Wednesday, May 11, 2011

more thoughts on slutwalk

slutwalk is an essentially 'postfeminist' event, masquerading as a revolution. and men must be rejoicing in it, the same way they rejoice when women take pole dancing classes or stick a playboy bunny sticker on their car. it's raunch culture embedding itself, disguising itself as empowerment. and women are lapping it up.

initially i thought it was all a bit of fun, whatever. sure, reclaiming the word 'slut' is a whole world of screwed up, but at least women are taking to the streets to stand against sexual assault. but is that what slutwalk is about? does it have an analysis of VAW and the misogynistic context that VAW and women's experiences of VAW exist? not as far as i can tell.

why has there been such a backlash against a comment some man made in canada several months ago, when all over the world, every second of the day women are being raped, are dying needlessly from pregnancy related complications and are being murdered by their intimate partner or family members? why this comment? partly, i think it's because postfeminism is palatable and mainstream and this sort of action gets attention.

what offends me about slutwalk

slutwalk has become a phenomenon and i am horrified. let me tell you why.

most rapes against us occur in our own home. they are perpetrated by people who we know, by our boyfriends, our fathers, our husbands, our uncles, friends, dates, acquaintances. they have nothing to do with what we are wearing - feminists have fought for years to have that fact made clear. and it is clear. it is clear that what we look like, what we wear has nothing to do with whether or not we are raped. if it did, we could just wear some different clothes and we'll all be safe. which of course is a crazy concept. women are raped whether they wear a burqa or a bikini. it is not because we are sluts, it's because we are women.

the word 'slut' is triggering for women who have been sexually assaulted - it is a word used to degrade and humiliate us. it is not one that we should make our own. yes, i have been raped and i do not support slutwalk. slutwalk has missed the point of women's experiences of violence. rape is violent and painful and it destroys lives. taking our clothes off in public and proudly declaring we are sluts is NOT empowering, it does not remove any of the pain of the violence perpetrated against us. it makes it worse. it makes a mockery of our pain. we are not sluts. we are women, mothers, daughters. we are not sluts. stop calling us that.

slutwalk is a post feminist event. it is an event that assumes there is no patriarchal context that slutwalk exists within. the word 'slut' is hateful and violent and has never belonged to us. 'slut' belongs to rapists and misogynists and pornographers. there is no subversion in this. this action is not a threat. do you think taking your clothes off is going to change anything? it's not. it will draw attention to you as a sexual being, not as a full human woman with rights and dreams and hopes and ambitions and achievements. this is a post feminist event in a patriarchal context and it makes me feel that the rapists have won. you think you have to take your clothes off to get noticed? well, in the context of patriarchy you do. dismantle the patriarchy by challenging it. don't embed yourself in it.

y sexuality belongs to me and i refuse for it to be labelled with such a hateful term.

and please stop calling me a slut.