Slutwalk May 10, 2011 9:13 PM   Subscribe

Metafilter's own Divabat rocks Brisbane's slutwalk (40 secs into the vid). Slutwalk, Brisbane May 28. Where Slutwalk started. Global Slutwalks
posted by b33j to MetaFilter-Related at 9:13 PM (74 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

I can't help but think it reminds me of halloween.
posted by hal_c_on at 9:20 PM on May 10, 2011


why, because it's an acceptable excuse to dress "slutty"? we're already getting brickbats from people on Facebook who are basically proving the point of the need of Slutwalk - "zomg what were you expecting dressed like this?!?!"

thanks for sharing b33j :)
posted by divabat at 9:28 PM on May 10, 2011 [12 favorites]


You are awesome, divabat. Good on you.
posted by koeselitz at 9:39 PM on May 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


Hooray! I happened to be in Boston during one of these last weekend and a bunch of friendly slutwalkers sat with me at a burger place and explained what was going on.
posted by danb at 9:40 PM on May 10, 2011


Hey, I saw divabat this morning at King George Square with a group of other girls! And the funny thing was I was all "Right, what's with these sluts*?", and then I saw the placard that one of the girls was holding and I was all "My God!"

Good for you diva :-)

*I don't actually use the term "slut" outside of talking about my slutty cat, who is out at all hours up to god-knows-what.
posted by tumid dahlia at 10:26 PM on May 10, 2011


amazing Divabat, keep up the good work.

I can't help but think it reminds me of halloween.

why do you think that sexy costumes are so popular on halloween? it's the one day a year that girls can dress as sexily as they like and not be given a hard time for it.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 10:32 PM on May 10, 2011 [7 favorites]


why, because it's an acceptable excuse to dress "slutty"?

Umm yeah.
posted by hal_c_on at 10:33 PM on May 10, 2011


I couldn't help but chuckle at the lone dude marching.
posted by klangklangston at 10:42 PM on May 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Gah, stupid Fairfax video. It keeps crashing, right after the ad finishes ::rolls eyes::
posted by harriet vane at 10:43 PM on May 10, 2011


The lone dude is one of the organisers, we've got like 400+ people interested and quite a few are guys!
(though some are of the "OOO OGLY TIME" variety which is rather annoying. and unlike what hal_c_on implies, people still think that dressing slutty for slutwalk - or halloween - is unacceptable and are already giving us hard itmes.)
posted by divabat at 11:07 PM on May 10, 2011


Nice job, divabat.

Lindsay Beyerstein takes on some critics of SlutWalk:
What determines sluttiness? Is it number of partners, or the number of sex acts, or the kind of sex, or whether you enjoy it, or what other people infer about your self-esteem based on what they assume about your sex life? It's all of the above, or none of the above. Either way, you lose.

. . . If you try to argue that you're not a slut, you're implicitly buying into the idea that there are sluts out there. If there's some criterion that will set you free, that standard will indict someone else--someone with a higher "number," or shorter skirt, or a later curfew. So we get bogged down in slut/non-slut border skirmishes over a line nobody should have tried to draw in the first place, and we all lose.

The only "refutation" is to laugh in your accuser's face and get on with your life, however you choose to live it. That's what Slut Walk is about.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 11:13 PM on May 10, 2011 [12 favorites]


Ah, so proud to be a Torontonian. It's my idiot cop who spawned a global phenomenon against women for being attacked by sexual predators.

Score one for free speech, I guess: if the idiot cop hadn't felt free to express his idiot opinion, he could never have sparked worldwide denounciation, which will do far more to change attitudes than his comment ever will to convince anyone that victim-blaming is appropriate.
posted by Dasein at 11:13 PM on May 10, 2011 [6 favorites]


Soft itmes are much easier to digest.
posted by Meatbomb at 11:16 PM on May 10, 2011


It's my idiot cop who spawned a global phenomenon against women for being attacked by sexual predators.

