Events

Interview with Slutwalk Hamilton Organizers

Kelly Crawford and Lindsay Hutton provide some insight into what is driving the Slutwalk movement and respond to some of the criticisms thrown at it.

By Michael Borrelli
Published May 30, 2011

Earlier this year, a Toronto cop visiting York University to address a spate of sexual assaults on campus said, "women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized".

This remark catalyzed a movement that has quickly grown into a global phenomenon: the first 'SlutWalk', held in Toronto in April, has inspired more than 70 satellite events across the world, from Boston to London to Melbourne.

Like many modern social movements, SlutWalks are decentralized and are organized locally by committed activists and volunteers. As such, when I tried to learn more about the SlutWalk groups popping up around the world, I found no consistent, coherent message that could help me resolve some of the movement's inherent contradictions.

But help was also close at hand. Last week I had the opportunity to catch up with two of SlutWalk Hamilton's steering committee members as they help prepare for Hamilton's rally and march on Sunday, June 5th at City Hall.

Kelly Crawford is a local activist and student at the University of Toronto, and Lindsay Hutton is a local feminist activist, writer and editor. They were kind enough to provide some insight into what is driving the movement, and respond to some of the criticisms thrown at it.

The following has been edited with Kelly and Lindsay's consent to reduce its length. An unedited transcript with additional questions and answers is available at www.myboytheriotgirl.com/other-riots.

Interview

Michael Borrelli (MB): Why do you think SlutWalks are so compelling?

Kelly Crawford and Lindsay Hutton (KCLH): During our first meeting as a collective, many said the same things about why we wanted to organize a SlutWalk: Many of us identify as survivors, and none of us felt like we had access to a process that could adequately offer us justice or respect. We were tired of being forced to police our sexualities, or how we present, with the fear of being tagged as a slut, or similar words. Every single one of us at the table had either experienced slut-shaming or victim-blaming first-hand, or had seen it happen to someone we love.

MB: At its core, is the SlutWalk a feminist movement?

KCLH: Card-carrying, and without apology. You can't have conversations about sexualized assault, slut-shaming and victim-blaming and deny these hit on larger questions of misogyny and gender-based violence. Sexualized assault isn't about sex, it's a violent articulation of power used against those perceived as weak or lesser beings: usually those that identify as women; children; and people who are marginalized and criminalized because of their race, class, ethnicity, sexuality or ability.

So feminist, yes, but we are also confronting larger, systemic issues as to why many communities don't have access to the same amount of respect, protection and justice.

MB: What specific changes can police forces make to be more effective in their public safety communication while steering clear of "slut-shaming"?

KCLH: Our protective services need to take more direction from community agencies and organizations that work with and for marginalized communities.

Survivors are afraid to go to the police for many of the same reasons they rarely tell anyone of their assault: for fear of public scrutiny, that they won't be believed, or for fear of repercussions from their attackers. The majority of sexualized assaults don't happen in a dark alleyway or are committed by a stranger. Most occur in private residences by someone the survivor knows.

With that in mind, public safety and risk-reduction strategies need to start with focusing on consent, and creating better spaces for people to seek justice.

This work, mainly led by sexual assault centres and other anti-rape activists, continues. But more resources are needed to first evaluate, and then address, these problems. Job one for the police is to allocate funds for an outside task force to look at where and why they are falling short.

MB: Have SlutWalk Hamilton's organizers met with representatives of Hamilton Police Services? What was their response?

KCLH: At the demonstration on June 5, the police will be presented with a list of demands, some testimonials from attendees, and a petition.

The police work for and are funded by us. So they need to contact us after they are presented with our concerns to talk about them. If they don't, a community forum will be organized where they will be invited to address our demands publicly.

MB: The mainstream media's coverage of SlutWalks is almost always accompanied by colourful images of young women in various states of undress. Do you worry that the publicity for SlutWalks may be earned at the expense of a larger message about respecting women, and can this contradiction be reconciled?

KCLH: Bodies, especially women's bodies, are always going to be sexualized; we didn't start the trend with SlutWalk. Sexuality isn't the problem, no matter how we present. We're not going to apologize for that anymore. People who commit sexualized assault and harassment are the problem. The institutions that deny us justice and respect are the problem.

The media is going to choose to show photos of young, white women "in various states of undress" because those images help sell papers, and encourages people to navigate to their websites. Those fit that bill, even though they're entirely unrepresentative of SlutWalk. We've spoken with more than half-dozen organizers of in various cities; less than 10% of people attending SlutWalks dress in anything more interesting than jeans and a t-shirt. We invite people to dress how they feel most comfortable.

MB: The use of the insult 'slut' as a central part of the branding of this movement has raised the hackles of some members of the public, and even some feminists. On rabble.ca, Meghan Murphy wrote that "Slutwalk pressures women (and men!) into accepting this word, a violent word, as part of their empowerment discourse..." Why is it important that the word slut be reclaimed?

KCLH: Nowhere, in any SlutWalk materials, in any city, does it say that we are pressuring people to accept the word and use it in their day-to-day lives. Some of us want to claim it, to reinvent it, some of us don't. We're not prescribing the buzzwords to anyone's liberation.

Ultimately, taking up the mantle of "slut" regardless of how you dress or act is an act of solidarity to unite everyone across lines of gender/sex/sexuality/etc. and to say that consensual, safe sex is something is to celebrate, not something to be actively shamed for.

MB: So far, how have Hamiltonians reacted to the SlutWalk concept?

KCLH: We're getting support from a lot of different people; we've been attending a lot of local community events to start conversations about our work. One of best conversations we had was with a group of men in their fifties attending the James North Art Crawl. They knew as fathers, grandparents and husbands that it wasn't fair that survivors should be to blame for "someone else's bad behaviour."

One of them said this: "I'll tell you what I told my boys: I don't care what she's wearing. When she asks for it, she'll ASK FOR IT. Until then, keep your goddamned hands to yourself."


SlutWalk Hamilton will be held on Sunday, June 5 at 2:00 PM, beginning at City Hall and ending at Hamilton Police Services' Central Police Station.

Michael Borrelli is a social researcher living with his family in the Beasley neighbourhood of downtown Hamilton. He tweets @BeasleyBadger.

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By thrillhouse (registered) | Posted May 30, 2011 at 11:42:05

... I found no consistent, coherent message that could help me resolve some of the movement's inherent contradictions.

