Argh I was hoping that I would be able to write this within the week of the event, looks like that didn’t happen.
Now to start!
On January 24th, 2011, a representative of the Toronto Police gave shocking insight into the Force’s view of sexual assault by stating: “women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized”.
First off, to some extent, I agree with this statement. Now before any of you go gung-ho and bite my head off for this, let me just start off by saying that no, I do not believe that dressing more conservatively will protect you from rape. Drawing from numerous personal examples that I probably should not share because they’re not all mine, but from the rape and assault cases that I personally know of, in each case the person was usually sexually assaulted by someone they knew, quite intimately, beforehand. This is quite typical if you look at it in the sense that 83% of women who are sexually assaulted, are sexually assaulted by someone they know. So the portrayal of “stranger rape” that is quite popular on television, accounts for only 17% of all rape cases. I’m deviating, but the point is, because most of the sexual assault/rape cases is by someone the victim knows, who has seen you waddle around in diapers, while you were sick with tuberculosis, and witnessed you being a mess after your first major breakup, it would not matter to those commiting assault whether or not you’re wearing a short skirt/provocative clothing, or ratty old sweat-pants. For these rape cases, the assault-or has seen the victim at their worst, and at times have seen them grow up before their eyes, before they are assaulted.
Not to completely discredit the statement of: “women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized,” and although most rape cases are by relatives and people the victim knows, there is still that 17% that is stranger rape, and for these cases, I don’t think that by dressing more conservatively will be some sort of magic armour that adds twenty to rape defence. However, doing so will attract less unwanted attention. Research shows that dressing more provocatively slightly increases the chances of a stranger wanting to rape the victim who chooses to do so. But at the same time, the studies conducted were inconclusive because it is not statistically significant enough for anyone to definitively say that dressing like a slut will make a person to be more likely of a target. (Due to the standard deviations in the statistics, as well as the p value, for you statistic geeks out there.) Another side note that I would like to bring up is that the Islamic women of this country, because most of them are immigrants, they experience two times the sexual assault, harassment, and rape and the general screwing over then the average female of Canada. I really don’t mean to single out any one religion in particular, but in terms of modesty and such, that aspect is heavily addressed for women of Islamic religions, and I cannot think of any other religious examples at the moment.
I also really have a problem with society’s use of the word slut.
The following blurb is inspired by Dream, but years ago I gave my own definitions for: slut, skank, whore, and sexy, and explained the subtle differences between them. I’m also going to throw in the word nympho/nymphomaniac and state what I personally observe how people use these words. Basically, what we have found is that for the words slut and skank these words are almost used as a sort of branding iron based on the way a female dresses. These terms are also exclusively female, and very misogynistic in the sense that they’re used to almost dehumanize the female into a sex-crazed animal. The image that comes to mind right now is a woman with low self-esteem and hence needs to dress in a provocative manner in order to gain attention from guys (or girls, to be inclusive) to feel better about herself. I personally think that it is very easy to turn heads by being barely dressed (which makes me wonder why some people will spend ridiculous amounts of money to be half naked in the end) and more challenging to do the same while being covered. I personally avoid dressing provocatively, not because I believe it protects me from rapists, but really because of the challenge. Plus I have stretch marks among other things that I doubt people would want to see at all.
Nympho on the other hand implies that there is some sort of self-confidence within the individual. It’s just that there is some sort of basal instinct within her to screw the living brains out of everything. This image is still very animal-istic and feral, but at the same time more respect is given to the nympho who has self-confidence but cannot control her impulses, whereas the reverse is not true.
Whore on the other hand is someone who does sex/shows off their genitals for money. And personally, I don’t know how this, along with slut and skank is confused with sexy. Mainly because if someone does not have the best figure in the world, and chooses to dress more provocatively, all I personally can think about is their fat cellulite ass hanging out in public.
I find these discrepancies all very strange and fascinating.
But I digress.
Part of the reason for slutwalk was the women’s activists were attempting to take back the word “slut” and I suppose to change what society views traditionally as a slut. Which I suppose in a way is a good thing considering that the words slut, skank, and nympho were originally made up to dehumanize a woman into property. Since that usually is not the case now, in Canada at least, taking that word back and making it meaningless is a rather bold step forward, which I don’t think every woman will agree with but it is an attempt to go forward. At the same time though, I wonder how this word would progress further on in society because there is the complete possibility that the word “slut” would be exclusive to women in the sense that women, and only women, are able to use that word for each other where as society may shun men who use that word. Kind of like the word nigga and black people.
