TRIGGER WARNING: Graphic descriptions of rape.
Hello! Me and my big mouth again.
It’s been a year since Slutwalk, the event that caused people to ask the question: “What are women getting in such a tizz about now? Did someone cancel The View? Has something happened with shoes?”
Of course, those were only certain types of people. Unfortunately, those types seem to be very noisy and have taken to their blogs and forums, both one year ago and now, to rage against this feminist machine and cry outrage at the thought of women congregating en masse for a purpose other than a quilting bee or mass marriage to a cult leader.
These types of people have things to say! And points of view! And objections! Unfortunately, nearly everything that comes dribbling out of their brains and sloshing onto the keyboard is batshit lunacy.
I want to save you, my delightful and good-looking blog readers, the trouble of wading through myriads of posts like this one until, if you’re like me, you start playing a drinking game by yourself with a bottle of cooking sherry and getting tanked because people keep saying that women don’t take enough responsibility for being gang-raped when they’re wearing a singlet. I have condensed the ravings of those who think that feminism is solely designed to set men’s souls and favourite toys on fire into this handy little list.
In order of no particular:
Women should take responsibility for their actions. If you wear a short skirt, you are inviting male attention!
Yep, you sure are. You are also inviting female attention and, if you have an unfortunately-heighted crotch, the attention of various neighbourhood dogs.
There is a difference between attention and violent brutality, though. Should a woman expect a couple of glances and maybe a wolf-whistle if she’s wearing a short skirt and this is the 1950s when people still wolf-whistle? Sure! Is she entitled to feel uncomfortable by that attention? Absolutely!
Should she expect that her choice of outerwear gives her a justifiably increased probability of being physically attacked, overpowered, beaten, having that outfit ripped off, and having someone ram his cock into her dry, tearing vagina and anus until she is ripped open to the point of needing stitches and possibly surgery?
And not just because statistics say that this is total bullshit.
Rape is not on par with unwanted flirtation or having your wallet stolen. It is a brutal, vicious, deeply traumatising violation of a woman’s sense of security, her right to physical safety, and the very literal inside and outside of her body.
To say that anything she could possibly have chosen to wear warrants such a repulsive attack is a disproportionate, lunatic argument.
I’m not saying women SHOULDN’T be able to wear what they want, in an ideal world. But that’s not how things are!
Sure, I agree with you on that second part: That’s not the way things are.
But why is the possibility of women being granted the most basic physical and emotional respect – the freedom to NOT live in fear of being brutalised – talked about as an “ideal” that exists in a fantastic, unachievable world of wishes and make-believe and fairies and chocolate dogs?
No, we do not live in a society where women are safe from rapists. But we don’t have to encourage a culture that dismisses or excuses the actions of those rapists. Addressing societal views on who’s to blame for a rape is a good start.
But why should only men be blamed when they rape someone? It takes two people to be involved in a rape: One to look slutty and one to respond to that.
Teaching women how to amend their behaviour and lifestyle to account for rapists and others who would seek to abuse them is a way of accommodating the problem.
Teaching children of both genders about respect and educating young men to consider women with empathy and compassion could be a way of finding a solution.
My sister told me that a male teacher of hers once told her (all-girl) class, “I will never know what it’s like to be scared because I have to walk across a carpark at night.” Maybe young men should be taught about that collective fear, and what their actions and choices can do to help eradicate it.
There will always be murderers and there will always be rapists. But there don’t always have to be rapists who excuse their actions, and whose actions are excused by the legal system and public opinion, because the victim was wearing a low-cut top.
Slutty feminists are oppressing men by demonising them! They’re baiting men with sexy outfits then acting shocked and outraged when the inevitable happens.
Actually, arguments like this are what demonise men. The feminist argument doesn’t say that women should be exalted or revered; just treated with basic decency. It credits men as a gender with the intelligence and rational ability to behave in a humane and compassionate way, regardless of a woman’s appearance.
The counter-argument, ironically espoused by so many beleaguered men’s rights groups, gives men the reasoning ability of an ant who got hit on the head with a breadcrumb when it was young and now spends all day wobbling in circles.
It is much more insulting to men to imply that they are reactionary, hormone-driven thrusting machines who are all one glimpse of short skirt away from being capable of raping any woman they see.
And yes, the implication that ALL women should amend their behaviour and cover up/not act in any way that could be construed as sexual lest they be ravaged against their will IS one that paints men in general with a broad brush. The alternative is that that argument is suggesting that women change their lifestyles in deference to the perversions of a raping minority, which is as ludicrous as suggesting that Chinese people not be allowed in public because some people are violently racist.
So which is it, detractors? Men are shallow, moronic, base creatures with no higher reasoning abilities and women should stop taunting them with flesh, or some men are criminals and the rest should be expected to behave decently?
But… but… SLUT! Why would you use that word? Why be proud of being a slut?
Pick up a newspaper and stop missing the point.
“Slut” in this context was used because a policeman told college students that if they didn’t want to be raped, they shouldn’t dress like a “slut”.
Women were not rallying for the right to sleep with eight men a day and smear herpes all over everything – although if they want to, sure, they should be able to do that. They were not rallying for the right to dress like a hooker at the office. That would be so very uncomfortable you have no idea. The synthetic fibre chafing would be horrendous.
Women rallied at Slutwalk because they didn’t want to be plastered with judgemental, negative, gender-specific labels and told that if they were raped, it might have been their fault.
Are some outfits tacky and revealing? Yes indeed! Do they create a certain impression about the wearer’s sexual proclivities? Boy howdy they do!
Do they make it okay to grab the wearer into a concealed space and cover her mouth so no one can hear her screaming so she’s suffocating, nearly blacking out and trying to keep strength in her arms as she fights the person tearing off her clothes?
No they do not.
Here’s a thought: If a woman’s “slutty” clothes are a deliberate ploy to sexualise herself for male attention, maybe you should just ASK if she wants to have sex. If she says yes, then you were right, what a slut, wear three condoms because she probably has all kinds of genital fissures.
If she says no, then maybe she was being a huge cocktease or maybe she was naively ignorant of the affect her outfit would have on men or maybe she is a big snob who thinks she’s too good for you. What a bitch. Either way, she said no so DON’T HAVE SEX WITH HER.