SlutWalk Houston Sure to Shock and Empower

Categories: Texas

slutwalk.jpg
Fight the good fight at SlutWalk.
SlutWalk is coming to a park near you.

It all started earlier this year in Toronto, when a constable with the Toronto Police Service told a group of law school students at a safety seminar how not to become victims. His advice: Women should avoid dressing like "sluts."

And you thought ish didn't go down in Canada!

The constable's comment -- which mirrors a widespread belief -- rightly spurred an incensed response. Soon SlutWalk was born. It's a march of women and men who are sick of a "blame the victim" mentality -- that if a lady wears "slutty" clothing and gets sexually assaulted, she had it coming. People of every gender get raped wearing all kinds of clothes. And it's never their fault.

The march hopes to make that point obvious to all.

Morgan Hopkins, the president of the Women's Studies Student Association at University of Houston-Clear Lake, is an organizer for the Houston version. Several LGBTQ and women's groups are planning the event, slated for this summer. "We live in a society that perpetuates crimes against women," Hopkins told Hair Balls. "We shouldn't be told not to act a certain way."

It's also about taking the bite out of the pejorative and gendered word "slut." (When's the last time you heard the word aimed at a guy, without first qualifying it with "man" tagged in front?) "We're not going to allow someone to use this against us to shame us," Hopkins said.

Come as you are -- or wear what you dare (it's your right, after all) -- to SlutWalk: July 9 from 11 a.m.- 2 p.m. at Cherryhurst Park.

In honor of the event, see our list of Five Texas Sluts Worthy of Admiration.

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58 comments
HoustonGuy
HoustonGuy

Empower? This is no more empowering than organizing a group to flash cash late at night in a seedy part of town.

Sure the victim of any crime is innocent, but lets use common sense considering reality. Flash your cash or your ass and you risk having both grabbed against your will.

Mindg
Mindg

KPFT's Ernesto Aguilar wrote an interesting critique of Slutwalk and race/class messaging here: http://www.peopleofcolororgani...

Whole thing sounds like a beer marketing campaign.

Brett Stevens
Brett Stevens

Sexual liberation made women into a commodity. Rape is just another form of theft. 

Paul Elam
Paul Elam

This kind of nonsense is a perfect demonstration of how feminist ideology has helped mold the infantile mind of western women.  One cop makes a questionable remark and now we get an international parade of cellulite, spandex and stupidity. 

I have read comments from several women involved in this and one theme emerges clear. They object to any, legitimate or not, speech that involves putting any onus on them for self protection.  They think we are supposed to just tell all men, hoping that the very small number of rapists among them will listen, just to not rape anyone.

Wow! What a great idea. Now let's start telling people not to steal cars and rob liquor stores. 

Tell you what, why don't we call it what it is. A Dumb SlutWalk.

Britsplit
Britsplit

THE word 'slut' just means a woman who empowers herself to enjoy sex as a non-procreative, recreational activity. Like most guys. It's a little pejorative, coming as it does from a patriarchal, religious perspective.

Personally, I love sluttiness in attitude, so long as I care for the slut. It ought not to be a derogatory term.

Mesan
Mesan

I would also go as far as to question ms. Hopkins credentials to teach women studies

Mesan
Mesan

The cops don't make comments like "don't dress like a slut" to tell you how not too act. It's a dumbed way to tell you steps to take to avoid being a victim. They're not blaming the victims. The reason their victims is that their not at fault, if you even bothered to look up the definition. I am deeply sadened that someone here in Houston is supporting this event and I hate to say if it hadn't been for someone I know who was actual going to this thing that I found out about it. I mus stay it's a parade of the blind leading the dumb.

trishhh
trishhh

with the Slutwalks people need to make sure they are getting their points heard, not just look like crazy feminists dressed provocatively and protesting. I think there are better ways to get this point across rather than walk around with a poster that says slut on it.

Misscatnipmartini
Misscatnipmartini

It may be in poor taste to give my two cents but here it is:- although I understand how some would say the constable was not wrong only used wrong terminology the issues is a larger one at hand. Instead of teaching society to not rape, we teach women how to not get raped. We constantly allow men to be labeled as stupid primates who can't "help themselves" and so the more intelligent of the species needs to help them out and not dress like a slut. My short skirt is not an invitation, it's because I like the summer breeze on my natural, pale thighs. And I'm not asking for anything other than mutual respect.

