RSS Feed

Slut-Walk. sigh.

Remember Take Back the Night? That was a BIG thing for decades. It was a women-only protest against male violence against women. We gathered as dusk fell over our cities and towns.  As many women as could come–no permit, the cops were never invited (though they always showed up)–we provided our own security–women in vests, or identified with armbands, who made sure we were all together, that the women who were spray painting or stickering were shielded from the surveillance of the state. That the women who removed their shirts had room to move, but be safe within the march, too. We had an “arrest one, arrest all” policy that everyone attending these marches agreed to. We wore jeans and sneakers, dresses and heels, feather boas and long elegant gloves–boots, slippers, rings and bangles, or wallets stuffed into our back pockets.

As we gathered, there was often music, always speakers–women who were activists, anti-violence workers–one or two women gave a speech about the work of the year, the reasons that we gathered like that, every year, third Friday in September, across the nation. We read telegrams, then faxed messages, then e-mails from other women in other cities and towns in Canada–all of us gathering in solidarity as dusk fell. We together lit a way for us to walk together in safety and defiance with each other. All of us were (are) women who had been harassed or attacked on the streets by men, women who adjusted our behaviour in attempts to keep us safe (don’t walk at night, carry your keys in your hand as a weapon, don’t go out alone, don’t do this, don’t do that–you can’t wear that). We were (are) women who had been raped, battered, incested, prostituted, insulted, harassed, put down, held down, excluded, diminished–by men. By patriarchy.

But together, for that one night, everything was possible. We knew we were safe to be together, we protected each other, encouraged each other, healed each other and stoked the fury of our collective rage and faith in each other. Faith in our Liberation Movement.

I tell ya, those marches were so much fun. One year, the year before I got to BC, I think, ’86–when Expo was in full force in Vancouver, the women of Rape Relief built these giant puppets and danced them through the city. The next year, ’87, I was part of the organizing committee for Take Back the Night in Victoria. We didn’t know what the heck we were doing. But we got maybe 20-30 women (and a couple of sensitive guys–we did agree on women only, but these guys didn’t get the memo. whatever, i didn’t notice them till the end of the march) and we walked down the middle of the road (and partly on the sidewalk) for a few blocks–I gave a speech about pornography in front of an “adult” video store, and we yelled at the man who had the fine timing to open the door and scurry away from our taunts as we arrived. We opened the door to the police station and chanted “get your laws off our bodies” at the cops at the top of the stairs. I don’t think they took us seriously. well. Never mind. we were fine. we chanted and sang and danced, the tiny band of us, through the sleepy streets and then we held hands and sang and made our plans to get home safe.

The next year i missed it. I was wrapping up a treeplanting contract in Northern Saskatchewan. Another great story altogether….

I remember those marches–exuberance and rage, joy and light in the darkness, all women together. We always had to ask men to leave. We always had some push back from women who said we were sexist for excluding men–but we also always had men who were willing to do childcare, and provide rides home to women after the march, and back off.

“whatever we wear, wherever we go, yes means yes and no means no!”

Take Back the Night was a women only protest against male violence against women. Very clear. We knew that sexual harassment, you know, wolf whistles, invitations to perform fellatio, queries of “how much?” and so on, were along the continuum of men’s everyday violations of our safety, bodily integrity, confidence and abilities. We knew that we needed each other for protection (not our boyfriends or husbands or fathers). We knew that those seemingly innocuous comments about our looks, or our expressions (“Smile, Beautiful!” they would command) were/are not  compliments, they are intimidation.

Men rarely attack women they do not know. But when they do, it makes front page news, because all the other ordinary men can point at the monster and say, “see? that’s terrible, I would never do that, you’re much safer with me”, and the patriarchy wins our capitulation again.

so. Take Back the Night was about that. We knew there were always women who could not come out at night because they were held prisoner in their homes by abusive men. And we knew there were women who could not join us because they could not take the risk, however slight, of being arrested. We marched for them, too.