I personally do not know how people jump from an invitation for sex to an invitation to rape. Remember, “sluts say yes” whereas victims don’t, and I think that the point with that one comes off clearly enough.
Some people still might say that the way you dress might make you more likely to be a victim of rape and that in a sense they are asking for it. Let me put it this way. When I was at my summer job last year I had an invitation from a random person I did not know to work for his company. There was of course an interview process and an information process. He wanted me to meet him at a coffee shop and after the interview there was an invitation to his house to finalize the paperwork for it. I did not go because quite frankly, I did not want the job. However, let’s reverse the situation and turn it on its head. Suppose I really needed a job and really wanted a new job, I followed him to his house, regardless of my instincts screaming at me that this is not a safe to do. If by this situation, I get raped, will some people view this as just because in a sense, by placing myself in that situation, that I was “asking for it?” It’s hard to say what society and its members might think.
Very indirectly though, the officer’s statement is an insult to males as well, and not just females. With this statement he is implying that the modern males of society are so sex-crazed that they cannot help themselves and they must assault the female because they were so provocative. As much as I would like to buy into the cock-a-mammary bollocks that is, the thing is with most males I know, although they look, they do not touch. (Unless asked to. ^_~)
If you are a person who is male, and happens to be reading this, and disagrees and say that, “There are base instincts that I must fulfil! She was there and dressed in a provocative manner and I just had to have her! Plus there has been a pressure in my penis because I have been deprived of sex for so long!”
Congratulations. You need an asylum and psychiatric help. Mostly because although the male penis will continually to produce sperm, the excess sperm that is built up from the lack of sex per se, is blown off once that person uses the washroom and takes a piss. BOTH PEEING AND EJACULATION FROM SEX FOR THE MALE USE THE SAME URETHRA. Also, when there is too much sperm produced, the sperm will travel from the testis to the bladder and blown off when the human male uses the washroom. Hence why the next time you feel pressure, you take a leak, and then you should be fine. Also. For the comment about base instincts that must be fulfilled. I don’t give a shit. If you can read this right now, you are breaking basal instincts because it is not human instinct to learn how to read. It is not human instinct to be able to draw, type on a keyboard, play an instrument, or build parts for various mechanical machines. None of these are human instincts, and hence, your argument that it is your instinct to screw someone senseless against their will is invalid if you are able to read this right now.
In the end, what this boils down to is consent, and regardless of whatever your religious and political beliefs are, a yes and a no are the differences between one helluva good night and just a good night. It’s just the way consent works and it doesn’t matter if the person was parading around in a haz-mat suit or a body stocking, a yes is a yes, and a no is a no. There should not be any two ways about it.
The most alarming thing about this entire incident that started Slutwalk is that it was a POLICE OFFICER who made that statement. He is also the one who is representing the police force to the public. Of course there is going to be a public backlash if this representative is ANY indication of how the police department are treating this. The cause of concern out of this incident is that police officers are perpetuating the thinking in this honourable profession that women who dress a certain way must be wanting sex and therefore they deserve it when they are raped. It isn’t just for the people who dress a particular way as well, the training course that all wannabe-officers must take before also touch upon the different races and, quite simply, stereotyping the different aspects of the different type of people they are going to meet while they are on the job. This is not to discredit the honourable men and women who do their best to avoid falling into the thinking traps that comes with the job. But the fact of the matter is, does the community want the new recruits to learn that all women who dress a certain way are asking to be raped, all Islamic people are terrorists, black people are all robbers and punks, and all Asians are bad drivers? This is the bigger issue at hand that must be addressed and considered among the community.
I also do not think that males should be held responsible for rape if a woman was intoxicated and answers yes when asked. Under the law, this is technically rape because if a woman is intoxicated she cannot make adequate decisions. BULL. SHIT. Honestly, fuck the woman who went to court for this because this sets a precedent for the rest of the country. It also completely undermines a guy’s effort to be the good guy when he’s trying to be. I honestly think that if you are drunk, and say yes, then you should be held accountable. (Of course, there’s grey areas that if the guy starts to pressure for some type of sex you don’t want, then my opinions would change.) But if you wake up in the morning feeling like P. Diddy next to some guy who looks like a cross between Chewbacca and Mini Me, then you have to man up and take responsibility for your actions and suck it up. You were drunk, OK, but that does not give you the right to completely give up all traces of brain cells that you may or may not possess. If you don’t want to wake up next to Krung the Caveman, then have people around you that you know will pull you out of that situation if need be. Your choice. You can drink if you choose to, but you are responsible for whatever happens afterwards.
All statistics were pulled after hours of searching on Statistics Canada.
And that is my rant for the day. Solstice signing off!