I *just* read about that. Is that guy still on the force, or has he been booted?
posted by hal_c_on at 11:17 PM on May 10, 2011


This is pretty fucking awesome. But none scheduled yet for the Bay Area? Don't make me go to Riverside! (... though that would be pretty interesting, now that I think about it.)
posted by salvia at 11:18 PM on May 10, 2011


Slutwalk SF Bay Facebook page says they hope to organize one for mid-June.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 11:24 PM on May 10, 2011


salvia: look up the satellite slutwalks page on the toronto site, tho I have a feeling they've already had theirs.

If you're wondering: I'm the brown chick (tiara) holding a sign that says "this is what I wore when I was raped. I still didn't ask for it.".
posted by divabat at 11:27 PM on May 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's my idiot cop
has he been booted?

The guy was counseled but he is still on active duty.
posted by b33j at 11:29 PM on May 10, 2011


cybercoitus interruptus: FUCK YEAH this means I can make three slutwalks! Brisbane, sydney, sf!

Someone is trying to do a slutwalk in tehran, but his approach seems to be "get all the foreign chicks to come to iran to protest" rather than "engage with local women" (on the guise of protection), which seems misguided, patronising, and creepy.
posted by divabat at 11:31 PM on May 10, 2011


MetaFilter: a bunch of friendly slutwalkers
posted by hippybear at 12:21 AM on May 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Gah, Fairfax! Can't you think of a better title than "Brisbane 'sluts' take to the streets"???

Nice work DB xx
posted by honey-barbara at 12:32 AM on May 11, 2011


The guy was counseled but he is still on active duty.

There's your problem there.
posted by hal_c_on at 12:58 AM on May 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Good on you divabat.

But Scott Beveri's script needs cleaned-up; I nearly swallowed my teeth when he explained that "organizers expect more than a thousand people for the Brisbane march, some of them will be victims of sexual abuse...."
posted by orthogonality at 1:31 AM on May 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


I saw a pic on some news site today, and I thought, "hmm... she looks like divabat, from those meetup photos I saw, maybe it is her, maybe it isn't". Then I came to Metafilter with the intention of stalking her profile, finding and comparing pics... and then got distracted with questions and posts and answers and all that Metafiltery-distractiony-stuff.

And it WAS you, divabat! You looked gorgeous and strong and happy and brave, and just like the sort of person I'd want my daughter to grow up to be.

On behalf of sluts everywhere, thank you.
posted by malibustacey9999 at 3:33 AM on May 11, 2011 [5 favorites]


You got on TV and didn't give Mefi a shout-out? Oh sure, when it comes to preventing rape you're all over it, but when insecure web addicts need validation you're NOWHERE TO BE FOUND.
posted by Ritchie at 3:37 AM on May 11, 2011


Oh man this is awesome! I wish I didn't live in the sticks.
posted by By The Grace of God at 3:43 AM on May 11, 2011


I couldn't help but chuckle at the lone dude marching.

Are you kidding? Given that most people only go on protest marches in the hope of getting laid, he's cleverly maximising his chances.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:16 AM on May 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Ritchie: blame editing.

Malibu stacey: aww thank you, that means a lot to me <3
posted by divabat at 4:23 AM on May 11, 2011


Seconding Malibustacey - good for you Divabat!
posted by leslies at 4:49 AM on May 11, 2011


the lone dude

That's the Lone Ranger's metrosexual cousin, right?
posted by jonmc at 5:00 AM on May 11, 2011


Given that most people only go on protest marches in the hope of getting laid, he's cleverly maximising his chances.

The store I work it is downtown on a major thoroughfare, so we get our share of protest marches going by. I remember one time a couple of our dimmer employees saw one going by and started doing the fist-in-the-air thing. I'm like "Dude, you don't ven know what they're marching about. It could be Mothers Against Cookies or something!"
posted by jonmc at 5:06 AM on May 11, 2011


Why am I getting two competing videos on that webpage?
posted by crunchland at 5:32 AM on May 11, 2011


Is Mothers Against Cookies the radical wing of the Tea Party?
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:35 AM on May 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I often march with People Against Mothers Against Cookies.
posted by pwally at 6:07 AM on May 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Right on, divabat!