Now, there’s no Take Back the Night. There still are marches held here and there, but they’re not women only, for the most part. They’re not even about male violence against women. They’re about bullying. or violence. in general, as if it’s an air-borne virus that randomly strikes out of the blue. “we must stop violence”– like, um, how do we do that if we don’t NAME who is doing it to whom? you got a vaccine for that?

no. Now we have Slut Walk. this cop in Toronto, he said that women who dressed like sluts were asking to be raped. Or something like that, some offensive, victim-blaming remark like that. which included the word “slut”. So, women in Toronto got all dolled up in their hosiery and push up bras and short tight skirts and went walking together in Toronto. This weekend, they’re gonna do that in Vancouver too.

I won’t be there.

I know, I don’t have to dress in a skirt or anything in order to participate. But the whole thing kinda skeeves me out. It’s not about male violence against women. It’s not about the systems of oppression, rooted in patriarchal power, that keep us from freedom and safety wherever we go. It’s more about individual choice, and capitulating to the impositions of stereotypical gender roles — “This is what a feminist looks like” kind of rhetoric that valorizes a certain kind of beauty that is appealing to men.  How the hell did we get here? This whole business of “I choose to wear this clothing, these shoes, I CHOOSE it” stuff. Do ya? really? how is our choice shaped? what are we giving up when we choose one thing over another? what are the costs or benefits to our freedom–our real freedom, i mean, I mean the freedom that comes from acting in solidarity with others–taking responsibility for the well-being of others? When we wear shoes that hinder our ability to walk easily, when we wear tight clothing that shortens our stride, when we wear binding undergarments–I know, I know, “they’re comfortable, I can run in these shoes, I LIKE this stuff”–I know. I’ve heard women say that.  But who designed that stuff? And to what purpose? and how can it be liberating to wear constraining clothing? I don’t get it.

and this whole slut walk thing, it’s only about women’s individual choices of what to wear,  it seems. Men are not named as the threat to our autonomy. But they are. the man who called those women “sluts”, he was talking about women who had been raped by men. He blamed women for the violence done to them by men. He said, in not so many words, that men are incapable of governing their own behaviour, nor could they be expected to be responsible for the decisions they made when faced with a woman dressed a certain way.  He let men off the hook. Enormous insult to men, that comment, as well as to women. but women, in response, have not made the connections between our individual choices and the structures of domination within which those choices have been made. This walk is not about shaking the foundations, or dismantling those structures of domination. This walk is only about the legitimacy of the individual choices made within those structures.

Anyhow. I won’t be going. I think anytime women organize together in our own interests, it has transformative potential. But in this case, I don’t think the potential for transformation will be realized.  to quote Gertrude Stein (out of context, to be sure–sorry, Gert), “There’s no there there”, ya know?

Advertisements

About easilyriled

My mom was Edith, my dad was John. I have a brother, who is Shawn. I have many friends and allies and mentors in my life. I'm white, over-educated, under-employed, messy, funny, smart, lesbian, feminist "Not the fun kind", as Andrea Dworkin said. But I, like the feminists I hang with, ARE fun. I play accordion better than I did, and i'm learning the concertina. Slowly.

47 responses »

  1. I was deeply offended and concept of the slut walk on so many level.
    Although it true, that it should make no difference what a woman or girl wears or how she chooses to live, whether she is raped or not – it is always the fault of the rapist. That should be a basis.

    But the concept of re-claiming the word “slut” seems to me very un-thought out.
    The word slut is used by men and some women to define the prostituted class and other women and girls who it is decided give away sex without caring about their own self-respect.
    Slut is not a word that I as exited prostituted wish to re-claim.

    It is a word that or me and other women harm by the sex trade, have been used as mental torture to control us. Slut in many ways is the lighter word that was used.
    If other women want to re-claim the word slut – could have enough respect to research how violently that language is used on women and girls inside the sex trade.

    As for the clothing – that makes angry that women dress in a “whorish” way. I know it mainly dresses as women and girls going clubbing – but if women think dressing as a prostitute is not deeply hurtful to women and girls who have lived that reality, they are at best naive and at worse deeply selfish.

