General Question

wundayatta's avatar

Is this the right cause? Is this the right way to protest attitudes about rape?

Asked by wundayatta (58599points) September 30th, 2011

Slutwalk NYC is tomorrow at noon in NYC. Be there or be square!

What are the participants saying when they protest rape by dressing in a slutty way? Do you believe in their message? Do you think this is an effective protest? Why, or why not?

Are the cops right when they say that if women dress like sluts, they shouldn’t be surprised if they get raped? Does most of society, in your opinion, think these women are asking for it?

And what about women of color? Does this leave them out?

Statement from Black Women’s Blueprint:

We are deeply concerned. As Black women and girls we find no space in SlutWalk, no space for participation and to unequivocally denounce rape and sexual assault as we have experienced it…As Black women, we do not have the privilege or the space to call ourselves “slut” without validating the already historically entrenched ideology and recurring messages about what and who the Black woman is. We don’t have the privilege to play on destructive representations burned in our collective minds, on our bodies and souls for generations. Although we understand the valid impetus behind the use of the word “slut” as language to frame and brand an anti-rape movement, we are gravely concerned.

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122 Answers

poisonedantidote's avatar

Judging by the smiles on the girls faces I say they are not remembering some traumatic event, my guess is this is just like halloween, an exuse to dress like a slut.

tedd's avatar

@poisonedantidote Agreed.

There is never any justification for raping a woman (excluding mass murdering nazi’s or something)... And there is never a reason or thing the woman did that would outweigh the act of the rapist.

But I would be lying if I said I was shocked a woman dressed like a total slut and walking around in a bad neighborhood late at night found herself in that situation.

Judi's avatar

The message is that there is no reason to rape. The woman is never to blame, regardless of her appearance or occupation.

zensky's avatar

Although I would hope that my daughter would never put it to the test (dressing up in a “slutty” fashion and then walking alone at night in a dangerous neighbourhood) I agree with @Judi – the premise should be that a woman is entitled to dress how she pleases, when and where she pleases and be safe.

JLeslie's avatar

A parade to show it doesn’t matter how a woman is dressed she is not asking to be raped. I’m fine with it. That is a good message. However, I am one of those people who say we can not ignore the real dangers out there. I don’t wear a rolex and diamonds to the ghetto (well I don’t have a rolex anyway) probably good not to wear trashy clothes around certain men. Sure they should be put in jail if they assault a woman, or even a man to rob him, whatever, but who wants to be assaulted in the first place.

I don’t understand the black response? Can someone explain it to me.

tedd's avatar

@JLeslie I agree. In a perfect world a woman should be able to wear whatever she wants, even if it is slutty or something. She should also be allowed to go wherever she wants.

But this is the real world. I don’t wear super nice things and then put myself in a place where “not nice” people might try to take them. I don’t leave my ipod and computer on my passenger seat and park the car in a bad neighborhood ya know? It sucks, I wish it weren’t the case, but it is.

If I left my wallet on my car seat when I went into a store in a bad neighborhood, and came out to find my window broken and the wallet gone… you’d probably call me stupid. You might feel bad for me, and I doubt anyone would think I’m primarily responsible… But you would probably think I was an idiot for setting myself up for such an obvious crime.

JLeslie's avatar

@tedd It’s unfortunate. Although, I have to say rape, or any type of violent assault, is so foreign to me, I just cannot imagine how that brain works. Sometimes men just think rape is a joke, like a prank. How can that be?

wundayatta's avatar

@tedd And if the cops came along and heard you put the wallet on your car seat and told you that you were to blame for the theft? ‘Cause that’s what cops are doing with respect to rape. Not all cops, of course, but enough.

JLeslie's avatar

@wundayatta I wonder the complete context of what the cop said. My mom certainly cautioned me not to leave my wallet on the car seat in plain view, and to not walk down a dark alley by myself. Is the cop just saying out loud what our parents warn us? He was innappropriate, but still, don’t we need to be careful ourselves, aware of the possible harm out there?

Once I leave my drink in a bar I never drink again from that glass.
Girls have been gang raped at parties, because they were so drunk they were easy targets.
Etc.

People need to be careful and prudent so they don’t get hurt, because of the world we live in.

Unfortunately.

wundayatta's avatar

@JLeslie Yes, we need to be prudent. But we don’t need cops not taking us seriously because we weren’t prudent.

keobooks's avatar

I have never been raped, but I was sexually assaulted when I was 21. A total stranger walked up to me, grabbed me, lifted up my shirt and licked my stomach. Then he walked off. I was wearing sweat pants and a dirty long sleeved T-shirt. I didn’t get attacked because I was so sexy the guy couldn’t resist. I was attacked because I looked vulnerable and scared—an easy target.

After I took BAMM (Bay Area Model Mugging class) I think I could have walked totally naked down the street and nobody would have dared try to even touch me, I never did this, but I wore ‘slutty’ stuff and didn’t get harassed or touched at all. The class made me confident that I could kick someone’s ass if they dared violate my space. It also gave me the confidence that I deserved to go wherever I wanted in life and nobody had the right to touch me.

I could go in a dangerous neighborhood dressed however I wanted. I never deliberately tested it, but because I was poor, I lived and worked in bad neighborhoods and I couldn’t afford a car or taxi to avoid walking around. I wanted to be independent and not rely on a male escort.

