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17 June 2011, 2:00 pm 2 Comments

Pride: SlutWalk Season

Submission by K. Kriesel, TNG contributor
I always love Pride Month, but this June is turning out more active and exciting than any beforehand.  In addition to travels galore (to get away from the Midwestern winter’s grip), Chicago’s SlutWalk and Milwaukee’s PrideFest were just a week apart!  Both events serve as a statement of sexual freedom, from activities to identities.  Both involve pride, networking, diversified unity, and a good serving of comedy.  And there are those who choose to withdraw from both events, either because it’s just not their cup of tea or from policy disagreements.  And that’s fine!
At Chicago’s SlutWalk, I got a t-shirt advertising the event and its date.  I wore it to Milwaukee’s PrideFest, naturally.  At least a dozen people, ranging from sassy queens to rough bulldykes and everyone in between, commented on it and asked me about it.  All of them said that, had they known it was going on, they would have come down to march.  I told them all the same: Google Milwaukee’s SlutWalk and march in that one.  Later, I discovered that the booth of ToolShed, Milwaukee’s queer sex shop, had information on their city’s upcoming SlutWalk.  August 13!
You can see here where and when worldwide SlutWalks are taking place.  Or you can just search online your location and “SlutWalk.”
The fact that this kind of event, marching out against sexual assault and oppression, is internationally popular implies that people are ready for change.  It’s arguable what a few hours of marching can accomplish, true.  But the eagerness to make a public statement, in the streets, across cultures and nations is suggestive of perhaps greater changes.  This has coincided with the DSK scandal, for example, which many consider to be the international Anita Hill/Clarence Thomas.  That scandal has brought to European cultures what Anita Hill arose in America nearly 20 years ago.  Could it be that all these people around the world are sick of the silence around sexual harassment?  Are people finally coming around to the idea that appearances are not invitations?  Pride has loosened the connection between sexual preference and personal quality, and maybe now that concept is extending beyond the LGBTQ community.

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  • Chris said:

    I agree with SlutWalk and was happy to see the links between the queer movement and Slutwalk. But in some cities the politics of it has gone out the window. I think some organizers just want to focus on random sexual violence in the streets (not that I or anyone I know agrees with rape).

    Problem is that they haven’t made room for people who want to fight other common forms of sexism. I know some slutwalk organizers who want to ban unions that have been fighting for women’s equal pay from joining the march. Others don’t want to talk about the fact that the overwhelming majority of sexual violence towards women happens within the family or work or school. The argument for sidelining other issues is that this is a day for victims of violence and talking about other issues is disrespectful.

    I agree that individual victims have been through hell and support the right to justice. But my fear is that slutwalk might devolve into a day of victimhood if we don’t start looking at the politics. I think we need to ask some tough questions about why sexism exists in the world… within the family, schools and workplaces.

  • bidelo said:

    slutwalks are just for straight women but not for gay men and not for straight men.
    slutwalks are not for feminism, it is more like sexism because the women at slutwalks say they want to be sluts instead of saying we all, not only women, also men should be sluts.
    it all deals about the female body and that sucks.
    straight women just want to be look sexy for men and otherwise they give a shit if men are sexy. and this behavior is from middle age, it is not equality. and we gay men should not take part at slutwalks.