The Ultimate Slut

This year there has been a movement to do Slutwalk, which has caught like wildfire with quite privileged women, and has many roots with the supporters of the sex trade.

It came from a good idea that no woman or girl should be raped or abused because the clothes she is wearing – or her lifestyle. That is true – but that has been easy for the sex trade propaganda machine to manipulate.

After all the Ultimate Slut is often under the control of the sex trade – she is the prostitute, she is inside violent porn, she is the escort, she is consumed by sex tourists.

So if you choose to re-brand the term Slut – know you can do from a position of deep privilege that the Ultimate Slut has no access to. If you choose to say it is empowering to be named as Slut – then listen and hear women and girls inside the sex trade that are stripped of power and any voice.

Slutwalk is not speaking to or for the Ultimate Slut. It is speaking over and through them.

That would named as arrogance if it was male-led, why are exited women meant to be tolerant just because it was invented by women.

If you want to know what it to be a Slut, a Slut without freedom of movement, freedom of speech, freedom of safety – then place yourself inside the skin of the Ultimate Slut.

Women and girls inside most aspects of the sex trade are raped, battered and murdered whatever they wear, whatever environment they are placed in.

What does any Slutwalk do that makes any practical difference to that?

Instead too many who join Slutwalk say that women – avoids the messiness of girls – choose to be inside the sex trade. That for those women being a Slut is just their work.

So they march in proud solidarity to keep the sex trade running business as normal.

If I am feeling nice I would say that is turning a blind eye to any violence that is the norm inside the sex trade. But today I don’t feel like being kind – I would say it a deeply privileged and selfish attitude, that sees women inside the sex trade as sub-human who are good only to use as propaganda.

How many women who go on and on about being inside the sex trade is just “work”, have done it full-time for several years, with no power or choice over what punters will use them?

How many women who go on and on that it just work, have been in conditions where rape is so normal is cannot be known, where it is normal that women disappear, where no has no meaning?

Say it is work when you have had lines of men queuing up to pour in all their porn fantasies into your living body.

Say it is work, when you lose speech or will to protest when that only lead to more sadistic sex or threats of death.

Be inside the skin of the Ultimate Slut, then go on your Slutwalk.

I will never reclaim the term Slut – for I will never allow the male violence and hate to the prostituted class to made even more invisible by women saying it ok to be called Slut.

Slut is a male term of deep contempt and hate for all women and girls – but for the Ultimate Slut, men are saying she is nothing but a thing he will fuck into trash.

How is it possible to reclaim that?

This is short, because this whole thing has made me very sick. Remember my sickness is part of being reminded again that I am sub-human by women privilege enough to reclaim the term Slut.

I cannot forget the poison of that term – I bloody wish I could.

Advertisements

45 responses to “The Ultimate Slut

  1. it is a short post, but extremely powerful. it is terrifying that the sex trade is now taking advantage of this movement… they are able to manipulate anything feminist into their own propaganda. i still remember when pornography was starting to paint itself as feminist… and now look at the state of the world today.

    Like

  2. Pingback: “The sluttier the better”–that’s what men think, anyway « A place for everywomon

  3. Pingback: Links: May 10, 2011 « Against All Evidence

  4. Pingback: Slutwalk, Prostitutas e Nossas Apropriações. « krasis

  5. The issue here is that some idiot ‘police chief’ in Canada said ‘women should stop dressing like sluts’ in order to stop being attacked. He used the term generically, i.e. ALL women young, old, white, black is prone to abuse or violence because of their appearance not just women who work in the sex trade. I’ll say what everyone else is thinking or doesnt want to say: the term slut is sometimes used by some women in a tougue-in-cheek way to describe their sexually liberated behaviour. Let’s forget the word SLUT and think about how the hell we re-educate the ignorant on the real reasons behind sexual violence against women.

    Like

  6. It is hard to forget the term Slut, when you part of many women and girls were the term is used to mentally destroyed – not just the prostituted, but in child abuse, in domestic violence, in porn etc.
    Maybe it started as an event in Toronto, but once it went outside of that one event it became about how that term can and does destroys women and girls.
    Personally, I think if Slutwalks does not fully listen and hear those who are severely damaged by the term – then it is just the individual needs of women who are privileged.
    It does nothing to challenge the male sense of entitlement to view women and girls as sexual objects, and their sense they have the right to own women and children.

    Like

  7. Mimi, i don’t know if you realise this, but your comment reads as immensely patronising. Rebecca knows the rationale behind slut walk, there is no need for you to act as if she doesn’t. We all know the argument- the point is that the argument comes from the stand point of the relatively privileged and is thus flawed and dangerous to prostituted women who lack the privilege to reclaim a word that is used against then and accompanied by extreme violence. And please cut out the ‘i’ll say what everyone is thinking and is scared to say’ rhetoric. It’s patronising and insulting. We do not all think like you, and you are not upholding some threatened and precious view point by coming here and treating rebecca as though she’s stupid- as you can plainly see, she’s smart as all hell. Rebecca- love the post. I look forward to ‘female human being walk’ where we reclaim our humanity and our right to live free from make violence whatever we wear, wherever we go. Now that would be ’empowering’!

    Like

  8. Also, if feminist action harms the most vulnerable groups of women, it is not feminist. No feminism that ignores the prostituted class is feminist.

    Like

  9. I’m not privileged. I’m raising a disabled child on my own. I never went to university. I don’t describe myself as “feminist”. Yet I want to know that, should rape happen to me, I’ll be able to prosecute and have my case heard fairly, and I want to know this for my friends and relatives, too. I don’t want to be told that, because I was wearing a vest on a hot day, I was asking for it. Or because I’d been out for a drink and walked past a man while tipsy I was asking for it. Or because I had a phase of sexual exploration when I was younger I was asking for it. Or because I let someone buy me a drink and smiled at them while they did it I was asking for it. Or any of the other ludicrous things that women apparently do that somehow mean they’re asking for it, and that can be tidily wrapped up in the word “slut”.

    Nothing I do will change whether or not someone rapes me. But there is something I can do to challenge whether or not I am heard fairly if I am raped and then prosecute. I can join thousands of other women who, like me, just want things to be a little fairer when the ultimate nasty happens to them or someone they know.

    With all that in mind, if a woman who doesn’t work in the sex trade has a 3.4% (UK) chance of successful prosecution, how well do we imagine a prostitute or a porn actress will fare? Do we imagine the police will as much as hear her complaint? That she’ll even feel able to approach the police about it? That she’ll tell anyone what happened? That she’ll seek appropriate sexual medical care and support services? No. We don’t.

    Slutwalks aren’t about ignoring the needs of these women; they’re about challenging the culture that makes it okay for everyone to blame rape victims for being raped. That’s the core of the issue here. Stopping that blame in the mainstream will make it easier for sex industry workers to find justice for their victimisations, too. There was a time when marital rape was an oxymoron, and it’s now past. Sadly, we’re still in a place where you can’t rape a prostitute, but the issue is the same: prostitutes are currently disallowed the right to say “no”.

    I’ve not yet read anything by a slutwalk organiser that says that women in the sex trade “choose to be there”. I’ve not read anything that even vaguely implies that prostitutes and sex workers aren’t also victims. It’s spurious to assert that Slutwalks are blithely marching on, hating on the sex workers without either providing a link or example or challenging why that may be. Especially as many of the Slutwalk organisers and supporters volunteer at rape crisis centres and sex-worker support projects.

    There’s no way women can win according to this post. If we’re not already rape victims or sex workers, we’re “privileged”, and therefore should shut the hell up. But if we shut the hell up, who THEN will stand up for the marginalised women like sex workers and victims of sex crimes? By definition, these women are living without the right to protest against their treatment. So that leaves… men?

    Truth is, we have a hard enough time getting people to engage in conversations about rape and sexual assault without pulling them into the murky world of the sex trade. We need an open dialogue about rape as an issue to start with – and that’s what Slutwalk provides.

    How would YOU change the world, given the disparagement you extend to the energetic efforts being made? How would you improve things in a meaningful way? Why not Slutwalks and Hollaback and other new ways of gaining attention? For sure, the last 40 years have given us nothing in the way of improvement and much in the way of deterioration.

    I’m really curious to see how else the author of this post would improve things for sex workers without the collective efforts of “privileged” women demanding that rape is put back on the political agenda.

    Like

  10. Lou – in many way I do not think you read, but had preconceived ideas of what you think I said.
    I am in deep trauma now, so my comment may be as polite as I would like, but the whole dismissal of the views of exited women is exhausting and very predictable.

    It is always the man who is the blame for all rapes of anyone else, and has nothing to do with what she was wearing – god a rapist will rape if she is wearing a full suit of armour. I have never said or thought that anyone is raped because of what they are wearing. That is the most feeble excuse that rapists ever invented – and I have no time for it.

    What I was saying is the use of the term Slut and burlesque can be deeply hurtful to exited women, and reminds us that we are considered to be sub-humans.
    It is about communicating with exited women why we are uncomfortable with term Slut – but very happy with Hollaback, Reclaim the Night and many others ways women have confronted entitlement to make women and girls into sexual objects.

    Slutwalks have been quickly infiltered by the supporters of the sex trade, and use as yet another way of normalising an institution built on hate and violence. By naming it as “work” or saying sex worker – that is making the vast majority of the prostituted who lived in that violence voiceless.
    I refuse the term sex worker, for it is the propaganda of the sex trade – I am exited prostituted women – that is why I have little place on Slutwalk.

    I have always believe to tackle the sex trade, you need all women and men who see it as an issue of extreme abuse of human rights and that the prostituted lived with mental, physical and sexual torture to fight to end it. That is happening internationally, and I just a small part of that movement.
    The voices of exited women need to listen to and learnt from, often it good it they lead the campaigning – but there must women and men from all backgrounds and experiences.

    I too stressed to write more – but the term Slut is not reclaimable to many women and girls who have been deeply damaged by it.

    Like

  11. Lou – have you actually read what Rebecca wrote?

    Privileged is not an absolute term. You can be relatively unprivileged but still privileged vis a vis another person: all women who are not prostituted are privileged in comparison to those who are. No-one is suggesting that you are a millionaire with control over political policy. It is being pointed out that you, as do I and most other women, have privilege over prostituted women, and that any political action we take, particularly when it comes to ‘reclaimations’ of words like ‘slut’, must take into consideration those women who are most damaged by such words.

    We all support political action against rape, and agree entirely with your first three paragraphs. However, in your fourth you say you (generic, not a personal attack) are not ignoring prostituted women (Rebecca has already shown why the term ‘sex worker’ is dangerous bullshit)- well actually, it’s not for you, or me, or any woman who has not been prostituted to say whether or not we are ignoring prostituted women – that denial is in itself an act of privilege. If prostituted women say that what we are doing does not include them, then it is clearly not including them.

    Campaigns against rape, against male assertions that the clothing worn by females cuases them to rape us, have been going on long before Slutwalk and under different names that are not as inherently problematic and hurtful to other groups: Take Back the Night, Million Women Rise, etc. Please join us on these. [Not to say that these events themselves cannot be criticised, of course they can]

    And your assertion that Rebecca is telling others to ‘shut the hell up’ is in itself cruel, and a silencing tactic (one that isn’t working, but a silencing tactic nonetheless). Criticising the use of a term that is inherently problematic for prostituted women is NOT telling you to ‘shut the hell up’. It is criticism. Feminists who are worthy of the name are able to deal with criticism.

    For one, I do not doubt the good intentions of the women on the march, and I hope that we can all join in marches against male violence and victim blaming. But to do so using a word that is inflicted on prostituted women with cruelty and sexual violence, and that cannot therefore be separated from these things, is unconscionable. We must listen. We owe that to prostituted women. We owe them so much.

    Like

  12. Lou, a few questions:

    Did women get the right to vote by taking to the streets yelling “women don’t have the right to vote!”

    Did Margaret Sanger spearhead The Pill fiasco by making cheeky signs that read “moral obligation of impregnation” ::wink!::

    Did the battered women’s movement get the DV issue out in the open by throwing a Black and Blue street party?

    Admittedly, you are not a feminist–but some feminist herstory wouldn’t hurt you.
    While women have a loooong way to go we still have a lot of blood, sweat and tears in big accomplishments. And those accomplishments occured through *clear and concise* methods of resisting dominant idealogy.
    The dominant idealogy already yells “Slut” in the street. And the best we can do is join in and say “well THIS time it’s transgressive”???
    That’s weak. Rape is a big freaking deal, as you know, and if the best feminists can come up with is “I’m a slut too, teehee!…jk” then we’ve forgotten what level of resistance afforded us the opportunity to speak so nonchalantly about rape in the firt place.

    And on that note: well done Rebecca. Your fierce opposition to dominant idealogy is inspiring. This is heavy shit though. Keep your jazz and blues close.

    Like

  13. I’ve been following these arguments across the net, and I’m quite stunned by how some people have interpreted it, and the offence that its caused amongst the feminist community.

    A “slut” is the unrapable. Someone who will sleep with anyone, someone who you dont need to ask consent from because their consent is unnecessary.

    And how do you identify a “slut”? Well, they dress immodestly; drink to excess; arent faithful/chaste; engage in survival sex.

    But then isnt that all of us? Who among us hasnt either dressed revealingly, got drunk, had affairs or multiple lovers or engaged in sex for some kind of economic advantage.

    The point of this walk is to state that we are all sluts, we all transgress the boundaries of acceptable female behaviour at sometime or another, BUT no still means no – even when its said by a “slut”, for no-one is unrapable.

    That no amount of rape alarms and CCTV is going to solve enormous fucking problem that men rape women BECAUSE THEY CAN. They can rape women confident in the knowledge that if that woman goes to the police, she;s likely to get written off as a slut; even if the police take it to prosecution, the prosectution service are likely to write her off as a slut; even if they dont, and it goes to trial, the jury are likely to write her off as a slut. Only the purest, most virginal, most innocent, most modestly dressed and respectable might possibly get a conviction.

    Why the fuck would you want to go to the police after you;d been raped – seriously? you a 94% chance of it getting written off as a non-crime somewhere in the process, and a 100% chance of further trauma.

    I loathe the sex industry, but I;m quite happy to walk with my sisters within it – they to me are not “the other”, they are me, but for the grace of god.

    Like

  14. Pingback: I Need To Stop Arguing With Brick Walls « The Rambling Feminist

  15. I think i’ll provide a standard answer to the next person who comes in here, skims what rebecca has said, and then proceeds to explain why slut walk is wonderful and beyond criticism. It will appear under this comment, and all subsequent attempts to patronise the author of this post will be immediately referred to it:

    Like

  16. Dear patronising commenter with poor reading comprehension, thank you for your ill-thought out comment. Please refer back to the original post and the contents of this blog in general. This procedure will 1) help you gain important insights into exactly what the duck it is like to be am exited prostituted woman ignored by most feminists and who suffered the extremes of what it is to be labelled a ‘slut’, 2) make you realise that rebecca already understands the logic behind slut walk and doesn’t need the same damn explanation that we’ve all heard a million times, 3) provide you with rebecca’s actual argument, and not the one you assume she made. I hope to see you at reclaim the night, holla back or million women rise, at which we fight for women’s right to be free from male violence whatever we where, wherever we go. Sincerely, an angry laurelin who lacks rebecca’s patience and good manners.

    Like

  17. Thank you Rebecca. I do hope that voices like yours are heard and more women like myself (privileged) will take a step back and rethink their easy use of the word slut. I originally was very for participating in a local slut walk. I have recently watched a friends rapist walk free because of victim blaming, I just saw an oppurtunity for getting more people involved in a much needed conversation. Is there any way to keep the momentum and the positive conversations going with Slutwalk? Is the only solution to not support it or is it possible to help it become something more and take advantage of how many are now in this conversation?

    Like

  18. I think taking words like Slut, would keep the focus on the real issue, that it men’s choices and sense of entitlement that is the main factor in most violence to women and children.

    Like

  19. This is such a brilliant takedown and I think everybody should read this. I totally agree with what you’re saying and I’m sorry you’re going through this. Stay strong in the truth that you are doing the right thing. Damn those who say otherwise.

    Like

  20. Satya, for SlutWalk to continue, it would stop supporting labeling any women as sluts, even in the interest of re-appropriation. The conversations about rape and victim-blaming are urgent and should still be addressed. We should be starting our own separate movement, which would probably attract a lot of women who are not familiar with feminist theory, but resent “slut” as a label so much they are not willing to march with SlutWalk. I think it would be more popular – with women.

    Like

  21. I’m pretty sure there were no Cree women strutting around holding up Slut signs.

    Privilege indeed.

    But I do think there were women there who are confused, lacking enough self-esteem to trust their own gut feeling that they are being used by the SlutWalk organizers, too, not just by male rapists.

    I watched the founder on tv. A power tripper without conscience, or thought.

    Like

  22. P.S.

    I never “got” the Ukrainian women’s near nude protests over Ukraine as rape-tourist destination either.

    Like

  23. It’s very problematic that this movement is excluding and silencing the very women who are most effected by this dehumanising word and the violence that it perpetuates. The very concept of a ‘slut’ should be meaningless to anyone who values women’s liberation and empowerment. Women are human beings. End of story. Thanks very much for this Rebecca. I hope you’re well.

    Like

  24. To Pisaquari, Laurelin, womononajourney, nosugarcoating, jilla, Ariel and above all, Rebecca:

    You are so amazing I have no words to describe it. And I cannot explain to you how much I needed to hear your words.

    I feel that feminism is being pulled from under our feet to further the agenda of people who don’t really care about women, but are more than happy to use the “feminist cred”.
    And then, when we turn around and tell these people to sod off, we are greeted with cries of “you are denying their feminism!”. And we are accused of not being “inclusive” enough.

    I have really been going mental over this, I can’t stand the level of misrepresentation of radical feminists’ opposition to this “SlutWalk” thing.

    Much love to you all, and thanks for being there.

    Like

  25. I would just like to correct Lou and say that some of the original things in the Slutwalk DO support the sex trade and frame prostituted women as not-victims.

    Case in point: http://www.slutwalktoronto.com/allies/posters-to-share

    The second poster: “And whether you ENJOY sex for pleasure or WORK, it’s never an invitation to violence” (My emphasis)

    Because women engaged in “sex work” are enjoying sex for that purpose, is the obvious implication. It also says “reclaim SLUT,” not to reject the word entirely. The emphasis seems to be on stopping “slut-shaming,” not on stopping victim blaming or, I dunno, men raping.

    Like

  26. Thanks MsCitrus – for it is the “enjoy sex for pleasure or work”, that hurts me to the core of my being. It is implying that is “sex” that is there can be real consent, when the prostitute is the property of the punter. If is just framed as work, most women and girls have the language and abuse taken away from them – it just their job or their role in life. It only considered to be rape if others decide to see her as a full human – that is very rare inside the sex trade.

    Like

  27. Hi, I want to ask your permission to quote you on my blog today. I agree tottaly with your point of view. Slutwalk is coming to Brazil, and a lot of brazilian-feminists are confused about it. I wanted to give them a light with your thoughts. If there’s any problem with it, let me know and I’ll delete it.

    Thank you a lot.

    Like

  28. Pingback: Conclusões acerca da Slutwalk. « krasis

  29. Pingback: Reconsiderações Acerca da Slutwalk. « krasis

  30. I know the feeling Mary Tracy. It is overwhelming to see how underwhelming mainstream feminism has become. Online radicals are my daily sanity.

    Like

  31. Sex for work is just not computing in my lexicon of feminist, woman loving ideals.

    Great post, great writing. I’m with you all the way.

    Like

  32. Pingback: Girl ‘Beauty’ Pageants (aka BabySlutWalks) | Radfem Hub

  33. Pingback: SlutWalk, reactions, responses and comments « tenderhooligan

  34. “I will never reclaim the term Slut – for I will never allow the male violence and hate to the prostituted class to made even more invisible by women saying it ok to be called Slut.”

    This is a perfect statement. The original message of SlutWalk is wonderful and we all agree that rape culture and victim blaming needs to end, but I really wish they wouldn’t have brought this whole fallacy of re-appropriating a word that has never meant anything other than sub-human. It IS extremely privileged and quite clearly divisive. The organizers for each of the satellite walks has had to defend their desire to “reclaim” the word at this point and rather than listening to all the women who tell them it’s a terrible idea and muddies the original message that we all DO agree on, they just continue to defend it from their places of privilege. It smacks of choice feminism to me which almost always does nothing but validate the patriarchy, giving them our permission to objectify us. Choice feminism pits women against women instead of against the patriarchy. Frustrating.

    Like

  35. Pingback: Woman on the Edge of Tyne » Blog Archive » Slutwalk

  36. Pingback: coleção de plágios

  37. This is such a powerful piece. Thank you. It brings the term humanity under a different light. You have my respect, because those words come from the heart… I will be following your blog if you don’t mind.

    Like

  38. And by the way, I don’t think I’ve ever read anything more shocking than these words:

    “A “slut” is the unrapable. Someone who will sleep with anyone, someone who you dont need to ask consent from because their consent is unnecessary.”

    The unrapable? Their consent is unnecessary? So, clearly you refer to blow-up plastic dolls, cause every living thing needs to give consent. Or am I getting the “consenting adults” part wrong here? I’m shocked. Plain shocked, that these … atrocities can be spurted out by a so-called feminist. And to answer that person, no, Miss or Madam, we are NOT all “sluts”. We are all Ladies. Define your starting point, and demand the appropriate treatment. And instead of trying to equalize with a societal malady that plagues the world by fakely identifying with its victims and giving them an iconical pat on the back, maybe you should stand firm from your privileged un-slutty position as a Lady, and demand to be able to draw all of them back to your status. Slut -> Lady, not vice versa. Men will treat you according to what you claim to be (oh, privileged feminist), while they treat “real sluts” as trash no matter what they claim. That’s the minor point you fail to comprehend, and it signifies why we on the outside are privileged and they on the inside are not. Unless of course you just envy the idea of someone illegally buying you for 3,000 dollars to be able to sexually abuse you, maul you and in the end gut you up for snuff. In which case, please go die, and do the world a favor.

    @Mhairi mcalpine

    to Rebecca; sorry for this trolling post.

    Like

  39. Pingback: Feeling 'uncomfortable': A response to Slutwalk DC's defense around holding a fundraiser at a 'gentlemen's club' | Feminist Current

  40. Pingback: Just in case it hasn’t been discussed enough already: Slutwalk « some of this must be true

  41. Pingback: A Vadia Por Definição «

  42. Pingback: Girl ‘Beauty’ Pageants (aka BabySlutWalks) « Liberation Collective

  43. Pingback: SlutWalk Vancouver: The Groundswell Around the World Speaks to the Relevance | BWSS

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s