    I hope this makes some sense.

    Reply
  2. I think the Take Back the Night campaign is great. That said, here are my comments:

    -What’s wrong with having a gathering whose focus is bringing awareness to the bullshittiness of victim-blaming?

    -What’s wrong with having a march where people come together to say “WHAT WE WEAR IS NOT AN INVITATION TO RAPE”…?

    I think disliking the SlutWalk because the focus is NOT as much about the fact that men rape women as it is about the survivor not being at fault because of the outfit they wore -is like disliking a War-Protest because the focus is on what it does to the families of soldiers more than it focuses on the soldiers themselves…. I think that’s ridiculous. Both are important focuses. IT’S OKAY TO FOCUS ON ONE SUBJECT. Nobody in the campaign is saying, “Men don’t rape”. Nobody.

    –The point of SlutWalk is to get a community dialogue started about victim-blaming -and how much bullshit victim-blaming actually is.–

    If someone has a problem with that –good. Then the SlutWalk is doing what it set out to do. Inspiring dialogue.

    Reply
    • yea, JM, thanks for your comment. I think it’s fine of course for women to gather together and proclaim that “what we wear is not an invitation to rape.” But that’s not my criticism of this event. I don’t know that your analogy of the anti-war protest thing is accurate. Nope. I think a more accurate one is to say that disliking SW is more like disliking a war protest because it focuses on, say, the rights of soldiers to endure degrading humiliation at bootcamp so they will do what the officers order them to do. more like that, I think.

      whatever the point of slutwalk is, I still miss Take Back the Night, the point of which was women’s liberation from patriarchal oppression. Big picture.

      Reply
  3. Thanks for your blog, Sister.

    Reply
  4. Bonfire Maiden

    Thanks for putting into precise words what I’ve been thinking/feeling about this Walk. I don’t even want to write the descriptor word because it’s been used against me so many times, particularly when I was sexually assaulted. I wasn’t part of the movement during the days of Take Back the Night but it sounds much more empowering!

    Reply
  5. want to comment that in my observation and study every grassroots effort that has achieved success in becoming a part of the larger society,
    goes through a period of influx of community members that grows from the small group into a larger social group with change, alterations, somewhat ‘stabilizes’, and at worst, destroys the original meanings, intentions and goals of the original successful founding efforts. It’s part of the ‘growth’ process and the result of large amounts of social members with different individual intentions for being there differ from those that started the group. Usually founders, and original members eventually leave. I think understanding this common process needs to be understood by those working on social change as to improve effectiveness of the work. Institutionalized social work traditionally has always started out to correct a social problem and ends up maintaining it and dealing with the results of it rather than ELIMINATING it. Over the years, I’ve seen
    a number of good books addressing the subject. Just making note here, as I don’t have my bibliography on this organized and in hand at the moment.

    I think good questions need to be asked….about eliminating social problems that would end the work, if successful.
    In fact, I’ll go out on a limb and say, I believe there are much quicker and effective ways especially once social change itself is comprehensively understood.
    We are IN massive social change almost like a cancer and in some places, too much wrong change is part of the current problem to effective social change.

    Reply
  6. As a native English speaker, I’m qualified to say the word prostitute is more semantically neutral (while still being generally pejorative) than slut.

    For all the times pro-prostitution folks have used the word whore in supposedly reclaiming but actually attention-seeking ways, I have never seen individuals or organizations put effort into reclaiming the word prostitute. They’ll invent absurdities like “erotic service provider”, “industrial sex technician” and other Newspeak but are resolutely reluctant to take back prostitute.

    Why is slut considered worth the effort of trying to “reclaim” but prostitute so far gone that it must be wholly rejected and replaced by sex worker?

    Reply
  7. “It’s not about the systems of oppression, rooted in patriarchal power”

    I’m pretty sure that’s EXACTLY what its about. The whole concept is rooted in the patriarchal system which blames women for the sexual assault they’re victims of. Its a system which relieves men of their responsibility for assault. Slut-walk is saying, “Its not women’s fault”.

