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27 responses to “Quick Hit – To march or not to march?”

  1. blue milk

    Thanks for highlighting this one.

  2. Napalmnacey

    I was slut-shamed after my assault, so I don’t think I could take part in a march with that word over my head. But I support the idea of it. I share a lot of the reservations that the writers at racialicious had, though.

  3. tigtog

    I can certainly understand why it’s not for everybody, NN.

    Dogpossum, who is also ambivalent, has a nice post of advice for anyone who is planning to attend.

    I view it as a defiant refusal to be shamed by the word, and I’m going to march in the modest clothes I was wearing when I was assaulted to make a point about the original statement that triggered the movement being a lie, but I fully understand why other people have very different reactions and very different reasons both to march and not to march.

  4. fuckpoliteness

    Yes, I’m keen to go and to go in ‘regular’ clothes: I can’t remember which article it was, but someone made the point of ‘Whatever you’re wearing, you end up not being the one to ‘decide’ what your clothing ‘means’ – they (rapists, police, rape-apologists) decide what your clothing means’ and that the point was that clothes have NOTHING to do with rape. I’m finding it hard to boil this message down to a pithy slogan, but I’ll be marching in comfy clothes for that reason, and because, despite enjoying ‘dressing up’ at times, it’s not (to me) about the fact that clothing is irrelevant and you can *still* be slutshamed/victim blamed while wearing pyjamas/jeans/track pants/whatever.

  5. orlando

    Napalmnacey, I’m so sorry you endured that. If you don’t feel you can march under these parameters, I hope you’ll believe that the women who are marching are, as much as anything, marching for you. That is, marching in solidarity with everyone who has ever been slut-shamed, which has got to be pretty much all of us. I think solidarity is what this is really about. It works like this: if anyone could be sexually assaulted (and we could), and anyone who is sexually assaulted is likely to be slut-shamed (which we are), then everybody is vulnerable to being called a slut, which just goes to show what a meaningless term it is. For me it’s a way of saying “you call any woman that, you call me that”. (I, too, will be walking in winter woolies and comfortable shoes.)

  6. Napalmnacey

    The real triggery hurt was that I was slut-shamed by the wife and friends of the man who assaulted me, and threatened at the same time. It was so hurtful I was unable to attend a convention that I was selling work at. So, yeah, I get really irrational about that word, I flinch every time I hear it. But thanks everyone for the support. It means a lot.

  7. alien tea

    That doesn’t sound irrational at all. If you’ve been hit with a stick, it seems reasonable to be wary of that stick. Besides, you’re not the only one that the word “slut” has been used as a weapon on.

  8. SunlessNick

    Seconding alien tea, there’s nothing irrational about it. No one’s scars are unworthy.

  9. fuckpoliteness

    Yes, sorry Napalmnacey: I had not meant to talk ‘past’ you there!

    At my school two girls were assaulted and I was *stunned* at the fact that no one seemed to be horrified by the behaviour of the boys: they seemed to accept that what had happened had happened and blamed the girls for being ‘sluts’. I was HORRIFIED.

    I’ve had to explain why I support this to my twelve year old stepdaughter: I would *never ever ever* use that word as an insult, not ever. It’s abominable to think like that. But my point is what Orlando managed to articulate. That the aim is to march in solidarity with all the women and girls who’ve been blamed and called a ‘slut’ to say no, not ever: rapists are responsible for rape and never the victim and never the clothes and I am not okay with anyone saying otherwise.

    At the same time it’s quite sobering to realise that this is my perspective never having had to deal with the reality of that slut shaming/victim blaming.

    I’m really sorry you had to deal with that! And it seems to be exactly the same thing as what happened at school. The most vocal and vicious were the girlfriends/ex girlfriends/good friends of the perpetrators and it was so palpably about them having to process it in a way that allowed them to protect the way they thought about their friend at the same time as being so transparently about protection of the rapists and so bloody WRONG.

    And a ‘thirding’ here: it’s not irrational at all. I’m sorry. :(

  10. Napalmnacey

    Argh, didn’t mean to make this about me! Just saying that I understand if some women can’t march under a banner with the word “slut” on it.

    I know, logically, that the march is a good thing and I support it. I hope that’s clear, because it’s an important thing these people are doing. It really needs to be done.

  11. Napalmnacey

    It’s possible I sound cranky in that comment. I’m not! It was more of an embarrassed “aaargh” rather than one of anger or irritation. :-P

  12. Mindy

    You made a good point Napalmnacey – one that I hadn’t considered, and we also have some lovely commenters here as well.

  13. fuckpoliteness

    I don’t think that you made it about you at all – it’s just that it’s a really valid point and the feelings that get raised around this stuff are important and I felt that I had unintentionally talked ‘past you’ which I don’t want to do. You didn’t sound cranky either.