You can fail to have a consistent, coherent message without it being contradictory (e.g., if you lack a clear message at all). Also, I get the impression that you don't quite know what the word "inherent" means. If you do, you might want to provide a consistent and coherent justification for its use here.

Nice interview, though.

Comment edited by thrillhouse on 2011-05-30 11:53:58

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By Borrelli (registered) | Posted May 30, 2011 at 12:02:31

Thanks ThrillHouse.

Inherent: Existing in something as a permanent, essential, or characteristic attribute, such as the movement's feminist ideology. This fundamental ideology is (seemingly) betrayed by the choice of branding using a misogynist term like slut.

I think many of the SW groups have done some work to address this contradiction, however other groups have not. Others still (SW Toronto comes to mind) seem to avoid the use of the term "feminism", leading me to my gripe over consistency within the movement as a whole.

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By thrillhouse (registered) | Posted May 30, 2011 at 12:45:42 in reply to Comment 64224

Thanks for your response. I see your point, and think I agree: I've had similar reservations over the choice of terminology myself.

I tend to feel that although the term "SlutWalk" correclty emphasises the fact that sluts should not be shamed (i.e. that the word shouldn't be used in the way it too often is) and that one should be free to make relevant life choices without being degraded for it, it does so at the expense of unintentionally deemphasising the fact that any person (slut or not) should not automatically be viewed by anyone as a slut, nor blamed in any other sense, if they are the victim of sexual assault.

The latter is an issue sufficiently separate from the epithet "slut" to make the name of this movement seem inapt, especially given the (I think) best point raised in response to the remark that started this whole debate, namely, that the manner in which you're dressed is not going to determine whether or not you risk being the victim of rape.

Comment edited by thrillhouse on 2011-05-30 13:04:46

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By Dannyell (anonymous) | Posted May 30, 2011 at 13:19:38 in reply to Comment 64227

I don't know, one of the things I like about the SlutWalk name is you can't really ignore it. Sure it has caused some confusion and maybe made some 2nd wave feminists wring there hands, you can't deny that it has triggered a HUGE global phenomenon, something that might not have happened if the name was less controversial. I think the name is less important than the movement it galvanized and we shouldn't get so hung up on it (like other things we shouldn't get so hung up on).

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By LindsayH (registered) | Posted May 30, 2011 at 12:37:14

Hi Michael,

Once again, your use of the term "contradictory" when describing our work is intensely problematic.

As I mentioned to you previously, within all our materials, and found in our mission statement, is a clear explanation of the use of the term. I'll cite, once again, a piece from our full answer to your question about the use of the word "slut:"

"We’re not celebrating the word, or prancing around encouraging people to present or dress in a “slutty” way. SlutWalk is about marching together with anyone that has been degraded, shamed or hurt by the word, or ones similar to it. Claiming ownership and being comfortable with one’s sexuality/sexual expression, even calling oneself a slut, is NOT something to be ashamed of, but the people who use the word to shame others think it is."

In addition, though some critiques of SW Toronto have concluded that the event was not enacted within a feminist praxis are simply incorrect. Notwithstanding, this article is about SlutWalk Hamilton, and we have consistently framed this event as a feminist one, in every press release, and even the pamphlets we've handed out in the hundreds.

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By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted May 30, 2011 at 15:27:23 in reply to Comment 64226

>> even calling oneself a slut, is NOT something to be ashamed of,

So why did you say this..."We were tired of being forced to police our sexualities, or how we present, with the FEAR of being tagged as a slut, or similar words."

Which is it? Is being called a slut something to embrace, or fear? Perhaps, once you figure out your own feelings on this subject, you can start criticizing others.

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted May 30, 2011 at 20:54:30 in reply to Comment 64248

So why did you say this..."We were tired of being forced to police our sexualities, or how we present, with the FEAR of being tagged as a slut, or similar words."

Which is it? Is being called a slut something to embrace, or fear? Perhaps, once you figure out your own feelings on this subject, you can start criticizing others.

There's no contradiction there. It's something to embrace so that there will be no need to fear it.

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By thrillhouse (registered) | Posted May 30, 2011 at 18:41:59 in reply to Comment 64248

Self-identification with a term is much different than having that term applied to you as an epithet. Perhaps you've heard the words "queer", "gay", and "nigger" used in both ways, the connotations of which are usually diametrically opposed.

Also, being afraid of something is different than being ashamed of it.

Neither of these points should be news to you.

Comment edited by thrillhouse on 2011-05-30 18:45:02

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By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted May 30, 2011 at 18:55:57 in reply to Comment 64259

If I go around calling myself a "tough" guy, should I be surprised if people are more likely to want to fight me? No.

If I go around presenting myself as a "genius", should I be surprised when people try and make me look stupid? No.

Same goes for women. If they want to portray themselves as being highly sexual/physical, should they be surprised when men look at them as sexual/physical objects, rather than human beings with feelings and emotions? No.

All the police officer said was that if women don't want to be treated like meat, don't act like a piece of meat.

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By z jones (registered) | Posted May 30, 2011 at 22:00:48 in reply to Comment 64262

Same goes for women. If they want to portray themselves as being highly sexual/physical, should they be surprised when men look at them as sexual/physical objects, rather than human beings with feelings and emotions?

For fuck sakes, I don't know why I'm even bothering to reply to as shameless a troll as you but... do you REALLY need to have the difference pointed out between regarding a woman in a sexual way and deciding it's okay to rape her?

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By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted May 30, 2011 at 23:50:52 in reply to Comment 64271

You're a fucking loser. Nobody said it was okay to rape anybody. All people have said is that dressing like a slut is not smart.

Answer this idiot. Would you recommend your daughter call herself a slut and dress like a prostitute? If not, why not?

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By shocked (anonymous) | Posted May 31, 2011 at 11:47:44 in reply to Comment 64278

I can't believe three people (by my calculation) voted UP an anonymous thug calling someone a "fucking loser".

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By Kiely (registered) | Posted May 31, 2011 at 11:42:54 in reply to Comment 64278

You're a fucking loser... Answer this idiot.

I doubt you are anything more than an internet "tough guy."

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted May 31, 2011 at 09:04:11 in reply to Comment 64278

You're a fucking loser. Nobody said it was okay to rape anybody. All people have said is that dressing like a slut is not smart.