I think the march is at worst a silly frivolous thing. At best, it can charge up and empower the women in it. Just having empowerment gives you a vibe that makes people afraid to mess with you.

Why go after the woman in stiletto heels and a tank top who looks like she might look forward to an assault so she could have an excuse to kick your ass into oblivion? Much safer to go after the mousy girl wearing the long coat and her eyes are begging you not to notice her.

Rape isn’t about sexuality. It’s about power and control.

JLeslie's avatar

@wundayatta I don’t know the full context of the story. If he did not take her seriously, of course I agree with you. And, as I said, it was not for him to say any such thing. The police in that case were not willing to go after the perp?

Blackberry's avatar

People only have a problem with it because there’s skin showing. Like I said before: puritanical, kindergarten country.

JLeslie's avatar

I wanted to ask again, can anyone explain the black response to me?

Blackberry's avatar

@JLeslie They’re saying there’s a different standard for them. They wouldn’t be looked at the same, calling themselves sluts, than a group of white women were.

In general, black women are raised in a more conservative household, but so are a lot of women. This group of women is a small minority, the women that feel comfortable walking down the street, calling themselves sluts (I imagine). The minority of women who are comfortable enough to walk down the street like that without shame or reprimand from family and community.

JLeslie's avatar

@Blackberry Meaning black women are not seen as sluts if they show skin? Or, meaning no one cares when a black woman is raped? Sorry to be so obtuse, I am so confused, or naive, or something regarding this.

Blackberry's avatar

@JLeslie I think they’re saying due to preconceived notions about black women (which I’m not sure what they are, which is the confusing part), they aren’t comfortable dressing in less clothing in public, and calling themselves sluts. It’s a separate issue from the protest altogether.

They’re essentially saying “Because of some stereotypes plaguing us, we can’t do what everyone else is doing”. But they can.

janbb's avatar

@Blackberry May have a better handle on it than I but what I get from the statement above is that the stereotype of Black women being sluts is so prevelant and powerful that they would not be comfortable using it to make a point. Kind of like Jews wearing horns and big noses and walking around in a march.

JLeslie's avatar

@Blackberry Thanks for trying to explain. I am still confised by it, I guess because I don’t know enough about the cutural norm or something.

Blackberry's avatar

@JLeslie I edited my answer.

JLeslie's avatar

@janbb Oh. I guess since I don’t have that stereotype in my head it would never occur to me.

Blackberry's avatar

@JLeslie I was thinking of one stereotype, but it is so old I figured it couldn’t possibly be the one they were referring to. The stereotype that black people in general, especially the women, are “oversexed”.

@janbb Has an accurate example.

JLeslie's avatar

@Blackberry I think those black women should put on their bikinis too, and take to the streets. Fuck ‘em!

janbb's avatar

@JLeslie I don’t either but that’s what the statement above says. And they are the only ones who can determine what they feel comfortable doing.

JLeslie's avatar

@janbb True. I have to agree with you there. I just feel badly they feel that way.

Brian1946's avatar

I remember in the 60’s there were some people that generalized black women as prostitutes. I think there are some extant people on both sides of that perception, so that black women in the proximity of my generation are still wary of stirring those pointy-hooded scumbuckets.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

No, @poisonedantidote @tedd the reason is not for an ‘excuse’ to ‘dress like a slut’. If that’s what you think it is, you have missed the point of the walk entirely. And @wundayatta, while I understand the response you list towards the end of your details, those organizations don’t speak for all women of color (or people as this shouldn’t be a ‘woman’s problem’) and there is considerable debate in our community as to whether this particular project (after all, it’s just an approach in what should be a massive protest by everyone) organized by a few and that now has spread can be held responsible for avoiding traps that all identity politics fall into (like exclusion of other axes likes race or class). If you don’t agree with the SlutWalk and you’re so concerned about rape, what are YOU doing to stop these kinds of attitudes people have towards victims of rape?

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I think the Slutwalk is a great way to point out that there is never an excuse to rape a woman, no matter how she is dressed (even if she’s walking down the street naked.)

On the flip side, I do think that women should still be aware of their surroundings. There are always dangers, no matter how many protests there are. Rapists will still rape, and a woman who is dressed as a “slut” tends to generate more of the “she was asking for it” attitude and may occasionally find a bigger target painted on her back.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Blackberry @JLeslie That is not exactly the right interpretation of what you call ‘the black response’ – it’s not about how conservative black women are, it’s about a very real history in this country to sexualize black women more than white women and that, while white women can feel empowered by reclaiming the word slut and doing the slutwalk, some black women aren’t as privileged. The words ‘ho’ and ‘slut’ cut them deeper because they’re also directed in a racist fashion when it’s directed at them. They are not criticizing the slutwalk necessarily, they’re asking for an expansion of its message.

Blackberry's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Oh, I understood that, but I didn’t think of the “expanding the message” part. Makes total sense.

ratboy's avatar

@JLeslie, do you remember Don Imus’ nappy headed hos?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Blackberry My best friend and I have been discussing this response as it’s been circulated to many of our organizations and since we’re race activists as well, we’ve been trying to figure out how we feel about the slutwalk and this particular response. I understand where the response is coming from, I understand what they’re saying. Nonetheless, they should cut some slack to the few (yes, white and privileged) organizers because they never expected it would garner this response, overall and that the Slutwalk would expand at the rate it did. It’s hard to expect a couple of people to figure out an inclusive mission and to field concerns from many other groups who are established and have money (even if a little money).

