Faculty Mentor

Brenda DeVore Marshall


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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