Monday, April 4, 2011

Reclaiming the word "slut"?

So, I came home today and did my usual flop on the couch after spending all day in a classroom full of rude and disrespectful hooligans, and started watching MTV (don't judge). Under the so-called "news" section, they mentioned how yesterday there was a "Slut Walk" that happened in Toronto. I was intrigued so I did some googling...

Apparently, a member of the Toronto Police made the following statement to a university law class: "Women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized." Ummmm, what?!?

Apparently, many people had the same reaction as I did, and thus organized a "Slut Walk" protest, whereby they attempted to reclaim the word "slut." Some of the people that MTV interviewed had a lot to say. One girl said something along the lines of, "I'm proud to be a slut! It means I'm comfortable with my sexuality."

I think this is all very interesting. As much as the words "bitch" and "queer" might have been reclaimed, I don't think "slut" has the same potential. Even when I hear guys call themselves a "man slut," it's just that...a man slut. That's because "slut" will always be a word to describe females. But who knows, maybe that will change someday...

My mom was around and happened to catch a glimpse of what I was watching. She then went into a rant about how "children are starving" and "people are dying" and "people don't have jobs." She said that people should not be protesting "slut" nonsense, because it's not as serious as these issues. Oh mom. I tried to explain to her that, "Well, if you feel strongly about something, not speaking up about it because there are worse issues in the world is not a good reason." I still don't think she got it. That's like saying, "There's someone bleeding on the sidewalk but I'm not going to help him because helping victims of the Japan tsunami is more serious." Okay, well maybe that's not a good example, but you get the point.

Although I think what the police officer said was appalling -- he's pretty much suggesting that women who dress provocatively are asking to be raped -- I'm not sure that I'd be willing to walk around Toronto, holding up a sign, proclaiming myself to be a "slut." But kudos to those who had the guts to do that. We'll have to watch and see how the word "slut" is used in 50 years from now I guess...

3 comments:

  1. wow....that really is fucked up.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I hate the double standard so much. Kudos to those women for speaking out. I can't believe the police said that.

    ReplyDelete
  3. ...and the Toronto Police Force strikes again. I worked for a couple of years as a rape crisis counselor in Toronto and, frankly, the police kinda suck. When I heard of the Slut Walk (personally, I would have suggested Slut Saunter, but whatevs) I smiled, loving that there was public outrage over the officer's statement. There's always power in numbers! (as an aside, it wasn't that long ago that what a woman was wearing WAS admissible as evidence in sexual assault cases...and that included her UNDERWEAR! A thong used to mean that she wanted to have sex, as a few judges decreed...true story).

    ReplyDelete