Frogs
Frogs

This is stupid and won't change our society at all. Count me out.

Evan
Evan

Can we start blaming child rape victims on their sexy, sexy dora the explorer outfits?

H_e_x
H_e_x

 Pretty sure Allison was being sarcastic :/

Npsuffield
Npsuffield

As a woman, I agree with the constable.   Sure, the slutty way women dress now doesn't 'make' the guys rape them, but it sure doesn't help.  I wish women had more respect for themselves and would dress appropriately.   You don't have to show everything you have to be sexy.  And women wonder 'why' men treat them like objects.   

kylejack
kylejack

This whole Slutwalk thing has had me very confused, as a feminist.

Of course, the officer's comment was terrible and things like that should be demonstrated against, and people have a right to feel safe no matter what they are wearing.

I'm just not sure if re-claiming 'slut' is the right way to go about it.  Feminist voices have been coming down on both sides of this, and it is kind of alarming that some of the Slutwalk organizers/demonstrators are openly hostile to feminism.  It's alarming that a fundraiser for a Slutwalk event was held at a gentleman's club.

But then, the whole thing has a good-natured intention.

Like I said, I'm very confused so I've mostly been holding my tongue.

Jnable
Jnable

The constable said "avoid". Although we shouldn't be told what we can do, some of us, especially at a younger age, tend to do racy stuff. Any woman has the right to wear what htey want. Wearing the wrong thing and going to the wrong places would be at their own risk. But it is a right. 

Prof Topkat
Prof Topkat

That Constable almost got fired for giving some helpfuladvice to a group of university students. The poor bastard was obviouslyunaware that what he told them was not politically correct. He not only gotdisciplined and forced to apologize, but his helpful advice quickly got lost in the uproar thatfollowed.

 

Women have every right to be sexual. And men most certainlycannot justify raping a woman because in their minds the victim dressed as ifshe wanted to get laid. But it is an inconvenient truth that sexual predatorscan be aroused into committing rape because of the revealing attire worn bytheir victims.

 

This was not a male chauvinist cop blaming the victim.

Brian Block
Brian Block

To all who are tired of hearing about this or don't agree with Ms. Hopkins - Its terrible that some people can't control themselves, but not being in control isn't an excuse. 

During a time when a string of rapes were happening in Israel, in a cabinet meeting someone suggested that women be subject to a curfew to protect them. However, Golda Meir responded in the meeting, “Men are committing the rapes. Let them be put under curfew.”

I promise that, heaven forbid, you or a loved one was raped, you wouldn't be blaming yourself or your friend. You'd want to see the rapist be held responsible for their actions no matter what the circumstance.

Kylejack
Kylejack

Yes, people do need to be told not to rape.  Furthermore, we have to explain to them what rape is, because there's a lot of people out there that don't realize certain behavior is rape and not merely bad form.  I once saw a guy with a grin on his face explaining how he had "accidentally" slipped it in the wrong hole.  He raped his own girlfriend and was bragging about it like it was a trivial naughty thing, like drinking out of the milk carton.  Then you've got the people who exploit someone who is drunk.  There's a lot of different kinds of rape out there that aren't seen as rape by a not-insignificant part of the public. 

It doesn't help that we have TV and movies muddying the waters.  Did you ever see Sixteen Candles?  At the end, Anthony Michael Hall's character, one of the protagonists, rapes the cheerleader with the help of her jock boyfriend.  There are no repercussions for him.  In fact, she falls madly in love with him the next morning.

Young people especially should get an education on what rational, informed consent is, and how to determine if you've got it in a situation.  We teach people how to have sex, so we should be teaching them how to determine if that sex is consensual.  It may be obvious to you, but it isn't to everyone.

Morgan
Morgan

I don't teach Women's Studies but thank you =]

TTTWLAM
TTTWLAM

I really try not to harp on someone for their grammatical errors, but your last sentence about "the blind leading the dumb" was that extra cherry on top of a subliterate sundae.  Well done. (And, yes, saying "don't dress [in X fashion or you'll get raped]" is EXACTLY telling someone how to act, and blaming the dressed person in question.)

kylejack
kylejack

Yes, this is very important.  In fact, we have a problem of people not even recognizing things as rape or sexual assault when very clearly they are.  A good sex education should include what informed consent is, and should strive to encourage people to get aggressive consent before proceeding.

