On Saturday I stomped into town to to take part in Slutwalk London.
There has been a lot of talk about the slutwalk movement being about reclaiming the word Slut, and that’s really not the point. What it is much more about is addressing the culture of victim blaming – if I get sexually assaulted it’s not my fault, it’s the fault of the person who assaulted me.
There are a huge number of flaws with the idea that by not dressing provocatively, you won’t be assaulted. I’m not a model like figure, but I have been assaulted on a packed tube train, wearing a suit. What should I have done differently to avoid that from happening? It was entirely his responsibility. It was not my fault. But that doesn’t stop it from being something that still effects me now, 4 years later. I was very fortunate in that it wasn’t something even more serious.
I also find the idea that it is always the woman’s fault for being provocative is really demeaning to the majority of men who don’t rape and assault people. Suggesting that all men are just animals that can’t help but pounce as soon as they see a little bit of flesh is disgusting and unfair to men. I was really glad to see quite a lot of men taking part in the Slutwalk too.
The last point that I want to make today, is the double and triple standards that are around, particularly in the media. Women are constantly bombarded with people telling us we should be thinner, sexier, better looking. We should apply make-up, lose weight, get boob jobs, wear glamorous and revealing clothes or we get labelled with being ugly fat cows. But if we do do all those things, then we’re sluts. And of course if a man has lots of sexual partners, he’s a stud. If a woman has even a few more than is considered ‘normal’, she’s a slut.
I think the estimate for how many took part in the London Slutwalk was about 3000 people, which was really good to see. Let’s hope that one day we won’t need events like this.
BBC news report: Yes means yes, and no means no