Do 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?
Check 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.)
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?
So 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?
Women 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?