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Author Topic: Sluts... Walking  (Read 1529 times)

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Offline StattickTopic starter

Sluts... Walking
« on: May 09, 2011, 12:46:54 PM »
Quote
When a police officer from Toronto went on a routine visit to Osgoode Hall Law School to advise the students on personal safety, little did he know that he would unwittingly inspire a movement that has caught fire across Canada and the US.

"You know, I think we're beating around the bush here," Michael Sanguinetti began, blandly enough, as he addressed the 10 students who turned up for the pep talk. Then he said: "I've been told I'm not supposed to say this however, women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimised."

Fast forward three months from Sanguinetti's unfortunate remarks, and a movement that was born in riposte to his loose talk has now gone international. "SlutWalking" is attracting thousands of people to take to the streets to put an end to what they believe is a culture in which it is considered acceptable to blame the victim.

Some 2,351 people have signed up via Facebook to attend a SlutWalk through Boston on Saturday, when they will chant "Yes means yes, no means no," and "Hey hey, ho ho, patriarchy has to go."

Further SlutWalks are planned in the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin.

And that's before you get to Argentina, Australia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden and the UK.

Had it been under any other circumstance, Sanguinetti might have been quite proud of his global impact. In the circumstances, facing internal discipline by the Toronto police, he has grovelled profusely.

"I am embarrassed by the comment I made and it shall not be repeated," he said.

But there is no holding back the SlutWalkers now. Word spread like wildfire through Facebook and Twitter, and anger about the comments began to coalesce around the idea of taking to the streets in protest. The SlutWalk was born. The first march was held in Toronto itself last month. Organisers had expected about 100 people to turn out, and were astonished when almost 3,000 people did so.

The participants, both female and male, carried placards saying "Met a slut today? Don't assault her," "Sluts pay taxes" and "We're here, we're sluts, get used to it."

Another sign at the rally read: "It was Christmas Day. I was 14 and raped in a stairwell wearing snowshoes and layers. Did I deserve it too?"

Some women attended the protest wearing jeans and T-shirts, while others took the mission of reclaiming the word "slut" one of the stated objectives of the movement more literally and turned out in overtly provocative fishnets and stilettos. But they were all united by the same belief: that rape is about the rapist, not his victim.

"We live in a society where rape isn't taken as seriously as it should be," said Katt Schott-Mancini, one of the organisers of the Boston SlutWalk.

"There's victim blaming: the idea that the victim of rape did something wrong. What you are wearing doesn't cause rape the rapist causes it."

Schott-Mancini said she was herself a survivor of abuse by a former partner. "People belittled me, implying that it was my fault and that I shouldn't be an independent woman," she added.

The SlutWalks have particularly taken off among college students, given the location of the officer's remarks and the high prevalence of sexual violence on campus. The US government's Centres for Disease Control and Prevention found that up to one in four women in US universities report having experienced an attempted or completed rape while in college.

SlutWalk Toronto continues to be the organisational focal point. Its website www.slutwalktoronto.com motto: "being a slut and getting pissed off" proclaims that the word "slut" is being reappropriated.

"Whether a fellow slut or simply an ally, you don't have to wear your sexual proclivities on your sleeve: we just ask that you come. Singles, couples, parents, sisters, brothers, children, friends. Come walk or roll or strut or holler or stomp with us."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/may/06/slutwalking-policeman-talk-clothing


Ok, so a jackass cop said a jackass thing. But I LOVE the whole SlutWalking movement, and I think that it has a very important message. So, if you agree, check and see if there's a scheduled SlutWalk near you that you can join.

Thanks.  :-)

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: Sluts... Walking
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2011, 03:14:56 PM »
I'm completely in sympathy with the initiative and really tired of hearing that women who "dress like whores" are to blame themselves if they get assaulted. There's a lot of hypocrisy hanging around this, if nothing else. And I've lost count of the number of times I've self-identified as a cumslut on fetish forums on the web. Still, if there was a Slutwalk here in Sweden I'm not sure I would join in. The reason is, this kind of thing (over here) tends to get hijacked by groups that are not really interested in building unity and support for open-mindedness, resistance against assaults, battering of women, sexism and so on - but more into running their own agenda. Like, claiming that all men  - at least all straight men - are personally in a position of power towards all the women they meet and that this kind of quasi-biological oppressive structure (the Patriarchate) will remain as fixed as iron until most women accept radical lesbianism and break all relations with men.

