Are we smarter than SlutWalk?

12 Aug

 There has been lots of chatter on whether SlutWalk is good, bad, or just ugly. As DC gears up for tomorrow’s SlutWalk, it seems appropriate for some second thoughts on all the hullabaloo. As Dawn so passionately put it earlier this month,

And how dare anyone claim or insinuate that the women and men marching, chanting, and participating in these incredible, widespread grassroots movements are anything less than brave and skilled and successful at exposing imbalances. They have the courage of their convictions, regardless of whether they’re wearing hotpants, a bra and undies, or sweatpants. They are taking to the streets and shouting out against the injustices that countless people face every fucking day.

Yet there’s a solid alternative view here, and it isn’t just held by the old feminist guard. My friend Laura broke down the controversy this way:

Slut tends to mean two things:

  1. A woman who fully and completely enjoys sex, owns her libido, acknowledges fascination with the taboo or fantastical and, simply put, is comfortable with intercourse.  OF COURSE, as a culture, we have to police that behavior.  Since colonial Virginia was founded, women in America have been used to “tame” men, both sexually and interpersonally.  If women refuse that role of virgin/angel, society is going to undergo significant change, and if nothing else is constant, as a group we Americans don’t like it when norms change.
  2. It also means a woman who engages frequently in careless sex.  As a feminist, this is the one I have a problem with.  Women should have all the sex that they want, but the notion of unprotected/unsafe sex as a cause for celebration is ridiculous.  Should women have the right to make that choice? Yes.  Should women be encouraged to consummate unwanted/unplanned for pregnancies or contract and then transmit preventable diseases?  No. 

I love the idea of reclaiming the first definition.  You can count me in for that protest.  However, I want nothing to do with the second definition.

My issue with the SlutWalk is that it seems to lack critical thinking.  The first SlutWalk in Toronto was because an officer said a ridiculous thing, demonstrating his complete lack of critical thinking skills when it comes to gender, sex, and sexuality.  Why on earth would we protest that action by doing the exact same thing?  That doesn’t make the point – that just solidifies the two sides as intractable enemies.  We’re smarter than that.

More thoughts on this as we have them, folks. Stay tuned…..

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One Response to “Are we smarter than SlutWalk?”

  1. mislabeled August 12, 2011 at 11:18 am #

    Another thought-provoking perspective — who SlutWalk leaves out of the conversation: http://www.racialicious.com/2011/05/19/slutwalk-%E2%80%93-to-march-or-not-to-march/

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