No violence walk

Just what is “appropriate dress” and who has the right to make decisions about what other people wear?That was the issue in a Montreal high school earlier this week, but it’s only part of a larger debate that spilled out onto the streets of Hamilton this afternoon.It’s becoming an issue that’s getting more and more attention, and it’s hit some sensitive nerves in some quarters.In Montreal earlier this week, school administrators pulled Lindsey Stocker out of her grade eleven class and told her she had to change her clothes or face suspension.Her shorts, they said, were too short.Lindsey countered that the administration shouldn’t be worrying about the length of her shorts, they should be worrying about the culture and attitude. That makes her clothing an issue.So, she made 200 posters and posted them in and around her high school to explain her point of view. Teachers quickly took them down — and, yes, she was suspended.But in hamilton today, Lindsey certainly found some kindred support as members of a local coalition of groups staged a rally and march to protest the action known as “slut shaming.”They say the issue isn’t clothing — or what women wear — but the attitude and reaction of those who believe that a certain style of dress is an open invitation to rape.Nikki Wilson is one of the organizers of the rally and a former victim of abuse. She says sexual assault has nothing to do with sex, but an issue of power and control. She believes we need to talk more about those issues to put an end to what these protesters call “victim shaming” and “rape culture.”

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