August 14, 2011 2 Comments
Slutwalks have been getting a lot of publicity lately, and I must say I totally don’t get it. How one dresses conveys a lot of information to the person who does not know you as an individual. If I see a woman in a ḥijāb, I can reasonably assume that she is a Muslim. If I see a man wearing a turban, I can reasonably assume that he is a Sikh. A man in a suit conveys a different set of assumptions than a man in baggy-pants with boxers visible.
So what I don’t get is this: what exactly is the message the slutwalkers are trying to convey? Sure, dress however you want – it’s a free country – but what are the impressions you want others to draw from your attire? Last I checked, “slut” wasn’t considered a complimentary term. I can’t quite see someone bragging that their spouse was a huge slut, for instance, and I also can’t imagine that this would be a term one would want applied to one’s daughter. Certainly what comes to my mind are adjectives like “easy” and “of loose morals.”
Yes, rape is bad. Rapists are criminals, and should be punished severely.
How does self-denigration do anything to improve the situation one way or another?
On a related note, I saw a sign held by a slutwalk demonstrator: it read “Things that cause rape: () revealing clothes () alcohol (x) rapists”
That is absolutely true. However, it misses a big point. Consider this thought experiment: if a mid-to-large size university, perhaps Georgetown, or maybe UMCP, were to (a) ban alcohol on campus, and (b) strictly enforce minor-in-possession/contributing-to-delinquincy-of-a-minor laws (i.e. one ticket is academic probation, two is expulsion), do you think that the incidence of rape on or around that campus would increase, stay the same, or decrease? I know where I’d put my money.
So there is a pretty obvious thing which should be a policy priority, if you’re actually interested in the incidence of rape decreasing. Why aren’t more of the slutwalkers calling for this?