So, I support what the Canadian action is saying, but if there were similar events here I would at least look twice before I joined because I wouldn't want to get mixed up with people who sign up to the SCUM manifesto, idolize Valerie Solanas (she's had a considerable vogue among feminists here in the last few years) and run that kind of thing in the public realm all the time, under the banner of "feminism". Or who half-imply that only young genetic women can be "real feminists".
« Last Edit: May 09, 2011, 03:30:47 PM by gaggedLouise »

Offline Wyrd

Re: Sluts... Walking
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2011, 05:10:06 PM »
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/may/06/slutwalking-policeman-talk-clothing


Ok, so a jackass cop said a jackass thing. But I LOVE the whole SlutWalking movement, and I think that it has a very important message. So, if you agree, check and see if there's a scheduled SlutWalk near you that you can join.

Thanks.  :-)

Hey, I did't know anyone outside of Ontario even heard of the Slut walk! I was their, me and my GF were in the walk

Offline Serephino

Re: Sluts... Walking
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2011, 09:15:01 PM »
This is awesome.  It's great to see when someone takes a comment like that and takes the opportunity to make a statement.  Too often rape victims blame themselves, and it doesn't help when everyone else blames them too.   

Offline Maiz

Re: Sluts... Walking
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2011, 05:28:59 PM »
I'm completely in sympathy with the initiative and really tired of hearing that women who "dress like whores" are to blame themselves if they get assaulted. There's a lot of hypocrisy hanging around this, if nothing else. And I've lost count of the number of times I've self-identified as a cumslut on fetish forums on the web. Still, if there was a Slutwalk here in Sweden I'm not sure I would join in. The reason is, this kind of thing (over here) tends to get hijacked by groups that are not really interested in building unity and support for open-mindedness, resistance against assaults, battering of women, sexism and so on - but more into running their own agenda. Like, claiming that all men  - at least all straight men - are personally in a position of power towards all the women they meet and that this kind of quasi-biological oppressive structure (the Patriarchate) will remain as fixed as iron until most women accept radical lesbianism and break all relations with men.

So, I support what the Canadian action is saying, but if there were similar events here I would at least look twice before I joined because I wouldn't want to get mixed up with people who sign up to the SCUM manifesto, idolize Valerie Solanas (she's had a considerable vogue among feminists here in the last few years) and run that kind of thing in the public realm all the time, under the banner of "feminism". Or who half-imply that only young genetic women can be "real feminists".

Pretty sure a lot of feminists don't believe this any more. It's very... second wave. I can only account for the feminist circles at my university and the huge feminist sphere on the internet. Of course, I don't doubt that some people think that, but it's kinda eh. I'm going to a SlutWalk in California, and I I can't wait.

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Re: Sluts... Walking
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2011, 06:56:03 PM »
The feminists who believe that are definitely a fringe group.  They were quite noisy for a bit, but they've mostly died out. 

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: Sluts... Walking
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2011, 07:51:31 PM »
I guess the second wave had a powerful revamp here then, in the last ten to fifteen years, and in the media plus at gender studies depts at unversity  rather than among students in general. Andrea Dworkin had a big vogue here, Judith Butler too - and feminism has become pretty much a watchword, or a system of watchwords to claim your allegiance to a certain camp, rather than an open field of discussion and activity (I'm only discussing the Swedish scene here, and it's a scene where people are first off interested in making it into the mass media, if they're not already established there).

Judith Butler isn't a lesbian essentialist AFAIK, but quite often her work and her name are used here to simply push the notion that the divide in sex/gender (and, occasionally, in sexual orientation: straight vs LGBT) overrides (does and, often, *must* override) every other line of conflict and that women, though by nature brighter and mentally superior, are systematically kept in bondage by the Patriarchate and personally by every man they meet. If these people bring in the idea of intersection (intercutting dimensions of conflict and identity) it's mostly just to say "I'm a working-class girl AND a lesbian AND a woman, so I'm triple oppressed" or "I belong to such and such group, and we're marginalized, plus I'm a woman and women are always oppressed"). And that's mostly used as a quick framework to allow for shitslinging, both at men and at other fminists who don't share this easy-and-fast model.

