Saturday, June 4, 2011

Walk Like A Slut

Walk Like A Slut

SLUT!

People use the word slut as if it's a bad thing. The definition of the word is a person considered sexually promiscuous. Very often in reference to a woman because, well let's face it. Men by their very definition are sluts. But this all makes me.. As if enjoying sex is something to frown upon.

To be honest Slut does get such a bad reputation while other words like sensual and temptress essentially mean the same thing but are treated much differently.



It's high time to take the word back! At least that's what I'm in agreement with with a wave of people fighting this notion that victims were asking for it. The catalysis for this much deserved attempt to reclaim the word slut occurred because a Toronto police officer made a very public comment that women should try not to dress like "sluts" to avoid being raped or victimized. As you're well aware, the word "Slut" carries a derogatory meaning behind it that the person is promiscuous

That's why today there's going to be a Slutwalk happening today in West Hollywood
On January 24th, 2011, a representative of the Toronto Police gave a speech in which he stated: “women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized”.

This comment is alarming coming from an individual in a place authority as it discourages victims/ survivors to come forward for support. It is important to hold those in positions of power, not just the police, accountable for the dangerous ideas they reflect into... the community. We must also recognize that these notions are held by many in our society. This was one individual speaking the minds of many folks in our communities. This is the problem. We live in a society that believes that women are responsible for not getting raped. Being assaulted isn’t about what you wear; it’s not even about sex; by simply using a derogatory term to rationalize inexcusable behaviour it creates an environment in which it’s okay to blame the victim/survivor.

We are tired of being oppressed by slut-shaming; of being judged by our sexuality and feeling unsafe as a result. Being in charge of our sexual lives should not mean that we are opening ourselves to an expectation of violence, regardless if we participate in sex for pleasure or work. No one should equate enjoying sex with attracting sexual assault.
It's pretty crazy that in this modern day and age when there's more women going to college and attaining degrees then men that the word slut still reverberates with such negative connotation linked to sexual promiscuity and only applied towards women.



So I'm pretty glad that "Slut" is being re-appropriated Though I have to say, part of me is worried that holding it in West Hollywood will attract a lot of people wearing attire that society has deemed "slutty". Though I guess that's the whole point. In taking back the word you sort of have to smash the social view that the way you dress is indicative of how you want to be treated. Wear tight or seductive clothing and you're labeled as someone who is promiscuous instead of someone who has their own sense of fashion.

The rally/march's main goal is to raise awareness that you shouldn't blame the victim for "asking for it" by wearing the clothing they did and that's really the main part of the matter. You really shouldn't. No more than you should blame a bank for holding too much money like that.. just asking to be robbed.



Will this work? Well, the gay community did a pretty good job at reclaiming "queer" and making it less offensive and more embraced by all. It really comes down to turning the laughing at you to laughing with you. It's a method to try to take the sting out of how edgy or hurtful it is.

This whole notion that men are able to explore their sexuality freely while women are still labeled as something negatively when exploring their sexual personality never made sense to me. I'm sure it never made sense to you either. Though I guess that it's due to that awkwardness we have towards sex in general.

But the notion that you need a clean, completely in the dark when it comes to sexuality partner and this virginity hunting has always made me roll my eyes in annoyance. Society as a whole should not reward bad sex and that's what it is doing when it praises the whole virgin/abstinence movement.



There's such a bad prejudice towards females having any sort of sexual desire. Break free of those chains, fellow sisters.. wait, not actual sisters, cause that would be creepy. But you get what I'm saying. Reclaim the word slut and make it as harmless as the word temptress. Hell, that's actually a fairly popular choice for a name.

And while I'm not advocating that you name your kid Slut, I would say that the word currently carries far too much stupidity behind it. The word is filled with double standards and this notion that women shouldn't have any sort of sexual appetite should be tossed completely out the window. In a world where a desired male is considered a stud and a playboy, why should a female not also take advantage of the power her sexuality provides her without some resentment by prudes?



Then again, I shouldn't be surprised that society seems to have such a problem in using the word Slut in anything but a negative connotation. We just hate anything that implies sex or the human body. It makes American's totally uncomfortable. Maybe because we're a nation of such fat asses that the moment we see someone who can pull off wearing "slut" outfits, our only response is to make some spiteful comment out of jealousy.

Take for example what happened with Barnes and Noble. It's not too rare for a magazine stand or a bookshop to take the step of asking distributors to wrap their more racy covers in an opaque plastic to avoid potentially offensive images from being seen by the youth and those who would object to the material being on display.

It's mainly used in porno, but with the uprising of porn jr. like FHM and Maxim, the bags have started to become more common place. Well Barnes and Noble and Boarders have asked the fashion and style magazine Dossier to cover up its latest edition. It features a half-naked model on the cover...




Shocking, right? Only the issue is that the model is Andrej Pejic, the Australian model... the Australian male model. Here's the article from Jezebel.
When the message came that Barnes & Noble and Borders, the two largest North American bookstore chains, were requiring the issue be bagged, Parrott says Dossier asked if the stores realized that Pejic is, in fact, a man. The response, relayed via Dossier's distributor, was that the stores were aware of this fact but were still insisting on the opaque covering because "the model is young and it could be deemed as a naked female." Dossier was given the "choice" to accept the opaque wrappers or forfeit the order. (Parrott said her understanding was that the copies that had been destined for the two chain stores would have been destroyed had Dossier not accepted their request.) The opaque covers affect a little less than 10% of Dossier's 20,000 worldwide print run; international chains like the U.K.'s WHSmith, where Dossier is also stocked, apparently do not share Barnes & Noble's and Borders' concern.
Pretty fucking crazy, right? Forget the notion of whether or not the sight of breast is harmful, we are now in a position where the mere impression of femininity is seen to be a threat and should be considered obscene. But hey, look at this:



That right there is an example of what is put on the shelf monthly and would probably sit right next to this banned feminine looking flat chested cover. Photoshopped abs and all that jazz is perfectly fine. but if a young feminine male is deemed too potentially harmful to display openly, then where are we?

And if you think it's just because the cover is showing nipples, well then. You clearly aren't familiar with the standard Men's Health covers.



While I'm sure that there's several issues bound up in this mess. From the idea that western attitudes towards the human.. namely female body and its representation is obviously the main one, there's a difference in gender norms to account for a lot of it and any blurring of gender boundaries is still a morally criminal offense.

Then again it could simply be a case where someone at Barnes and Noble saw the cover, was all "Whoa, what the fuck? Topless woman!" and then everyone laughed at him when it was pointed out that the model is actually a man. Instead of looking like a fool the head of the department simply said that they knew it was a man, but that the subject matter is to risky for the average consumer and the "family shield" needed to be dropped on this crime!

I just don't get how our culture can be so terrified with boobs and nudity in general. I get it, it's some body issue thing. But it's still very paranoid in its nature. To be honest, this and the whole Slut walk doesn't go far enough in breaking those walls. Why should it only be men who are allowed to show their breast on the cover of a mens health magazine and not on a fashion magazine simply because it looks too girly.

Their tits. Get the fuck over it.

Anyhow, the Slut Walk is a pretty good cause and attempt to bring common sense to this world. This event, if you're interested in having your voice and/or creative and witty sign read is happening today starting at noon in West Hollywood Park 647 N. San Vicente Blvd.