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Author Topic: SlutWalk
skiesofgreen
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For those of you that aren't aware a Toronto Police Officer was recently heard during a campus safety briefing, suggesting that if women didn't want to be raped they shouldn't dress like sluts. ( Check out this article for more details)

There has been (thank goodness) a lot of backlash over this, including a "SlutWalk" held Sunday in Toronto with a huge tur out. For those of us out on the West Coast there'll be another walk on May 15th in Vancouver to keep the dialogue going.

To quote to SlutWalk website, these protests are happening because,

""In the light of recent comments made by Toronto Police that said "women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized" we are uniting with cities across Canada BECAUSE WE'VE HAD ENOUGH!

We 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."

I sincerely believe this is an issue that needs, so very badly, to be brought to public. So if you're living anywhere near Van and want to participate you can find info here or search for the SlutWalk Vancouver facebook page.

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Saffron Raymie
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Wow, how cool.

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Karybu
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Do you have any idea if there will be Slut Walks in any other cities? I'd LOVE to be part of one, especially since here in Winnipeg, this was recently an issue as well (a rapist got a conditional sentence and the judge made some awful comments about how he took into account the way the victim was dressed when he decided on the sentence).

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"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." -Arundhati Roy

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clm1994
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I actually learned in my health class and sex ed at school that appearance does not contribute to if or why someone is a rape victim. There are proven studies that rapists attack a victim because their brain is wired differently. Rapists most of the time have phsycological problems. Clothes, makeup, and anything else that applies to appearances doesnt change they way rapists "choose" a woman to rape.
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skiesofgreen
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@Karybu: I can't find anything about Slut Walks in any other cities, but maybe you could try getting in touch with the organisers of the Vancouver one? (They reply fairly religiously to the Facebook page so it shouldn't be too hard).

And my god, I know, I was barely covering up rage in American Poli when I read about the sentence. Ranting over Vietnamese food definitely happened.

[ 04-06-2011, 12:04 AM: Message edited by: skiesofgreen ]

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-Firefly-
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Apparently there's one in London, ON on April 10!

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Vero
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Saffron Raymie
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Oh my God - London! What do we wear? Anything we want? Or the clothes that are frowned upon to make a point?

I'll bring the Vietnamese food so we can rant beforehand! [Big Grin]

[ 04-06-2011, 04:40 PM: Message edited by: RaeRay2112 ]

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'Obtain the virgin's consent before you marry her' - Prophet Mohammad (pbuh)

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-Firefly-
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(Sorry, that's London, Ontario, not London, England [Frown] )

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Vero
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Saffron Raymie
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Haha silly me, sorry Veronique! My geography is awful!

[ 04-08-2011, 09:54 AM: Message edited by: RaeRay2112 ]

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'Obtain the virgin's consent before you marry her' - Prophet Mohammad (pbuh)

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loststone
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There is going to be one in Birmingham, UK in the near future:
http://www.facebook.com/slutwalkuk?sk=info

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Saffron Raymie
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Wow thanks so much for that, loststone, I'll tell my friends!

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'Obtain the virgin's consent before you marry her' - Prophet Mohammad (pbuh)

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pantokrator
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They recently did one in my home town, Tempe, AZ!! So excited! [Big Grin] Too bad I was in England for it. .

I think SlutWalk is pretty much one of the best ideas ever.

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loststone
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There will now also be a Slutwalk in London, UK on 4th June. I'm sorry to say I won't be able to make it as I have exams that day, however Birmingham is still on the cards [Smile]

More info here

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Heather
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We're doing one in Seattle, as well. [Smile]

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eryn_smiles
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My city is having a Slutwalk at the end of June. I have mixed feelings about it. I completely believe that as women, we have the right to dress as we see fit and that what we wear is never an invitation or a justification for rape. I also believe that this is an issue that very badly needs to be brought to public attention.

But I hate the word Slut. It is a word I'd never use to self-identify or want to 'reclaim' from anyone. As well, there are a number of articles online discussing how the concept of Slutwalk and the events themselves have excluded/ignored women of colour. And I'm not ok with that. So I am not sure whether to go.