JLeslie's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I didn’t know there was any racist fashion to the word slut and ho. Seriously I am totally clueless to this. Plenty of white girls have been labelled sluts. I did not realize it varied by ethnicity or race. Do you think the religion plays a part? Or, just the overall history of opression? I mean, white women have kind of said, “yeah I have sex, so? It doesn’t mean you can touch me when I don’t want to be touched.” And, they show skin without their churches going crazy, at least most white people. Here where I live, as I have pointed out before, it is very very rare, to see a woman’s middriff.

@ratboy Sure I remember it, but it did not compute for me as he was saying they are sexually premiscuous, which is what slut means to me. My exboyfriends family used to call women bitches sometimes, which is horrible, rude and disrespectful, but they threw the word around like it was nothing. I kind of saw Imus’ comment the same way, disrespectful, rude, but not actually saying the girls were hos. Used more like a slang. It went over my head.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@JLeslie Yes, all women of all races can be called sluts and hos. Still, when it comes to the word ‘ho’, it’s mostly used against black women or more especially against black women. That aside, both terms can be used in a racialized manner, add to the degree of insult, if they’re thrown against women of color because they’re always imagined to be more sexually promiscuous, ‘animalistic’, etc. There’s plenty I think religion has to do with sexism, overall..especially in supporting the horrid ‘madonna/whore’ complex. I have assigned this to my students, you should read it.

Mariah's avatar

Sometimes it feels like the only way to protect ourselves from becoming victims is to be paranoid about everything we do – be careful where you go, when you go there, who you’re with, what you look like. If you screw any of it up you’re liable to get attacked, and of course it isn’t your fault, dear, but it probably wouldn’t have happened if you had just been more careful, you stupid slut.

The idea I get out of this movement is that women should be able to do what they please without fear. It’s symbolic and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it, although it would be ideal if all women felt free to participate.

JLeslie's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Do you think their own community is worse about it than others, that blacks among themselves are treating women, or expecting women to be “sluts?” I only ask, because the exboyfriend I mentioned was Hispanic, macho bullshit horrible regarding women overall in his family, and they did use women sexually like crazy.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@JLeslie I really think there is no one single black community. I think black people from the islands have a different context than urban blacks or actual descendants of Africans. I do know that when men of color feel they have less power in society than white men, they will treat their women and each other like crap in order to gain any sense of power + status.

tranquilsea's avatar

Here’s an article on the original comment that sparked this response.

@Mariah has hit the nail on the head.

The facts are that it really doesn’t matter what you’re wearing you can be targeted for rape.

This walk was started to combat the idea that the victim is, at least, partially responsible if what she is wearing is judged to be “slutty” (which is extremely subjective). The point is that what you’re wearing has little to do with the vast majority of rapes. I am no more “protected” if I’m wearing something conservative.

We need to take the focus off of the victim and put it where it belongs: the perps who do the raping.

JLeslie's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I absolutely agree, no one single black community; but this black person, or group, making a statment seems to be speaking on behalf of a black community.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I also want to point out that nobody gets this indignant when we, as a society, sexualize our girl children younger and younger these days. When moms can’t figure out just exacly what is wrong with those meni/pedi parties their 5 years old are attending. When dads think putting their daughters into Toddlers & Tiaras is ‘inspiring them to work hard for their dreams’. When A&F are selling push-up bikinis for ‘tweens’, a market created specifically to take advantage of our children. This isn’t about actual sexuality of our children, which they have every right to. This is about the disconnect between how we raise our daughters and how we respond when our daughters finally wake the fuck up and join the Slutwalk.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@JLeslie And that is one of my criticisms in their direction. Where it’s circulating on FB, the response has the list of organizations on the bottom that you can specifically check out.

Afos22's avatar

Other animals rape each-other all the time, and they’re naked.

Joker94's avatar

Welp, I gotta admit, I never imagined rape would be protested in such a way, but more power to them.

latinagirl56's avatar

i agree with @WillWorkForChocolate i watched a mini documentary on HBO once about rape and there was one case were a prostitute was raped by two men. Even though she was a prostitute the police did not treat her any different from any other rape victim. And she won her case the way they found the guys that raped her was they forced her to give them oral sex and when they would ejaculate she kept the semen in her mouth. Gross i know but very smart of her to do.

Also i know first hand about knowing your surrounding. One time i was at my uncle house babysitting my 8 year old cousin. The rest of the family went paint balling (she was to young to go). So we were hungry and we went walking around to find a place to eat (it really wasn’t a safe neighborhood to be around) but i kept my cool and i was looking around to make sure we were okay. Anyways we were walking around and i remembered a little cesars not being to far where they lived but i thought about it and decided not to go because we had to walk through some bad streets where you can see gang members standing at the corners and flashing their gang signs and wearing their gang colors as well. So instead we found another pizzeria and had that for lunch. Then a few weeks later my mom told me about a girl my age and her nephew around the same age as my cousin going through those same streets and they went missing. I still don’t know whether or not they found they them yet. But its still scary to know that could have happened to me and my little cousin

Nullo's avatar

Interesting photoessay of the San Francisco event. The author is libertarian and female, in case you were wondering.