    I’ve been to several Take Back the Night marches. Obviously that means they weren’t women-only in my day. And quite right too. How dare Take Back the Night say “you’re not welcome here because you’re a male victim of sexual assault”. Or you’re not welcome because you’re trans man or perhaps a trans woman in some cases. Or you’re not welcome as a supporter of our cause because you’re male. Or to suggest that no women are ever the assaulter themselves. We know about the prevalence of physical violence in many same sex relationships. Why shouldn’t they count for this event?

    Take Back the Night has always talked explicitly about sexual assault, and it doesn’t have to be gender discriminate to do that.

    Reply
    • in answer to your question, ritch, men were not invited to take back the night because it was advertised as a “women-only protest against male violence against women”. that’s what it was. the support men were asked to provide were as i mentioned in my original post.

      Reply
      • That wasn’t a question. I’m a cisgender male, and in my town men were actively encouraged to join in the marches and the rally. I doubt that was exclusive to my town.

      • The question, ritch, was “why shouldn’t they count for this event?” I did assume you meant, “attend” rather than “count”. But maybe I misunderstood your query. there was clearly a question mark, though.

      • Ah, OK, I see what you mean.

        I meant why shouldn’t victims of sexual assault count if they’re not women or if they’re victims of other women and not men?

    • Protesting male violence against women doesn’t mean that men do not also experience violence. I am increasingly frustrated by the argument that women fighting against assault and rape and abuse perpetrated by men is somehow offensive to male victims. Can we please stop trying to erase the gendered nature of violence and rape?? Of course men are abused and assaulted, this is not up for discussion. That doesn’t mean that women are not raped by men on a MUCH larger scale BECAUSE THEY ARE WOMEN. Slutwalk seems to be about violence against women but refuses to name it as such when questioned. This frustrates me.

      Reply
  8. I often feel sad at the compromise we seem to have made against the ideals of liberation in order to have a broader appeal. Thanks for the bright spot of solidarity today!

    Reply
  9. Maybe someone can translate this article for me, because I don’t know what’s so funny about saying the word “slut”, or dressing so your cleavage shows, or wearing high heel shoes, or putting on lots of makeup and accessories.

    http://www.doublex.com/blog/xxfactor/slutwalks-and-new-political-incorrectness

    Whatever else I may think of these behaviors, I’m not convinced that they evince any of the humor being attributed to them, not anymore than women are already ridiculed with daily because femininity itself is considered an inherent joke worth laughing at.

    Reply
  10. truthvscompliance

    I watched a video about this on youtube and one of the women in the march was wearing a shirt (I think, or holding a sign, can’t remember) that said, “Sluts say YES!” And I couldn’t help but think how that is sending a very confusing message…

    Reply
    • I saw this slogan (Sluts say yes!) and also felt the message was confusing…I think I know what she means, but only because I can reference Jacqueline Friedman/ Yes Means Yes. I’m pretty sure her message would be read differently by most others…

      Reply
  11. Thanks so much for verbalizing this. I was so angry when I heard about this. On the one hand, it’s good for them to call out the idiot cop. That’s awesome. But I totally agree this had NOTHING to do with rape. I have always hated this idea of “feminism is about choice.” Well no, it is and it isn’t. It is about giving women more choices not about reinforcing the ability of women to “choose” the same things they always have. When women are funneled into certain jobs, clothing, and roles, are rewarded enormously for those things, and punished for deviating from them, it’s hardly surprising when they choose them. If women are only offered one choice, you can’t really call it a choice when they choose it. As Simone de Beauvoir said when asked if women shouldn’t have choices like becoming a housewife, “No since she will always choose it.”

    P.S. Loved your stories about the Take Back the Night marches. Those sound amazing. I wish they still happened on the same scale.

    Reply
    • Wishing won’t do it…organizing a TAKE BACK THE NIGHT march will.

