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Girls Gone Wild Comes to Melbourne

May 27, 2011

So there’s this thing called SlutWalk happening in Melbourne tomorrow. Maybe you’ve heard of it. It all started in January when this d-bag police officer from Toronto told some university students that “women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized”. Smooth move, Officer Misogynist. Since then, SlutWalk has swept the globe, from London to Ottawa to Reno, and most recently to the Sunburnt Country.

Melbourne’s self-proclaimed sluts will gather at the State Library tomorrow at 1pm. I realize there is potential for me to make a joke here about the irony of choosing the State Library as a starting place, like, “Baha! Sluts don’t read!” Notice how I am refraining. The irony will continue, however, as the sluts parade around the city circle, thereby simultaneously protesting against female objectification and presenting themselves to be objectified. Hmm.

Now, I am all for the womanly right to bare arms. Thighs and torsos too, for that matter. Women should be able to wear whatever they want (hello, Captain Obvi), without being “victimised” (this should be a Lieutenant Duh moment but, sadly, it’s not). This means there should be no “she was asking for it” kind of bullshittery when it comes to rape, regardless of how short her micro-mini is, how many Mai-Tais she’s skulled, or how times she has pointed her cleavage toward your face. No exceptions (I’m looking at you, Dominique Strauss-Kahn). For this reason, I support SlutWalk’s anti-victimization effort and all the sluts in their noble cause.

BUT! I still have, like, major issues with the event.

SlutWalk promoters want to reappropriate the S-word–but it just isn’t a redeemable word. There is a massive debate over whether or not “slut” could be transformed into a positive term, like “queer” has been for the LGTBQIA community (Srsly? This acronym is getting TOO long). Some advocates even argue that it could be the next N-word.

Whoa, whoa, whoa. First of all, no decent, God-fearing white person uses the N-word, because it would irreversibly compound our White Guilt. Occasionally you’ll hear some cracker-assed fratboys throwing around a playful “nigga” or two, which makes me want to, as my grandmother might say, “smack ’em upside the head”. Even if I’m singing a song that uses the word, I always skip over it because my own cracker-ass can’t even handle it. Using the word feels wronger than a priest at an orgy.

But that’s beside the point. Even if the N-word was used (hypothetically) in a completely positive, constructive way–in a world where morning breath smells like daisies and we all shit sunshine–there is still another crucial problem with comparing the N-word to the S-word. All black people are black; not all women are sluts.

Not all women are sex-positive. I know, I know, it bums me out too. But it’s the truth. Not all women have sex or like sex, the two biggest qualifiers of sluthood.

The moral of the story is this: we should get behind SlutWalk because it calls attention to a serious issue, but also politely request a change in terminology. I’ll be in attendance tomorrow, albeit sans fishnets and nipple tassels. I want to show my support–but don’t call me a slut, or I’ll cut your dick off.

Sincerely, Steph x

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