On Rape Culture & Slutwalk
April 5, 2011 1 Comment
It boggles the mind how often people begin articles slamming a concept or movement with, “I’ve never understood [blank]“, and then go on to speak on the matter as if possessing the highest critical authority. So it doesn’t surprise me that Chelsea Fagan’s article for Thought Catalog is an ill-informed victim blaming, rape-cultured mess.
For those of you who haven’t heard, there was a “Slutwalk” yesterday in Toronto where women took to the street to raise awareness for their right to… dress like sluts. Apparently, a police constable made the unfortunate choice of publicly saying, “Women should avoid dressing like sluts in order to not be victimized.” I think we can all agree here that this was not the most delicate phrasing, but I would be lying if I said that there wasn’t a good amount of truth to what he said.
News flash: Rape happens because we live in a sexual culture that excuses sexual assault as “she was asking for it”, where “boys will be boys”, and really how can men be expected to control themselves in the face of so much skin! Women have been conditioned time and time again, it’s your fault, protect yourself appropriately. The weight of risk is placed on how well we learned “to not make eye contact, to keep your posture upright, and to keep walking” because we should know better, we should acknowledge the kind of “attention they attract when they dress like that,” like sluts.
It bears saying, again and again. Removing responsibility from the rapist and placing it on the victim is not an appropriate response. It reduces us, creating an atmosphere where rapists are excused, pitied, sympathized with, elevated with no expectation of remorse, change, or responsibility.
“Women get raped because someone raped them.”