Aethelflaed's avatar

I love SlutWalks. For starters, it’s really visible, and I get a bit sick of people saying how my generation (especially the feminist part of it) doesn’t do anything. And since there’s no evidence that dressing slutty actually makes you more of a target than any other woman, I think it’s a great message.

@JLeslie Historically, where white women have gotten the dichotomy of being able to be either virgin or whore, black women have only gotten the whore option. So that’s where a lot of the hesitation kicks in.

incendiary_dan's avatar

This is basically just a weak action. I disagree with people who say it’s counterproductive, but at the same time it lacks any power, and effective socio-political actions are effective because they have power behind them. This does nothing to pressure men not to rape. It’s just political theater.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@incendiary_dan Really? I think it starts a dialogue for many who aren’t already involved. And the first step is always creating a dialogue.

bea2345's avatar

@teddBut I would be lying if I said I was shocked a woman dressed like a total slut and walking around in a bad neighborhood late at night found herself in that situation.: I am ashamed to say that I used to share that point of view. But I have learned over time, it’s not the sluts who get raped: its the ones who look vulnerable, sluttish or not. It is now so bad in some places that employers who have women on shift have to provide transport for night workers.

incendiary_dan's avatar

@Aethelflaed Dialogue has been occurring for generations. The confusion of talk and action is tantamount to internet slacktivism.

GabrielsLamb's avatar

It has never ever ceased to amaze me how stupidity always looks like a good idea in theory.

I remember these anti-abortionists women protesting once in NYC in full military regalia, crew cuts and with GIGANTIC signs of aborted fetus with plastic babies attached to them looking like something off the beatles original butchered baby album cover…

All I could think of when I looked at them was that old 1980’s movie Billy jean. It was strange and rather pointless to a mind like mine.

I don’t think it helped.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@incendiary_dan So then what would you do? Because apparently talking doesn’t count, which then rules out anyone who’s done research into the subject, or even anyone who’s published their thesis on the topic. And marching doesn’t count. So what would you do? What does count?

bea2345's avatar

People protest in the ways that they think will get the desired response. For some people the slut walk is inappropriate – but if it works for you, go right ahead. Several years ago a woman prostitute was charged with the murder of a customer, here in Trinidad. Women’s groups made a great outcry when it emerged in the preliminary inquiry that he had been stabbed in a quarrel over the fee – he did not wish to pay her and tried to attack her. Of course, it did not help that he was a respectable civil servant. Anyhow, the women’s groups went to war over it and the charge was reduced to manslaughter. Their methods included telephoning the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions – not once, but many times; letters to the press; buttonholing the Minister of National Security and the Attorney General on Friday afternoons after Parliament; and of course, combining to pay for a decent lawyer for the accused.. A few articles by prominent citizens deploring discrimination against women were fairly influential. It was very low key and extremely successful.

poisonedantidote's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir You are right, I am missing the point, but I am right about what they are doing. A deeper meaning, totally, but 99% of it is fun dressed as a slut.

note: never said i was against it. lol

Nullo's avatar

@Aethelflaed One idea that I’ve heard is to provide firearms and training to women who do not already have them. Might not address the root of the problem (I don’t think Psychology has the root of the problem pinned down, anyway), but I’d bet that it would improve the rape statistics.
It is often said that sexual assault is about power rather than sex. It seems improbable to me that sex doesn’t figure into the equation at least some of the time, but hey. The obvious solution, regardless of motive, would be to shift the balance of power in the victim’s favor, and that’s what guns are all about.

JLeslie's avatar

@Nullo I don’t disagree that a gun can be the great equalizer, but many rapes happen in situations where probably the girl isn’t going to have her gun, and I think all too often the gun might be taken from her by the perp.

incendiary_dan's avatar

@Aethelflaed I didn’t say that talking was useless, just that it isn’t action. We (by which I mean feminists and pro-feminists) have been screaming this shit at the top of our lungs for decades. The dialogue is not lacking. Talking needs to be followed up by action and real change, and most of those receptive to talking are those who don’t rape, anyway. The problem is men who rape, who generally do not listen to feminists. Rape is about power, talking alone does not address issues of power. “Philosophy butters no parsnips”

@JLeslie According to criminologist Gary Kleck of the University of Florida, 550 rapes are prevented each day by women just presenting firearms, and we all know rape statistics are always low. The idea of being disarmed is fallacious; the only group to regularly get their guns taken and used against them are police. As @Nullo said, it’s not getting at the core issues, but stopping that many rapes is damn good enough for me to support it. I hope to see that number either increase or disappear. One is likely to precede the other.

Nullo's avatar

@JLeslie Arms come in many flavors, some small enough to be concealed if you’re wearing anything at all. From there, I expect, it becomes a matter of habit.

Mariah's avatar

Considering how many women won’t even report their rape, or call it rape, or consider it rape, I would imagine even fewer of them would be willing to shoot their attacker.

