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Tiffany Thorne

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How do you view SlutWalks? How familiar are you with the movement? What aspects of it do you agree or disagree with?

I am curious what TED listeners think of the global Slutwalk movement designed to combat widespread victim blaming and slut shaming. What do you understand it to be for? If you disagree with SlutWalks, what would you like to see instead? What about it empowers or disempowers you?

I ask because I so deeply respect this community, and would like a snap shot educated perspectives concerning the movement.

To learn more about SlutWalk visit www.slutwalktoronto.com

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  • Apr 30 2012: Wikipedia has interesting views on this movement:
    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/SlutWalk#section_2

    Basically I feel like while this movement ideal of protecting women's right and perception is good but I am not sure about its the execution.

    Based on what I read in the Wikipedia I see the following concerns:
    - should we focus on the word 'slut' ? Don't we need to focus more on words that empower women? Like scientist, leader, inventor, adventurer, entrepreneur, life giver etc
    - does almost naked women help to cater to the idea of women's body being their major attribute rather than intelligence and character?
    - does this encourages young girls to relate more to the world of Barbies, Hollywood and "reality" shows where women are objects of beauty?

    What if these women take on the appearance of sexually abused victims (both strangers and wives) to show the results of abusing behavior some men in today's society still engage in? Maybe they do but it is not apparent from the website.


    cheers
    • May 1 2012: Thank you for your feed back!

      Good points! I think the that by using the word 'slut' they hoped to spark a conversation among people about how they themselves use the word and marginalize and shame others with its use.

      The word 'slut' is almost always used to conjure up shame and humiliate. Maybe neutralizing the word is called for?

      I believe it is intended to point out its meaninglessness. Sexual purity tends to be shifty and unclear, yet human beings are often marginalized by for not upholding these conflicting, inconsistent, arbitrary standards of sexual purity.

      From outside perspectives I think it may come across as trying to say that women are eye candy and then some, and that sex can empower, but really I think its all about how we individually contribute to a society that focuses on victims rather than victim makers.

      The only one who can prevent rape is a rapist, and clothing has absolutely nothing to do with that. It's all about power. Rapists in fact rely heavily on a culture that will question victims credibility and "how they contributed". Nobody contributes to their own rape.

      It is so important to know how the movement is being interpreted, and how that contrasts with its intentions.
      • May 1 2012: Thank you. Now I understand this movement better and I agree with your points. I think it will always be hard to properly convey this kind of message but this is a good start and with time the movement will learn and adjust to increase its effectiveness.

        Cheers
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      May 2 2012: i think you misunderstood the point.

      the message here is that women can dress whatever goddamn way they want to, and everyone else can just shut up. you can not deliver this message with underlining that women can be just as good this or that as men. it is not the point here.

      let me use an example. suppose in some unnamed islamist country women are often injured or killed for not wearing burka. so they organize "burka-less" marches. and some guy would say: this is not the good way. they should emphasize their equal role in society, etc, but not acting like indecent whores. showing up like that is just lowering women in general.
      • May 2 2012: I am still thinking about this and that is why my first post was in form of questions rather than statements.

        Yes women can and should dress any way they like.

        What I am wondering about is whether the message was communicated appropriately. I don't disagree with the movement goal and ideal. There are many ways one can communicate and some are more effective than other.

        I suggest that the women also have fake bruises and fake signs of violence in their appearance that is connected with victims of rape and abuse which this is mostly about? Then the message will be quite clear in my opinion.

        So I think we are in agreement on seriousness of these issues.

        cheers

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