An Open Challenge to mainstream media re SlutWalk Sydney

Slutwalk ManchesterDo any of you publishers and editors have the integrity to instruct your field reporters to gather images and stories of more than just the sexy young things marching in their skimpies tomorrow? Does a single one of you have the guts to forego predictable titillation and let the public know the truth about Slutwalk and the hundreds and hundreds of other women and male and queer allies who will be marching in non-skimpy wear, and why they are there? Or will it just be more sad head-shaking misrepresentation from your pundits?

Slutwalk ManchesterCheck out the many photos online of the broad range of people marching elsewhere in Solidarity against Slut Shaming, a reflex tradition in our culture which asks victims of sexual attack just What Did They Do Wrong, because obviously If Only they had been Good/Decent/Respectable/Careful Enough, that then they would never have “attracted” the rapist. (Also check out how the media concentrate only on the most scantily clothed protestors when the more covered-up protestors were right there too.)

Great Protest Sign at SlutWalk Melbourne Because unlike the actual evidence which shows that rapists are overwhelmingly premeditators who go in search of targets whom they plan to single out and isolate so that they are overpowerable/coercible, the Slut-Shaming cultural narrative claims/reiterates/defends the myth that rapists are random opportunists overcome by lust for visible flesh. How can simple layers of clothes form an effective barrier against a determined rapist who has either patiently waited for the moment when you happen to be alone, or who has actively manipulated your trust in normal social interactions to get you alone?

Slutwalk Melbourne 2011So how about examining why that factually-flawed cultural narrative – that victims can avoid/should have avoided becoming the target of a rapist through behaving “properly” – still persists and dominates? And what about the corollary myth that male sexuality is uncontrollable – so insulting to non-rapist men – why does this narrative persist?

The Mob @ Toronto SlutwalkWomen are also frequently denigrated as “sluts” in non-sexual situations, just for not being deferential enough to the opinions/wishes of men who want them to do something that they do not want to do. Don’t want to have a drink with me? Cock-teasing Slut. Don’t want to stop reading your book and chat? Stuck Up Slut. Scowl or give the middle-finger when you’re catcalled on the street? Ugly slut, we didn’t mean you anyway. How about examining why simple non-cooperation elicits such attempts at shaming with this particular word?

We’ve Had Enough – We Refuse To Be Shamed.



The question is not why I’m dressed like a slut (according to you) – the question is why are you thinking like a rapist?


Images Credit: shared under a Creative Commons License on Flickr by Man Alive!, Ameel Khan, BlueBec and Anton Bielousov

Categories: culture wars, ethics & philosophy, gender & feminism, language, social justice

Tags: , , , , ,

15 replies

  1. It’s going to be fascinating to see what the msm does with tomorrow’s event. I’m hoping the crowd will be so big and dense that it will make a more spectacular photo than isolated shots of the scantily-clad.
    On a related matter, I just read that
    ”St Andrew’s church doesn’t want us to use their two-thirds of Town Hall Square,” said Samadhi Arktoi, an organiser of the Sydney SlutWalk.

  2. Thanks for the link – this is why having religious institutions cosy up next door to the seat of political power is problematic, yes? Still, I don’t see how they’re going to stop people spreading across what is still a public space.
    Somehow too, I’d missed that great quote from Tiara Shafiq:

    ”I don’t care if you are the bastard child of Paris Hilton and Voldemort and your full-time job is as a stripper … and you are the only girl for miles – you still do not deserve to be assaulted or raped,” she said.

  3. I guess that sort of attitude is to be expected from the church. After all, Jesus was forever banishing slutty women from his presence. Hang on.

  4. There is that, although of course the common description of the Magdalene as a prostitute/adulteress is actually non-biblical. Still, he was definitely represented as forgiving towards the woman who was taken in adultery.

  5. By tomorrow after,, and will have main images of boobs because that is how their journalists are trained to cover events. It’s sad and predictable and we deserve a better msm than this.

  6. Is anyone expecting the MSM to pay attention to what women want and are saying instead of what they guess women want, and what they can get away with?
    If the media were that clued in, would we even have a reason to march?

  7. Tigtog, there is a Facebook page where you can ‘like’ the Bastard Child of Paris Hilton and Voldemort.
    What is it about News With Nipples’ pet troll that just sets me off? Something about the particular combination of pomposity and faulty reasoning represented as superior reasoning. I usually have a longer fuse.
    Anyway, an analogy occurred to me on the thread over there, that I think I will repeat here, because it feels close to the centre of the most popular rape myths:
    rapists are not magpies, picking out the shiny objects; they are jackals, scavenging on whoever society fails to adequately protect.

  8. Great opportunity to take my umbrella with the Eiffel tower on it for a walk.

  9. One: I made the mistake of reading the comments on Sen’s piece. I need to learn not to do that. He also writes at Men and Feminism if people want to check out some of his other stuff (shameless not-self promotion?).
    Two: Boy am I glad that there are no comments on Nine MSN. That’s me with the blonde hair. (I swear I said smarter things, but my first soundbite was ruined by a skateboard on the gravel.)

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