Please define "dressing like a slut". Is it showing midriff? Shoulders? Elbows? Wrists? Knees? Ankles? Ask the same question to a man from a country where women wear burkhas and see how his answer compares to yours.

Some girls are thought of as sluts because they're good looking, because they have big breasts, because they're flirty. A rapist doesn't need any excuse. Girls are sometimes attacked when jogging through a park. Should we tell them not to jog through parks?

Answer this idiot. Would you recommend your daughter call herself a slut and dress like a prostitute? If not, why not?

If I had a daughter it would be her choice. I'd make sure she knew how to defend herself so that when she did fool around it would be her choice.

Tell me how you would define a girl who's "asking for it".

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By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted May 31, 2011 at 13:44:53 in reply to Comment 64288

>> Some girls are thought of as sluts because they're good looking, because they have big breasts, because they're flirty.

And some are thought of as sluts because they call themselves sluts.

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted May 31, 2011 at 14:09:54 in reply to Comment 64306

And some are thought of as sluts because they call themselves sluts.

And your point is?

At what point does a woman become responsible for her rape?

When she calls herself a slut? When she shows a certain percentage of skin? When she wears close fitting clothes?

Enlighten me...

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted May 30, 2011 at 20:18:18 in reply to Comment 64262

sigh.

Notice how the tough guy is s till a guy, and not an inanimate piece of meat.

You're the one who's dehumanizing women for being sexual.

I honestly never understand the whole "slut-shaming" thing.

I mean, you know what I call a person who would be willing to spread their legs for anybody of the opposite sex who was minimally attractive and interested?

A guy.

Seems hypocritical of me to hate on women for taking sex they're easily given, if I would've done the same thing when I was young and single if I'd the chance.

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By CaptainKirr (anonymous) | Posted May 30, 2011 at 14:38:27 in reply to Comment 64226

Would it be fair to say that the use of the word "slut" (in "slutwalk") is an effort to emasculate it when it is otherwise intended to be used in a hurtful or degrading way?

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted May 30, 2011 at 14:50:39 in reply to Comment 64238

I don't think "emasculate" is the word you're looking for, but yes.

Either way, the meaning of the slutwalk is pretty straightforward:

Rape-apologists and victim-blamers always like to say "you wouldn't get raped if you didn't dress like a slut".

Which is victim blaming, grotesque, and misogynistic (not to mention robbing oglers of some their precious eyecandy).

So celebrating the behavior that the haters try to claim deserves rape... well, that makes sense to me.

Boo, rape! Yay, sluts!

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By CaptainKirk (anonymous) | Posted May 30, 2011 at 20:46:57 in reply to Comment 64239

e·mas·cu·late
1. Make (a person, idea, or piece of legislation) weaker or less effective.
2. Deprive (a man) of his male role or identity: "he feels emasculated because he cannot control his sons' behavior".

I was going for definition #1 from above - 1. Make an idea weaker or less effective.

Hope that makes sense.

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By Borrelli (registered) | Posted May 30, 2011 at 13:40:30

You won't hear from me that SW Hamilton isn't clear in elucidating its approach to use of the word 'Slut', Lindsay, but I don't believe that other local groups have been as clear as yours has. This is evidenced by your mission statement, the development of which is (IMHO) very important to old-school organizing, but which is also somehow absent from a lot of other SW's communications materials.

For example, I'll pick on Toronto because they have been the standard-bearer for the movement since the beginning. On their website, which can be argued is the public face of the movement, there is precious little concrete discussion about the aims of the movement and how they can be achieved.

Under the ABOUT-->WHAT section of the site, where I might expect to find a mission statement (like SW Chiacgo's or Vancouver's webpage), there is a recap of what happened in TO, but no specific demands or action-items are listed, although some space is used to mention the SlutWalk-branded merchandise is on the to-do list.

I think a proper discussion of the use of the word "slut", and whether reclaiming the term is a fundamental goal of the larger movement, is an important task that still needs to be completed because it is a sticking point for many people. If you need any evidence as to how the lack of resolution on this issue can quickly derail serious, constructive discussion surrounding the movement, see this discussion on TVO's The Agenda.

Even among a group of people you'd assume would be in agreement on many issues, things devolve into particularly unhelpful and solipsistic interpretation of intent around 16:00 (but the whole thing is worth watching).

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted May 30, 2011 at 14:30:09

Inherent: Existing in something as a permanent, essential, or characteristic attribute, such as the movement's feminist ideology. This fundamental ideology is (seemingly) betrayed by the choice of branding using a misogynist term like slut.

The term "Slut" and what it means to feminism as a whole is irrelevant. What is relevant is that regardless of how a woman dresses or how free she is with her sexual favours, those sexual favours are hers to grant at her whim, not that of anyone who happens to feel entitled to them for whatever reason.

Anything more than that is an overcomplication of the issue.

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By Borrelli (registered) | Posted May 30, 2011 at 14:57:46

"Anything more than that is an overcomplication of the issue."

That's the line I keep hearing, but I have to respectfully disagree with them and you on that one, Brandon.

In fact, I find this flippant and cavalier disregard for the concerns voiced by critics one of the more serious weaknesses associated with the movement, since a fledgling movement such as SW will need to build bridges with established, like-minded groups through discussion and negotiation.

Critiques of SWs are plentiful enough (see this for an excellent round-up), but I particularly enjoyed this rejoinder because it comes right out an addresses this issue of invalidating criticism, much the way you're attempting to, Brandon.

Comment edited by Borrelli on 2011-05-30 14:58:10

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted May 30, 2011 at 18:03:42 in reply to Comment 64240

Critiques of SWs are plentiful enough (see this for an excellent round-up), but I particularly enjoyed this rejoinder because it comes right out an addresses this issue of invalidating criticism, much the way you're attempting to, Brandon.

Look at the basic message of the Slutwalk: Men do not have the right to sex with a woman due to the way she dresses or acts.

Nothing else really matters at this point.

There will always be those that feel that women should cover up, whether they get offended at a bikini top or seeing ankles isn't the point, they're blaming the woman for the urges that they feel.

You're either okay with the idea that women invite rape or you aren't. The idea that we need to build bridges to get this message across is abhorrent. It's wrong by any stretch of the imagination.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h95-IL3C-...

