tw: discussion of rape and sexual assault
The conversation above took place on the wall of the facebook group, Questioning Slutwalk, which describes itself as a page focussed on analysing the motives and impacts of the Slutwalk Campaign. Slutwalk, which originated in Toronto, Canada, is a worldwide civilian-run campaign that targets rape culture and asserts that a person’s dress, occupation, state of intoxication, etc. never makes sex without consent permissible. Please note that this statement is not exclusive to the sexual assault of women by men — it covers the whole spectrum of genders because the issue here is not the gender of the victim: the bottom line is simply that rape is wrong and that we live in a rape culture that affects everyone regardless of gender.
However, instead of creating an open dialogue on the topic it claims to be centred on, the administrator and the group members of Questioning Slutwalk only post articles and commentary of an unforgivable misogynist, rape-apologist, and slut shaming ideology. Questioning Slutwalk has created a rhetoric that (inaccurately) paints the Slutwalk Campaign as a movement that encourages and perpetuates the sexual abuse of men.
Group members outright reject the reasoned opinions of others who try to explain the purpose of Slutwalk, proclaiming them to be female supremacists, misandrists, rape apologists, and deniers of male rape by women. The group members despise women and think little of the notion of female consent, while simultaneously complaining about the oppression of men by women, rape culture as a creation of female supremacists, and the sexual objectification and abuse of men by women.
Now, I will never deny that men get sexually assaulted and raped by women. It is a true piece of information and it is horrific. It is also just as true and horrific a fact as the reality of the sexual assaults and rapes of women by men, or of men by men, or of any other imaginable gender combination. I will never say that the sexual assault of men is not a huge problem; it is extremely underreported and it is traumatising to the victims. That said, I have a serious issue with the way this group conducts itself. The administrator states that the page is supposed to be a safe place for male survivors, but the administrator completely disregards the hostility directed at both women and female survivors (genders that are outside of the binary are completely unaddressed). Male survivors should and need to have a support group, but this is not the group they need. This group simultaneously accuses the entire female population of being predators and attacks female survivors, viciously stating that they deserve sexual assault because of their actions, dress, etc.
This is completely unacceptable.
One cannot claim that the sexual assaults suffered by one specific group is any more traumatic or serious than another’s. While the scale may vary, rape is still rape, and it is a horrible crime that should never be treated with such disrespect.
EDIT: As of this morning, the conversation above has been deleted from Questioning Slutwalk’s page, which, according to Questioning Questioning Slutwalk, is a common occurrence. Additionally, Chandrapal S Bhasker has blocked Sara and left another charming post.
I, and many mothers of my generation, thought that when our daughters came of age, they would enter a world of unprecedented equality, with autonomy over their own bodies and life choices, and the guarantee they would be paid according to their value in the workplace, not by virtue of their genitalia. So how does reality stack up to that twenty-year-old belief?
To borrow from a movie title from those early 90s, reality bites. Not only haven’t rights and opportunities for women in this country improved, they are on the decline. The world our daughters are inheriting looks like the one in which our mothers or even our grandmothers came of age. In 2011, the year my daughter graduated from college, state legislatures enacted 83 laws to restrict or even eliminate access to abortions. In the first three months of 2012, 944 bills were introduced in state legislatures related to reproductive health and rights, targeting access to birth control as well as abortions.
Not content to limiting their attacks on women to the female body, several states have moved onto the workplace, with Wisconsin Republicans leading the charge to eviscerate federal statutes, including the 2009 Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, that require equal pay for equal work.