(I hope the SF thing happens, and I'm sure it will, but June can be very cold and foggy, so I hope the weather gods smile on the day and bring warm, sunny weather for the occasion.)
posted by rtha at 6:15 AM on May 11, 2011


Yay!
posted by Blasdelb at 6:20 AM on May 11, 2011


Is Mothers Against Cookies the radical wing of the Tea Party?

I just assumed they were really into Browser Privacy.
posted by SpiffyRob at 6:24 AM on May 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


Is Mothers Against Cookies the radical wing of the Tea Party?

Your'e thinking of Mothers Against Biscuits But a Scone Would Do Quite Nicely Wot Wot (MABBSWDQNWW)
posted by Think_Long at 6:47 AM on May 11, 2011


Thank you, divabat.
posted by zarq at 7:03 AM on May 11, 2011


My first thought was that you are incredibly brave. Also strong and awesome. Thank you.
posted by pickinganameismuchharderthanihadanticipated at 7:25 AM on May 11, 2011


Affirming style, reclaiming words and taking back the streets for all of us. I say yay!
posted by likeso at 7:32 AM on May 11, 2011


Hey, really cool. Way to go, ladies (and fella)!
posted by item at 8:15 AM on May 11, 2011


Slutwalk SF Bay Facebook page says they hope to organize one for mid-June.

Thanks, cybercoitus interruptus!
posted by salvia at 8:22 AM on May 11, 2011


"SLUUUUT!"

That's just me cheering from the sidelines, passing out cups of water and so forth. Awesome job, ladies! :)
posted by hermitosis at 8:42 AM on May 11, 2011


I always associated sluttiness with evaluations of self-worth rather than external, observable clues.

Basically, do you have sex with others to the detriment of your own feelings of self-worth? Do you have sex as a substitute for living an even-partially-realized life?

An interesting aspect of this definition is that it can only be self-applied. If I recognize these attributes in myself, then I'm a slut. But only I can make that call.

So basically, you cannot call someone else a slut, you can only call yourself a slut.

There is also a special consideration made to those who are currently experiencing heartbreak: if your ex is out having sex with people very shortly after a breakup, you are allowed to call your ex a slut. Also, if your ex left you for another person, and especially if romantic entanglements began prior to formal dissolution of the status of "going steady", you are allowed to call that other person a "slut" for a period of time not to exceed 3 months or your stretch of singledom, whichever is shorter.
posted by Deathalicious at 9:22 AM on May 11, 2011


Hooray! I happened to be in Boston during one of these last weekend ...

Yeah I caught The Boston Globe's coverage: article and gallery.

'Boston Slut Walk' Facebook page.
posted by ericb at 9:42 AM on May 11, 2011


Before I clicked on that "Global Slutwalks" thing, I said to myself, "Self, I put the odds at 100% that someone already organized one of these in Austin; I just hope I haven't missed it." Aaaaaaaannnndd SCORE! I love this town.
posted by bluishorange at 9:43 AM on May 11, 2011


Well done, divabat. Rock on.
posted by ambrosia at 10:15 AM on May 11, 2011


I did have to wonder - what's the temperature like in Brisbane in May? I don't recall exactly when the Toronto slutwalk happened, but if it was earlier this spring the weather was certainly acting against anyone showing much flesh. *brrr*
posted by jb at 10:25 AM on May 11, 2011


This is good. Good on ya, divabat.
posted by everichon at 10:38 AM on May 11, 2011


I've always admired your dedication on Mefi to genuine freedom of sexual expression, diverse and feminist displays of such, all that good stuff, divabat. Not to make a pun of it, but I love that you, ah, walk the walk too. I think this is an awesome idea and I hope it spreads. Kudos.
posted by ifjuly at 10:43 AM on May 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


Given that most people only go on protest marches in the hope of getting laid, he's cleverly maximising his chances.