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By thrillhouse (registered) | Posted May 30, 2011 at 21:00:27 in reply to Comment 64257

You're either okay with the idea that women invite rape or you aren't. The idea that we need to build bridges to get this message across is abhorrent. It's wrong by any stretch of the imagination.

Trying to convince obstinate people of egalitarian ideals as efficiently as possible is not abhorrent. It's one of the best things a person can do.

This means that 'building bridges' to help bring idiots over to the right side is a good thing.

This also means that clarifying the point of SlutWalk is a good thing.

What's abhorrent is the "if you don't share my extremely particular views about how best to prevent sexual assault, then you're pro-rape" bullshit.

Comment edited by thrillhouse on 2011-05-30 21:11:58

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted May 30, 2011 at 21:40:21 in reply to Comment 64268

This also means that clarifying the point of SlutWalk is a good thing.

I'm having trouble with any confusion of the point. The point is simply that regardless of how a woman dresses or acts, involuntary sex is rape. There are no grey areas to parse.

What's abhorrent is the "if you don't share my extremely particular views about how best to prevent sexual assault, then you're pro-rape" bullshit.

Let's be clear here: I've never suggested in any way, shape, or form anything like what you've just stated. There are plenty of ways to prevent or reduce sexual assault and I don't have a problem with any of them. What I have a problem with exclusively in this case is people suggesting that the woman is to blame in rape cases. It's not complicated and it's not nuanced.

There's a significant difference between being "pro-rape" and suggesting that perhaps people deserve what's coming to them. One implies that you'd be willing to do it yourself, but the other simply means that you're willing to excuse the actions of those who choose not to control themselves.

The movement is essentially angry women tired of being blamed for something horrific that happens to them. Worrying about the nuances of their message is kind of ridiculous when you get down to the core of it.

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By thrillhouse (registered) | Posted May 30, 2011 at 22:20:50 in reply to Comment 64269

I'm having trouble with any confusion of the point. The point is simply that regardless of how a woman dresses or acts, involuntary sex is rape. There are no grey areas to parse.

Read the response to the first question of the interview above. They list a number of points for SlutWalk. They are all valid.

If you think SlutWalk must have a single point, you're probably wrong. I think that what you mention is by far the most important point. But it needn't be the only one.

You seem, however, to imply that if one disagrees that the above is the single point, one is somehow disagreeing with that point itself.

By doing this you are conflating two very separate issues. One is the ascription of a point to an event or process; the other is the point itself. And denying one certainly does not imply that one denies the other (e.g., one can deny that the point of taxation is to provide for the poor while still maintaining that charity is a very good thing indeed).

It's not complicated and it's not nuanced.

Right. And neither Borrelli nor I disagreed with respect to the point you're referring to.

Let's be clear here: I've never suggested in any way, shape, or form anything like what you've just stated.

I was thinking more of previous comments I've read. You never said this, my remarks were poorly phrased, and shouldn't have been read as implying otherwise.

Comment edited by thrillhouse on 2011-05-30 23:40:36

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted May 31, 2011 at 08:58:07 in reply to Comment 64274

I'm certainly not trying to imply that if you disagree with some of the side issues you disagree with the main point, I'm just trying to suggest that we not get lost in semantics when it gets down to details.

Women have many different ideas about what they want. Some want the freedom to be promiscuous, others want the freedom to dress revealingly, and some find what the others want to be abhorrent to them.

That's why I feel that none of that is truly relevant to the core message, which is that unless she invites it, it's rape.

Part of the beauty of women is the fact that they are frequently contradictory! ;)

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By Borrelli (registered) | Posted May 31, 2011 at 09:42:59 in reply to Comment 64287

Brandon, I think almost everyone here is in agreement with the main point re: sexual assaults (I hope), but I think that its too simple to reduce the entire movement to this core message.

Why?

Because organizers (and I lay this mostly at the feet of SWTO who are excellent marketers) have willfully chosen to dabble in a branding exercise that brings with it a lot of semantic baggage.

The biggest, the one everyone is quick to get tripped-up with, is the use of the word "slut" as a unifying banner. It would be easier to let this point of contention slide if it weren't for the centrality of the term in the marketing of the movement.

The core message to which you refer is not new. Feminists of all stripes have been fighting victim-blaming for ages, so the SlutWalks have no exclusive domain over this message.

What's differentiates SlutWalks from other women's empowerment movements is, in my estimation, the use of the word slut in marketing and promotion. It's a loaded word destined to evoke an emotional response, and asking people to ignore its use and concentrate on the 'core message' is akin to "not thinking of the pink elephant."

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted May 31, 2011 at 11:58:05 in reply to Comment 64291

My take on it is this:

Those who suggest that a woman's attire and/or attitude invite rape are saying that she's dressing or acting like a slut therefore she's partly responsible.

I suspect that the women who chose the name did it specifically to say that it's not okay, whether or not the woman in question is a "slut". Some people back away from that due to the connotations the word carries, but I think that misses the point.

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By thrillhouse (registered) | Posted May 31, 2011 at 10:47:40 in reply to Comment 64291

That about sums up the core of my worry:

SW is based on fighting a slut-related issue, but it's only a slut-related issue because it's a human-related issue. And humans include females, males, sluts, and non-sluts.

However, Dannyell's point above seems to trump all these semantic concerns: if raising awareness about sexual assault is the key, and if the name of the movement aids in generating the greatest awareness possible, then the movement is a success.

Semantics at that point are moot.

Comment edited by thrillhouse on 2011-05-31 11:08:23

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted May 31, 2011 at 12:01:36 in reply to Comment 64298

With this I can concur wholeheartedly.

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By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted May 30, 2011 at 18:56:00 in reply to Comment 64257

>> Look at the basic message of the Slutwalk: Men do not have the right to sex with a woman due to the way she dresses or acts.

Did the police officer say that it's legal/moral for women to be sexually assaulted because of what they wear?

>> There will always be those that feel that women should cover up, whether they get offended at a bikini top or seeing ankles isn't the point, they're blaming the woman for the urges that they feel.

If a woman dresses in a way they KNOW will attract male attention, does it make it less likely or more likely that they will attract sexual predators?

>> You're either okay with the idea that women invite rape or you aren't.

Who said they were OK with women being attacked? Who? Was it the police officer? Was it Stephen Harper? Rob Ford? Who said that "sluts" deserved to be sexually assaulted?

