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Author Topic: SlutWalk  (Read 5928 times)

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Indja

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SlutWalk
« on: May 23, 2011, 05:12:27 PM »

This from wikipedia:

Quote
On January 24, 2011 Constable Michael Sanguinetti and another officer from the Toronto Police Service's 31 Division were speakers at a York University safety forum [7]. The school has had some problems with crime and the officers were meant to address prevention methods. Sanguinetti commented that "women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized”.[8] The officer later apologized for the remark. This comment was followed by another controversial incident in the Canadian justice system involving Justice Robert Dewar. On February 2011, while presiding over a rape case, Dewar remarked that on the evening of the alleged rape "sex was in the air" and the victim's behavior and attire may have given the attacker the wrong impression (she was wearing a tube top and heels)[9] He also mentioned that the victim was wearing makeup and had been drinking. The judge found the defendant guilty yet sentenced him to two years of probation. The judge also required that the defendant write the victim a letter of apology.[10] The typical sentence for such a crime is usually at least three years in prison. However, since the judge felt that the defendant wasn't threatening - just “insensitive to the fact (she) was not a willing participant”[11] - he will serve no jail time. This prompted an appeal of the sentence[12], a review of the judge's conduct by the Canadian Judicial Council[13], and massive public outcry.[14]

The co-founders of the walk, Sonya Barnett and Heather Jarvis, decided to use the word slut in their demonstration because it is the same word that was used by Sanguinetti to describe the attire of rape victims.[15] The organization's website states "historically, the term ‘slut’ has carried a predominantly negative connotation. Aimed at those who are sexually promiscuous, be it for work or pleasure, it has primarily been women who have suffered under the burden of this label. And whether dished out as a serious indictment of one’s character or merely as a flippant insult, the intent behind the word is always to wound, so we’re taking it back. “Slut” is being re-appropriated."[3] The organizers also write that women "are tired of being oppressed by slut-shaming; of being judged by our sexuality and feeling unsafe as a result. Being in charge of our sexual lives should not mean that we are opening ourselves to an expectation of violence, regardless if we participate in sex for pleasure or work. No one should equate enjoying sex with attracting sexual assault."[3]




I was wondering what people's responses were to this. I personally am fully behind the sentiment that it is *never* the victim's fault that somebody raped them, and the idea of "I have the right to dress how I want and not be a victim of rape", but am deeply uncomfortable about the idea of 'taking back' the word "slut". I never want that word applied to me, and wouldn't dream of applying to myself. There's a spoken word piece somewhere on the interwebs by a guy called Julian something called Niggers Niggas Niggaz (I think that's right...) and it seems pretty relevent to this - the idea being that self-applying the word "nigger" or, in my opinion, "slut" is an insult to the people who've suffered at the recieving end of it.

However, I self-identify as queer, and have no real problem with people who call themselves dykes or fags. I don't know why it feels different, it's not like any of those words has less bile than slut.

Aaaaanyway, I was wondering what people's responses were. Am intrigued. That's only one side of the debate, of course, and it's only one of the debates to come up from this - another is that, although the walks are very clear to be opposed to sexual violence against people of any gender or sexuality, the stastistics are that the vast majority of rapes are perpetrated by men against women, then by men against men, with women against men and women is even lower.
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cbkof

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Re: SlutWalk
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2011, 06:20:26 PM »

The press I've seen (mostly Canadian) on this has actually been pretty good at giving the specific context of the SlutWalks – which in itself is borderline amazing. So the slogan draws in eyeballs and then they get a bit of edumacatin'. Up to now I think the campaign has been very positive.  I think there is at least a chance that this turns out to be more than too-clever PR and can actually raise awareness and change some behaviour.

Generally, as far as using iffy words as signifiers, I think it depends entirely on context. But no doubt that the whole "sticks and stones" thing is bullshit, words CAN wound.
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CeeGBee

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Re: SlutWalk
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2011, 07:13:05 PM »

All the pictures I saw, the young ladies were dressed a bit...  tacky perhaps,
but not really slutty.  I mean, I didn't see anyone's undies (or the absence
thereof), no Grand canyon cleavage....

I was a little disappointed...  ;)
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Indja

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Re: SlutWalk
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2011, 08:06:54 PM »

@cbkof - I think publicity for the idea behind the events is ace, but I think the amount of actual edumacatin' that's resulting from it is pretty sparse compared to what could come from something less controversial. I also know there's a lot of women who just aren't participating simply because of the word "slut". I for one don't want that word anywhere near me.

