Get social on social media

Monday, February 23, 2015

I won’t march under the banner “Slut” not even to stop sexual violence

Oh, I can hear some of you now, “You don’t support women!”

Yes I do. I just refuse to call a woman, myself, my daughter, my mother or my sister a slut. I don’t see how parading down Water Street in stilettoes, fishnet stockings, a bra and panties can do anything but give a few perverts something to jackoff to. Sorry. I just don’t.

Slutwalks have become the new “buzz protest” for women. According to the organizers literature, participants protest against explaining or excusing rape by referring to any aspect of a woman's appearance and call for an end to rape culture.
Now the idea behind the Slutwalk is something I will support and even protest for. Just tell me how this is different from the “Take Back the Night” march?

I will be the first to tell you that what a woman wears at home, in a night club, walking on the street or playing hockey does not contribute to her being sexually assaulted. If that was the case, why are Muslim women, who are completely covered from head to toe, raped? They don’t show anything but their eyes and hands. So we know that covering a women completely still makes a man want to rape her.

The truth is, men who commit sexual assaults or rape will do it based on opportunity and gaining trust, among other things. Not on miniskirts or tube tops. They take the time to groom their victims and the family of their victims to gain their trust before taking advantage of it. Or they wait for the opportunity when their victim is weak or vulnerable, like when she is intoxicated at a party.

My problem is the word “slut.”

Slut is the description of herself a woman hears repeatedly when she is being held down and raped or gang raped. Slut is the reason she is given when someone she loves is punching her in the face. Slut is the nickname a young girl is given by her friends for being pretty or sure of herself. It’s the name used to cut her down or put her in her place.

Slut is the last thing a woman hears when she receives the fatal blow that ends her life.

Organizers of the SlutWalk says they want to “Re-appropriate the word slut” and “Take it back.”

But take it back to where? Re-appropriate it to what? Do they expect Oxford Dictionary to add it to their new word list in 2015?

Slut: Adjective to describe a women in charge of her own sexuality.

The word “Rape” is never going to mean “A day at the beach.”

It’s never going to happen. At no point in our future will anyone walk into a class of high school girls during a career fair and say “My, what a wonderful class of sluts. I remember when we didn’t own our sexuality.”

I am 51 years old. I have worked through the “What great legs you have, you should wear shorty skirts” 80s, the “There goes her career now that she has kids” 90s and the “There’s another harassment course you have to complete this year” 2000s. I didn’t kick open that glass ceiling and suffer from the cuts so my daughter can march through the streets calling herself a slut!

We are never going to change rape culture by dressing provocatively and marching with the word slut written across our breasts. We change rape culture through education and punishment. We change rape culture by talking about sexuality to our sons, brothers, fathers, uncles and other men in our lives. Then educate our daughters, sisters, Mothers and women in our lives about their sexuality and why we should never use the word “Slut” to describe any woman.

When the United States changed the laws to give Black people equality, those who committed hate crimes against them didn’t throw their hands up in the air and say, “Well we’re equal now. Better leave them alone.” Their hate continued, some even became more violent because they didn’t want the government telling them what to do.

After those laws were put in place, those people who were filled with hate had children. Their children were subjected to their parents hate and ignorance but could see things changing. Then those children had children, and they could see the world changing. And so on. And so on. Now they have a Black President. It took generations to change the mindset.

Did it create a perfect equal world for Black people? No. There will always be people who discriminate against someone. But it made it less acceptable.

Black people did not start the “N-word march” to protest their treatment. They created the “Million Man March.” They invited prominent speakers to convey to the world a vastly different picture of the Black male and to unite against economic and social ills plaguing the African American community.

I know what you’re saying “But Black Rap artists use it in their lyrics to take back the word.”

But did it work? The N-word will never be acceptable to use in any setting because we are educated now. We know what it means. Rap artists can “own it” all they want, but for millions it will always be the last name a Black man was called before he was lynched.

The same as “Slut” will always be the last name a women is called before she is murdered.

That’s my opinion.