Edit: Sorry, I wrote prematurely. Now that I’ve read everyone’s replies, I have to say that @incendiary_dan makes a good point that I hadn’t considered about preventing rapes by merely displaying the gun.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@poisonedantidote Well you can believe whatever you want. @incendiary_dan I think it goes a tad beyond slacktivism. I think it’s a move in a good direction.

digitalimpression's avatar

The march sounds stupid. I think the cops are right. Is it right that it happens? Of course not! But the mind of a rapist must surely be spoiled rubbish! It could take the smallest cue for them to snap. That said, I would be interested in the statistics of the attire that rape victims were wearing. That would probably be more solid as an argument.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@digitalimpression if by argument, you mean excuse…most women get raped by people they know…do you really think so many men are mentally challenged? most rapists are sane, as we define that term

Aethelflaed's avatar

@digitalimpression A Federal Commission on Crime of Violence Study found that only 4.4% of all reported rapes involved provocative behavior on the part of the victim, compared with murder cases in which case 22% involved provocative behavior. Most convicted rapists do not remember what their victims were wearing. The most common outfit of rape victims is jeans and a t-shirt or sweatshirt. Victims are chosen because of their vulnerability, not because they are sexually provocative.

Studies show that it is women with passive, submissive personalities who are most likely to be raped-and that they tend to wear body-concealing clothing, such as high necklines, long pants and sleeves, and multiple layers. Predatory men can accurately identify submissive women just by their style of dress and other aspects of appearance. The hallmarks of submissive body language, such as downward gaze and slumped posture, may even be misinterpreted by rapists as flirtation.

70–80% of assailants are known to their victim, so tactics of stranger rapists aren’t needed.

digitalimpression's avatar

Wow, re-reading my own answer… it’s a bit absurd and was typed off-the-cuff. I think I was thrown askew just by the idea of scantily clad women protesting rape. There’s something fundamentally wrong with the idea.

incendiary_dan's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I said conflating talk and action is tantamount to slacktivism, but this particular action, while weak, is something. I won’t deny that the action might have an effect, but I think it’s an essentially weak one. There’s no leverage, no force driving change. Besides, the sorts of men who are the problem (both rapists and those who less-directly support rape culture) will just giggle and look at boobies.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@incendiary_dan So then what kind of action does create change?

rooeytoo's avatar

I agree with the premise that no woman ever deserves to be raped.

But I think it is counterproductive to call oneself a slut and parade around dressed badly. I don’t see that it makes the point they are trying to make. I don’t particularly like to see any females of any color dressing in a fashion that objectifies themselves because I assume it is done to titillate and attract the attention of the opposite sex. I was raised with a sense of propriety and this offends it. I feel the sort of man I would attract when dressed like a slut, would not be pursuing me for any reason that I would find complimentary.

incendiary_dan's avatar

@Aethelflaed Look at what’s worked in the past (and hopefully while seeing through the anti-revolutionary narrative enforced on the public): exerting pressure on those in power or those with privilege, insomuch as they’re different, works. Dr. King’s mass protests and boycotts worked because they exerted economic or other sorts of pressure. The Pink Sari Gang sends a message to abusive men in India by beating the shit out of abusive husbands. Guerrilla fighters are primarily effective by making occupiers financially incapable of maintaining forces, as MEND is doing in Nigeria. In this respect, @Nullo‘s suggestion of firearms training has more merit than it seems initially; rape is about exerting power over (primarily) women sexually, and women taking power for themselves by force of arms, while a tad extreme, would have an effect (and after all, extremism is no vice when it comes to liberation and safety, just as moderation is no virtue in those cases).

Exerting force, though not necessarily violently, is how change occurs on the macro scale. Proper philosophy and discourse is important for that, but where contemporary movements seem to fall short is stopping at the discourse and thinking the job is done.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@rooeytoo Why connect dressing ‘slutty’ to dressing badly? That’s what’s counterproductive. People are focusing too much on the clothing, as usual..showing, in a cliche way, exactly what the problem is – in that way, the SlutWalk is genius, it crystallizes biases of even the most liberally minded people.

Afos22's avatar

Humans evolved naked, humans are born naked. Dressing slutty means still covering your genitals. I don’t get it.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Afos22 Because it’s not about genitals or whether you cover them. Rape is about showing domination and power and control and, for some, a pathetic display of masculinity (not that all rapists are men, but most are)

JLeslie's avatar

@incendiary_dan @Nullo As I said a gun can be a great equalizer. I was thinking of the girls who are raped at drunken college parties. Or, girls who are already making out, but want to say no as things get too heavy. Her gun might not be anywear near her, even if it is in her purse. Men once they are on top of you, usually being mich stronger, have an incredible advantage, unless the girl is trained to physically get out of the situation. Young women who are raped by relatives, they are also not likey to have a gun near them during a family gathering for instance. Maybe the second time, she might be packing. But, I would think that girl is fairly young and might not have access to a gun.

Afos22's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Have their been interviews of rapists? Have they said it was about power and control. Have they said they were just horny? How can one justify one’s cause for a rape unless they are a rapist themselves or have interviewed a few?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Afos22 Sure, there have been plenty of data on rapists and why they rape, just google it. Secondarily, we can analyze what it’s about even if they don’t see what it’s about because rapists don’t exist in a vacuum. They operate within our society which is based on power. For example, when men are in prison, they separate themselves into the ‘men’ and ‘the women’ and then they rape other men because it’s about power, not genitals. There are many examples like that. Not to mention that men are more likely to rape women because it is men who are socialized, in our society, to attain power by dominating women and other men. Many rape children for the same reason. Rape is about using violence or force to dominate another person, it’s not about supposed sexual attraction.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@Afos22 It’s also about entitlement (which is closely related to power). Rapists feel they deserve to have sex with this woman, so gosh darn it, they’re going to.