All the police officer said was the truth: Dress like a piece of meat and there is a greater likelihood that people will treat you like a piece of meat. That's just good advice.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted May 30, 2011 at 23:09:14 in reply to Comment 64263

All the police officer said was the truth: Dress like a piece of meat and there is a greater likelihood that people will treat you like a piece of meat. That's just good advice.

So I guess this guy was just offering some "good advice".

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted May 30, 2011 at 20:51:11 in reply to Comment 64263

Did the police officer say that it's legal/moral for women to be sexually assaulted because of what they wear?

By blaming the victim you excuse the perpetrator.

If a woman dresses in a way they KNOW will attract male attention, does it make it less likely or more likely that they will attract sexual predators?

This in no way, shape or form, excuses the aggressor. The responsibility lies entirely with the perpetrator of the act.

Who said they were OK with women being attacked? Who? Was it the police officer? Was it Stephen Harper? Rob Ford? Who said that "sluts" deserved to be sexually assaulted?

By saying that dressing a certain way invites it you are implying that it was deserved or at least sought after.

Why are you attempting to divert the issue into politics by bringing up Harper or Ford?

All the police officer said was the truth: Dress like a piece of meat and there is a greater likelihood that people will treat you like a piece of meat. That's just good advice.

Right. Wear a burkha and you'll never be bothered. Brilliant advice. Men rape women not for the sexuality but for the domination. By suggesting that it was invited you attempt to excuse the rape. It's pathetic.

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By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted May 31, 2011 at 01:04:04 in reply to Comment 64266

>> By blaming the victim you excuse the perpetrator.

Who is blaming the victim? All the cop said was if you dress like a slut, there is a greater chance you will be attacked. If the stats back that up, why should he be criticized for telling the truth?

>> By saying that dressing a certain way invites it you are implying that it was deserved or at least sought after.

If statistics show that a certain type of woman (dress, behaviour, etc) is more likely to be attacked, should that information be denied because it doesn't jive with the feminist agenda? Yes, or no?

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted May 31, 2011 at 09:08:29 in reply to Comment 64280

Are you seriously suggesting that rapes will stop when women stop dressing provocatively?

Or perhaps then you'll just find a new definition of "provocative" to explain why they didn't stop.

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted May 30, 2011 at 15:08:19 in reply to Comment 64240

The critiques of SlutWalk sound just like the critiques of every other feminist movement, that's why they're easy to ignore.

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By Borrelli (registered) | Posted May 30, 2011 at 15:17:05 in reply to Comment 64243

I'm trying to figure out if you're joking or not, NB...

Maybe you're much more in-tune with critiques of feminist movements written BY feminists, but I certainly haven't seen enough of them to conclude they're all the same...

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted May 30, 2011 at 15:22:18 in reply to Comment 64244

Not joking, it's the old playbook, if you can get enough feminists arguing amongst themselves, you don't have to worry about them making progress in changing society.

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By Borrelli (registered) | Posted May 30, 2011 at 15:40:49 in reply to Comment 64246

I guess?

I mean if you're so self-assured in your righteousness that its easy to disregard criticism, then hey, awesome.

But if a broad-based movement calls for unity and inclusiveness, then it does require some engagement with critics, no?

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted May 30, 2011 at 16:35:29

I'm amazed at how angry people are getting about feminists using the word "slut", when the whole issue is a response to the Police's use of the term to blame victims of sexual assault.

I guess it's important that women don't use "inappropriate" words or flaunt their sexuality than it is to actually discuss sexual assault.

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By NomeansNO (anonymous) | Posted May 30, 2011 at 23:03:29

I will say this when a guy decides to rip off buttons off your jacket and your blouse, how are you going to say rape has anything to do with how you are dressed . (with multiple nos before and you trying to get away! True situation.Rape is about violence and control Not sexual desires. Those who rape do not want to or care to hear/listen to the word NO!

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By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted May 31, 2011 at 14:11:25

>> Survivors are afraid to go to the police for many of the same reasons they rarely tell anyone of their assault: for fear of public scrutiny, THAT THEY WON'T BE BELIEVED.

If police believe that woman are MORE likely to be raped because of what they wear, how does this statement make sense? If anything, women that dress slutty would be more likely to be believed by police.

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted May 31, 2011 at 14:45:21 in reply to Comment 64311

If police believe that woman are MORE likely to be raped because of what they wear, how does this statement make sense? If anything, women that dress slutty would be more likely to be believed by police.

You're being a complete idiot on this issue.

By your own comments above about a woman's way of dressing, a woman who dresses like a slut obviously invites being raped, therefore how can it truly be rape?

The police will obviously believe that she had sex, I mean come on, look at how she's dressed.... But rape? If she didn't want to encourage the guy she should have worn a cardigan.

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By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted May 31, 2011 at 15:11:07 in reply to Comment 64317

>> The police will obviously believe that she had sex, I mean come on, look at how she's dressed.... But rape? If she didn't want to encourage the guy she should have worn a cardigan.

This is what the cop actually said...

"women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized"

Did you notice the word VICTIMIZED? That word implies the cop understands 100% that rape victims, regardless of what they wear, are still VICTIMS.

That being the case, it must be something else that made these women mad.

Here is a quote from the Slut-walk Toronto website...

"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."

There you have it. The REAL reason they are mad is because the cop told them to not dress like "sluts". It hurt their feelings.

In other words, these "strong" women want the freedom to dress as they wish, but want others to be denied the freedom to speak their own opinion.

No sympathy here. If a woman wants to dress slutty, act like a slut and even call themselves a slut...

http://shrink4men.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/slutwalk3.jpg

then they shouldn't surprised when people call them out on it. In other words, if you don't want to be called a slut (which is free speech), don't act like one. It's very simple.

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted May 31, 2011 at 20:23:51 in reply to Comment 64326

This is what the cop actually said...

"women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized"

Which means they are responsible for what happened by how they chose to dress.

I'll try one more time: At what point does a woman's apparel invite being victimized?

I await your response with bated breath.

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By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted May 31, 2011 at 22:04:11 in reply to Comment 64349

>> Which means they are responsible for what happened by how they chose to dress.

Most studies done on this subject have found that women who dress provocatively are judged more harshly than women dressed more conservatively.

In other words, while clothing might not cause an attack, it does cause women to be treated differently after an attack.