I once worked a booth for a human rights group in Oregon, at a B-52's concert. We were set up next to the PETA booth, which was staffed by a guy who was serious about animal rights, and a girl who was serious about trying to get the guy's attention. It was funny to see the traditional dynamic reversed, all the more so since I thought the guy was pretty cute myself.
posted by nomisxid at 11:58 AM on May 11, 2011


I think your sign does an excellent job encapsulating the whole idea in a clear way -- that's worth its weight in gold.
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:00 PM on May 11, 2011


Awesome! Hoping to see other internet people at the Chicago one. Need to make some shorts with a favorite [+] over the crotch...
posted by jtron at 1:18 PM on May 11, 2011


Big, big ups from over here for doing this, Divabat. And for anyone who hasn't already, give Yes Means Yes a read. Well worth your time.
posted by Navelgazer at 1:32 PM on May 11, 2011


Here's to hoping my ten-year old need not be afraid to wear fishnets and tube tops on casual Friday someday. Godspeed you crazy bastards.
posted by docpops at 1:46 PM on May 11, 2011


Here's to hoping my ten-year old need not be afraid to wear fishnets and tube tops on casual Friday someday.

Here's hoping she need not be afraid of being attacked if she does dress that way, on whatever occasion she sees fit.

And here's hoping she lives in a time that anyone who elects to dress that way and is attacked feels like they can safely go to the authorities, without being shamed, or blamed for what happened to her.

Here's hoping "she asked for it" will someday never again be used as a defense for sexual assault.

Here's hoping that she lives in a time when no fishnet-and-tube-top wearing woman suffers in silence because she blames herself for the violence visited upon her.
posted by louche mustachio at 2:44 PM on May 11, 2011 [10 favorites]


Thanks, divabat, for making the world a better place for sluts like me.
posted by S'Tella Fabula at 3:49 PM on May 11, 2011


Needs more dust bunnies.
posted by flabdablet at 4:00 PM on May 11, 2011


Here's hoping she never has to worry about the police believing her store regardless of what she's wearing, her age, her race, her profession, what drugs she may have taken, how well she knew her attacker, her own sexual history etc because she never has to experience sexual assault in the first place.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 6:46 PM on May 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


aww everyone thank you, this means a hell of a lot to me. I was so tense about finding resources for my assault even though I'd spent YEARS in rape crisis support type work and things like that, because my assault was highly unusual and also very "slutty" in nature - swinger's club, ladies' night, that outfit. It wasn't "innocent girl grabbed by guy jumping out of the bushes" by ANY means.

While I was lucky enough that most of the rape support places I consulted were pretty helpful, I still did get subtly judgemental comments from people I cared about, including people I thought would know better. "Why didn't your boyfriend stop you?". "At least you know what not to do next time." "Those places are sexually advanced and you are just a beginner." I had just really rediscovered my sexuality, the ladies' night was a part of it, and it really messed up some burgeoning potential queer relationships for a little while afterwards because I couldn't work out how to communicate my boundaries while still asking for what I wanted (Which often contradicted!!!) It didn't help that the owner of the club didn't give a fuck about my case (she said "you looked like you were having fun and you said you were fine when I asked").

It also didn't help that almost every media resource on rape an assault has the dynamics as Male Perp, Female Victim, Conventional Offense. (Anything that involved a female perp were usually mother-daughter abuse.) I contacting sex worker advocacy orgs and queer groups for ideas, figuring that they of all people could relate to the extra judgement placed upon assault survivors in sexually-charged or sex-centric occasions. They empathised and said that such resources were indeed low on the ground.

After about half a year or so of silence and anonymity I came out publicly - well, to my friends on FB - about the rape. To my surprise so many reached out to me in support, including some that were also women attacked by women who had faced trouble and shame getting believed. A couple of people organised to send me a pile of zines on sexual assault for free. Even so, I also encountered people who I found couldn't be trusted (like an ex-mentor type who didn't really respond when I confided in her before anyone else and then got at me for not telling her more and more about the story. But this wasn't unusual for her apparently.)

