It seems that I was called a Freak that is not worth knowing last night. This from a complete stranger on Facebook, specifically on the SlutWalk St. Louis event page. As a rule, these things don't bother me. Mostly I see it as the ultimate lack of response. A good rule of thumb in life: if you cannot defend your opinion, it is not an opinion worth having. And the written attack on me was just that, a lack of actual defense of a highly erroneous opinion. As I said, not something that bothers me.
And yet, it has been kicking through my mind since then that there is something in this of great use. There is a point here that needs to be made, and it seems a random stranger has chosen me as the person to make it. Or, perhaps, I chose it myself, as this has been one of the driving reasons I chose to be involved in SlutWalk in the first place. I was going to hold this until Saturday, use it as speech material. But, I believe it needs to be said now while it is still fresh, still hot.
Yes, I am a freak. And for a girl like me, it does not matter if I wear a bondage dress and thigh high boots, or a pencil skirt and blazer. I am, as I like call it, "a slut no matter what." I have actually been accused of being a prostitute, by the police, while wearing the aforementioned skirt and blazer. This is how I know this phenomena is real. But, it does not make me special, and certainly no more or less a slut than anyone. No, the difference lies in those who would deem me such. Sad news flash, they deem you such as well.
Women are sluts, that is the puritanical, patriarchal position of male dominance. We are lesser, second class citizens, and all of us just begging for sex like depraved sluts. The difference between the average woman and a trans-woman, or queer, or sex worker is that society will tell us to our face what they only say of the rest of you behind your backs. And they will continue to say these things behind your backs, continue to believe them... until a sexual assault occurs. At that point, if you happen to be the victim, then you too get to be "a slut no matter what." And then they will say it to your face, in the media, wherever they think it will be heard.
This is why I will be at SlutWalk, why I have done all I can to promote it, why I will be presenting (on sexual assault and diverse communities, and I assure you it wont be as dry as it sounds.) And I wont be alone. A common theme that has carried through every Walk held so far, starting with the original in Toronto, has been inclusion. Rape is about all of us, slut shaming is certainly about all of us, and SlutWalk is about all of us. The days of white bread, clean pinky, talk it out over tea feminism are OVER! The days of excluding those deemed less desirable as a way to paint a prettier picture are OVER! The days of ignoring our rape culture, allowing ourselves to cast others as second class citizens and otherwise sticking our heads in the sand are OVER! This is real, it is diverse, and it is street level.
SlutWalk has become more than a run of the mill protest. Sexual Violence? Yes, that is the target. Slut Shaming? We fight that tooth and nail. But, the bigger picture is that what we are doing represents a rebirth of feminist activism, and this time it is being done correctly. As a rule, when you have a big fight on your hands, the people you want most are the people with nothing to lose and everything to gain. So it shall be, because inclusion is the order of the day. You will see queers, transwomen, lesbians, freaks, sex workers, street kids, everyone who has ever been othered, everyone who has ever been deemed a second class citizen. But you will also see accountants, lawyers, school teachers, parents, and everyone who knows that the rape culture is wrong. And you will see men, hopefully lots of them, because this is their fight too, and they have a lot to offer in terms of destroying the pervasive male dominance of the world by simply saying NO to it.
Whoever you are, whatever walk of life you come from, please join us on Saturday the 16th. Come see what real diversity is, and what it can really accomplish. Come make a stand against the pervasive rape culture that says we get what we deserve. Come be a part of it all, and know that the failures of the past mean very little, because this time we are doing things the right way.