sexual predators not to rape, not on their potential victims to dress modestly.

David J. Edmondson, Alexandria

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I couldn’t disagree more with the unrealistic premise and immature slogans the new feminists espoused in Jessica Valenti’s Outlook commentary. A simple analogy sums it all up: American capitalism relies heavily on advertising. An advertised product sells. Advertising works!

Advertising your body works as well. Walking the streets in a high-crime area while wearing a gold necklace is stupid. Let’s likewise be smart about the way we dress.

Ingrid Wrausmann, McLean

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