SlutWalk really hit a nerve for me because of the difficulty I faced - and still do face - in coming to terms with my assault, the effects it's had on my ability to manage relationship expectations & communicate that, trying to work out what's safe for my body, dealing with shame and self-hatred and self-judgement. It's hard enough as it is being a South Asian from a traditional, conservative Muslim background suddenly unleashed in physical and sexual fervour ("where's your dignity!? this is not acceptable in our culture!!") only to be rendered either an exotic alien or an undesirable invisible because I didn't blend in to the queer scene or fit anyone's idea of attractiveness. Add the assault, experienced in my attempt to both satisfy my sexual curiosity and overcome the barriers I was facing in finding women to be intimate with, and it becomes a juge clusterfuck.

I had attempted to organise the Brisbane SlutWalk some weeks ago and got as far as planning routes, but got stuck on the council paperwork because it requested information on public liability insurance and I could not afford any (quotes got into the hundreds and thousands). I did get a lot of positive feedback and interest, including a query from The Age (which led to the linked video). By chance a friend invited me to the FB page of the Brisbane event, and I was relieved that some other people with a bit more institutional backing - Australian Sex Party vs me alone - had taken on organisational and logistical responsibility. They quickly took me on as co-organiser (mostly because I had all the contacts!), even saying this was "my baby". Incidentally I nearly couldn't make it due to a prior commitment, but I changed my flights just so I could attend this - even if it means racing straight from the airport. I do feel guilty when people seem to think I organised this, mainly because they remember my blog posts about it - I hardly did anything! - but I'm glad that it's spread like wildfire. RSVPs on FB doubled in a day and it was such a shock to me to go to that morning videoshoot (it's COLD!!! I'm at home right now and my fingers are FREEZING!!) and see people I know from multiple non-overlapping social circles.

In the process of SlutWalk research (including trying to prod friends back in Malaysia to get one going, and watchng a Singapore SlutWalk in the works) I have encountered people using the term for their own sexist or trollish uses (like the Tehran guy, and anyone who thinks this is a free pass to ogle - and the "maximise your chances" comments on here are somewhat skeeving me out), people who think that calling this *Slut*Walk is going to destroy female empowerment, people who argue that SlutWalk is transphobic because it assumes it's only women that are called sluts (not in my experience), people who argue that SlutWalk turns away people who do not want to reclaim the word "slut" (you don't have to honour it for yourself to respect the decision and right of other people to honour it for themselves).

But as someone whose sexuality has been shut down, silenced, hidden away, misrepresented, exotified, denied, forced out, boxed in, forced to conform, confused, in flux, commodified, unwanted, adjusting, seeking, learning, hurt, controlled, unrecognised, assumed wrongly - it's events like SlutWalk that finally let us be heard for who we are, tell our own stories, dress how we want to dress, and declare that we still deserve respect no matter what the hell we do with our lives and our bodies.
posted by divabat at 6:59 PM on May 11, 2011 [16 favorites]


Deathalicious: I have huge problems with your concept of the word slut. It still attributed negative ideas to the word, and basically implies that sex is only appropriate and right when performed by someone who is 100% completely mentally healthy and stable. Well there goes a lot of us people with mental disorders and anxieties and issues!

Sure, there's a lot of mental-health interference that can make sexual relations unhealthy. But that is THEIR sexual relationship and their sexual choices to make. Judging them with a word used as a slur is not on. Just because you don't approve of their sexual choices doesn't mean they don't have the right to that choice.
posted by divabat at 7:02 PM on May 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


divabat: I completely respect your position on this and regret my earlier comment. Looking back on it I see what I wrote wasn't really written well or with enough thought.

