“..tired of being oppressed by slut-shaming; of being judged by our sexuality and feeling unsafe as a result. Being in charge of our sexual lives should not mean that we are opening ourselves to an expectation of violence, regardless if we participate in sex for pleasure or work. No one should equate enjoying sex with attracting sexual assault.”
– Sonya Barnett and Heather Jarvis
This is what Sonya Barnett & Heather Jarvis proclaimed in their first announcement about the action SlutWalk. Sence then the action swept over the world making it one of the most relatable, succesful feminist marches in some time. The message was easy and as simple as the prejudices attitude it was fighting against.
”How I look doesn´t give you the right to violate me!”
“You look a certain way, let me violate you!”
The action started when the York University campus security in union with the Toronto police had a crime prevention lecture on January 24th, 2011, and explaining to the women students that in order to feel safe, they should avoid dressing as sluts.
When I was like 13 years old and spent the summer in Seattle, I got this short sweeping skirt and from the moment I wore it the dog in the family that I stayed at, started to harass me by trying to hump my leg. To avoid it I had to stop wear that skirt.
And with this kind of ”metaphor” I´m just saying thats what the police representative was essentially saying. But I don´t want to degrade men to be humping dogs & to be able to wear a sweeping short skirt.
The statement was said unofficially by one police constable but he was just one of many to voice an opinion most of us has grown up with.
”Men are beast, out there to get you so you better be careful in how you dress.”
”Men are dividing women in madonnas/whores so you better watch out how you are acting.”
”Men want a lady in the street and a freak in the sheet, so you better cover up your action.”
”Men objectify women into sexual toys in society, media, porn ,etc so if you´re sexy you´ll just have to be ok with being just that and nothing else.”
These and many more opinions and ways of thinking that SlutWalk have been marching against around the world. It´s been really widespread action sence so many could identify and relate to how they have been treated because of these underlining messages crawling around in people’s minds.
But the action decreases in medial value after the march is done and it shouldn´t stop there but remain as a recurrent element until the mentality is changed or at least diminished. So I hope the marching doesn´t stop and they will continue gain support. Because it´s never the victims choosing or inviting to sexual abuse, discrimination or have to learn how to be controlled.
Thus I want to mention that there is a SlutWalk group in Stockholm and I truly hope that the march will be back this summer too.
Keep on reading…
- SlutWalk – Wikipedia
- The Feministing Five – Interview Sonya Barnett & Heather Jarvis
- Pics from ewfeminism, lifeisreallybeautiful & SlutWalk Toronto
- SlutWalk 2012 (thefword.org.uk)
- Why I embrace SlutWalk and its connection to the boardroom (beautyskew.com)
- SlutWalk – Don`t blame the victims! (sophiansiren.wordpress.com)