Allison
Allison

As for respecting myself, I happen to do that a whole hell of a lot. Sometimes I respect myself in 5 in heels, sometimes in a dress or top I can't wear a bra in, and sometimes in jeans, a t-shirt and sneakers. It's shocking, I know, but what how dress has no relation to my self respect and is instead related to the weather, where I am going, or just however the hell I feel like dressing on any given day. 

H_e_x
H_e_x

Some men treat women like objects because they have shitty attitudes about women. No amount of clothing will even change their minds.

Allison
Allison

 True Fact: Rape didn't exist before the mini skirt.

TTTWLAM
TTTWLAM

I, too, long for the day when men wore unitards and bathing caps, and women wore outfits that only showed the merest hint of scandalous, salacious ankle.

And do you see how people dress on airplanes nowadays?!  It used to be nothing less than 3-piece suits and fedoras on every flight, by cracky.

Morgan H.
Morgan H.

There definitely has been a lot of debate about this larger event. Again, we (the Houston organizers) see rape culture as a feminist issue and see this event as one way to combat it. Of course, other activism and policy work at the structural level is necessary as well. While we exist under the banner of the larger SlutWalk brand, we have had extensive conversations about what we personally hope this stands for in the context of our own community. Houston has also had it's own recent issues with victim-blaming (see: 11 year old raped in Cypress) so we saw it fitting to bring an anti vitctim-blaming event to the area.

Prof Topkat
Prof Topkat

What was so terrible about what the constable said?  He would have been better off had he not used the term 'slut.'  But had he said 'women should avoid dressing provocatively,' there would have been the same feminist reaction - they would have held 'provocative walks' instead of slut walks. 

lydia
lydia

Sexual predators can be aroused by anything or any fetish that they may have. If we followed such sophistry to its full conclusion, we would need to be aware that simply being a woman might arouse rape, or perhaps being a child or being short, having eyes might arouse a predator, etc. Again, rape has nothing to do with attraction or sexuality, it is about power and brutality. Anyone can be raped, not only women. Rape frequently occurs in the military context amongst men. I suppose by following the logic of wearing revealing attire, soldiers wearing combat gear are somehow arousing rapists?!

Jeff
Jeff

There is a HUGE difference between taking precautions to protect your self and assigning blame after the fact. Should people take into consideration what they do in order to avoid becoming a victim of crime? Of course. But that doesn't mean that the victim bears ANY responsibility in the crime committed against her. 

There is ZERO excuse for committing a crime like rape and no place in this world for blaming anyone but the degenerate criminal who did it.

kylejack
kylejack

The advice wasn't helpful and reinforces rape culture.  We don't need to be continuing the lie that men are uncontrollable beasts and that rape victims are to blame for their own rapes.

Josh Walls
Josh Walls

 I don't think anyone would argue that it is an excuse or that victims should share any responsibility what-so-ever, but that doesn't mean women shouldn't take measures to protect themselves.

I'm not going to walk around a bad part of town with my wallet hanging out of my pocket just because I'm against opportunistic criminals. At some point you have to realize that the world will never be rid of perverts and various kinds of human trash and take measures to protect yourself.

The bottom line is telling women that dressing "slutty" increases their risk of being raped is probably true. Telling women to feel free to dress "slutty" is probably increasing their risk of being raped. Political correctness aside, less women being raped is favorable to more.

BEric
BEric

Sorry, I have young daughters, and I use the SLUTWALK type attitude to get them to dress appropriate. Weather is the right way or not, I have tried  talking about the way the male and females judge you, and just cause you have it, doesn't mean you have to show it. I want them judged on the content of their character, not by the size of their skirt. I get no help from media nor television.  

Kylejack
Kylejack

Another: Revenge of the Nerds.  One of the nerds dresses up in a costume as the boyfriend of one of the sorority girls and has sex with her in the funhouse.  Rather than being horrified when she finds out, she's shocked and pleased that a nerd could be this good.

