SlutWalk (Melbourne) OMGWTF

[Update : SlutWalk phenomenon treads a fine line between fun, feminism and fears of female assault, Nicole Brady, The Age, May 22, 2011.]

slutnoun a slovenly or promiscuous woman.
– DERIVATIVES sluttish adjective.
– ORIGIN of unknown origin.

Yeah so there’s a ‘SlutWalk’ in Melbourne next weekend (1pm, Saturday May 28), inspired by an event in Toronto earlier in the year, organised in response to a Canuckistanian cop’s comment that “women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized” (see : ‘Sluts’ take to the streets, Michelle Griffin, The Age, May 10, 2011).

The SlutWalk takes place at the same time as the Feminist Futures conference (May 28/29), ‘Melbourne’s Largest Feminist Conference In Over A Decade’.

Anyway, the SlutWalk has obviously provoked a fair massive amount of debate–which I guess is a good thing. Paula Matthewson reckons it’s not a Good thing; Gail Dines also thinks it’s unhelpful. A coupla days ago, there was some disco on ABC radio on the subject, featuring co-organiser Clem Bastow. Clem has a few moar thoughts on the subject here too.

A recent article (h/t People Of Color Organize!) by Harsha Walia examines the question of whether ‘To march or not to march’ (May 18, 2011). It concludes on a somewhat ambivalent note:

While Slutwalk may like to present itself as a movement, I would argue that it isn’t. Rather, it is simply one part of a broader movement to end violence against women. Similarly, my reflection is just that — one person’s rant in a wider spectrum of opinion. It does not (pejoratively) imply that I am a “sister who fell for Slutwalk,” nor does it imply my uncritical endorsement. As Berthold Brecht said: “In the contradiction lies the hope.” Whether or not Slutwalk is around, there are hundreds of thousands of us who continue to live and organize every day to eliminate heteropatriarchy, white supremacy, capitalism and colonialism.

See also : Why the ‘Slut’ in ‘Slutwalk’ is important…, Little Miss Random, May 19, 2011 | Strutting the slut, Overland, May 17, 2011 | Link Round Up: Feminist Critiques of SlutWalk, Feminist Frequency, May 16, 2011.

punknoun 1 (also punk rock) a loud, fast form of rock music characterized by aggressive and anarchic lyrics and behaviour. 2 (also punk rocker) an admirer or player of punk music. 3 informal, chiefly N. Amer.: a worthless person; a thug or criminal…
– DERIVATIVES punkish adjective punky adjective.
– ORIGINS perhaps, in some senses, related to archaic punk ‘prostitute’, also to SPUNK.

About @ndy

I live in Melbourne, Australia. I like anarchy. I don't like nazis. I enjoy eating pizza and drinking beer. I barrack for the greatest football team on Earth: Collingwood Magpies. The 2024 premiership's a cakewalk for the good old Collingwood.
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5 Responses to SlutWalk (Melbourne) OMGWTF

  1. anon says:

    To me this just reinforces that:
    – Too many feminist bloggers can’t see shades of grey.
    – The feminist movement (whether it wants to call itself that or not) is way too obsessed with words.

    The original idea as a way of protesting against blaming women for being raped was great. The debate around reclaiming the word slut is just the same boring irrelevant crap that we’ve been arguing about for the last 30 years.

    It’s not that I don’t have an opinion about reclaiming the word “slut”, I just don’t think it’s anywhere near as important a question as how we tackle issues such as: women still suffer more violence than men, it’s still nearly impossible for women to work in the male-dominated trades, the jobs that women mostly work in are still paid less, we still get listened to less than men, the media is still completely sexist…

    So if feminists want to try to reclaim or reject the word it doesn’t matter that much to me so long as they are out there trying to do something about ending sexism and violence against women.

  2. anon says:

    Paula Matthewson does a particularly huge feminist fail:

    “By encouraging women, either deliberately or unintentionally, to blatantly ignore the need for caution in dangerous settings and scenarios, Slutwalk has put them in danger. It is as simple as that.”

  3. supersook says:

    Slutwalk is plain daft.

    But feminist issues are being discussed amongst families, workplaces and the media for the first time in ages. The issue might even politicise some people, and possibly get them into the street for a cause.

    People are talking about feminism. All up, it’s a good thing.

  4. anon2 says:

    I think a lot of people are missing the point of Slutwalk… it’s not that someone has the right to walk around wearing whatever they want without being assaulted… it’s that what someone is wearing has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not you are. Assault has to do with being physically vulnerable- it’s violence, not attraction.

    Nicole Brady and Paula Matthewson should be ashamed of themselves. ‘Don’t wear slutty clothes’ is not good advice. What a person is wearing is statistically irrelevant.

  5. Aussie says:

    Ah wow, if this walk has a purpose (and I’m sure it does), I hope the purpose has a little more intelligence about it than the name. Why do people do stupid things and expect a respectful response? Reminds me of a time in my life when I was about 8 years old.

    Through curiosity, do women get paid less then men? I’m in Brisbane, have a trade qualification, I have no rights (nor does anyone else I have spoken to), a job on wages is rare (most get put on hourly rate/A.B.N, no super, sick days, just get paid the hours you work, average rate of $30 an hour), plus we are expected to supply thousands of dollars worth of tools. Give me full time work sitting on a chair on the same or more money a week any day. Ignorance is bliss.

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