My belief is that when they say these things- we need to act.
This is exactly what happened a few weeks ago in Toronto. Let me set the stage:
A Toronto police officer was addressing a university crowd. When giving information on sexual assault advised women that a good way to avoid rape is to “not dress like a slut”.
Sigh. This is a problem when people say this- however it is a scarier moment when a member of the police force, someone who is supposed to protect the public, says something like this.
Very problematic. In so many ways. Firstly, it’s not true. What you wear has absolutely nothing to do with if you are sexually assaulted, abused, objectified or raped. Nothing. Period. To suggest anything else is not only stupid but uniformed and uneducated.
Along with this incident in Toronto there were a variety of other moments of stupidity around Canada of people in position of authority spouting off about sexual violence. Like this moron.
And, like so many women who are face with adversity and misogyny women’s groups around the county came together. They said that this kind of language, statement and actions are not OK. And not only are they not OK, they are a sign of how violence against women is a systemic problem and how it continues to be perpetuated by those that are supposed to uphold the law and protect everyone.
A few of those fabulous women came together and created something called “Slut Walk”. The walk means different things to different people. Some walk to redefine the word “slut”. Some walk in solidarity with every other women who has ever been objectified and made to feel less than. There are a thousand other reasons to walk.
Then there are some who don’t want the walk to happen under the name “Slut Walk”. The word ‘slut’ upsets/confuses/mystifies them.
This is OK. You don’t have to be OK with the word. You don’t have to voice support in it if you don’t want to. This is OK.
What is not OK is some of the dialogue that I’m hearing from self-proclaimed feminists. They’ve announced their disapproval with the name of the march. OK, that’s fine. Unfortunately they believe that it is important to continue to criticize and call out those that are organizing and attending the event.
To me, this seems unfortunate, sad, divisive and counter to feminist principles.
If you’re not into it- that’s cool. Read some of the literature and make an informed decision.
And if others decide this is something they need to do- that’s OK.
Check out the promo video for the event:
And check out this video from Scotland:
Or read this stuff:
A FB post by smart womyn.
Another blog post about the walk.
One more blog post.
A blog post by a MAN about Slut Walk.
A blog post from one of my favourite blogs, Feministing about the walk.
A video of Mick Foley (YES! The wrestler!) BRINGING IT on Fox News to a complete buffoon who spouts off some idiotic ideas about the walk in Toronto.
An article on Ms. Magazine “Do Women Lie About Rape?”. The answer is NO for those who don’t know.
Video to come of the London rally!!!