In which I ramble about slutwalk

There is a view in some bits of the trans community (including myself) which says that we should replace the notion of passing, that is being read as cisgendered person of your gender with the notion of being passed, a phase which focuses not on the person who by some magical power convinces others around them that they are cis, but on the people who read someone as cis. I think think a conversation like this is one thing that is missing from the conversations about who gets read as a slut.

As holly points out, there isn’t much evidence that not dressing like a slut will stop you from getting attacked, and that is an important message of slut walk, not only would it be still wrong to blame a rape victim if they didn’t minimise their risk, it also isn’t a fucking factor in most rapes.

Speaking anecdotally from three years of experience as an EMT and an ER worker, most of the sexual assault victims I’ve seen were wearing jeans, sweatpants, pajamas, even hijab. (Or little footie pajamas with Elmo on them.)

The conversation has been focused on look like/working as a “slut” that is (mostly) women being blamed for their sexual assaults because of their provocative behaviour and dress sense, “well really but did you see what she was wearing” “well I mean she was a sex worker*, so what do you expect”

This is an important conversation, I attended the Sydney slutwalk and one of the speakers, to spite telling a story which fitted the cultural myth of stranger in the bushes was still harnessed for what she might have been wearing, what she did to provoke him, it is a mindset that I myself have dealt with, but it is not the only conversation that needs to happen.

Cis white able bodied women can often assume that sluttiness is a costume that can be taken off. This is not true for everyone, black women are assumed to be slutty, assumed to be easy. Trans women who are murdered are often reported as being sex workers when there is no evidence for it, the are written off with both transphobia and whorephobia they where probably, kinky, that the way those people like it.

Just having the wrong kind of body can be enough Virginia R said commenting on her breast reduction surgery

[men]  seemed to be operating on the assumption that I was a little bit of a slut. This was not, in fact, the case. I was a shy, fairly serious person who did not sleep with people lightly. And yet men I didn’t know regularly talked to me like I was eager to be their sexual plaything.

When we talk about dressing like a slut we must remember that slutiness it isn’t something everyone can take off, some people because of their body shape or their trans status or their race will be read as a slut no matter how they present.

And then there is the flip side, there are (again mostly) women who don’t have cultural access to attractiveness, who are disbelieved when then are victimised because no one could want them, or because they should be happy with whatever they can get. I don’t think I can do the justice to these issues that Sedentary Meanderings has, so please, go read, go think.

*well, they tend not to use the phrase sex worker

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One Response to In which I ramble about slutwalk

  1. Book Girl says:

    Oh, yes, so spot on. Esp. the last paragraph.

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