The lesson here is this, if a woman wants to be judged more favorably by society, don't dress like a slut.

Alternatively, women can dress like sluts and face the scorn of people who don't believe that dressing like a slut is a good thing to do.

It's a free country.

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted June 01, 2011 at 11:26:29 in reply to Comment 64353

Pathetic.

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By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted June 01, 2011 at 12:19:20 in reply to Comment 64384

Brandon, if you had a daughter and you were faced with two choices:

1) Have your daughter dress like a slut.
2) Hve your daughter dress stylish, but conservatively.

Which one would you choose?

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted June 01, 2011 at 14:01:23 in reply to Comment 64389

You're a funny guy. Long on questions, short on answers.

Your question is based on a false premise. Why do you assume you have a choice? The wildest girls I knew came from the strictest families and were radically different at home than at school.

Here's a better scenario for you:

Your daughter has moved out of the house and is no longer under your "control". She calls you in tears to tell you she has been raped. You find out that she was wearing a skirt that you think is too short and a top you think is too tight.

How do you explain to her that it was her fault?

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By z jones (registered) | Posted June 01, 2011 at 14:43:48 in reply to Comment 64397

Ugh please stop feeding this vile troll.

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By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted June 01, 2011 at 14:40:21 in reply to Comment 64397

>> Your question is based on a false premise. Why do you assume you have a choice?

If your daughter asked for YOUR opinion on two outfits...

A) Slutty wear, lots of tits and ass hanging out.

B) Stylish, yet more more conservative.

What would you your opinion be?

>> How do you explain to her that it was her fault?

I already told you that the stats don't bear the clothing/rape connection out.

Therefore, I wouldn't blame her.

But at a later time, I would still let her know that I don't like her outfits. That's just telling the truth.

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By Borrelli (registered) | Posted June 01, 2011 at 12:42:07

Not to interrupt this devolving spectacle, but Smith, what does "dress like a slut" even mean?

Also, your question to Brandon is very revealing from a broader perspective because you're asking a hypothetical male authority figure what HE would choose for his daughter, as though its his choice and she has no agency. It seems to me that part of the subversiveness of SlutWalk is combating this attitude that women should self-police what they wear because of what others, (read: men) think or do.

The entire debate, as you've chosen to approach it, is one about YOUR conceptualization of the term "slut" and how YOU react to women dressing provocatively.

Correct me if I'm off-base here, Brandon, but what I think you've been patiently (at least more patiently than I might) pointing out is that it is irrelevant to a discussion of victimization. There's no compelling evidence that dress is in any way related to victimization, and even if it were, why is it an issue?

"We" (you know, 'police/society/culture/the royal we') don't make a point of telling men to avoid dressing or acting like hooligans to avoid fights in the street, but a patriarchal society can't help but focus on controlling women's sexuality and appearance.

Comment edited by Borrelli on 2011-06-01 12:42:59

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By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted June 01, 2011 at 15:25:13 in reply to Comment 64391

>> what does "dress like a slut" even mean?

If you resemble a prostitute, I think that would be considered slutty.

>> you're asking a hypothetical male authority figure what HE would choose for his daughter, as though its his choice and she has no agency.

I'm simply asking Brandon his preference on what he would prefer to see his daughter wear.

>> The entire debate, as you've chosen to approach it, is one about YOUR conceptualization of the term "slut" and how YOU react to women dressing provocatively.

The entire debate is about some women wanting to stifle free speech. They want to dress like sluts, but they don't want people to tell them they look like sluts.

This is from their website...

"When we first heard about the Toronto Police officer labeling women and people most at risk of sexual assault as “sluts”, we thought about making noise and demanding for more than an apology. We have a constitutional right to a freedom of expression and a freedom of assembly so we’re using it."

If women have the right to dress like sluts, do others have the right to say they look like sluts?

What is your opinion?

>> There's no compelling evidence that dress is in any way related to victimization, and even if it were, why is it an issue?

This is a good point. Apparently, there is little evidence to suggest that clothes cause attacks.

However, there is evidence to suggest that women who dress slutty, ARE treated worse by society after an attack.

In other words, laws can't make society feel sympathy for others, all they can do is put criminals in jail. If women want sympathy, they need to take this reality into consideration.

>> "We" don't make a point of telling men to avoid dressing or acting like hooligans to avoid fights in the street,

Not as much, but how many businesses want their employees to show tatoos, or show up with hoodies while at work? Not many.

>> a patriarchal society can't help but focus on controlling women's sexuality and appearance.

Name me ONE law that controls women's sexuality or appearance. As far as I can tell, the only law is complete public nudity and that applies to both men and women equally.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted June 01, 2011 at 14:12:18 in reply to Comment 64391

what does "dress like a slut" even mean?

Borrelli, your entire comment was great, but this question really gets to the heart of the whole 'Slutwalk' idea, IMO.

I have no problem with the use of the term 'slut' in this context, or any other context for that matter. Unlike epithets like 'queer' or 'nigger' that have been reclaimed by marginalized groups in order to disable their use as weapons, it seems to me that the idea here isn't so much to take away the power of the word 'slut' by reclaiming it, but rather to reveal it for the utterly meaningless word that it already is.

Unlike 'queer' and 'nigger' which are ugly but narrow identifiers, the term 'slut' is completely relative, and is used against women for the explicit purpose of keeping them confused and disempowered. "Does this dress make me look slutty?" "Are these jeans and turtle neck slutty if they cling even though I'm completely covered from ankle to chin?" "Is this red satin dress slutty, but the same dress in white cotton ok?" Women are forced to make these unconscious mental calculations every time we walk out the door, because we know we will be judged harshly if something happens, something that men never have to contemplate.

If the widespread, ironic, and repetitious use of the word 'slut' continues to highlight its emptiness, and reveal it's users as the mean-minded fools that they are, then I'm good with that.

Slut, slutty, sluttish, sluttishness, slutastic, slutocious, sluttapalooza, sluttely slut slut slut....

Comment edited by highwater on 2011-06-01 14:13:52

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By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted June 01, 2011 at 16:18:07 in reply to Comment 64398

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By highwater (registered) | Posted June 01, 2011 at 21:42:22 in reply to Comment 64412

What the hell do professional standards of dress have to do with any of this? Next you'll be suggesting that anyone who wears white after Labour Day deserves to be raped.

