Now I’m not sure how many Harpies live in the Peg, but Slutwalk is going down at 2 PM, October 15th, starting at the Burton Cummings Theatre near the Exchange District. I will certainly be there with a few of my friends.
Now, a simple google search will tell you that there are problematic elements to Slutwalk in terms of race and far more talented writers than myself have gone into them. If you were expecting me to go there, sorry but it’s not going to happen for a few reasons. First, it’s completely out of my depth and I have seen instances all over the place where a white person tries their best and gets told in the comments to just stop. So this is me just stopping. Second, I have a certain opinion about people who accuse others of being “divisive” and I don’t feel like ruffling feathers today. Let’s just say that if you have a true opinion about something and people are accusing you of tearing up their precious movement, you’re probably doing something right…so have at it! Third, and this is a HUGE point of privilege on my part, Slutwalk is not going to be me marching for women everywhere. I’m not doing it as an act of solidarity.
I’m marching in Slutwalk for me.
I know what it’s like to have my body picked apart in rape apology. I have distinct high school memories of the girls calling me an ugly fat ass who should put her tits away. I also have memories of their dumbass guy friends calling me an ugly fat ass, but with a side of constant starting at my chest. I remember the comments that if I didn’t like it I should just cover up lest I tempt them, that I should be grateful that anyone’s even looking at me. Nevermind the fact that I couldn’t find clothes that accommodated my waist and chest, it was always my fault. Curse of Eve and all that jazz. I remember one of the girls having the same problem, her being what was probably a 00 waist with a very large B cup which came across HUGE on her tiny frame. She of course, despite wearing sweaters, was more popular in the school for her breasts than herself even though she was a fairly sweet person (though a bit of a backstabber, as per usual in my high school). Of course, she should be grateful that someone recognizes how pretty she is and that she’s popular, right?
This was just the beginning for me, because when I moved onto adulthood people felt the need to breach my personal space. They grabbed at my ass, they grabbed at my tits, they called me an ugly whore who should appreciate the attention or cover up. I dressed like a slut and therefore was fair game. My bodily autonomy would be further breached before I hit my twenties. I had it coming, because I am a tease. I had cleavage that was too good to pass up. If I hadn’t displayed them none of it would have happened. I internalized that message and bought it for years. I still get the gaze on my chest with the constant message that my fat ass should appreciate the attention.
So Slutwalk is personal for me. I do not march on behalf of others, I march with the mindset that this is going to be some intense group therapy for me. Knowing that I’m not alone and it’s just not faceless yet awesome readers/writers on the internet who feel that what I go through is wrong is probably going to be hugely cathartic. I identify with Slutwalk because I am one of those sluts that should just cover up if I don’t want to get raped/get unwanted attention. I recognize that the disappointment I have deep down about people picking this apart instead of being on my side is all privilege and a slice of selfishness, but I do understand. So if it’s not for you and it doesn’t make you feel comfortable, no one should judge you or talk you down when you don’t go and tell people exactly why. After all, if we’re expecting for people to stop excusing rape based on our actions in the name of propriety, we should probably stop trying to debase other people’s legitimate experiences and feelings in the name of feminism. We do that enough to each other.