Wednesday, May 11, 2011

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.


  1. Clear, concise, subtle and yet steadfastly confrontational. Furthermore, I totally agree, some 'games' can't be won by winning them, only by leaving them altogether. Much love to you.

  2. Campbell MandersonMay 14, 2011 at 5:13 AM

    I think you're onto it Ada. I've heard of this campaign but I don't know if re claiming this word is the answer while so many double standards apply in society.

  3. thank you for your feedback. since writing this blog, i have had quite a bit of feedback from survivors in particular, who have been triggered and distressed by this event. i'm happy to hear that there is a diverse communioty of people out there who understand the flaws in this approach to ending sexual violence against women.

  4. I would think that most people who have been feminists for a while find trouble with the walk, and that people who aren't familiar with feminism at all just take it as "yay, what a great idea, and it's become so popular, come on everyone, get on board and stop moaning".

  5. The problem is respect. Girls are making a mockery of the situation, proving that they can dress provocatively and be safe. But what we should all be doing is prove that we are respectable and strong, not impressionable by men and their terms for us.