About 80 people marched from Chater Garden to Lan Kwai Fong in Central on Sunday to oppose sexual violence and rape culture.

SlutWalk Hong Kong is an annual march forming part of an international movement against sexual violence.

Photo: SlutWalk Hong Kong.

The demonstrators held signs saying “My body, my choice,” and chanted “Rape is rape, it’s wrong no matter what you say.”

Photo: InMedia.

One participant also carried a plastic doll used to illustrate what an “ideal woman” looked like – a reference to the commodification of women and the myth that only young and pretty women are raped.

Photo: InMedia.

They also hit back at criticism of women’s bodies with a Chinese slogan: “Fat or flat, so what? You say I have to be a certain way, but the most important thing is what I want.”

Photo: InMedia.

The message that women are sex objects that exist to please men are prevalent throughout society, the group said in a press release.

Photo: InMedia.

“[W]hen women wear ‘sexy’ clothing, they are blamed when raped. At the same time, when women who do not fit society’s current standards of ‘sex objects’ (such as youth, beauty, thinness) experience sexual violence, they are told that they wanted it. We’ve had enough of rape myths.”

Photo: SlutWalk Hong Kong.

A woman surnamed Wong from the Association Concerning Sexual Violence Against Women told InMedia that when news of sexual violence cases are published online, information about the background of the victims often appear online before a verdict has been issued by the court.

Photo: InMedia.

“If they were drunk, or [there is] information about the victim’s clothing or appearance, netizens will often criticise them.”

She said these kinds of cultural assumptions could lead to victims being afraid to seek help out of fear of being censured.

Photo: InMedia.

Disqualified lawmaker Leung Kwok-hung, who participated, said that sexual violence extends beyond physical violence.

Photo: InMedia.

“But through mass media and the internet, everyone can step on others 24 hours a day. Not just turning women into sexual objects, but also saying that they brought [sexual violence] on themselves.”

Photo: InMedia.

The group also drew attention to sexual harassment and violence in the workplace, in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal in the US. It raised calls to increase public services which lead to greater gender equality, including the provision of women’s shelters and daycare centres.

Photo: InMedia.

The SlutWalk movement began in Canada in 2011 when a Toronto police officer speaking to college students said that women should avoid dressing “like sluts” to prevent being raped or otherwise victimised.

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Catherine Lai

Catherine is a Canadian journalist and photographer who lived in Beijing for almost two years, working in TV and online media. Aside from Hong Kong and mainland affairs, she is also interested in urban spaces, art and feminism. She holds a BA in Literature and Art History from the University of British Columbia.