Victim's advocate
Victim's advocate

True fact - Rape has existed in our world since before clothes of any kind were invented. The mini skirt, nor the hatler top, nor the fish net panty hose are to blame for rape. Rape is the RAPIST'S fault! And - rape is not a crime about sex at all - Rape is about power, control, and humiliation. A rapist does not choose his victim based on her attire. Anyone who thinks a woman's clothing invites, allows, or excuses rape is an idiot & is underminding the right that victims have to seek and recieve justice. Blame the rapist!! HE is the person who is 100% responsible - NO MATTER WHAT!!! 

kylejack
kylejack

I'm happy to hear it, and now looking forward to the event.  I was also glad to see Htown Hollaback involved.

kylejack
kylejack

Clothing has very little to do with the likelihood of people getting raped, that much is clear from the rape rates in countries where it is illegal for a women to leave the house without being covered from head to toe. Rape is usually about power, not sexual attraction.

R_katherine
R_katherine

what about men who get raped? does that mean they were dressing "Slutty" too? (Probably not, because, apparently, only women dress "slutty") the point is, rapes don't happen because of an outfit the rapist sees. They happen because the rapist sees an opportunity, like the victim is walking alone, not watching her drink, etc. Blaming it on the clothes is a cop-out, like blaming violent video-games for children's violence.

Morgan H.
Morgan H.

This event is by no means telling anyone (because, lets face it, people of all genders experience sexual assualt, rape, and/or harassment) how to dress or not dress. We, the Houston organizers, see it as a protest against the larger rape culture in our society (and globally). Similar to Take Back the Night, it is about bringing these issues into the center and sparking discussions like this one!

Dude!!
Dude!!

You're comparing women to money?  Do you think women are property or commodities?

Rape isn't about men getting horny and wanting to have nonconsensual sex with a woman.  Ask a mentally normal man who sees a woman wearing revealing clothes  and they will say they sneak a peek and go on with their day.  A rapist is mentally unstable and wants to dominate a woman no matter what she is wearing.  Women wearing burqas get raped in Afghanistan frequently.  How do you explain this?

I guess using your analogy, if a lost and scared young child gets into a car with a stranger, they deserve to get molested. 

kylejack
kylejack

 Josh, suppose a woman who was wearing revealing clothing was raped.  How likely do you think she'd be to approach this officer to file a report, given what he said?

And that's what rape culture is all about.  Intimidating victims into thinking that they're responsible, discouraging them from filing reports, and even if they do file the chance of conviction might be a long-shot.

He would have been a lot more effective and respectful if he had said something like, "And I would remind the men out there that the way a woman is dressed is no excuse for sexual assault or rape."

Brittanie Shey
Brittanie Shey

The only thing tat telling women who dress "slutty" that rape is their fault does is exacerbate rape culture and give rapists even more justification and less accountability for committing their crime.

Define "slutty" anyway. Can you give me a handbook on exactly what I should and should not be wearing?

R_katherine
R_katherine

I have been sexually harassed walking down the street wearing a baggy T-shirt and regular (non-skinny) jeans. Was I asking to be harassed? Even if you dress "appropriately," you're still at risk to being harassed. The concept that what you wear will protect you is dumb and simply not true. Men have the right to wear what they want; so should women. 

Allison
Allison

H_e_x is right, I'm being sarcastic. I completely agree with you. The only thing all rapes have in common is the presence of a rapist, not the length of a skirt or the height of the heels or how much (if any) alcohol was involved or anything else. 

Jnable
Jnable

You are both right.The constable just used the wrong terminology. These are observations based on where he was at. Had it been in Afganistan it would not have applied (or should I say the opposite, probably more fitting). Cultures and locales dictate fashion and in an economic sense, what they can afford to dress with. The man is a police officer and whether or not you think his comment was not politically correct, it was only meant to be a caution.

Brittanie Shey
Brittanie Shey

No, YOU don't get it. 67% of women who are raped are attacked by people who they know personally, not some stranger hanging in an alley waiting for some sexy slut to walk by. And both rapists and women who have been raped have testified that rape it not actually about sex, or sexual arousal. It is about control.

Do a little research, friend.

Allison
Allison

Personally, I'd rather know what kind of clothing rapists should wear to stop raping so damn much. 

TTTWLAM
TTTWLAM

Well, please continue to enlighten us, Professor.  We are your humble students.

(I would particularly like to hear more about what attire is and isn't arousable/rape-able.)

HoustonGuy
HoustonGuy

There is a reason why you are smart not to leave your purse in plain view when you are not around. You make a tempting target for robbers when you do. It's not your fault if you are robbed but your chances increase when you show the goods.

Same logic for your body. Don't trivialize the real point being made. Maybe it's unfair but it is what it is.

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