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Friday, 6 April 2012

Why SlutWalk - Several Days Late

By: Liberate Zealot
Content Warning: Discussions of rape, rape culture and slut-shaming

This post is several days late, I apologize, but I was traveling and away from my computer at the time. 

On "Slut" and why the word and it's power must be dismantled (Personally I'm not for reclaiming "slut"):

Slut is meaningless since it's definition is subjective and thus used differently by different people. Is it about the length of skirts, cut of tops, wearing knee high boots, skinny jeans, for having big breasts, for having sex before marriage, for enjoying sex, for having sex while drunk, for how you dance, for having slept with more then one person, for having slept with "too" many poeple (with varying definitions of too many), for having anal, for enjoying anal, for being gay, for hitting puberty before your peers, for having male friends, for ha sex "too young" (with varying definitions of too young), for making out with "too many" people (varying numbers again), for being black or asain or latina, for being street harrassed, sexually assaulted, raped because why did you go to his place, open the door, where that, walk there, drink unless you "wanted it", didn't you know better? 

Slut is a word used to control and shame women for having any sort of sexuality. It's a word used to blame victims for crimes commited against them. Because it's easier to shame, silence, and control women then it is to examine why we have a society where 1 in 6 women are sexually assaulted, where a woman is raped every 2 minutes, and where 12% of college aged men will admit to rape as long as the words "raped" or "forced" are not used.
(Sorry for excluding male victims or female rapists, but this was written in response to someone and "slut" as a pejorative is mainly used against women.)

On Alcohol and Threat vs Risk Management:
75% of rapists intentionally use alcohol to subue their victims and a lot groom their victims so they're trusted.. So telling women (or men) not to drink doesn't really do anything. Also the suggestion that it's people volunteerly and routinely getting black out drunk who are raped is insulting. 
Most women are educated about protecting themselves. We know to watch our drinks and watch out for friends. But eventally we might tust the wrong person, let our guard down at the wrong time, and then we might be raped and suddenly people are blaming us or saying we should have known better. Also there's risk management, which might protect the individual, but the rapist is still going to target someone. SlutWalk, and I, are interested on focusing the dialog around threat reduction, or reducing the num of rapes/rapists. Ways to do this are dismanteling rape myths, teaching about consent, and seriously prosecuting rape (which currently isn't happening since we have a onviction rate of 5% with rapists averaging 6 to 10 victims.)

* Most stats come from the research of Dr. David Lisak, specifically his work on The Undetected Rapist


  1. Plus, according to Rush Limbaugh, a "slut" is anyone who uses (or has used) the Pill to control period pain or similar conditions. Even if she is a virgin.

  2. True. Ever since the Reformed Whores made a song based on Limbaugh's comment I've been going around singing "I'm a slut" under my breath. It's a challenge to not do it at work even.
    - LZ


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