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Stripping Down for Feminism? There’s Nothing Feminist About Being A Slut

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Posted on May 18 2011 10:44 pm
Follow Cassy on Twitter and read more of her work at CassyFiano.com and Hard Corps Wife.

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What’s the newest trend in feminism today?  SlutWalks are all the rage, where women dress like sluts and proudly embrace their sluthood. This will apparently have the double effect of fighting back against blaming the victim for being raped, as well as being empowering for women — because being a slut in modern feminism is supposedly empowering. Of course, all that these SlutWalks are really doing is proving that the death knell for femisogynists is continuing to ring.

Pseudo-feminists advocating for sluthood is nothing new. Instead of being looked down upon, sleeping around is considered to be embracing sexuality. It’s healthy, empowering, and anyone who thinks otherwise is a misogynistic anti-feminist prude (and probably a right-winger to boot!) So the comment made by a Toronto policeman that “women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized” naturally meant that femisogynists should revel in sluthood! And while the Toronto cop’s comment may have been what kicked the event off, fighting back against victim-blaming is nowhere near the only goal of these SlutWalks. Unsurprisingly, organizers want women to be proud of their sexuality and to reclaim the word slut.

Historically, the term ‘slut’ has carried a predominantly negative connotation. Aimed at those who are sexually promiscuous, be it for work or pleasure, it has primarily been women who have suffered under the burden of this label. And whether dished out as a serious indictment of one’s character or merely as a flippant insult, the intent behind the word is always to wound, so we’re taking it back. “Slut” is being re-appropriated.

We are tired of being oppressed by slut-shaming; of being judged by our sexuality and feeling unsafe as a result.

Ah, yes, the ever-present threat of slut-shaming. Why can’t more people be supportive of sleeping around with a different random guy every night? Clearly, if more people were supportive of being a slut, there would be less rape. Or something.

So far, there have been SlutWalks in Toronto, Dallas, London, Ottawa, and Boston. There are many, many more planned, all around the world, in cities like Montreal, Orlando, Tucson, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Philadelphia. This is all to the liking of many noted femisogynist leaders. Jaclyn Friedman appeared at the Boston SlutWalk as a featured speaker. Feministing has multiple posts glowing with approval of the SlutWalk. Jill Filipovic said she was with the walkers in spirit. And Amanda Marcotte offers up the most common defense of the SlutWalks: it’s, like, supposed to be funny, you humorless prudes:

I’ve been broadly supportive of this, because it brings together two of my favorite things in the world, feminism and humor.

… Of course, since Slutwalk is built around humor, it baffles the humorless. And so defenders of Slutwalk have entered into this maddening space that is the equivalent of trying to explain a joke to the humorless, and if you’ve ever tried to do that, believe me, it may be the biggest waste of time on the planet.

Oh, I get it! Debasement of women as humor! Hilarious! And it’s progress, too. It’s just what the original feminist leaders envisioned when they were fighting for equality: the right for women to be called sluts and be proud.

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