Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Policing Women's Attire in Rape Society

WE recently had our very own SlutWalk at Greenpoint here in Cape Town on Saturday the 20th and it had a good turnout which I am very happy to see. Rape is still an issue in this culture that seems to adamnat to condone it and women are still being blamed for crimes involving forced penetration and violent assault that are committed against them. But some reactions from some individuals today made me think about the way in which a protest like this is received in this Rape Culture Society of ours.

"I disagree with the whole SlutWalk thing because it is degrading to women":
In the same manner that the idiot officer from Toronto sought to blame victims of rape based on their manner of dress, this individual missed the entire point of the protest and aimed to focus more on how wrong the protest was and not how wrong rape itself actually is. Instead of showing some smidgen of sympathy for the victims and complaining about how awful rapists themselves are for violating the physical boundaries and private spaces of women.
So, how does the protest itself become degrading. Well these women are calling themselves "sluts". NO! They are making the point that a woman's clothes should not in any way be a precursor to a sexual assault committed against her. It is extreme but of course it should be bold. Perhaps that is the issue this young man has with it. That it is bold, blazing and brazen and therefore a massive hit to the male ego. No woman in her right mind could possibly claim that an anti-rape protest is wrong in anyway.

"The word slut is degrading":
Yes it is. It is a word among several that was created to shame women for expressing sexuality. It is a word that sought to weaken and silence women in sex thus giving men a sense of domination of the so called "weaker sex". These words are simply a kind of verbal genital mutilation. An attack against a woman who feels no shame about her vagina, her clitoris, her vulva and the pleasure that she feels during the act of coitus. Women in more civilized society's may not have their genitals mutilated like the many unfortunate one's living in primitive states and following primitive religions but we have a kind of mutilation of our own going on and it is called slut-shaming.

One of the most prominent tools for slut-shaming is of course the media where the perpetuation of this practice is simply overwhelming. No wonder these attitudes filter through into uncritical and unthinking minds.

The word "slut" and its many variations should not even feature in the English language. A woman expressing desire is not a thing to marvel at, be ashamed of, stone to death, hate or assign a name to especially one that has negative connotations.

Its roots lie deep in patriarchy which asserts male dominance in every form and sex is just one of the ways in which men define their power and identity so that in the act of raping, objectifying, they reinforce what they have been told by patriarchy they are entitled to: dominance and complete control over the female gender. That's all it is about: power. The moment a woman begins to apply a power that is on par with this, she is attacked and weakened by those who believe strongly in the male order of things. And that is why the word "slut" is degrading, because of the very same system of thinking that encourages rape: patriarchy.

"What would Christ say about this?":
Well, of course, I have no idea but if this individual was trying to assert that Christ would frown upon the protest then that means Christ would have a problem with people who have a problem with injustice. The Christ I know from my readings of the word. The Jesus who's good friend was a former prostitute, the Jesus who healed the woman with the issue of blood, the Jesus who sat down and had a sincere conversation with the woman at the well who had a history with men i.e. a run-of-the-mill slut would probably grab a banner and join right in with the protest because He would, more than anything frown upon the abuse, misuse and maltreatment of God's children that is all the women and girls who have been forced against their will by selfish, malevolent, egocentric, megalomaniacs of men who have zero empathy. Christ, in my mind, was no one to disgrace a slut in any way but sought to love, heal, empower, forgive and help those in need spiritually and mentally. This would be a girl or woman who has had her spirit broken by the forced entry into her sacred temple by a man she may have trusted or been related to.

Religions are not exempt from scrutiny when it comes to matters of gender inequality is because the Church has been built on the same system of male domination that most societies and cultures in the world has.

A while back I heard some young man defend the fact that a man should head the household because it said so in the Bible. I told him that that attitude is also used to justify abuse of women and he responded by saying that believers should follow Biblical standards and not those of the world. He is blind, totally blind to the fact that those so called holy standards are in complete alignment with the world's. Males rule, females submit. That is patriarchy and yes it is found in the Bible, pity, but it is there. The fact that so few women are excluded from positions of authority in churches. (The Vatican has stringent rules on this, clergy have their genitals examined before being ordained). Female subordination happens in religions too and men use these tools well because many women seek to be loyal to their God not realizing that all their being loyal to is patriarchy.

The SlutWalk was a brilliant idea and if I had known about it ahead of time, I probably would have been there. Being nothing but big ole slut. 

The Exceptional Kola Boof

”Anger comes from hurt and that is why nobody likes an angry woman, because she’s hurting inside.

An angry woman is dismissed as ‘bitter’—which is just people’s way of excusing themselves from having to heal that angry woman or to care about or understand her.

And whereas Roman Polanski can be known worldwide as a child molester and still manage to win an Academy Award in the year 2003, and whereas angry black men can rap and hip-hop their age, uncut and completely raw, into the public consciousness and become celebrated, well-respected millionaires from defiling their own mothers and poisoning their own communities…a woman being angry and exploring that ager…even in art…is still not acceptable, understandable or even pitiable by most of the people who order the society and think of themselves as fair judges of ‘rational behavior.’”

--Kola Boof, Diary

of a Lost Girl