I sort of think it'd be more powerful if it wasn't for the emphasis on tacky dressing. Like if it was just men and women dressed how they *actually* go out for the night, to highlight how the bigger issue is that, no matter what I'm wearing, I do not feel safe walking home on my own from the pub, and that if I got raped I'd still face the stigma of victim-blaming.


Saw this photo from a Boston walk, thought it was pretty awesome:

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imaginary friend

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Re: SlutWalk
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2011, 08:07:52 PM »

Indja

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Re: SlutWalk
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2011, 08:09:18 PM »

^I didn't know there was a thread already, but I think this is more about discussing the issues around it than advertising them or something. I dunno.
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Pope Totalfrog

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Re: SlutWalk
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2011, 08:11:02 PM »

To me, Slutwalks are nothing more than hipster activism. If you really want to do something about reducing the rates of sexual assault then it would make more sense to protest for better sex education in schools and to lead a long term campaign for a change of attitude in the wider community.

It's fun to dress up and march around yelling things but at the end of the day it really isn't going to help anyone.

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Indja

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Re: SlutWalk
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2011, 08:17:01 PM »

To me, Slutwalks are nothing more than hipster activism. If you really want to do something about reducing the rates of sexual assault then it would make more sense to protest for better sex education in schools and to lead a long term campaign for a change of attitude in the wider community.

It's fun to dress up and march around yelling things but at the end of the day it really isn't going to help anyone.

I think that's quite a lot of how I feel about it too. The publicity and the ooooh-isn't-it-exciting-ness of it has just sucked attention away from what really needs to be done.
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theseeker

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Re: SlutWalk
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2011, 09:35:10 PM »

Rape is awful. Always. Clothing or reputation don't make it more or less serious.

I don't like the idea of a "SlutWalk," mainly because it's bullshit that people are dressing in revealing clothing so that they can reclaim the term "slut." Slut's applied to a large number of women for a large number of reasons  >:(


Don't listen to me about anything. I'm still iffy about labelling people (4 months ago I refused to call myself a lesbian. Now my sisters make fun of me enough that I don't give a shit. Maybe that has to do with "reclaiming" terms). I still hate the term bitch. Degrades dogs AND women.

(I wrote that and then read a chapter of a new book and five people posted but whatever)
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cbkof

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Re: SlutWalk
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2011, 10:42:11 PM »

Well, I guess if the nomenclature turns off people of goodwill then maybe it's not worth saving. But my impression is that it's not mostly about reclaiming the word slut, and more about being fed up about blaming the victim, and being fed up about not feeling safe.

I do know four of the over one thousand people who marched in Vancouver and they thought it was worthwhile. Vancouver being what she is they would probably love to be called hipsters, but they ain't.

I'm told this gives a pretty good idea of that event (sorry, it's preceded by an ad – commercial TV sucks)

http://www.ctvbc.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20110516/BC_slutwalk_moms_110516/20110516/?hub=BritishColumbiaHome


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Pope Totalfrog

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Re: SlutWalk
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2011, 10:53:06 PM »

Well, I guess if the nomenclature turns off people of goodwill then maybe it's not worth saving. But my impression is that it's not mostly about reclaiming the word slut, and more about being fed up about blaming the victim, and being fed up about not feeling safe.

I do know four of the over one thousand people who marched in Vancouver and they thought it was worthwhile. Vancouver being what she is they would probably love to be called hipsters, but they ain't.

I'm told this gives a pretty good idea of that event (sorry, it's preceded by an ad – commercial TV sucks)

http://www.ctvbc.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20110516/BC_slutwalk_moms_110516/20110516/?hub=BritishColumbiaHome



Women are fed up. Victim blaming is bullshit. A funny march where everyone dresses up and calls them self a slut won't actually help the situation.

Are the four people you know still trying to change the situation? Or do they think they have done all they can. Because that is the problem with things like this. Once it's over people forget all about it and nothing has really changed.
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cbkof

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Re: SlutWalk
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2011, 10:59:07 PM »

Well, I guess if the nomenclature turns off people of goodwill then maybe it's not worth saving. But my impression is that it's not mostly about reclaiming the word slut, and more about being fed up about blaming the victim, and being fed up about not feeling safe.

I do know four of the over one thousand people who marched in Vancouver and they thought it was worthwhile. Vancouver being what she is they would probably love to be called hipsters, but they ain't.

