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An open letter from Black Women to the Slutwalk

(20 Posts)
StewieGriffinsMom Mon 26-Sep-11 22:20:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LeninGrad Mon 26-Sep-11 22:32:55

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AyeBelieveInTheHumanityOfMen Mon 26-Sep-11 22:51:30

<stands and applauds>

What a marvelous piece of writing.

SybilBeddows Mon 26-Sep-11 22:58:01

that articulates the problem very well.
I like the way it begins so supportively. I hope the organisers take it in the spirit in which it is meant.

KRITIQ Mon 26-Sep-11 23:00:14

Excellent piece! Thank you for putting it here. It articulates quite a few of the reasons I have had some difficulty with the "branding" of SlutWalks, plus sheds light on other points I hadn't fully considered.

LRDTheFeministDragon Mon 26-Sep-11 23:04:47

^ What Aye said.

StewieGriffinsMom Mon 26-Sep-11 23:08:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

GothAnneGeddes Tue 27-Sep-11 01:11:02

Ooh. V interesting. Thanks for that SGM.

Am I right in thinking that a UK version of Slutwalk was called the hijab, hoodies and something else(I forget what) in order to decry general negative judgement of women's clothing choices.

Catitainahatita Tue 27-Sep-11 03:37:21

That's a powerful bit of writing. It has clarified for me the objections to the Slutwalk. My attitude has always been to support the idea of the walk and not think too much about how I feel about the word. Perhaps I would have done better to think about how others felt about it.

orangeisthenewgreen Tue 27-Sep-11 06:28:37

I attended the sw rally but dressed in 'conventional' clothes because I wanted to lend my support whilst still misgivings about the tactic of reclaiming the word. But I think the organisers were completely open to the fact that not everyone agreed and the spirit was that we were all marching for the same cause.
The positives of using the word 'slut' is that it is media catchy and it is like giving the finger to that idiot policeman by saying 'yeah we're sluts, so what!'. On the negative side it does run the risk of playing into the hands of the mindset that we are trying to change and reinforcing the stereotype because it keeps the word high in people's minds. Plus like the letter says not everyone has the privilege of being able to distance themselves from that word and the sexualization of women in the media reaches new highs when it comes to women of color.

It's a worthy debate and I hope they have a productive meeting because we are all fighting for the same thing.

StewieGriffinsMom Tue 27-Sep-11 07:10:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SharonGless Tue 27-Sep-11 07:20:26

A very powerful piece as it eloquently puts into words all the issues I had withe the branding. Hope it has the desired effect

Catitainahatita Wed 28-Sep-11 03:42:29

It has been the MN feminists who have made me understood the concept of privilege which hadn't featured in the (now dated) literature I read in my early 20s. I understand the arguments in a way that I didn't quite grasp in April. So thanks all for that.

Anyway I'm posting again because last night I remembered a blog post that might interest:

And today I saw this on Ms. Magazine

swallowedAfly Wed 28-Sep-11 07:42:27


it's how i feel about the slutwalk movement. i can see how black women in particular feel excluded from it in that it isn't something that they can 'use' if you like but i think it extends far wider. i don't honestly think the time has come where 'slut' can be used by any women in an empowering way- i don't think it ever will to be honest. i'd rather a 'human being' walk personally - be nice to reclaim that label with regard to sexual violence given the levels of objectification. but it's obviously even more problematic for some - for disabled women i can imagine difficulties given they're seen as non sexual all too often or as less than whole women, for women who are of religious backgrounds, for women in the sex industry etc etc.

it seems to appeal really to a young, reasonably attractive (as in socially approved version of sexual), able bodied, girl power kind of culture which is not inclusive obviously but also has the problem of being titillating for their audience - not putting that well and find it hard to express what i mean. will go away and think. but these are the ones allowed to be sexual anyway and encouraged in any case to reclaim the slut title and see it as empowering to be sexually active and.... hmm yes need to think but i do think it plays right into the hands of patriarchy when attractive young women find 'empowerment' in going on a slutwalk in their underwear.

Beachcomber Wed 28-Sep-11 08:33:59

Great writing. Put into words exactly why I disagreed with the use of slut. Especially this bit;

Even if only in name, we cannot afford to label ourselves, to claim identity, to chant dehumanizing rhetoric against ourselves in any movement. We can learn from successful movements like the Civil Rights movement, from Women’s Suffrage, the Black Nationalist and Black Feminist movements that we can make change without resorting to the taking-back of words that were never ours to begin with, but in fact heaved upon us in a process of dehumanization and devaluation.

I hope they listen. I know they mean well, but the politics of oppression are complicated and I think they have been more than a bit blundering.

Beachcomber Wed 28-Sep-11 08:48:40

Agree with SaF.

I was reading a very sobering document recently about the high rate of rape amongst Native American populations in the reservations is the USA. These women are, on the whole, being raped by non indigenous men. The reason this is happening is due to issues of jurisdiction - the Tribal Law that applies in the reservations cannot be extended to non Indians, and the state law often doesn't bother to follow up cases of rape that happen within the reservations.

What is happening is white (and black) men are entering reservations in order to rape Indian women with the knowledge that nothing will be done about it.

The indigenous people of America have a long history of oppression, genocide and rape.

I imagine that these women would also feel excluded from a 'Slutwalk'.

Slight tangent but it really made me think about how all women are not oppressed by rape in the same way.

scottishmummy Wed 28-Sep-11 10:54:29

i do have misgivings about slutwalk,but couldnt quantify then.However the article has articulated it

i dont consider slutwalk a back at ya protest.think its a bit misguided and media like it because some lassies in their provocative clothes to photograph.and i dont think marching in sterotypically sexualised clothing is empowering

swallowedAfly Wed 28-Sep-11 11:01:02

been thinking more - dressing up and labeling yourself as the object that you're seen as already is??? it just feels like an own goal.

StewieGriffinsMom Mon 03-Oct-11 16:26:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

KRITIQ Mon 03-Oct-11 23:17:58

Great link, btw.

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