I am a slut. I attended SlutWalk DC and was subsequently interviewed in my home by a University of Maryland student for her videography project.
In case you read main-stream news and don’t understand that Boobies was not the point of SlutWalk, let me explain. People are not raped because of how they are attired. People do not deserve to be raped. People do not ask to be raped. (Hint: you cannot ask for a non-consensual interaction)
People are raped because rapists rape. People are raped because culture has made it impossible for many people to actually use their voices for fear of being perceived as a bitch. Culture has also focused on the use of No for sexual interactions rather than the enthusiastic consent possible when you focus on the Yes. We call this rape culture. A small example: my house was robbed this spring. My house was robbed because a person decided to enter a space to which they were not granted access, but also because there was a key placed under a mat in order for a handyman to have access. All of my friends who knew that my house was robbed thought that it was horrible of a person to violate the sanctity of my home in that manner. All of my friends knew that the key was left out and that was the method of entry. No one said anything negative about our having left the key out. No one perceived it to be my fault that someone broke the law. Even though our leaving the key out made it far easier for this person to do so. This violation was completely unjustified and everyone agreed. Without question of any supposed fault on my part.
This reaction is never the case when a person accuses another of sexual assault, whether we are talking about an undesired ass-grab or a full on rape. People immediately began speculating about what the victim did wrong. How she (almost always she, like 90% almost always) should not have be here, done X, worn Y. It is my belief that the immediate desire to figure out what the victim did “wrong” manifests two pernicious truths and untruths. The first being that people think women who behave “wrongly” deserve to get raped. The second being that if we always behave “correctly” we will never be raped.
No one deserves to be raped. I don’t care if you are doing PCP with strangers in a dark alley. I don’t care if you are a violently anti-woman politician. I don’t care if you are anti-Semitic. I don’t care if you have previously raped people. I don’t care that you are felon doing time in a maximum-security penitentiary. Absolutely no one deserves to be raped. It is a horrible and dehumanizing experience. For many victims, it takes years to get over completely. In my personal experience, which is not the only way (or a “proper” way) a person handles rape, it tears at the fabric of feelings of safety within your own body. You do not trust yourself or others. You do not trust your mind. You do not trust things your body is telling you. You do not trust positive or negative stimulation. You fear allowing another sexual access. You fear losing control, which makes for some interesting discussions with partners. Rape fucks a person up. No one deserves this.
More importantly, the idea of safety for “correctly” behaving women is an illusion. A satisfying illusion, for some, but woefully inaccurate. This illusion allows people to judge harshly victims of rape. This illusion does not prepare you for how to handle being a person who was raped. This illusion makes it hard for many people to acknowledge that what happened to them was rape. This illusion makes you blame yourself. This illusion allows rapists to prey. This illusion is why rape culture is so effective.
So, yes SlutWalk, does stand for the proposition that any person should be able to wear or not wear whatever tickles their fancy, it more importantly stands for the proposition that you do not deserve to be assaulted - no matter what.
You won’t see that in most news stories, but it is the truth. Feminists and allies are fighting for our rights to walk through our days un-assaulted, which is a low fucking standard, if you ask me.