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Slutwalk is coming to London. It was originally scheduled for Saturday the 4th of June but apparently it’s been moved to the 11th. This is an anti-rape protest first started in Toronto, Canada.

I am troubled with Slutwalk as a movement. At first I found it difficult to put into words why this was. It made me uneasy. I consider myself a feminist, of course I am against violence towards women and I’m a fan of protesting. Protesting something we disagree with is important, we shouldn’t just accept the status quo. So when a law officer in Toronto said that women should avoid dressing ‘slutty’ to avoid rape I was pleased at the uproar.

However, as the protest movement picked up speed and organised into the ‘Slutwalk’ phenomena spreading across to the U.S.A., U.K. and Australia I became increasingly uncomfortable. And I’m not alone. People all over have been voicing concerns such as this critique by Meghan Murphy and this blog post on the f-word. ‘Reclaiming’ a negative word doesn’t automatically take away its power. It may seem empowering to call myself a slut but by doing so I am buying into the rhetoric of the word to begin with. If someone uses it against me with malice it’s negative power holds true.

Not all negative words should be reclaimed.

I think we just need to get away from describing what people wear as slutty. It’s not the clothes. After all what is thought of as ‘slutty’ changes depending on the time, the country and the person. Rather than embracing the word ‘slut’ and making friends with it I think we would do better to attack it, chopping it off at the roots. As fun as it is making a sign shouting ‘I’M A SLUT’ better, I think, to shout ‘THERE ARE NO SLUTS’.

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As a reward for writing a whole paragraph of my final essay (oh sooo close to finishing) I’ve been flicking through various online journals whilst having a tea break. The F-Word is a great UK site dedicated to feminism. Through them I found a link to ‘Lesbilicious’ which according to their tagline is ‘the web’s tastiest lesbian magazine’. It’s actually really interesting. I found this fantasic article about a church sign in Ohio! Although I am about to more-or-less reproduce it below there are brilliant comments on the site that I recommend going to read.

In September 2008 an Ohio church displayed this sign:

churchsign1

Tee hee!! Aw look at them go – tapping into popular culture to spread their message. I just imagine the vicar turning on the radio, hearing Kate Perry’s song and twitching¬† in horror.

Although I think he may have missed the main point to the song. It’s not exactly a lifestyle choice of the singer (it actually seems to back up the church’s view what with the line ‘it’s not what good girls do’). Especially as she doesn’t say where she kissed the girl. Could have been a peck on the cheek. Seems a bit of an over-reaction of God to send people to Hell for that. Admittedly it’s very heavily implied that this was no innocent kiss.See here:

(I tried to have the original music video here which is very funny, but youtube wouldn’t let me embed it – this is the only video I found that worked. Her dress is wonderful though – so it’s all okay)
My favourite part are the lyrics:

Us girls we are so magical
Soft skin, red lips, so kissable
Hard to resist so touchable
Too good to deny it

Obviously the church was worried young people in their thousands would race to ‘become’¬† lesbians.

Then someone defaced the sign to this:

gaysign2

It’s probably wrong that I prefer the sign as it originally was. Not because I agree (that’s ridiculous) but because it’s just quite amusing. And it tells a whole little story. This version is good because I imagine the person who did it got a great deal of satisfaction out of it – and it’s a nicer message, of course.

The whole sign-saga was originally posted on Feminist Avengers.

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