Coming soon to a street near you: Slutwalks: http://www.slutwalktoronto.com/satellite. Slutwalks is a protest organized by young people to protest a Police Constable Michael Sanguetti stating in Toronto: “I’ve been told I’m not supposed to say this – however, women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized.”
The site http://www.slutwalktoronto.com states that “sexual assault (is) already a significantly under-reported crime, survivors have now been given even less of a reason to go to the Police, for fear that they could be blamed. Being assaulted isn’t about what you wear; it’s not even about sex; but using a pejorative term to rationalize inexcusable behavior creates an environment in which it’s okay to blame the victim.”
The site also states that some of their guidelines are noble even if their means are a little questionable:
• SlutWalk is not about hate, and we do not use hateful language.
• SlutWalk aims to reclaim the word “slut” and use it in a positive, empowering and respectful way.
• Refer to sexual assault, not solely rape.
• Do not frame sexual assault as something solely done by men to women.
• Women are most often the targets and men are most often the perpetrators, but all genders are affected. SlutWalk recognizes all gender expressions as those that have been and can be negatively impacted. All genders can be sluts or allies.
• Some communities/people are at a higher risk of sexual assault than others based on their status, work, ability, access, race, identity, and a variety of other factors. We aim to recognize this and come together, in all our diversity, as people who are all affected and unite as sluts and allies.
• Use inclusive and respectful language when discussing the diversity of people affected: men/women and all gender expressions, racialized communities, people of different abilities, etc.
• SlutWalk is an impassioned and peaceful stance that aims to engage others in dialogue.
As I said some of the goals seem admirable, if a little politically correct, but one does have to question the methods. The use of the word ‘slut’ may grab some headlines, in the same manner PETA grabs headlines with naked, gorgeous celebrities with snakes on them and stuff, but no one takes PETA seriously anymore. Whatever PETA may have been 20 to 30 years ago has been shattered, in my humble opinion, by these shticky gimmicks. The name SlutWalk may bring out some people, and it may make local news, but it’s not going to get you a sit down with a police commissioner to change a law in a meaningful manner. It’s not going to change the way police answer sexual assault calls, if that’s the goal?
As with most movements of this type, there is no cogent counter argument to the Constable’s statement. Many of their stated goals appear to suggest that they’re seeking to achieve political correctness. It appears that they’re seeking to have people avoid using the word slut in a negative manner? What will this achieve? One of their goals appears to be to give the term slut a positive connotation. Why? Will it lessen sexual assault? Will it cause the police to take sexual assault crimes more seriously? Is it political correctness run amok? I don’t get it.
I’m quite sure that a majority of the ‘slut’ walkers have no idea what they’re protesting. They’re just out there walking the way they want to walk with the idea that there must be some kind of cause behind why they’re doing it. I’m sure most of them don’t care why they’re doing it either. It’s just fun doing it. If that’s the goal then we should give them a hand. I think. Right? Should I be applauding or looking sad in a sympathetic manner to show solidarity? I’m confused.
Does someone have to ring a common sense bell here? Is there a need for adults to come out and say enough already with this childish stand? Rational people will readily state that when the crime of rape is concerned, the victim is not to blame. I don’t care how provocatively she is dressed no woman is to blame for rape. The Constable didn’t appear to be saying this though. The Constable was saying we might be able to lessen the crime of sexual assault if we can get our young people to dress a little more moderately.
There are bad people in the world. I realized that that’s an oversimplified notion, but some of the times solutions call for over simplified statements of truth. There are evil people, with evil intentions, who are sparked by the visual. The idea that this has to be repeated is almost laughable. Everyone knows that the right minds can avoid acting on impulse. Everyone knows what causes such impulses. Everyone knows what happens when the evil, sick and twisted mind is introduced to stimuli it cannot or will not control. Yet, some of us throw away all our common sense under the umbrella of freedom of expression and individuality and the empowering ability to change the meaning of a word.
Anyone who watches TV or movies, or reads magazines learns that women should use sexuality to get ahead. It’s so pervasive in our culture that those of us who think objectively are now beginning to think that a woman who succeeds without using her sexuality is truly achieving something. Young women aren’t being taught this in our culture. Young women aren’t being taught, in these mediums, to use their minds to achieve that which want to achieve. They aren’t being taught that hard work and perseverance have their own rewards and that those rewards are more satisfying and worth it if you’re in it for the long haul. They’re being taught ‘If you got it flaunt it.’ They’re being told ‘if it feels good do it. Do what you feel,’ and they’re being told to ‘Use all of the tools at their disposal.’ This site, this movement, appears to only exacerbate this problem with women dressing in as Harriett Walker puts it basques, corsets and stockings. It appears noble in some areas, but it becomes a cause in other areas. A cause (or a reason) that allows people to dress slutty without embarrassment, and it appears that’s their goal. It appears their goal is heightened awareness of their sexuality, or law enforcement’s awareness of their sexuality, without that sexuality being conflated with sexual assault. I hope these sluts achieve their goal, and I hope that sentence helped them achieve their goal. Me, I’ve never felt so old trying to read through the articles for the specific goal that achieves something worthwhile.