Organizers outraged by a presidential candidate’s comments on rape have announced Costa Rica’s second “SlutWalk,” scheduled for Friday, at 8 p.m. at Parque Central in downtown San José.
Accessibility Without Exclusion Party (PASE) presidential candidate Óscar López reportedly said in a radio interview that there was a “thin line between consent and rape,” according to a statement by the march’s organizers.
Organizers said López’s comments “minimize the serious problem of sexual violence toward women, justify the actions of rapists, [and] reinforce chauvinistic discourses that view the female body as an object at the service of masculine pleasure.”
The theme of the march is “No means No, Violence is never consensual.”
López told the daily La Nación that his comments were taken out of context.
“These women are upset just because I’m opposed to abortion and have manipulated my words. I would like to offer an apology to all the honorable women of this country who could have been affected by these words, which were distorted by a feminist group affiliated with the Broad Front Party,” he told the newspaper.
According to López, what he meant to say was that if abortion were permitted in Costa Rica in the case of rape, a person who ends up with an unwanted pregnancy after partying could simply blame it on rape to get the abortion.
“In this hypothetical situation the line gets thin,” he explained, according to La Nación.
Marchers will meet in Parque Central Friday night to demand that López retract his statements and publicly recognize that rape is a serious form of violence against women, and that PASE publicly repudiate the candidate’s comments and take steps to “reform the chauvinism” inside the party.
They also ask that other political parties speak out against López’s comments and take “concrete steps” to fight violence against women.
The first SlutWalk took place on Aug. 15, 2011, in response to statements by Cartago Bishop José Francisco Ulloa asking women to dress “modestly” to avoid being “dehumanized,” and that a women’s ultimate purpose was “fertilization.”
Watch a video of the first SlutWalk from 2011: