I’ve always looked on enviously at footage of the 60s where hippies put daisies inside rifles. Or got a massive group together to fight against the power without destroying or disturbing anything by simply sitting down and refusing to move. I always imagined that I would have been a very active participant in that life. Been vocal without causing to much ruckus.
However in modern times, I’ve never once gone to a protest. And actully I’ve admonished most events that have taken place around me. Seriously what effect or change do you expect will happen by simple blocking traffic and carrying signs? Yup, that badly written pun on that cheap posterboard will elicit such feeling within the lawmakers hearts as they sit in their offices drinking prosecco. Well done?!?
Of late, I’ve been astonished by the number of rape/sexual assault cases that have been in the news. The handling of them by judicial systems here and back home is shocking. So when I was told of a protest taking place on Saturday, I agreed to partake. Voices need to be heard. A stand must be taken. The desire to protest had finally awaken in me.
That, and the title intrigued me – SLUT WALK. Reading up on Wiki and other blogs I felt I had found a cause to get behind. I’ve been incredibly blessed to never have been the victim of a sexual assault. So me and a group of Icelandic girls decided that we’d go along and our voices to the masses.
The walk is trying to reclaim the term slut while showing men that just because a woman dresses in a suggestive way doesn’t indict an automatic YES! When I went to meet up with the dottirs of Iceland, they took the dress code to heart. They were clothed in their sheeriest, shortest, tightest clothing. Me – I rolled up in a t-shirt and jeans. They were disappointed. I explained that I’m the girl that guys assume is a slut because I hang out with ladies like you. They liked the message and off we went to Hyde Park to meet all the other sluts.
Getting there was an array of humour and shock. Women and men alike were either fully dressed or wearing nothing at all. Several women had made the choice to lose their t-shirts in solidarity – writing something they saw as profound on their now neekid chests. Many of these people stopped and posed for people on the sidelines holding professional cameras, thinking that this all would make an impact. Hmmm, methinks not. (I did my best to not take pictures of chicks wearing nothing or close to nothing. No oogling boobies on my blog.)
I’m divided about the whole Slut Walk concept. Yes, people (mainly men) should be taught a verbal yes, is the only form of consent. Lawyers and judges shouldn’t be allowed to make any reference to what a woman was wearing or her level of makeup because that has nothing to do with it. And women should be know that when they take a stand against be attacked that they will be supported by other women. But walking from Hyde Park to Trafalagr Square in nothing but sheer slip with a sign that says ‘a dress is not a yes’ isn’t really making an impact. All it did was give a stiffy to the hoards of men standing on the sidelines as they thought ‘yup, check out all these sluts.’ Their minds and opinions weren’t changed. Neither were all those guys taking pictures – all the woman walking around in their bras did was give them new material to spank the monkey to while at home.
How did being called a slut getting so tangled with nakedness? Most women called a slut aren’t walking the streets fully unclothed. All it takes is a t-shirt that’s too tight or a short skirt or a backless shirt. But full on nudity – you’re drawing attention away from the message.
I do want to cheer on the people who went fully clothed with signs that made a statement. Loads of them were incredible cool. Met a young girl, about ten, with her mom, carrying a sign she made – they were trying to make a difference. A better plan of action, so when she’s older things will be different. That is something I can definitely get behind. And if there’s a march of school aged girls carrying signs like that to make a difference – I will once again go on the slut walk.