'The Rapists Don't Care What I Wear': Hundreds March in SlutWalk in Southern Israel

Organizer of the event – the first since 2014 – says the aim is to establish a community of feminists in Be'er Sheva

'SlutWalk' in the southern Israeli town of Be’er Sheva, Saturday, June 9, 2018
Eliyahu Hershkovitz

More than 300 men and women took part in a SlutWalk in Be’er Sheva on Thursday, the first time since 2014 that the event to protest sexual violence was held in the southern city.

The marchers carried signs that read, among other things, “Youth against the culture of rape,” “The rapists do not care what I wear, why do you care?,” “It’s not your fault,” and “My tits are not a danger to the public.”

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“We want to establish a community of feminists in the city,” said Inbar Rost, one of the organizers of the event. “The fact that we have 12-year-old girls who came here, who understand the message, is crazy. At the age of 12, I did not know I was a feminist.”

'SlutWalk' in the southern Israeli town of Be’er Sheva, Saturday, June 9, 2018
Eliyahu Hershkovitz

Natalie Honio, a 25-year-old psychology student and another organizer of the march, said, “Our goal is to make it a tradition. Like the Pride parade in the city, or the SlutWalk in Tel Aviv — every year there will also be this SlutWalk.”

“I am a person who is attentive to what is being said to me. It is important for me to make it clear to everyone that when a woman says no, then it’s no,” said Michael Targerman, a 30-year-old resident of Kibbutz Magen. “This is the first time I’ve participated,” he explained.

The SlutWalk began in 2011 in Toronto, Canada, in response to a local policeman who said that to avoid rape women should “not dress like sluts.”

His statement led to widespread international protest against the phenomenon of blaming the victim, with demonstrations held in the United States, India and Europe, among other places. The event has been held in Israel for the last six years in the cities of Haifa, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.