I didn't mean to imply that sex is only okay when a person is 100% mentally healthy. I do think it's better for someone to be sexual active because they want to rather than because they think they're worthless and sex is the only way that they can be loved. And as I said in my earlier comment, only that person can make that judgement.
posted by Deathalicious at 8:39 PM on May 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


the "maximise your chances" comments on here are somewhat skeeving me out

Sorry about that. I interpreted the intent of the march to be about sexual empowerment & that women should be able to be sex-positive & dress how they please, without being shamed for that. I didn't think it was a specifically Reclaim the Night / survivor pride thing. So, certainly no offence intended.
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:39 AM on May 12, 2011


UbuRovias: I'm taking the event as a sex-positive event too, but that still doesn't make it an occasion for picking up. Not that it can't happen, but it's not a dating march. If you like someone, ask - but be prepared to be turned down. Just because we're sexual doesn't mean we'd fuck you ;P
posted by divabat at 3:15 AM on May 12, 2011


Phew, this neatly avoids creating unwanted tension with bubbymama.
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:29 AM on May 12, 2011


Brava Divabat!!!! YAYYYY!!!!
posted by nickyskye at 9:46 AM on May 12, 2011


I bet Professor Dines is a fun party guest.

I hope she doesn't have daughters.

Come to think of it, I hope she doesn't have sons either.
posted by malibustacey9999 at 11:33 PM on May 12, 2011


via ms9999's link:

Poll: How do you rate SlutWalk?

Good idea 46%
Bad idea 43%
Don't know 11%

Total votes: 6647. CAST YOUR VOTE. Poll closes in 7 hours.


Which will prevail? Is it a good thing or a bad thing? Will the "don't knows" hold the balance of power? Only time will tell!
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:30 AM on May 13, 2011


In the process of SlutWalk research I have encountered people using the term for their own sexist or trollish uses (like the Tehran guy, and anyone who thinks this is a free pass to ogle - and the "maximise your chances" comments on here are somewhat skeeving me out), people who think that calling this *Slut*Walk is going to destroy female empowerment, people who argue that SlutWalk is transphobic because it assumes it's only women that are called sluts (not in my experience), people who argue that SlutWalk turns away people who do not want to reclaim the word "slut" (you don't have to honour it for yourself to respect the decision and right of other people to honour it for themselves).

Ergh. With all due respect, as a woman who is uncomfortable reclaiming the word slut because of all the hurtful personal experience I have with it, I resent seeing my concerns lumped in with people who want a free ogle and like calling women "sluts" because they're sexist. I respect your desire to be confident with the word and be a part of the SlutWalk movement, but it feels like you have said that my desire to NOT be associated with it lumps me in with jerks and misogynists.
posted by jess at 2:21 PM on May 13, 2011


jess: I'm sorry to have made the association. What I encountered was along the lines of "the word hurt ME so YOU can NEVER associate with it EVER!" without ever asking why the association was important to me in the first place. And many of the people joining in *are* people who do not want anything to do with the word - but know that it's not an excuse to justify rape.

And for me the word is a red herring. It's only called SlutWalk because that's what the Toronto police used. This video explains it better - even if the person was the worst slut in the world, they do not ever invite rape, and no one has the right to abuse them.
posted by divabat at 5:40 PM on May 13, 2011


Slutwalk is on the front (web) page of the Sydney Morning Herald today, with some discussion just beginning now.

The poll earlier concluded with a stalemate: 42% Good Idea, 47% Bad Idea, 11% undecided holding the balance of power.
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:14 PM on May 13, 2011


My (scarily mature) 12 year old daughter just asked me about Slutwalk, and we had a long D & M (deep and meaningful conversation) about it, and the expectations of particular members of society, about how society views your clothing choices, about how you need to feel comfortable in what you wear, and all sorts of related stuff.

It was good for both of us. Once again, I thank divabat and her colleagues. I wish I could be there to march with them in Sydney.
posted by malibustacey9999 at 2:30 AM on May 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


Article about Brisbane's SlutWalk.

Melbourne got all the press but ours was just as passionate and motivated <3
posted by divabat at 5:12 AM on May 29, 2011


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