Thursday, August 18, 2011

SlutWalks aren't the (best) solution.

Here's an article I read recently:

The trouble with SlutWalks: They trivialize rape
BY CAITLIN FLANAGAN
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Thursday, August 04, 2011

Rape is a crime of physical power, of the strong doing what they will and the weak suffering what they must. It is the scourge of womankind, it has always been with us and - barring some radical change in the power dynamics between men and women - it will plague us until the end of time.

How can we, the weaker sex, fight against it? By protecting ourselves against sexual crimes of opportunity, by working to change laws that privilege attackers over victims, by creating services that support women who have been raped and by educating others (both male and female) about the devastation that rape produces so that they are encouraged to join the battle against it.

Or, on the other hand, we could get groups of women to dress up in underwear and fetish gear and march through city streets carrying signs saying things like, "It's My Hot Body, I Do What I Want," and chanting provocative slogans such as, "Yes Means Yes." These are the hallmarks of SlutWalks, which have lately sprung up all around the country (and the world) and which - believe it or not - are dedicated to ending rape.

Toronto had one in April. Dallas had one in May. Chicago and New Delhi had ones in June. New York is planning one in October. Jessica Valenti, the author of "The Purity Myth: How America's Obsession With Virginity Is Hurting Young Women," praised the walks as "the most successful feminist action of the past 20 years."

The walks do seem to have garnered the attention of men - but largely because the events constitute one of those particularly modern institutions in which the desires of radical feminists dovetail perfectly with those of aging frat boys. Get a group of barely dressed women to shout about how horny they are and men will reliably show up to cheer them on and get their digits.

But the enterprise is more complex - at once more risible and more intriguing - than it seems at first blush.

SlutWalks are dedicated to an audacious proposition: that the erotic desires of sexually adventurous women can be celebrated at the same time and during the very same event, that they demand improved protection from rape. They are a kind of Stonewall for lusty women, a loud, angry cry to live freely and be treated the same as sexually conventional women.

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I don't think 'SlutWalks' are a good idea. While I'm not condoning the fact that this writer proclaims us to be 'the weaker sex,' she's got a simple point that I've thought the entire time, especially using the name 'slutwalk?' really ladies? you think the only way you could band together would be to encourage other ladies to dress in the most outlandish fashions ever that are known to attract freakazoids and yell 'look at my hot body?' can't just have a 'walk' decrying it where you dressed the way you generally dress, and yell, 'you're not allowed to just fuck around with women' Because it's more dignifying (in my opinion) to cover up at least SOME of your goods - if you dress like a slut in THIS world, chances are you're going to be treated like one. Ladies can have their own PRIVATE sexual revolutions, I certainly don't need to clarify that in public - I'd rather get down to the CORE problem: rape. (Which is a touchy subject for me.) 'Outlandish' carefully chosen statements about the issue yelled in a megaphone sounds like a much better course of action. If the ladies are going to make it about themselves singularly, they're overshadowing the issue at hand. Period.

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