JLeslie's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I think rape mostly and usually has to do with power, sometimes psychosis, and sometimes a disregard for another human being. I was just thinking about a recent Q on hazing. that really bothered me. So many men were like, eh, what’s the big deal if we torture a kid for a little bit. I use torture lightly. I kind of think sometimes rapes party drunk rapes have a little do with that. The girl is almost passed out, this kid thinks, what the hell, it will be cool, and has sex with her. Don’t get me wrong, that is rape to me, maybe it is a power thing too, but there also is something else very strange to me that harming others or using them is funny and cool to some people.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@JLeslie Yes, indeed. I think that has to do with what @Aethelflaed just mentioned. Entitlement.

rooeytoo's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir – I think you can dress badly without dressing slutty, but you cannot dress slutty without dressing badly.

And I think just the opposite of you, dressing slutty and saying I can do this and still don’t deserve to get raped is really taking the impetus off of the main issue which is women are not receptacles or objects for misguided power trips or domination. It has nothing to do with how they are dressed, period!

I think all females should learn self defense and have a plan. And be smart, some rapes occur because women do not act smart. Again, it shouldn’t be a consideration, but it is, so don’t get drunk out of your skull, don’t go down dark streets alone, don’t go to a man’s room alone, etc. etc. etc. This would not eliminate all rapes, but certainly a portion of them.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@rooeytoo As I often say, the word slutty doesn’t mean anything because everyone defines it differently. Same with dressing badly. I agree that it shouldn’t be about the clothing but this particular thing is in response to what the victim-shamers often say about women and blame it on the clothing. Which is ridiculous.

rooeytoo's avatar

Can’t argue with them there words @Simone_De_Beauvoir, so I’ll stop while we’re running neck and neck, heheheh!

MRSHINYSHOES's avatar

No it’s not. If I walk around a dumpy crime ridden neighbourhood in a nice suit and tie, the chances of getting robbed are much greater than if I walked around there in dirty old torn jeans and a t-shirt. They are saying that they ought to wear as they please without fear of getting raped, but go ahead and try. To do so is stupid, just like walking through a risky neighbourhood and attracting muggers in a nice suit and tie.

raven860's avatar

Rape is NEVER okay or in the slightest way justified.

However, explained by simple logic, who is more likely to get raped http://www.zarinas.com/images/burqa_dark_green.jpg or http://strongerr.com/hotness/hotness-lindsay-lohan/attachment/bikini-lindsay-lohan-6/

Criminals are always responsible for their crime however its foolish to not take preventive measures for a known threat.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@raven860 The woman in the burqa, who lives in a culture that will give a dirty look to her rapist, and give her 10 lashes for having sex outside of marriage.

raven860's avatar

@Aethelflaed

Talking about a foreign ignorant culture is completely irrelevant to the question or a logical response to the issue we are debating. However, I am sure, that the a women in a burqa is less likey to get raped as compared to a women in a bikini even in a culture as senseless as theirs.

mazingerz88's avatar

Is this the right cause? Yes. To make more men hear the message that dressing slutty is not equivalent to an on open invitation to rape. It’s that simple, imo.

bea2345's avatar

@digitalimpressionI would be interested in the statistics of the attire that rape victims were wearing: such statistics would be very interesting, but the sad truth is that rape is a crime of opportunity and and “the woman tempted me and I did eat” is not a defense. To carry the point further, God did not accept Adam’s excuse either; why should we?

Nullo's avatar

I’d say that the original cop’s message – if not the words that he used – are valid: you are the the nearest person at hand who has an interest in keeping yourself safe. I think that this point is being too quickly ignored in the face of all this.

As Mr. Miyagi said, the best defense is to not be there.

bea2345's avatar

I agree with you, @Nullo , but if the worst should befall, it is hard to be treated like an offender in court. Being in the wrong place at the wrong time happens: a misjudgement, perhaps, but hardly a capital offense.

Aethelflaed's avatar

You know, I really wish there was even half as much talk about why rapists rape, what can be done to change that, what we can do to encourage the men in our daily lives to not be rapists, how to raise sons to not become rapists, etc as there is talk about what women shouldn’t wear, what women shouldn’t drink, where women shouldn’t go, etc. We might actually change how much rape happens if we spent half as much time focusing on the rapists as we do on protecting the victims.

Nullo's avatar

@bea2345 I don’t think that was the issue.

@Aethelflaed Prevention is much, much easier than resolution. For starters, you ‘d have to get people to agree on what, exactly, gives rapists the idea that it’s ok to rape. And that’s a big ol’ hairy mess that I don’t honestly think that we’ll ever reach unanimity – or even majority consensus on.
We can model it here, if you like.
Me: Because Man is a sinful creature and requires the new life that can only be had in Christ.
You: Nuts to that. The real problem is upbringing/oppressive religions/cows on the moon.
Random Poster: Really, those women need to be shown their place.
Drama: ensues, problem remains.

On a side note, after reading the above excerpt from the Black Woman’s Blueprint, I can’t help but think that some people stress too much about race.

bkcunningham's avatar

This is a good column on the subject: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/may/08/slutwalk-not-sexual-liberation

”...The organisers claim that celebrating the word ‘slut’, and promoting sluttishness in general, will help women achieve full autonomy over their sexuality. But the focus on ‘reclaiming’ the word slut fails to address the real issue. The term slut is so deeply rooted in the patriarchal ‘madonna/whore’ view of women’s sexuality that it is beyond redemption. The word is so saturated with the ideology that female sexual energy deserves punishment that trying to change its meaning is a waste of precious feminist resources.