They keep arguing about what public figures have let them down, in words or in action. I would say I'm a feminist, but not in that sense. This kind of "claiming to decide what is good and what is feminist" is anti-intellectual and seems to lose sight of real issues. I'm sorry to make them come across as a bunch of arrogant whiners, but it's a climate that really shuts down a good deal of discussion around here - and alienates men from feminism too, because even if some of these people say they want the guys in, they still induce a feeling that you're being invited with the elbow and not allowed to speak up about what is important, what's relevant or practicable to do in a feminist context. "You're a guy, only girls should have a say about this".

If there was a Slutwalk in London, Paris or New York and I was there, I would join in, but less likely in Sweden.

« Last Edit: May 15, 2011, 07:53:53 PM by gaggedLouise »

Offline Maiz

Re: Sluts... Walking
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2011, 08:31:33 PM »
Haha, do you doubt intersectionality? Because a woman of color will and does have more against her than say a white woman. Again, I'm talking  American society, but well the attitudes that make this true in America are there in European countries too. And what do you call shitslinging? I'm really interested. Also, the whole alienating men thing. That can hapen but I think that it's more of "if you want to be a good ally then be quiet and listen to what we have to say" because women have been marginalized for so long and continue to be. I have seen so many instances where a male feminist who says they care about what women say ends up totally disregarding what they say, use tone arguments, and end up derailing conversations.

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: Sluts... Walking
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2011, 09:21:32 PM »
Haha, do you doubt intersectionality? Because a woman of color will and does have more against her than say a white woman. Again, I'm talking  American society, but well the attitudes that make this true in America are there in European countries too. And what do you call shitslinging? I'm really interested. Also, the whole alienating men thing. That can hapen but I think that it's more of "if you want to be a good ally then be quiet and listen to what we have to say" because women have been marginalized for so long and continue to be. .

No, actually I think intersectionality is a useful concept. What I'm questioning is the use of it in my neck of the woods - and probably by some Americans too: when it's simply used to nail down that physical sex is always the primary conflict line, and the rest is just to show that the woman speaking or her posse are even *more* oppressed and what they say can't be honourably questioned. It makes effective combat rhetoric - especially if you're writing paper columns or a blog and can control the talkback arriving at your own door - but lousy discussion. There are lots of situations when class or economy is a more important power divider than gender.

Plus I'm not interested in people reasoning like this by default: "if you question my arguments and statements, those of my buddy or the story I'm pitching, then you're running down my tribe, my identity posse, and that means you are motivated by hate for us". Arguments shouldn't be 100% dependent on who is spelling them out, and what group that person belongs to. The content is more important, in the end, than what group the proponent is from; I'm old school in that sense. I've certainly seen "feminists" around here brushing off solid counter-arguments to very strange statements by saying "it's true because _I_ am saying it, that's why it's the LAW". Nope, that's just moronic and I don't want to be taken advantage of by such dumbasses.

Offline Jude

Re: Sluts... Walking
« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2011, 10:51:59 PM »
The worst part of the "women who dress like whores" bit is that it's completely untrue.  I might feel an inkling to defend people who spout it if it if there was some factual basis to it, because then what they say could be taken as dispensing useful advice despite how poorly it's often done, but the majority of women who are attacked are not attacked for wearing revealing clothing by strangers -- they're attacked by people they know.  It doesn't happen outside much either; the whole myth of the vulnerable woman wearing a short skirt while walking through the wrong part of town is completely absurd.

I'm not sure I like the idea of a slut walk per se -- it seems very over the top and symbolic, to the point that a lot of its finer points are probably lost on most people -- but in America we definitely need to reopen the national dialogue on gender equality.  We've come a long way, but there's still a bit of ground left to make up.  The issues that linger are often the most insidious as well, because they manifest in nearly undetectable ways and are virtually universally denied.

Like 21st century racists, today no one openly admits to being a sexist.  And when they are?  They're quick to offer explanation for their actions otherwise.  I can't help but think that the "women are from mars and men are from venus" BS pop psych has exacerbated the problem too.  Men now believe that it's academically accepted that women think fundamentally differently than them and use it as an excuse for their misdeeds all the time.  It's bullshit.  People are people.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2011, 10:54:40 PM by Jude »