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Faculty Mentor

Brenda DeVore Marshall

Abstract

This study examined an open letter created by the Black Women’s Blueprint Organization in response to the reappropriation of the term “slut” in SlutWalk Toronto, a protest march against rape culture. Using Burke’s cluster criticism method, it evaluates the effectiveness of this rhetorical strategy through the lenses of race, ethnicity, and socio-economic differences. This study enables those involved in the movement to move forward productively, more inclusively. The research questions addressed are as follows, the latter acting as a sub question of the first: (1) In regards to United States Third Wave feminist goals, are SlutWalks achieving the desired long-term outcome? (2) Is the strategy of reclaiming “slut” having the desired effect? Analysis offered insight into four themes: (1) reinforcement, (2) oppression, (3) lack of space, and (4) difference.

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