Archive for May 19th, 2011

SlutWalk and Its Critics (Media Is Important, but Don’t Let It Play You)

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

Okay, I’ve seen and read enough criticism of SlutWalk. I agree with other defenders of SlutWalk that a lot of the criticism seems to focus on either the word ‘Slut’ or that SlutWalk isn’t ‘feminist’ enough. Now flying about is a very invalid criticism that SlutWalk is “A Stroll Through White Supremacy”.

From my perspective, these criticisms serve only to detract from SlutWalk’s main issues. With these criticisms flying about, some people who originally support SlutWalk are starting to feel that they are wrong in their support. Some men have felt like they don’t have a say anymore because the impression they are getting from some of the ‘radical feminists’ is that they don’t have any say in women’s issues (I really disagree with that; men can and do have a say – they just can’t force women to do or not do something). One white male on Facebook said he felt that if he supports SlutWalk he’s somehow a ‘white supremacist’. Another woman who grew up with a mixed cultural background like me (her Tumblr blog says she isn’t white, but she grew up decently well off in the U.S.) is frustrated by the ‘white supremacy’ criticism because she feels “like I’ve been deemed irrelevant to this conversation. I’m not light enough to reap the benefits of liberal white woman entitlement, and not oppressed enough to recognize it or feel offended by it. Apparently, I’m not invited to either party.” (Yes, I completely understand what she is feeling.)

I don’t blame these people for being frustrated and confused. It’s not their fault, it’s media play. Sometimes people can get inundated by all the media sources out there. They can feel the ‘media pressure’ to change their opinion because it seems like the majority opinion is the correct one, even if they know it isn’t (and yes, I am back to ‘tyranny of the majority’ and how the majority opinion can very well be the incorrect one).

Frankly, what I have to say is “fuck the media”. Seriously. (I say this knowing that ‘yes, my blog is part of independent media as well’, but I don’t expect people to adopt my opinions without thinking for themselves first. I just like to write whether or not I have an audience. It serves a personal purpose for me, and if someone likes my writing, then that’s just a bonus.) While it’s good to get other perspectives on social issues, it’s also important to realize that some people aren’t interested in intelligently, seriously, and maturely discussing these social issues. Some articles on the internet are written simply to inflame, to provoke anger, to instigate, to basically disrupt any sort of serious discussion of social issues. Some people write comments in the same manner on message boards, forums, and also on Facebook pages like SlutWalkTo’s. It’s called ‘trolling’. Articles and comments like these can and should be dismissed. No, it’s not being ignorant to dismiss them, it’s being sane. Constructive criticism is important, but trolling is a nuisance.

With regards to SlutWalk, I think it’s important for people to get past all the media play. Read what the co-founders have to say on their site, SlutWalk Toronto. Email them if you need to get clarification, have concerns, or want more discusssion (just realize they do have other things to do in their lives as well as being in charge of SlutWalk, so they may not necessarily have time to get back to you, and please don’t send them hate mail; for that matter, don’t send anyone hate mail). If you agree with SlutWalk and what the co-founders and organizers have to say, then it should not matter what anyone else has to say about it because everyone else isn’t running the show.

In my previous blog, I said “As long as SlutWalk maintains focus on the core issues of abuse, assault, and rape as a social issue for both men and women, I will continue to support SlutWalk.” It doesn’t matter what media says; what matters to me is what SlutWalk, its co-founders, and its organizers have to say. What they’ve said so far has been good enough for me.

~~~C
Your local SlutWalker and human rights activist