Friday, October 14, 2011

Sluts are walkin'

I'm glad I don't know any of the slightly confused souls that will be participating in the "Slut Walk" on Sunday. I'm actually quite proud that I don't know anyone that unclear about what "dressing appropriately" means.
I suppose that over the last 30 years, we have spiraled down the great toilet bowl where boys and girls no long learn from Mom that there are things you don't wear to school, or out with friends.
Girls with bare midriffs and wearing make up in grade school are the seeds for young women who go out on the town dressed like a street walker.
All those personal "fashion advice" comments aside, I'm also a big believer in freedom, and I don't subscribe to "blaming the victim" when someone forces their attention on another when it is unwanted. That doesn't mean I'm a proponent of this weekends "rally".
The inception of "Slut Walk" is more of a protest against some words from a police constable in Toronto who told a group of young women,  “Women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized.”
Like Air Canada, telling it like it is garnered him a public whipping, and was the inception of a Sunday walk where women will dress provocatively just to make a point.

Might I suggest a few twists on this.

"Beer Walk" 

We can have this one any hot July Saturday night at midnight, carrying 12's and 24's of our favourite ale. We'll start at the corner of Portage and Main and head north to Selkirk Avenue where we'll split up into groups of 20 and go up the streets on either side of Main. The crux of our walk will be to demonstrate our right to carry beer in any area, at any time without fear of getting shanked for it.

"Bag Walk"

This one will be in Central Park, where police recently advised a man I know, "You should never carry a bag. Someone will attack you just to see what's in it." We'll be out in full force after nightfall, taunting those "would be thieves" with our old Addidas bags full of...nothing, but THEY won't know that. The premise is that we citizens should be able to carry bags wherever and wherever we like in defiance of the advice given by Police.

"Door Unlock"

It rhymes... isn't that enough? All citizens of Winnipeg will leave their doors unlocked for an entire weekend AND go away. The point of the campaign will be to show how we should really NOT have to lock our doors as no one has the right to enter our homes and take our stuff, regardless of the state of our locks. (Alarms must be off that weekend too) After the resounding success of this weekend we'll move on to leaving keys in our cars, and bicycles out on the street while we shop, but I'm getting ahead of myself.

I could go on, but I don't want to bore you. The point is, clowns like Laurie Mustard subscribe to this notion that by saying, “Women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized.”, someone is blaming the victim anymore than as a society we blame people who carry beer in rough areas.

When Police tell us not to carry bags with our stuff in them, is that tantamount to blaming the victim?  Laurie would likely have a whole lot of fun with people leaving their keys in the ignition of their car at the Portage Place surface parking lot. I think Laurie might actually "get" that one, being a self professed "car nut". Laurie... do you "get" that one?

In a perfect world, we wouldn't have keys. Keys are only necessary because we need to keep our things out of easy access to others who might take it otherwise. Keys are, in the words of a friend, "A symbol of sin".

Given that (most)  people can understand and agree with the simple examples given, I'm never clear on the hard stance people who organize a walk like this take to  views that are not dissenting, but question the message delivery as well as the dismissal of the good advice of, “Women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized.” You shoulda' heard the show Cloutier had on CJOB yesterday. I could scarcely listen to the idealistic babble.
There's no guarantee that "covering up" will keep anyone safe, but there's no way of ensuring that locking your doors will keep you from being robbed. The point is, you don't make a habit of NOT locking your doors, do you? Why not? Principals?
"I draw the line at restricting how I dress. I choose to ignore all advice to the contrary because I shouldn't have to bend what I want to do to avoid the unwanted actions of another."
Ya, OK... work with that. I do know that eventually  my insurance under writer will stop paying out if I make a habit of not locking my doors, and likely, I'll eventually be called...


1 comment:

  1. I think what has been really disturbing me about this whole thing, besides the actual premise which is idiotic to begin with is how the word slut has been so easily and carelessly displayed on newspaper headlines and on the evening news.

    I teach my children that slut is not a nice word and then they see it all over the place for a week as if it is OK. Personally I think it's not but then I don't think there is ever a reason where dressing like one is either.