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:
- 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.
- 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…..
We are taking the Mislabeled conversation to new places – happy hour! At a bar! In D.C.! I hope you live there so you can come!
Here are the deets.
Who: Mislabeled writers, and The American Association of University Women (our lovely hosts who hold a monthly D.C. happy hour called Cocktails and Convos).
What: Chocolate! Adult beverages! Good conversation (until the wine kicks in…)!
Where: Co Co. Sala, a chocolate lounge located near the Verizon Center in Chinatown.
When: Tuesday, June 14th @ 5 to 7:30 PM.
Why: As the editor of Mislabeled, a contributor to AAUW’s blog Dialog, and a lover of many lady blogs, I’m fascinated with the way the Internet opens doors for the women’s issues community to meet, greet, discuss, and make things happen. We can raise awareness of poor media coverage. We can talk with someone who lives in a different country or on a different continent. We can debate what it means to be feminist and how we should talk with each other. But those conversations don’t take place in a vacuum. They are about the real world, and so they (should) have an impact on that world. That’s why real-world events like Cocktails and Convos are just as important as blogs. And that’s why I really, really, really want you to come hang out with all of us on Tuesday.
So please join me, AAUW, and your favorite Mislabeled writers (we are your faves, no?) as we clink glasses, eat chocolate, and make new Facebook friends. Hope to see you there.
This post is brought to you by Rachel, who promises to buy you a drink if you come. Maybe.
“And then, walking home laden with groceries, I watch a tall teenage boy in front of me drop a crumpled white plastic bag, so casually that it seems it’s drifted from his hand because he forgot he was holding it. It falls onto the sidewalk, where it slowly relaxes into uselessness. It is now a piece of trash. I ponder whether to stoop and pick it up and throw it into a nearby trash can. Wouldn’t that constitute a censure not only of him, should he turn around and see me, but of the whole neighborhood, where trash blows into streets and yards and forms middens in alleyways? But wouldn’t walking by it be a kind of acquiescence? It’s this sort of minute social calculus that’s the mark of the self-conscious gentrifier, not quite sure of her status in the community.”
-from New to the Neighborhood
See, if you won’t give us the right to vote, we’re gonna have to get freaky on the Founding Fathers.
I think this speaks for itself. Hats off to Tara for snapping this….
D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray and 40 other individuals were arrested yesterday for blocking/demonstrating on Constitution Avenue. The protests were over Congress’ constant control of D.C.
Today, they protested again, this time outside of a local Planned Parenthood clinic, which is appropriate because Congress wants to control D.C.’s public funds for abortion. Those D.C. license plates that boast ‘taxation without representation’ are bound for an upgrade if this proposal moves forward. Continue reading