The “SlutWalk” Controversy.

You may have seen all the press about “Slutwalks.” These are demonstrations, made up of many women, dressed in  provocative, lewd, slanderous outfits, on a mission. Their point is that the way a woman  dresses is her decision and sexy or no, it does not invite or excuse men to treat her poorly, or aggressively.

In today’s courtrooms, in rape trials, prosecutors continue to slip in comments about comportment, and the messages that a defendant may  have projected by her choice of attire.  Before the other attorney cries “I object,” the suggestion is registered by the jury.

The pointed finger lands on the men as well as on women.  It basically says that men cannot discern appearance from invitation.  It says that men are savages and can take what they want particularly  when it is being served up in a tight dress and stilletoes.  They can’t control themselves; they are primitive.

Further, the issue needs to  be re-emphasized that rape is not about sex but POWER and AGGRESSION.  Some men still protest that if a woman looks a certain way she is  “asking for it.”  Remember, rapists and abusers are not looking for sex but for revenge or an outlet for the injuries of disturbed childhoods;they hate women.

At the same time, in my opinion, there’s some kernel of  relevance to the fact of image and appropriate, uh, attire.  Let there be no doubt, we have every right to dress however we please, but looking like a slut (and no, I don’t really know what that word means except that a woman is looking for sex) is not pleasant for anyone.  Aside from  wanting to be stared at to garner some cheap attention, what really is the point?

I get the “Slutwalk” message but maybe it could have been more heterogeneous. Maybe there could have been women dressed in other ways too.  The message may have been diminished by the circus atmosphere.  And worse, we can dress like sluts if we like, but the truth is, there are men who will just take that as permission and will attack no matter what walk you walk. And yes, there will still be juries who will render verdicts based on the Bible and conservatism.

There is a message that “Slutwalk” did not deliver. And that is that women, who are smart, should think twice about what they put on their bodies depending on where they are going. We are not in control of anyone but ourselves.  We sure don’t want to be the victims of our own stubborness just to make a point. Beware I say.  Power comes in many more forms than push up bras and fishnets.

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