To those of us who participated in the Seattle Slutwalk, the message was clear but outsiders were definitely confused. There are a lot of things trying to be said at Slutwalk and it deals with something people are confused about. What is rape? It’s amazing we even have to ask this question but I have heard too many girls ask “Did he rape me?” I remember a teenage boy confiding in me years ago that he had molested someone and didn’t realize at the time. He was so.. torn up about it and I was the one to tell him he didn’t do anything wrong-but he did, he knew it and he paid for it (I was ignorant too).
When you haven’t said yes to sex, it is rape. Just because you couldn’t speak up, could not find your voice (frozen with terror-it happens a lot), just because you didn’t understand what was happening fast enough, does not mean it wasn’t a violation. If you didn’t raise a resounding, enthusiastic yes to sex.. it was rape. You can be bullied, you can be pushed, you can be convinced you wanted it even if you know you didn’t.. it is still rape and people are uncomfortable talking about it.
This article explains SlutWalk the best. It’s about a stripper who was violated, grossly violated, while working. The guy’s response? “If she didn’t want it, she shouldn’t have put it in my face.” Often, it is advised strippers not speak about their job (and others who are in the adult entertainment industry). Why? Because it’s not safe. It’s not safe because it’s automatic people will assume you are easy, that you are a low-class individual, that you don’t care about yourself and you become a target. I know strippers. I know what they go through and it’s disgusting. Here’s a bit of news: Just because someone decides to dance erotically does not mean they do not care about who touches them. They are still people. Are they objectifying their bodies? Yes but it doesn’t mean they deserve to be treated as if they are below humane consideration. Do not drop your manners and consideration just because someone is naked in front of you.
Your erection is not an excuse to behave like an asshole just like my PMS is not an excuse to be a bitch. End. Of. Story. Get it under control and if you can’t be nice, go away.
For the life of me, I can’t figure out why people think they have any kind of claim or ownership over another person when consent was not given. Over the last year, I have noticed, in increasing amounts, people have such little respect for me as an open, confident young woman. I smile at people, I make small talk, I even listen to the rambling homeless person at the bus stop. I wear sexy heels and I walk around in them all day long. When someone cat calls I politely say, “Thanks hun! Have a nice day now,” because it’s a nice way to say “I hear you but I”m not interested.” I don’t really mind too much. I know that I am a person who is noticed even if I’m just reading and walking and looking quite serious. It baffles me but fine.
What I am not okay with is when someone doesn’t stop when I say stop. I’m too nice, my friends and boyfriend says to me. Well, I believe in being nice until they’re not nice to me anymore. Even when they’re not nice, I continue to be politely firm because .. well, I was raised in the South. It’s ingrained in a hard way and I kind of like it .. but I’m learning to balance this out with being assertive, too.
Last year, after I had been molested and raped within 2 months (a stranger, and a close friend), the guy I was dating then said to me, “You have to be more careful.. there is something about you.. you’re too open.. it makes people think they can have you.” For a long time, I hated this man I previously dated more than I hated the men who attacked me.
It’s not my fault someone else finds me desirable. Isn’t this why they drape women in long clothes, covering them up completely in other countries/cultures?
Oh, my fellow Americans.. Don’t you dare get on your high horse of “We’re not like them, those people in those other countries who think rape is okay. We know it’s not.”
“If she didn’t want it, she shouldn’t have put it in my face.” “You shouldn’t be so openly sensual.” “You shouldn’t be alone at a party.” “You shouldn’t have worn skirt.” “Don’t wear something so low-cut and maybe you wouldn’t have tempted them.”
IT’S THE SAME FUCKING EXCUSE: You’re too tempting so we have to cover you up.. You seduce us and tease us.. You encourage us to do this.
We live, in our “land of the free,” in that same culture only a little diluted.
The point of SlutWalk is it doesn’t matter if you think we are easy, or slutty.. and maybe you think that’s a bad thing. Fine! So what? It doesn’t mean I asked to be raped. And don’t you dare tell me that because I am “open” and “sensual” that I bring it on myself.
Oh and one more thing to chew on: Just because I said yes once does not mean it was an unlimited pass. Just because I had sex with you once (or a few times) does not mean I care to talk with you about it. I have recently let a few male “friends” go and they’re outraged about it. Mad that because I said, “I’m really uncomfortable that you wanted to talk to me about when we had sex, while I’m in a relationship with someone I really care about.” Yeah! That guy is pissed at me! Because I said he made me uncomfortable and that I realized that’s probably not what he meant to do but it did. It seems that person wasn’t really my friend because if he was he would’ve listened. He would’ve adjusted the way he spoke with me, about what topics he spoke with me on, because I’m in a relationship. Not once did he ever think, “Hey, April doesn’t talk to me about the sex we had..” It never occurred to him that I have never spoken about it with him since I was in a committed relationship. When I’m single, it doesn’t matter and perhaps for some people, it doesn’t matter while they’re in a relationship either. That’s cool; it’s just not my thing.
I don’t understand this lack of respect toward me.
It’s not okay and it’s not going to make me stop being me. It only makes me want to speak out and speak up because this time, I am not the one with the problem.
That’s.. what SlutWalk is all about. Us sluts, we’re not the problem.
Your strength, your individuality, your Self is not so much it needs to be violently squashed by anyone. No one .. deserves that. Don’t let them take it away. Be proud, Stand Tall.. Be You because You are It.