      Reply
      • yes indeed. I wonder if both the upswing of interest in and criticism of the SW can be harnessed to rebuild a radical movement. I rather think so, but at the same time, I’m not able/willing to embark on such organizing myself at this time….which of course i have some guilt about (which is not useful)–also, I don’t know that we’re in a place where we can organize a “women-only” (meaning women born female, raised as girls to women) action of that size without significant resistance, which would require time and work to navigate.

  12. Men shouldn’t be able to take “Take back the night” and change it. Support is great but this is about the war on women in this world and when it boils down to it a man is much less at risk taking back the night on his own than a woman on her own.

    Reply
  13. I like the idea of this but Take back the night sounds so much better. I think just the term slutwalk makes your brain go in a different direction than they intend and the name should be changed but in my opinion their hearts are in the right place

    Reply
  14. Perhaps then it is time to start take back the night again. 🙂 I will be there if we can organize it!

    Reply
  15. Love this post. Hope you don’t mind my linking to it on my blog. I was very excited about Toronto SlutWalk and am weighing whether to participate in the one in Vancouver, and you’ve articulated the reservations I have about the event here.

    I’d like to share with you the best comment I’ve read on any site about this, which was on the Georgia Straight article about the Vancouver SlutWalk organizers.

    “As an anti-rape activist, and a woman who has been assaulted, I think it would have been far more poignant and powerful (but less media-worthy) had participants of all these slut walks been invited to simply wear what they’d been wearing when they were assaulted. Then the cop’s comment would really have been illuminated for what it was – buying into rape myths that it’s what we wear that put us at risk. Instead, at least in Toronto, you had a costumey effect — “look at me! i’m wearing mesh panty hose and short skirts, and mugging for the cameras” – and honestly, i felt even more silenced as a survivor. Vancouver, do it differently – instead of posting articles like “what should you wear to slut walk” like it’s a freaking party, go into your friend’s closet, your mom’s closet, your grandmother’s – look at what they’re wearing at home, at school, at work and then realize that’s what you wear at slutwalk. don’t buy into the myth yourself that it’s nightclub attire, that’s it’s going to be a stranger ‘misinterpreting’ what you’re wearing – the guy who rapes you is likely the one you know, maybe you love, and you’ll be wearing the same crap outfit you wore last week.”

    I think that commenter’s approach gets way closer to the root of the problem.

    Reply
  16. Pingback: Links: May 10, 2011 « Against All Evidence

    • I don’t think it’s an exercise in stupidity, Garp, so much as one of…some kind of cynicism. It seems to me overall a kind of capitulation to patriarchy–giving up. In a way that tries to appear rebellious. it’s not.

      Reply
  17. Pam Isherwood

    If you miss Take Back the Night, then come to London UK at the end of November (not sure which date nearest to 22nd it will be, yet) for the eighth Reclaim the Night march of this incarnation. There were many RTN marches here in the 70s and 80s, the older ones were more fun as they were outside the state’s permission systems. Now RTN has 2000+ women and a police escort, but it’s still a big boost to the women on it, especially those who have never been on a big women-only event before. Yes, women-only.

    Reply
    • sigh. that would be lovely. the 22nd of November is a Tuesday, also my birthday! Not likely i’ll be able to come to the UK, but keep me apprised. women-only, eh. beautiful.

      Reply
  18. I hear what you’re saying, but I think you’re being rather exclusive and sentimental. This isn’t the 80’s anymore, and our battle might be similar, or even the same, but it’s on totally different grounds. This article and the speaker state how I view SlutWalk much better than I ever could:

    http://feministing.com/2011/05/09/you-can-call-us-that-name-but-we-will-not-shut-up/

