The SlutWalkers got all huffy when people — including some old-time feminists — pointed out that their attire might be sending mixed signals, especially to men. A New York City SlutWalker who decided to protest rape culture by performing a pole dance on the sidewalk was quickly surrounded by male gawkers filming her on their phones.

As illustrated by Valenti’s remark, the SlutWalk feminists are in denial of a reality that is perfectly obvious to both the women who favor “sexy” for Halloween parties and (although perhaps not consciously) the SlutWalkers themselves. The reality is that men’s sexual responses are highly susceptible to visual stimuli, and women, who are also sexual beings, like to generate those stimuli by displaying as much of their attractive selves as social mores or their own personal moral codes permit. In Victorian times that meant flashing an ankle every now and then. Now, it means … whatever. It’s no wonder that SlutWalks have quickly outstripped (as it were) Take Back the Night as anti-rape protest. Women get another chance besides Halloween to dress up like prostitutes!

The other reality that feminists tend to deny is that rape and sexual desire are linked. Rape, in that view, is a purely political act of male dominance. This ignores the fact that the vast majority of rape victims are under age 30 — that is, when women are at their peak of desirability.