I'm told this gives a pretty good idea of that event (sorry, it's preceded by an ad – commercial TV sucks)

http://www.ctvbc.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20110516/BC_slutwalk_moms_110516/20110516/?hub=BritishColumbiaHome



Women are fed up. Victim blaming is bullshit. A funny march where everyone dresses up and calls them self a slut won't actually help the situation.

Are the four people you know still trying to change the situation? Or do they think they have done all they can. Because that is the problem with things like this. Once it's over people forget all about it and nothing has really changed.

One is a regular volunteer and fundraiser for the Vancouver Rape Crisis Centre - I'm not sure about the other three, I guess time will tell.
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Re: SlutWalk
« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2011, 04:44:06 AM »

how do you each feel about
'Take Back the Night'
marches/walks?
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Indja

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Re: SlutWalk
« Reply #13 on: May 24, 2011, 03:57:19 PM »

@Froggy - I'm right with you. Feminism is a seriously huge issue - it's a massive problem. Victim-blaming is one part of a wider issue, and the biggest hurdle is the fact that we - men as well as women - have been entirely conned into believing we're living in an equal society. These walks don't seem to me to be helping that attitude especially; the excitement of dressing up and whatever is detracting from the real problem that they're trying to tackle. That's clear just in the fact that our discussion of it is centering at least partly on the word "slut".


@Len - TBTN is a neat idea, but women are more at risk of being attacked by men they know, in their own homes. It's important, and *God* I wish I could walk home on my own at night and feel safe, and that I wouldn't assume that men walking behind me are possibly bad people, but attitudes need changing and that's going to take more than sort of look-at-us marches. A wider movement - something nationwide, that saturates society like a government scheme or something - is what's really needed.


EDIT - Just thought I'd add, the overlap between women's rights, gender equality and things like LGBT rights I think needs to be emphasised more. I can't see how you could be a feminist without wanting equality for transgender people and being against gender stereotypes, or how LGBT sentiments stand alone from gender or feminism. Race is a huge thing as well if we're looking for equality, and that seems to get ignored a lot.
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Tiervexx

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Re: SlutWalk
« Reply #14 on: May 29, 2011, 10:59:44 PM »

This from wikipedia:

Quote
On January 24, 2011 Constable Michael Sanguinetti and another officer from the Toronto Police Service's 31 Division were speakers at a York University safety forum [7]. The school has had some problems with crime and the officers were meant to address prevention methods. Sanguinetti commented that "women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized”.[8] The officer later apologized for the remark. This comment was followed by another controversial incident in the Canadian justice system involving Justice Robert Dewar. On February 2011, while presiding over a rape case, Dewar remarked that on the evening of the alleged rape "sex was in the air" and the victim's behavior and attire may have given the attacker the wrong impression (she was wearing a tube top and heels)[9] He also mentioned that the victim was wearing makeup and had been drinking. The judge found the defendant guilty yet sentenced him to two years of probation. The judge also required that the defendant write the victim a letter of apology.[10] The typical sentence for such a crime is usually at least three years in prison. However, since the judge felt that the defendant wasn't threatening - just “insensitive to the fact (she) was not a willing participant”[11] - he will serve no jail time. This prompted an appeal of the sentence[12], a review of the judge's conduct by the Canadian Judicial Council[13], and massive public outcry.[14]

The co-founders of the walk, Sonya Barnett and Heather Jarvis, decided to use the word slut in their demonstration because it is the same word that was used by Sanguinetti to describe the attire of rape victims.[15] The organization's website states "historically, the term ‘slut’ has carried a predominantly negative connotation. Aimed at those who are sexually promiscuous, be it for work or pleasure, it has primarily been women who have suffered under the burden of this label. And whether dished out as a serious indictment of one’s character or merely as a flippant insult, the intent behind the word is always to wound, so we’re taking it back. “Slut” is being re-appropriated."[3] The organizers also write that women "are tired of being oppressed by slut-shaming; of being judged by our sexuality and feeling unsafe as a result. Being in charge of our sexual lives should not mean that we are opening ourselves to an expectation of violence, regardless if we participate in sex for pleasure or work. No one should equate enjoying sex with attracting sexual assault."[3]


Three?!!!  THREE!!!!?

In the US you can easily end up with over 10-20 for rape.

I'd like to see that plus chemical castration.

The only reason I don't think rapist should be put to death is because I don't trust the system enough to determine guilt.
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