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By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted June 01, 2011 at 22:01:10 in reply to Comment 64431

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By highwater (registered) | Posted June 01, 2011 at 22:33:57 in reply to Comment 64432

You're the one who's not answering questions.

What does dressing like a slut mean? And don't say "dressing like a prostitute", because I've seen desperate prostitutes wearing baggy sweatpants and stained tshirts, and high-priced escorts who look like they'd be just as at home in the executive suite as the penthouse suite. What constitutes dressing like a 'slut' and dressing like a 'prostitute' are entirely subjective. You have failed to define your terms.

You have also failed to show the slightest connection between professional standards of dress for teachers, or any other professional for that matter, and the idea that women are entirely responsible for male behaviour.

I find it deeply ironic that someone who styles themselves as a Libertarian, would suggest that there be some kind of external controls on the way people dress. I mean, in the grand, free market of ideas, wouldn't the teachers who fail to present themselves in accordance with the standards of dress for their profession, experience the consequences of their actions by losing their jobs? Funny how your Libertarian ideals go out the window when it comes to controlling women.

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By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted June 01, 2011 at 23:11:59 in reply to Comment 64435

>> You have failed to define your terms.

How about this. The farther a woman moves away from what teachers are expected to wear, the more slutty the outfit is.

>> the idea that women are entirely responsible for male behaviour.

Rape is illegal and victim clothing is NOT a legal defense.

However, free speech is not a crime. Therefore, if a woman dresses very revealing, people have the right to say so.

If women want the right to express themselves through their clothing, why shouldn't others have the right to express themselves through their words?

Women call men geeks, losers, assholes, pigs, and other assorted terms and there aren't any "walks". If men and women are equal, do what men do and just deal with it.

>> suggest that there be some kind of external controls on the way people dress.

Show me a quote where I say that government should police clothing.

I will ask one more time...

Should teachers be able to wear revealing clothing while teaching our kids?

If not, why not?

Why is this so difficult to answer?

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By highwater (registered) | Posted June 02, 2011 at 09:04:54 in reply to Comment 64436

How about this. The farther a woman moves away from what teachers are expected to wear, the more slutty the outfit is.

Even stupider and more ill-defined than your previous attempts. drb's right. You're just making rope.

Why is this so difficult to answer?

Like Brandon says, it's not. It's just pointless because it's a rhetorical question based on ill-defined terms. I'm smart enough not to answer, but apparently not smart enough not to reply to your increasingly irrational posts.

Once again, I've allowed your superficial logic to distract me from the vile moralism that defines your worldview. Time to extricate myself from your sticky web.

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted June 02, 2011 at 07:55:48 in reply to Comment 64436

It's not difficult to answer, it's just irrelevant to the issue of rape.

When I read this last night I was so annoyed by it as you've now pivoted and suggested that clothing is not a factor in rape, which is what I've been saying the whole time.

But I've come to realized that essentially you've just proved the need for the Slutwalk, which, as I see it, is this:

1) As a private citizen, you are perfectly free to feel and say what you think about how a woman dresses and even be offended by it if you choose. But you aren't allowed to take her up on any perceived "offers" due to her clothing.

2) As a police officer, you cannot allow her clothing or perceived attitudes to affect the investigation of the situation.

Thanks Smitty.

Comment edited by Brandon on 2011-06-02 08:01:02

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By drb (registered) - website | Posted June 01, 2011 at 23:32:27 in reply to Comment 64436

"Women call men geeks, losers, assholes, pigs, and other assorted terms and there aren't any "walks". If men and women are equal, do what men do and just deal with it."

Now you're just making rope.

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By drb (registered) - website | Posted June 01, 2011 at 22:21:50 in reply to Comment 64432

Slut Walk is a PROTEST! It is a protest against the symbolism of a word. The form of protest uses the symbolic wardrobe that the word connotes. The theme of the article and the following thread regard the semantics of the movement. Your arguments, and insistence for literal responses to your questions, are a moot point.

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted June 01, 2011 at 13:53:51 in reply to Comment 64391

Exactly.

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By Justice Potter Stewart (anonymous) | Posted June 01, 2011 at 13:17:36 in reply to Comment 64391

I know it when I see it.

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By Borrelli (registered) | Posted June 01, 2011 at 15:14:04

Thanks, highwater. I'm glad you moved this discussion along this path because I've been thinking an awful lot about the issue of re-appropriation/disempowering the word.

I'll stand accused of getting hung up on this (allegedly minor) aspect of the whole SW phenomenon, but in my defense, it's because of a book I recently read called Pornland, by anti-porn activist/feminist Gail Dines.

The whole re-appropriation of slut didn't really make an impression on me one way or another until I read Dines' book, which contains some pretty graphic descriptions of gonzo porn, which is generally the most hardcore and common form of porn available on the web. I'm wouldn't call myself anti-porn, but to me, gonzo isn't even sex on film--it's thinly veiled sexual cruelty.

The frequent use of the word slut to describe the female subjects in these clips (calling them 'movies' gives the concept too much credit) as they are subjected to body-punishing debasement is what makes me very skeptical about the potential to re-claim the term.

As Dines describes in detail that made me queasy, the labeling of the subjects as 'sluts' (among other cruel and violent terms) is part of a larger program of objectifying and dehumanizing these women in order to make palatable their emotional and physical degradation on camera.

Its posited that the audience for this porn is a fairly standard group of porn viewers who would probably blanch at the thought of these acts being perpetrated on their wife, mother or daughter. But when a woman is framed a sex-loving slut who "is begging for it" or "getting what she deserves", it allows the viewer to justify the sexual cruelty enacted on them.

Slut, in these clips, is shorthand for desiring of sex, any kind of sex the male performer wants. This is a powerful message that inevitably has an impact on viewers, especially young men.

So, the mixing of the anti-sexual assault, anti-victim blaming messages of SlutWalks with the sex-positive branding and messages that some groups promote (see this interesting discussion of the Brisbane, Australia SlutWalk) give me further pause because it is exactly this version of "slut" (i.e. desiring of sex) that hardcore pornographers rely upon to justify what is (arguably) sexual violence on women.

Not to cede pornographers too much power, but I just don't see how the word can be stripped of its power simply by repeating it or saturating the cultural landscape with it.

Psychologically speaking, young men are being exposed to very salient, vivid, and powerful images of female sexual debasement under the slut frame, and this will inevitably influence their future relationships with women. It doesn't seem that ironically adopting the moniker will incite men affected by this framing to treat women any better, is all I'm thinking...