    I hear you’re argument, and on one hand, I do agree that wearing clothes that were designed to make women look like a piece of meat might not be your idea of freedom, but the statement they’re making goes so much further than that. It’s ALL about standing up against violence towards women, and that it needs to end, here and now. It’s about the fact that it DOESN’T MATTER what you wear, you should not be subjected to violence because dressing ‘oversexually’ is not a crime. Rape is. It doesn’t matter what you wear, no one has the right to your body except you. That’s the whole point of the clothes; saying that we have the right to wear what we want, we’re not at fault when men act like monsters. It’s time this nation took rape seriously and stopped blaming the victims. Women shouldn’t have to live in fear and restrict themselves because of that fear; we should be free to go around at night and wear what we want without being scared of being assaulted. And the whole ‘slut’ thing is about taking power away from those who would use it to hurt us. By claiming slut as our own word and brandishing it proudly, we turn their violent power on its head. We take it away from them. Now whether or not that’s the actual effect or just the idealistic one, I guess we’ll see. But that’s the mentality behind it. That’s the message.

    Reply
    • thanks for your comment. Of course I disagree. “slut” is not reclaimable. it was never ours in the first place. to attempt to do so is a giant step backwards. we should be free to wear what we want. But we are trained to want what we wear. a lot of clothing that is marketed to women is constraining, uncomfortable and heightens our vulnerability (in the case of high-heels particularly). our ideas of female beauty and women’s sensuality have become increasingly informed by pornography, that is, men’s sexuality. Not ours. “slut” came from men, it wasn’t ours in the first place. anyhow, i’ll match your article from Feministing (which site i mostly abhor, by the way, but, hey, thanks) with one from The F Word, which I find helpful:

      I don’t see how our battle is on totally different grounds. Actually, come to think of it, I don’t know what you mean by that. you don’t explain what you mean, either, by telling me I’m being exclusive an sentimental? you say that as if it’s a bad thing.

      Just because SW is popular does not mean it is a tactic that will advance women’s liberation. In this case, i think it is the opposite.

      Reply
      • I don’t get it, why do you hate Feministing.com?

        By the way, I love high heels. There’s nothing wrong with it but assuming we wear them only for the men is wrong. We have the right to want to look good as long as it’s for ourselves, men do it to. Also, don’t men dress a certain way to please too? The problem comes from the double standard, if a men dress well to go flirt he’s a stud but if a woman does the same she’s a slut. Which brings us back to slut shaming.

        What I didn’t like about your story is how excluding men is viewed as a good thing. It’s not. Because of the image of virility projected in the media, men who get raped are ashamed to come forward and it’s not like they can easily find any sympathy. Of course rape happens mostly to women but it happens to everybody and the minority shouldn’t be viewed as less important. I think the Slut Walk is an amazing idea. It’s intent is to show that rape can happen to everyone, men, women, trans, housewives, teenagers, overweight people, skinny people, the ones who fit the current beauty standards and the ones that don’t, etc.

      • Rape doesn’t “Happen”, Kat. It’s not like a virus, say, or a freak hail storm. It is a deliberate act that men decide to do to women (that is, if your definition of rape is ‘penis in vagina, coerced). Rape effectively serves to keep ALL women in a state of high alert (often fearful high alert) against the possibility of attack. And we take all kinds of measures to avoid being raped. Which means men get to take up more space in the world, and maintain more power there than we do. Probably you’ll disagree with this assessment, but i bet if you were ever in a situation where there was NO fear of sexualized attack, you would notice how much lighter you would feel.

  19. Perhaps it was not your intention but I do feel reprimanded there. Granted, happen was a bad word choice. My definition of rape is a hideous act committed from people to people. It doesn’t necessarily mean ”penis in vagina coerced” but it is the form most frequently heard of. I know men are privileged members of our society, that is if they are white, heterosexual and don’t pose a treat to gender normality. I stated that women are mostly the victims, I am aware of that fact. Me and about every single one of my girl friends have been harassed(leering, catcalls, unwelcome touching among others) in a way that most guys will never experience. But some will, and it’s not because there less frequent that it means it’s less important and they deserve recognition. Feminism is all about equality and why should we be disdainful to other victims because they’re not women.

