A video has been circulating of right-wing personality Jesse Lee Peterson interviewing young women at the SlutWalk march in Los Angeles. Intended as a conservative critique of young people’s sexual and self expression, the footage instead captures the incredible eloquence and passion of women celebrating their bodies and freedom.
Each year, thousands take part in SlutWalks across the world, calling for an end to rape culture. The movement first began in 2011 when a police constable in Toronto warned students not to ‘dress like sluts’ to avoid rape on campus. The march sees participants dress in revealing clothes in a clear statement that what people should never be blamed for their own assault or harassment because of what they wear.
One clip in particular sees Peterson – the host of ring-wing show The Fallen State – ask a woman if she describes herself as a slut.
Known by her first name, Samirah, she proclaims “we are all sluts”: those around her, Jesse Lee Peterson himself is, the camera guy, the inanimate mic – all sluts.
Peterson presses her for her age – “grown” – and whether she “sleeps with a lot of men”.
Telling him that she’s a virgin, Samirah asserts that the term ‘slut’ is based on loose, outdated, misogynistic ideals, as well as assumptions and judgements based on sexual history, looks, and attitudes. “A slut is what I make it, a boss, getting money, taking the mic, turning life around, taking over Hollywood,” she says playfully.