The press of events last spring together with the summer publishing schedule of The New Criterion did not allow me to get round to discussing in these pages the phenomenon of “slut walking” which blew up at that time in brief demonstrations and in news commentary around the Western world, though for some reason more in the United Kingdom than anywhere else. What set the self-proclaimed but (one supposes) ironic sluts off in their perambulations was the hideous gaffe of a Toronto policeman in suggesting to some young women that, if they wished to avoid the occasion of sexual assault, it might be a good idea for them not to dress like sluts. He seems not to have realized that he himself was showing a good bit of leg as an invitation to another kind of assault. What would once have seemed nothing more than common-sense advice, such as generations of mothers have given to their daughters, was now officially to be designated as an instance of...

 

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