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By highwater (registered) | Posted June 03, 2011 at 13:59:11 in reply to Comment 64406

I have no problem with the use of the term 'slut' in this context, or any other context for that matter.

Ugh. I may have to take back the above comment.

As the mother of two girls, and an adolescent son who will soon be navigating these waters (if he isn't already :P), what I find even more disturbing than the prevalence of this 'gonzo' porn, is the mainstreaming of porn culture and the porn aesthetic. One of the many irritating aspects of the propensity to slut-shame, is the fact that once again, 100% of the blame is being placed on women and girls without any acknowledgement of the impact our cultural environment has on them.

I can see why you are so conflicted by all of this, and there are no pat answers here, but I'd ask that you try not to undermine what the slutwalk organizers are trying to accomplish by unloading all this cultural baggage onto them. After all, some of the main figures behind the mainstreaming of porn culture have been female pop stars, beginning with Madonna and on down the line to Lady Gaga and Rihanna, who have made lucrative careers out of trying to co-opt the porn aesthetic and the whore stereotype in a way that would be empowering to women.

Have they been successful? Will the slutwalks be successful? The jury's still out. I understand your squeamishness at the fact that women's attempts to define their own sexuality often appear, superficially at least, to play right into the hands of our culture's objectification of women. But that doesn't mean we should stop trying.

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By Borrelli (registered) | Posted June 01, 2011 at 15:43:25

"Name me ONE law that controls women's sexuality or appearance. As far as I can tell, the only law is complete public nudity and that applies to both men and women equally."

I'll bite because this one's easy, then I think I'm gonna have to let you troll on:

Sections 210, 212, and 213 of the Criminal Code of Canada is all you should need.

To cut you off at the pass, you're right, it doesn't specify WOMEN. But I think we're both mature enough to know for whom those laws were written, even though in all our modern PC'ness we've had the forethought to remove references to gender.

But luckily there are some great historical examples of laws that didn't even pretend to be genderless. Say, Ontario's Female Refuges Act which has been blessedly off the books for years.

Comment edited by Borrelli on 2011-06-01 15:43:43

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By I like sluts (anonymous) | Posted June 01, 2011 at 20:53:24

So when I call you a slut you will embrace the word and all is good. Cooolllllll. You slut.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted June 01, 2011 at 21:29:37 in reply to Comment 64418

No. I don't embrace it. I do however, recognize that your attempt to dehumanize me by employing an empty term reveals you to be an idiot.

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By Grom (anonymous) | Posted June 02, 2011 at 17:55:17

A Smith is right. Also, be thankful that we live in a country where appropriation of the word slut is a crucial item on the list of feminist issues and not, say, public stonings. Slutwalk is embarrassing and its main contribution to society is to give certain kinds of chicks something to do between their cultural studies electives and the roller derby.

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted June 02, 2011 at 20:33:58 in reply to Comment 64478

That sound you hear in the distance is the point of the protest going way over your head.

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By Grom (anonymous) | Posted June 02, 2011 at 22:57:39 in reply to Comment 64484

That sound you hear in the foreground is you eating shit. Do we live in undergraduate women's studies la la land? No we don't. Therefore, as has been pointed out, its prudent for girls not to dress like complete tarts in certain settings. Regardless of all this pompous bullshit, it can attract unwanted attention and can be dangerous (though still not justifying aggression from asshole guys of course.) If you disagree, then go put on a gold onezie and assless chaps and go take a stroll through South Chicago. You won't. Why not? Cause you'll get a cap bust in your bleeding heart ass, that's why. This is unfortunate but true. So until Jesus and the care bears come and make the world a perfect place where there's no psychopaths, maybe using a little common sense can still be good.

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted June 03, 2011 at 08:29:10 in reply to Comment 64490

My, the language people use when they're safely anonymous.

Again with the point being missed.

It's not just the idea that someone shouldn't feel an invitation to help themselves, it's also, and perhaps more importantly, about how the police handle the investigation afterwards.

By telling the women not to dress as sluts the officer in question demonstrated that he felt that there was some responsibility on the women's part to the rape.

The fact that the world is and will continue to be imperfect is aptly demonstrated by your posts but that doesn't mean we shouldn't fight for a better world and the faint hope that people content with the status quo for themselves might just see that it isn't great for everyone.

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By Grom (anonymous) | Posted June 04, 2011 at 19:53:58 in reply to Comment 64509

insult spam deleted

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By TrollKiller (anonymous) | Posted June 03, 2011 at 11:22:38

Why is anyone even trying to reason with these trolls?

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted June 03, 2011 at 11:43:02 in reply to Comment 64522

Even though they are trolls the arguments they are putting forward are some of those that the original article pointed out and I know I wasn't able at the beginning to clarify.

I think I've clarified the points enough though, unless Borelli or Thrillhouse disagree with the finer points of it, I think we're done. :)

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By Mr. Meister (anonymous) | Posted June 03, 2011 at 16:55:34

If you dress like a slut (and I believe that it is like pornography you know it when you see it) people will think it. Whether or not it is verbalized is a totally different question. If you wear a business suit people will see the difference and will be aware of that too. It is certainly your right to wear whatever you want as long as it is within the law. But why would you? I am entitled to wear a very skimpy, tight and revealing speedo bathing suit worn by Olympic swimmers. Again why would I? I can imagine what kind of unkind comments would be whispered behind my back and maybe not whispered. I know this and dressing like that would embarrass me and my family. Someone would have to kill me to get me into a suit like that. For the same reason my wife would not dress in top that was a couple sizes to small with lots of things threatening to spill out. Nor a skirt that was too short and threatening to reveal tidbits that were not usually shared with the public at large. Could she? Absolutely. But at that point people would start to comment and giggle and the like. Justifiably so.

It is every women's right to dress like a slut.(again you know what it is) It is every man's right to wear a speedo bathing suit but thankfully very few do.It is also everybody else's right to recognize what you are wearing and to think those thoughts and make those comments that you do not want to hear. If you do not want to hear the comments then you have all the power in the world to eliminate them.

Women are, as a rule, very aware of fashion and clothing styles, typically much more so than the average male. So if a women wears something that elicits unwelcome comments more than once I would believe those comments are not unwelcome.

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