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Many articles covering SlutWalks draw attention to the raiment of the protesters but I have yet to come across an article that questions why women might potentially dress as “sluts,” which ostensibly lends their culpability in the event that they are raped. Mulvey’s (1975) theory of the male gaze is illuminating in this regard. Having conducted research on modest fashion in the Unites States, social media commentators often highlight the lack of modest clothing options available for women who desire, among other reasons, to avoid the male gaze. Since the mainstream fashion industry has historically been dominated by males and this trend persists, the current fashion options available to women have been configured and perpetuated through the male gaze. Women are schooled through the media as to what clothing is appropriate to make them attractive by societal standards and female pop culture icons play their part in reinforcing these standards (Perry 2002). Through the male gaze, the liberated body has been linked to the naked/exposed body (Barlas 2002), particularly in haute couture for women. This pattern appears to be doubly damning for women; men predominantly determine the clothing options available to women and, if a woman is raped, society in general blames the woman for wearing clothes that are deemed slutty, despite the paucity of alternative options and the acceptability and promotion of slut-wear and the exposed body in mainstream media.

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