SlutWalk

By Phoebe Myers

Are SlutWalks actually beneficial to ending slut shaming?

First things first, what the hell is a SlutWalk? Essentially, it’s a grassroots demonstration attempting to reclaim the word “slut” and turn it from an insult to a point of pride. Others argue that it’s to show the hypocrisy of the very concept of “slut”. Anyone can be called a slut, whether they’re a stripper or a librarian, wearing lingerie or a turtleneck. It’s an insult born from misogyny, and just one of many ways to control women. It’s used as an excuse to blame victims of sexual assault or rape.

The first SlutWalk was in response to a Toronto policeman, Michael Sanguinetti, who told women on a college campus “not to dress like sluts” if they didn’t want to get raped. What an asshole. Women were outraged, and staged a public march titled SlutWalk, where the dress code was up for interpretation. Clothing ranged from jeans and sweaters to thongs and boas. The idea was to show that rape is rape, no matter what the victim is wearing.

The idea has caught on, with SlutWalks popping up in Sweden, Australia, Argentina, England, and many more. Celebrity Amber Rose just hosted one in L.A. a few weeks ago. “To be told that I was nothing but a stripper, it hurt. So I decided to have this SlutWalk for women who have been through shit like me” she said.

2015-mtv-video-music-awards
Amber Rose and Blac Chyna at the 2015 VMAs

Yet, is it possible to “reclaim” a word as toxic as slut, or others that are analogous? A lot of people think not. They argue that by using the term “slut” themselves, women are simply making it ok for men to continue calling them sluts in a derogatory manner. They believe that avoiding the word altogether is the best approach, to make it completely unacceptable to say out loud in any instance.

It’s a complicated topic to think about, but personally I agree with the SlutWalk. I firmly believe that in the U.S., we are still quick to blame victims. Why were they drinking? What were they wearing? Did they sleep around a lot?

I don’t think “slut” is not going to disappear overnight, and if it’s going to be used, we may as well take away the stigma and point out it’s ridiculousness as a concept.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s