    Reply
    • Your definition of rape de-genders the act and hides the fact that it is a political act committed by men upon women. When men are sexually harassed or assaulted (by other men, always), they are so punished because they are considered ‘effeminate’ or in some way ‘not masculine’. They are, then, treated like women. Feminism is about women’s liberation from patriarchal domination. We are not there yet, as you point out in your acknowledgment that you and every one of your female friends have been sexually harassed or assaulted by men. Men do not need you to come to their defense, Kat, really and truly. Women do, though, we need each other. I am certainly not disdainful of men who are victims of male violence, but my focus is on solidarity with women, and ending male violence against women (which will then achieve safety for all, I’m pretty sure).

      Reply
  20. First off, this whole thing of making rape a humanist issue is an attempt to take the blame off of men. Whenever people throw in “but women rape too! But men are raped too!” it’s never an attempt to actually help men or draw awareness to an issue, but an attempt to deflect attention from themselves or draw away attention from the issue at hand. If people want to start raising awareness for male rape, more power to them, but a blog about women’s issues or a march about a an issue that effects only women is not the place for it. Feminism is about equality for WOMEN about making WOMEN equal and everything that goes with that. Rape is a feminist issue because it happens overwhelmingly to women, by men and just furthers extreme gender inequality.

    Almost all rapes, no matter who they are against, are perpetrated by men. The statistic in this case is around 99% (not an exaggeration, that is the official estimated statistic). I’m not saying that men can’t be victims, because the idea that real men would fight it off or that real men don’t complain is the result of rigid gender roles that are extremely harmful and needs to stop. Of course men can be raped and sometimes are, and that’s horrible. But while rape can happen to anyone, that ignores the fact that rape does happen overwhelmingly to women and that the word slut and the victim blaming from it only applies to women. 1 in 3 women is sexually assaulted, 1 in 33 men is. We shouldn’t ignore it, but to put equal importance on a group that does not experience this in anywhere close to equal numbers makes absolutely no sense. The initial catalyst of SlutWalk was for a Toronto police officer to tell WOMEN that they shouldn’t dress like sluts. It was extremely gendered. There has never been a case where a man was blamed for an attack by being called a slut.

    Also the fact that you like heels does not make that behavior exempt from critique. Women liked having bound feet too, because it looked nice. You point out that men dress a certain way to impress women, but men don’t wear footwear (or any clothing) that can permanently deform their feet and severely impair their ability to tun or walk. It’s estimated that the average woman spends 30% of her income on beauty products, there is no similar statistic for men. Heels hurt and are impractical. No one inherently likes deforming and abusing their feet, so why is it expected that only women wear such impractical clothing? It’s not the impressing men part that’s the problem here, it’s the double standard.

    Reply
    • First off, I never attempted to deflect the responsibility from men. Isn’t that the whole concept behind the Slut Walk? That the responsibility does not belong in part to the rapist but only to them, because there is no such thing as avoiding rape. I am a women and you are too, and unless you had a super awesome feminist parent, we have been taught there is a certain way to prevent it, that wearing certain clothes give the wrong idea to people. But I also have a little brother and sister, who I’m trying to educate on feminism and while I told my sister to never let herself be pressured into doing things she don’t want, I also told her not to be the one to pressure either. Same for my brother. Raising awareness about rape should be the issue, again, why put a gender on it? I don’t where you live but here in Canada 20% of rape victims are not women, this is a significant number. Rape is committed against human beings and we all are equals. I don’t think we can reach an agreement in this subject, but do we at least agree that rape culture needs to go down and that the Slut Walk can help by raising awareness.

      Reply
      • Oh, Kat. I don’t even know how to reply to you. other than to repeat myself. which i’m not going to do. we are not yet equal. and slut walk is no way to get there.

  21. Pingback: We're Sluts, Not Feminists. Wherein my relationship with Slutwalk gets rocky. | Feminist Current

  22. Pingback: Why This Feminist Won’t Be Attending Any “Slutwalks” | Chick Habit

  23. Pingback: Women unite to Take Back the Night in Vancouver | Feminist Current

  24. Pingback: We're Sluts, Not Feminists. Wherein my relationship with Slutwalk gets rocky.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: