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Organisers of the Slutwalk rally declare: Sluts are sex workers. Sluts are virgins. Sluts are mothers with their teenage daughters. Sluts wear beanies, fishnet stockings, G-string leotards, polar fleece and jeans.

Really?

Are these women (and a few try hard blokes) completely and utterly crazy?

Slutwalk Rally - Clothes Send a Message

Of course rape is wrong. Of course ‘No’ means no. Of course women have the right to be safe wherever they are, whatever they choose to wear.

But hang on a second. What does a ‘right to be safe wherever they are, whatever they choose to wear’ actually mean?

Men don’t have any such right. Or maybe they do in theory.

But men, generally, understand that what they wear sends signals about who they are, what they might be up for, and what value they place on themselves. And generally, they stay out of places that might be unsafe. Even if they have a right, in theory, to go where they want, wearing what they want.

”My rape was not my fault!” Cody Smith told the crowd. A woman who has transitioned to being a man, he choked back tears as he described his guilt.

”I spent so many years blaming myself for my state of intoxication … for what I was wearing … for not being strong enough to keep the rapist off me.”

So you were alone with a man you did not know, dressed like a slut (their word, not mine) and crocked out of your brain, and what happened to you was not your fault.

I agree. It wasn’t your fault. If you said no in a way that your attacker could understand, then it was rape, and your attacker was criminally wrong.

But the reality is that we don’t just communicate using words. The clothes you wear, the make-up you use, how drunk you are, the way you walk, the way you talk, the places you go, all send signals.

This is true of men too of course. Women rightly use such cues to make decisions about the character and reliablity of the men they choose to be with.

This means both men and women should be aware of, and take responsibility for, the messages they send.

Right or wrong, like it or not, sometimes non-verbal cues outweigh what a person says in words. And if you make a series of decisions to dress in a certain way, drink more than you should, behave like a tart, pash on with a stranger, then don’t be surprised when a person whose physical responses you have elicited becomes confused about the messages you are sending.

Women should be safe. That is their right. If they want to be taken seriously and treated as equals and adults, they should also be responsible.

And yes, even when women won’t take responsibility, men should. Rape is always wrong.

Update.

I have stopped comments on this post. I have let most of those already made stand.

Really, people. I would have thought it obvious if I allow comments which swear at me or wish me dead, that I don’t agree with or endorse every comment made. So it makes little to zero sense to insult me further for the opinions of people who comment.

Secondly, as I thought I had made clear in my original post more than once, rape is an abhorrent crime. It is never acceptable or excusable. It is never right to blame the victim.

It is surely, however, given that there are rapists out there, reasonable to ask how women can be safer.

Asking how women can be safer is not the same thing as blaming them for being raped. Why would anyone make that assumption?

One of the things that concerned me about the Slutwalk is that it suggests that women are to be identified as sexual objects.

If you advertise yourself as sexually available in dress or speech, some people will assume you really are sexually available. Even if you say you are not, at very least you are sending mixed messages.

People should accept your no. Anyone who doesn’t is a pig and criminal. But the reality is, some people will either misread the messages, or choose to ignore what they don’t want to hear.

That is not your fault. It is theirs. But that doesn’t mean there is nothing you can do to avoid being in that situation and to make yourself safer.

Being aware of your dress and actions and what they communicate, and taking steps to make yourself safer is simply part of being a responsible adult.

It may not be fair. But lots of things are not fair. We all have to live in the word as it is, not how we think it should be.

That seems obvious to me, and like one of the commenters, I am baffled about why saying so has caused so much anger.

You may disagree. I am happy to hear why. But telling me I should die a slow painful death, or swearing at me or calling me names is not going to convince me you are right.

17 Responses to “Slutwalk = Nutwalk”

  • Cody Smith says:

    Hey, this is a really great post! I’m so glad you’ve outed yourself as a victim-blamer! It takes A LOT of guts to admit to everyone you’re a fuckwit, but it takes EVEN MORE guts to admit it to yourself. Have you told your family yet? I’ll just post this everywhere so everyone knows not to trust you. Not even based on how you present yourself, how you dress or how you communicate. No need to thank me, it’s not a problem at all!

  • Pissed Off says:

    You presumptuous victim-blaming rape-apologising arsehole. The world would do well to have less of your kind in it.

  • Margaret says:

    Way to prove the point, the two commenters above.

    Rape apologising…? Victim blaming…?

    ‘Of course rape is wrong. Of course ‘No’ means no.’

    ‘It wasn’t your fault. If you said no in a way that your attacker could understand, then it was rape, and your attacker was criminally wrong.’

    ‘Women should be safe. That is their right.’

    ‘Rape is always wrong.’

    Not much in the way of excusing rape there.

    Women know very well that how they dress is part of communicating their personality and intentions.

    My mother taught me, and I taught my girls, that being aware of their surroundings and behaving and dressing appropriately was part of being an adult.

    This is obvious. Why does saying it cause so much rage?

  • Jody says:

    I am embarrassed by the behaviour of some of my friends. They wear clothes that leave nothing to the imagination. They sidel up to men at the bar and ask for free drinks. They rub their bodies gainst men on the dance floor, and then they are shocked when men think they are sexually interested in them, and get angry and demand respect when men are confused or annoyed.

    No excuse for rape? No, never. But if you want to be safe, don’t be so stupid.

  • Trish says:

    I agree. A slut rally for God’s sake?

    How does this help women?

    Ranting that we should be allowed to wear what we want, do what we want, and there shouldn’t be any consequences? That is the behavior of three year olds, not adults.

    If you want respect, give respect. If you want to be treated like adults, act like adults.

    It’s not rocket science.

  • Evelyn McQueen says:

    You are all so god dammned stupid. Its not about twhat we wear its about rape. Rape is always wrong. Get it. Rape is wrong. It doesn’t matter what we choose to wear. Thats our choice. Rape is still worng.

  • Tony says:

    You can also make a choice to go swimming naked with your period where there are sharks, just because you can, and its your choice, and no one has the right to say you can’t. But it would probably be sensible not to.

  • Travis says:

    The standard of sluts in Australia is in serious decline. I was doing a bit of scouting at the Slutwalk in Melbourne. Very disappointing. Hardly anyone you’d want to shag at all. It must be global warming.

  • Marvin Gaynot says:

    Couldn’t agree more, mate. The local product has been pretty shabby for some time now. I always go for imported sluts myself. They’re not so fat, they don’t complain all the time, and they don’t go ‘Oh you dirty bastard, I’m not like that’ after groping your arse for free drinks all night.

    The skank stalk is a perfect example. The thinking was ‘Oh, we’ll dress up like hos, call ourselves sluts, chant meaningless slogans, abuse random blokes, say we can do whatever we want and nothing bad that happens to us is ever our fault, and then everyone will listen to us and respect us.’ Yeah. You go girls.

    And as for Cody or Coleen or whatever your name is, I’m sorry you were raped. Really. You didn’t deserve what happened to you. The bastard should have stopped when you asked him to, even if he was at the point of ejaculation and you were dribbling over his dick. But then he probably didn’t deserve to spend the night paying for drinks for an inebriated prickteaser.

    And what the fuck is the go with the ‘transitioning to a man’ shit? Cutting your hair and putting on a pair of pants doesn’t make you a bloke. You can’t ‘transition to a man’ unless you have grown a brain and a pair of balls, which plainly you haven’t.

  • Unrepentant says:

    Wow, the breathtaking stupidity of the hateful, resentful men who posted this blog or commented here is truly staggering.

    It sounds to me like you boys just want an excuse to rape. One thing is for certain: you’re all definitely misogynists, desperate to enact violence against women in any way you can – even if just in words.

    I have no compunction in saying I hope you all die, horribly, slowly, painfully, miserably and with the inescapable knowledge that you’re alone and unloved.

    Have an awesome day. 🙂

  • Asha says:

    And, can I just say as well that I have heard similar excuses from peadophiles. “If she didn’t want it, she shouldn’t have worn that pretty skirt, she kept flirting with me”. Yes. these are the excuses used by peadophiles to excuse raping children.

  • Clem says:

    Well done, “Peter”. Not only have you engaged in the sort of witless victim-blaming rhetoric that led to the SlutWalk movement beginning in the first place, you have purposefully chosen to highlight – and in doing so, implicitly question – the experience of a rape survivor in order to make your “point”. The drooling responses you have garnered from your fellow misogynists and apologists only serves to further illustrate what a cesspool of hate this blog post truly is. Congratulations.

  • JP says:

    You have pretty much just condoned rape and blamed the victim for the assault. What if I was for instance, wanting to take advantage of pompus white men with sleazy smiles and revolting adult like ‘richie rich’ hair do’s. And I loitered around you until you finished that last glass of expensive wine. You’ll felt slightly ill from being drunk so you unbuttoned your shirt. BANG! that’s my invitation to make a move. DRUNK + SHIRT UNBUTTONED!! But the reality is you didn’t want me steal your butt virginity, but you just weren’t capable of saying no. Your fault! Give me a break man….. if there is no clear consent, then don’t do it, it is RAPE!

  • JP says:

    I might also add that all men that use urinals are asking for it, because they all whip out their dicks. Their fault. If you didn’t want it, you should have gone and sat down to pee.

    What kind of a human makes excuses for their violent and damaging behaviour and blames victims. You make me sick.

  • JPW says:

    I might also add that all men that use urinals are asking for it, because they all whip out their dicks. Their fault. If you didn’t want it, you should have gone and sat down to pee.

    What kind of a human makes excuses for their violent and damaging behaviour and blames victims. You make me sick.

  • Joanne says:

    Oh you are cards! Suggesting women would safer if they acted responsibly, dressed appropriately and had regard for the feelings of others makes this a hatefest?

    But calling people who disagree with you obscene names and wishing them long painful deaths is OK?

    Which side is the hate really on?

    You may disagree with some of the commenters, some of the comments are offensive. But I agree with Trish, this sort of hatefulness and refusal to take responsibility does nothing for women.

  • Tony says:

    Asha are you really suggesting that men need to treat women like children? Having no understanding of human sexuality, no awareness of the needs or emotions of the people around them, unable to take responsibility for what they say and do? I guess most of my mates do treat women like this, the ones they meet at bars anyway. It’s the only way to be safe with them. But it makes meaningful conversation or mutual respect or trusting relationship impossible.

    Please don’t suggest I am condoing rape. Rape is horrible and wrong no matter what the circumstances. I wouldn’t have as a friend anyone who thought otherwise. All of my male friends feel the same. They are protective of women, if anything. But is it really so hard to grasp that men might see you differently, relate to you differently, if you acted differently?

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