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Heather
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You know, eryn, once I read some of what women of color had to say, I found that I was feeling very conflicted about going to ours, here in Seattle. I wasn't at first, especially as someone who did have police tell her, in 1982 (wearing knee-length shorts, no less) that her shorts were too short and who didn't file a report, ostensibly because of victim-blaming.

To me, the word itself is not the point, it's the concept the word represents, which can show itself up in other words: that how women dress -- specifically women -- has anything at all to do with if we are sexually assaulted, something we all know not only is not true, but it badly sexist and seriously harmful to women.

But in reading those pieces, I could very much see how white this approach has been in terms of what the walks were called, and how that's another way of rendering certain victims invisible. And that matters to me just as much.

Now, I just got another reason to feel wary of ours here, so I probably won't be going (about something totally different, not about the language). But I certainly understand your conflicted feelings.

That said, if you wanted to go, what about organizing a group of WOC with signs made to reflect that this is an issue for all women, including those who don't use that word or have that word, specifically, applied to them?

[ 06-09-2011, 10:34 AM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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eryn_smiles
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That said, if you wanted to go, what about organizing a group of WOC with signs made to reflect that this is an issue for all women, including those who don't use that word or have that word, specifically, applied to them?
[/QUOTE]

Yes, perhaps. A representative from my Asian Feminist group was considering speaking at their rally. But they haven't reached a consensus. I think some of the members don't want to be associated as supporters of the walk at all.

(I think marches can be really powerful though. My home town did a Queer the Night march last night, after 4x recent violent homophobic and transphobic attacks. It shocked me to see this sweet, cool guy I'd just met at a Drag workshop over weekend, on the TV news with black eyes and facial fractures. Trying not to cry).

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"Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare."

Audre Lorde

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Heather
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I agree, marches can be very powerful.

And I think it's safe to say that these are about making people visible, making an issue visible, which has not been. If people have been myopic in trying to do that -- and I agree that that's entirely possible -- if it's something you want to do, working to expand what they're not seeing is very much in alignment with the same kind of expansion of vision and understanding they're working towards in the first place. Know what I mean?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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MusicNerd
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Hello! I know that this thread is old, but I'd like to mention what I think of SlutWalk as a person-of-color (half-Black). I can see from both sides of the fence why this causes some racial tension and why this would be seen as a "white women's movement".

Some black women feel like since the word "slut" itself is less commonly used in the black community, then the movement doesn't apply to them. Yes, in the black community the word "slut" is not used very much (though I have heard it used amongst black people like my mom), but words like "ho", "whore" and "fast" which have been used in the exact same way, to control a woman's sexuality and to blame rape survivors, are heard more often. The concepts of a woman "asking for it" and "being promiscuous" and victim-blaming are universal, even if the word "slut" isn't used commonly for non-white people.

I guess maybe the creators of SlutWalk figured that since women of all ethnicities are affected by rape and judgement of their sexuality, then it would automatically be understood as a "universal concept" regardless of what specific words are used to shame women. This was probably also coupled with the quote that the Toronto police officer said about "women dressing like 'sluts'". Maybe it should be made clearer that non-white women who are called "hoes" are included in this as well, then maybe more black women would join the cause; though, the message of SlutWalk got across pretty clearly to me as a person-of-color. I remember seeing a video of Jaclyn Friedman giving a speech at a SlutWalk somewhere and mentioning how "women of color are automatically called 'sluts' just for being considered 'exotic'". I also remember seeing on SlutWalk's facebook page, that they had a black woman on one of their ads, but maybe using more PoC's to represent people affected by this sexist oppression would be more beneficial to making it blatantly obvious that this crosses racial lines.

There actually are some black women who support SlutWalk (like me [Smile] ) and I think that this article here shows that not all women of color are opposed to this idea, just like not all women are.

I guess my main point is that I'm on board with it, even as a PoC, and I hope that it comes to my city so that I can march in it with another PoC friend of mine who plans on walking with me. I also hope that more people-of-color come out to support it since slut/ho-shaming is within every ethnicity. If SlutWalk does come to my city, hell, I'll bring a sign that says, "Women are not your bitches or hoes. We have the right to say 'yes' or 'no'!". [Smile]

[ 07-03-2012, 02:35 PM: Message edited by: MusicNerd ]

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