“Advocates would be better off exposing the myriad ways in which the law and the culture enable myths about all types of women – sexually active or ‘chaste’ alike. These myths facilitate sexual violence by undermining women’s credibility when they report sex crimes. Whether we blame victims by calling them ‘sluts’ (who thus asked to be raped), or by calling them ‘frigid’ (who thus secretly want to be overpowered), the problem is that we’re blaming them for their own victimisation no matter what they do. Encouraging women to be even more ‘sluttish’ will not change this ugly reality.

“As teachers who travel around the country speaking about sexual violence, pornography and feminism, we hear stories from women students who feel intense pressure to be sexually available ‘on demand’. These students have grown up in a culture in which hypersexualized images of young women are commonplace and where hardcore porn is the major form of sex education for young men. They have been told over and over that in order to be valued in such a culture, they must look and act like sluts, while not being labeled slut because the label has dire consequences including being blamed for rape, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and self-mutilation.

“Women need to find ways to create their own authentic sexuality, outside of male-defined terms like slut. The recent TubeCrush phenomenon, where young women take pictures of men they find attractive on the London tube and post them to a website, illustrates how easily women copy dominant societal norms of sexual objectification rather than exploring something new and creativeAnd it’s telling that while these pictures are themselves innocent and largely free of sexual innuendo, one can only imagine the sexually aggressive language that would accompany a site dedicated to secret photos of women.

“While the organisers of the SlutWalk might think that proudly calling themselves ‘sluts’ is a way to empower women, they are in fact making life harder for girls who are trying to navigate their way through the tricky terrain of adolescence.

“Women need to take to the streets – but not for the right to be called ‘slut’. Women should be fighting for liberation from culturally imposed myths about their sexuality that encourage gendered violence. Our daughters – and our sons – have the right to live in a world that celebrates equally women’s sexual freedom and bodily integrity.”

Bravo.

Earthgirl's avatar

This article reiterates some of what people have been saying in this thread but I think it very eloquently gets to the bottom of things, the core issue which is victim blaming and power.
http://www.kingstribune.com/magazines/june-2011/1284-slutwalk

An excerpt from the above:
“By stressing that women need to take additional care to ensure they aren’t in a position where they may be assaulted, once again blame and responsibility is put entirely on our shoulders. It is a form of victim blaming. Not overt, probably something that many would consider common sense, but there are limits to how much a person can do to remain safe.

Sometimes you are going to have to walk down that dark road, go into a public toilet alone or put yourself in a less than ideal situation – that shouldn’t result in indictment if you are assaulted.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t take care. Everyone, both men and women, needs to take steps to ensure personal safety. But it should not follow that a woman must additionally police her dress, behaviour and demeanour in case she attracts someone who feels they have the right to her body without her consent.

Victim blaming is about power. The power of the person doing the assaulting, of cultural norms, and of the ones doing the blaming. Slutwalk is reminding people that we are still shamed for being women.”

I don’t think we are so much shamed for being women as we are given most of the responsibility for policing sexual interactions. Dressing in a sexy way has nothing to do with inviting rape.

incendiary_dan's avatar

@Aethelflaed Quite right. The problem is men and how men and boys are reinforced to behave in a certain way.

My partner and I were talking about this the other night, and were wondering why you always see statistics on how many women are raped, but never how many men are rapists. Instead of constantly hearing “1 in 4 women are raped”, why don’t we see protests proclaiming “If 1 in 4 women are raped, how many men are rapists?” Blame where blame is due.

JLeslie's avatar

@incendiary_dan I once saw a movie about this guy who was an asshole to women who had been raped. Can’t remember if he was a cop or what? Why he was in contact with raped victims all the time. And, then in the end of the movie he gets raped. One of the things mentioned in the movie is how under-reported male rape is. Makes sense. And, if they are under 18 I am not sure how the count it, possibly it is thrown into pediphilia stats rather than male rape? Not sure.

tranquilsea's avatar

I read a small article years ago now and I cannot cite the source (sorry). This article referenced an anonymous survey taken at a college(s) where they asked the men if they had the chance to rape someone would they take it if they would be assured that they would never be caught. Some 40 percent said they would. My heart sank when I read that.

JLeslie's avatar

@tranquilsea What?! I don’t even want to believe that is true. I am hoping the question was worded poorly or something? How depressing.

tranquilsea's avatar

@JLeslie I know. I usually do a ton of follow up on stories like that but it made me so upset I just couldn’t.

I did find it interesting that they asked though.

When you think about it the number of men who do rape has to be fairly high to account for a 1:4 ratio of women getting raped.

JLeslie's avatar

@tranquilsea I wonder if a lot of young men don’t realize what actually qualifies as rape. Maybe they were told situations like, if you were with a girl and she was drunk in your bed would you have sex with her even if she was not coherent enough to agree. Know what I mean? I think young men sometimes don’t associate the word rape with having sex during some party where everyone seems to be doing it.

tranquilsea's avatar

@JLeslie I would hazard to guess that many guys may answer in the affirmative for a situation such as you describe. But the deal is if the girl is that drunk then you can’t have sex with her and in today’s day and age they should know that.

