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Two events on the Western Illinois University-Macomb campus in April will bring attention to, and challenge, the use of the word "slut."
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Challenge the Use of the Word 'Slut' Events at WIU April 12, 19

April 10, 2012

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MACOMB, IL – Two events on the Western Illinois University-Macomb campus this month will bring attention to, and challenge, the use of the word "slut." Craig Tollini, associate professor in Western's sociology and anthropology department, noted that the word "slut" has often been used to shame women who engage in sexual behavior and who use contraception or other forms of family planning.

"This term has also been used to blame the victims of sexual harassment and assault. A recent example occurred when Rush Limbaugh referred to Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke as a 'slut' after she testified before Democratic representatives to argue that religiously affiliated universities should cover contraception in their health care plans," Tollini said.

The first of the two events scheduled to take place is a panel discussion this week. "Slut Talk: Blaming, Shaming, and Challenging" will start at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 12 in the University Union Heritage Room. Tollini noted that after the panelists discuss the topic from their perspectives, there will be time for audience questions and discussion.

The second event is an awareness walk/march: "SlutWalk: Stop the Blaming, Stop the Shaming, Start Challenging" is slated to start at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 19 at the Union Plaza flagpole (located on the north side of the University Union). Tollini said after a brief speech at the flagpole, the "SlutWalk" will proceed to the gazebo in Chandler Park in Macomb.

"It's called a 'SlutWalk,' after an event held in Canada that sparked a global phenomenon that seeks to problematize the term 'slut,'" Tollini explained.

According to Bridget Welch, assistant professor of sociology, during the walk, the participants will stop along the way to discuss issues relevant to shaming and victim blaming.

"At the end of the walk, there will be an open microphone for participants to speak, and we will close with some final words from a WIU student," she added.

For more information, contact Welch at

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