A quick reminder…

// 15 May 2011

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warning-sign.gif [Image of a yellow warning triangle with a black exclamation mark.]

… to all those arguing in various places on and offline in relation to Slutwalk that women who dress in a certain way are asking – either implicitly or explicitly – for sexual attention:

1) Women are “supposed” to look attractive all the time, otherwise we’ve failed as women, so making assumptions about a woman’s desire for sexual attention based on her clothing is a complete non-starter. (I’ve gone looking in jeans, vest, hairy pits and no make-up, how does that factor in to your equation?)

2) If a woman has dressed a certain way because she’s out on the pull, the correct way to ascertain this fact and react to it – should you be interested in being her pullee – is to have a chat and see if she’s interested. It isn’t grabbing her arse on the dance floor, continuing to bug her when she’s clearly not into you, or raping her.

Is that clear? OK, carry on.

Comments From You

tom hulley // Posted 15 May 2011 at 12:35 pm

Spot on, Laura.

Women do not put themselves at risk (beyond being born!) men do. Men can change this quite easily and they should change it.

Saying that women put themselves at risk is actually another way of putting women at risk.

I am not particularly happy that some women want to call themselves sluts and less happy if they want to call other women sluts but it is their business not mine.

My concern is asking men to stop violence against women whether in word or in deed. There is an enormous difference between disagreeing and bullying.

Hayley // Posted 15 May 2011 at 2:51 pm

excellent post. All the discussion the slutwalks have started is great, but is certainly showing some people’s attitude to females in general to be very negative and based on looks/attractiveness.

Mary Tracy // Posted 15 May 2011 at 2:53 pm

Thankfuly, I haven’t encountered anyone arguing against these (blatantly obvious) facts.

The strongest opposition I’ve seen to SlutWalk goes on something like this: “the message is being lost in the medium”. What most feminists seem worried about is that most people are not going to get what the walk stands for.

Here’s a take by Meghan Murphy from Canada: http://www.feminisms.org/2585/were-sluts-not-feminists-wherein-my-relationship-with-slutwalk-gets-rocky/

Jell // Posted 16 May 2011 at 1:51 am

There is a strong case being made around the racism and collaboration in white supremacy being enacted by the Slutwalk movement:

http://tothecurb.wordpress.com/2011/05/13/slutwalk-a-stroll-through-white-supremacy/

Paul UNE // Posted 16 May 2011 at 6:02 pm

What’s wrong with trying again to see if the man or women changes their mind about you?

Laura // Posted 16 May 2011 at 10:05 pm

@ Paul – When you’re out in a public place, trying to have a good time, being bugged by someone who won’t take no for an answer is really annoying. Being intrusive and pushy is hardly the best route a respectful, consensual and mutually enjoyable sexual encounter! I also think that quite a number of women feel the need to be polite when faced with this kind of behaviour – a kind of default submissive feminine attitude – rather than asserting their right to not be interested in someone or to be left alone. I’ve found myself doing this – trying not to offend the person who won’t just let me get on with my night – and it really bugs me!

So I think men in particular should bear this in mind when approaching women. It’s all part of the “yes means yes” view of sexual consent – both/all parties should be enthusiastic participants. When it comes to heterosexual encounters, we desperately need to move on from the mainstream narrative of man trying to trick/charm his way into an unwilling woman’s pants (because she wants it really).

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