JLeslie's avatar

@tranquilsea I completely agree. Hell, I would make sure my son understood, not only because I would be sickened for the girl, but also because I would not want my son in trouble with the law. Or, even him having regret when he later understood how horrible and immoral his actions were at the time. Believe me I am on the same page as you.

tranquilsea's avatar

@JLeslie I know you are :-) The scenario really does fit with a cavalier type attitude though. I find the, “but everyone is doing it” excuse nauseating.

incendiary_dan's avatar

I think I’ll go throw up now.

Nullo's avatar

@JLeslie @tranquilsea I would imagine (since this is all speculation anyway) they were thinking about rape-as-sex as opposed to the power issues more commonly associated with it. I do know that thoughts of lying with an attractive woman – especially that one, right there, that you’d never have a chance with – show themselves readily.
I was raised with the notion that sex is only for when you’re married, and that you need to be good to your wife, and even if nobody else knows, God does, and He won’t be happy about you being horrid. Maybe not enough people are being raised that way?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Nullo Yes, let’s forget about the many rapes that occur (more often than not) with intimate partners aka husbands. It wasn’t even until the 1990s that England, for example, legally stated that a husband can rape his wife, since it was assumed that could never happen. Yet, it does and for many over-zealous Christian husbands, rape happens because it is his god-given right to dominate the woman. So you’re treading on thin ice, here in encouraging the good old.

Nullo's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Do note, Simone, the part where I said ”...need to be good to your wife.” That sorta excludes intra-marital rape.
There isn’t one line in the Bible, not one, that offers a man the “God-given right to dominate his wife.” This is as close as it gets.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Nullo Right, because are really good at following only the good parts of the bible and don’t extrapolate whatsoever…perhaps that line is in the bible but so are many rapes, spoke of in not uncertain terms…and seen as acceptable…

I get that a good Christian man wouldn’t rape anyone…but sadly there are not many men like that around and the church with its teachings leads to many sexual offenses and I’m not just talking about raping boys…just recently I’ve been reading on systematic sexual violence within the Black Baptist Church, as such…

It’s not just religion that provides excuses…our society is sexist on its own but it certainly uses religion as its facilitator often.

Nullo's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir They are condemned elsewhere. The Bible isn’t just rules; there’s a lot of story in there, too. And people in an honest, heavily populated story are messed up – this is established almost right from the get-go.
I will not deny that there are messed up Christians – they’re people getting the crap scrubbed off of them, or trying not to. Churches can be, in this respect, something like a sanitarium. Excommunication is for when, instead of getting clean, someone is actively spreading dirt around. Properly set up, a church will have elders to hold the pastor accountable.

There is an ongoing battle with heretics in the Church, people who would twist the Word of God to permit atrocities. That’s part of why I so very greatly dislike – indeed, am intolerant of – un-Christian doctrines.

bkcunningham's avatar

Don’t forget the rapes and violence in LGBTQ relationships that are reported, unreported and underreported. Do you have any stats on this @Simone_De_Beauvoir? Or rape and violence in LGBTQ relationships where children are involved? I’ve been reading studies on violence and abuse in LGBTQ relationships and it seems to be as bad if not worse than in heterosexual relationships.

JLeslie's avatar

@Nullo If the statistic @tranquilsea gave is accurate, don’t you think at least half of those men are Christians? 75% of the population is Christian.

It reminds me of all the prolifers and Sarah Palin not aborting her baby. 90% of Downs Syndrome fetuses are aborted, that means there are some Christians, even people who state they are pro life, aborting.

bkcunningham's avatar

Without seeing the report @tranquilsea mentioned, I don’t see how it can be discussed.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@bkcunningham I have read various accounts and have personally settled on believing that ipv is as prevalent in lgbtq relationships as in hetero ones. Any statistics are gross underestimates anyway so I don’t think they matte, all that much.

bobbinhood's avatar

@bkcunningham @Simone_De_Beauvoir What does the Q stand for in LGBTQ?

@Nullo I would say 1 Corinthians 7:4 is the verse Christians use to say they can rape their spouses without it being rape. Of course that’s not what the verse is saying, but I’ve seen it twisted plenty of times.

bkcunningham's avatar

@bobbinhood, and/or questioning.

bobbinhood's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir and @bkcunningham Thanks. Is queer different from lesbian and gay? I feel really stupid right now.

Nullo's avatar

@JLeslie I actually think that a fair amount of that 75% is culturally Christian, not really Christian. And as I said in my post @Simone_De_Beauvoir, there are messed-up people who are Christians. Most of us have issues that God is working on. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Not all of us are criminal, but some are.

@bobbinhood Thanks, I’d forgotten about that one. Do note that it still requires the would-be rapist to twist the verse’s arm.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Nullo On that JLeslie’s question about hatred and Christians, we’re just now trying to get at what makes a real Christian and that seems to be as elusive as what ‘slutty’ means. I really don’t think a real Christian exists, either no one is a real Christian or all who say they’re Christian are.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@bobbinhood To me, queer means non-straight, non-hetero or homonormative.

incendiary_dan's avatar

@Nullo Is a “Real Christian” (tm) the same as a “True Scotsman”?

Nullo's avatar

@incendiary_dan Nope. The Real Christian is someone with a relationship with Jesus Christ. A result of this relationship is a progression towards being more Christ-like (which files off the rough spots, as it were). Real Christians come in varying degrees of maturity depending on the health of that relationship, but all of them are Real.

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