  14. orlando

    Will any Hoydens be gathering under any particular sign, so that like-minded folk might find you?

  15. tigtog

    I was thinking we should organise a meet-up point somewhere nearby beforehand, so that we can then go on in a group to the rally point?

  16. Pirra

    Here’s another perspective I found interesting. From a man.

    Too many of us still believe that “self-respect” for a woman means chastity and modesty. If she’s wearing revealing clothing, enjoys attention, and maybe even likes sex outside of a committed monogamous relationship, we call her a “slut”—and accuse her of not respecting herself. Perhaps she does respect herself, perhaps she doesn’t. (Promiscuity is not perfectly correlated with low self-esteem, despite what a lot of pop psychologists tell you.) But in the end, it doesn’t matter. Women aren’t commodities whose value is based on their own fluctuating sense of self-worth.
    Common decency means respecting people because they’re people, not because of how we imagine they feel about themselves. So if a woman dresses in a way that we think invites sexual attention, or if she chooses multiple sexual partners, we’re not required to approve of her lifestyle or her fashion choices. But we are required to respect her right to move through public and private space unchallenged and unmolested. That’s not too much to ask for any man.

    read the entire post here.

  17. Pirra

    Snap. The link didn’t show up?

    once more with feeling?
    Why men should join slutwalk

  18. fuckpoliteness

    Yep – it’s going to be down to the line essay-writing time for me, so I’m really only going to have an hour to spare but I’m dead keen on going, at least for an hour. If you choose a meet up point that works for you, I’ll line myself up to be there at that time and place. Ooh. Let’s discuss signage…

  19. orlando

    If the start point is the mural on King St, then any cafe South of the split into King St and Enmore Rd should be workable. Any suggestions from those more local for an easy-to-identify, preferably coffee-furnishing meeting site?

  20. tigtog

    There’s a few around. I’ll do a recce for one with plenty of room, decent coffee and decent accessibility.

  21. WildlyParenthetical

    I’m pretty sure they had to move the meeting place in response to having an overwhelming number of rsvps on Facebook. It’s now located at Town Hall, if I’m not misled…

  22. tigtog

    @WP, these are the details now from the FB event page:


    1:30pm meet outside Sydney Town Hall, George St, Sydney for a 2pm start
    2:30pm speakers and performance outside the District Court
    4pm arrive at Harmony Park, next to the Surry Hills Police Station

    I’m pretty sure that Town Hall station’s lift was out of action for a while, so that could be an accessibility concern if it hasn’t been fixed yet.

  23. Mary

    Re Town Hall, information about the lift changes is here.

    The summary is that lifts are only available on platforms 3, 5 and 6 and thus if you require a lift you must plan your journey to arrive/leave on those platforms. Doing this requires additional changes at Wynyard or Central for anyone travelling on the Inner West, South, Illawarra, Western or Northern (via Strathfield) lines, instructions on the page.

    Since this makes travel to Town Hall more complicated and time consuming, it does reduce accessibility there, even if it isn’t removed entirely.

    On the other hand, the previous location at Newtown meant travelling to a station which is both much less well serviced by trains and which is listed as not wheelchair accessible at all (no lift and a substantial flight of stairs): presumably wheel users using public transport would have needed to change at Wynyard, Town Hall or Central for a bus (the Newtown buses are almost all wheelchair accessible I think), so relative to that it’s perhaps not a diminishing of accessibility. Both choices are less than optimal although not strictly inaccessible.

  24. tigtog

    Thanks for that info, Mary.

    I am working on one of my maps, and will note accessibility issues. I’m also awaiting route confirmation from the Sydney organisers.

    View Sydney Slutwalk June 13 2011 in a larger map

  25. orlando

    Trust me to be a week behind on the crucial details. If I show up on the right day it will be a personal victory. How about meeting under the clock on the ground floor of the QVB?

  26. tigtog

    orlando, the QVB seems like an excellent idea – protection from weather if needed, food outlets nearby and there are lifts to all levels for accessibility.

  27. WildlyParenthetical

    Just in case people are interested, and given the conversation happening across the femmosphere about the global/local question… here’s how SlutWalk has been localised to Amsterdam:

    “- After the overwhelming success of SlutWalk Toronto, all sluts, dykes, fags, trans, queers and queens of The Netherlands will spread through the city to advocate sexual diversity, bodily autonomy, eccentricity and peculiarity. They protest against a society in which victims of sexual assault are being blamed, gays and lesbians are afraid to hold hands in public and transgender people are seen as ‘unnatural’ beings. SlutWalk wants to stimulate knowledge and reduce ignorance within politics, but, more importantly, through educational programmes from primary school all the way to universities. -” (From the SlutWalk Amsterdam wall).

    Personally I find it fascinatingly different to how other SlutWalks have been described…

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