This article is Ancient (archive 2011)

The Funny thing about Thought Catalog’s SlutWalk Article (It’s Not Funny)

This is a factual discussion of the slutwalk, for an actual emotional response, go here.

Chelsea Fagan’s The Funny Thing About the SlutWalk over at Thought Catalog fills me with some kind of righteous fury. I spend a lot of time reading anti-feminist views, but seeing them in more mainstream journals always upsets me. Overt sexism exists in its own pockets throughout the internet, and studying it is revealing and worthwhile. So I’ve learned to shut down the automatic anger that accompanies reading people with whom you disagree: without that I’d never be able to write or study.

But… Thought Catalog? I thought you were cool. I was all ready to walk that admiration/stalker/mimicry line. We didn’t do our about page the way I wanted to, because I didn’t want it to look too much like yours, because I thought we had no claim to authority the way you seemed to. Are you really going to try and tell me that Chelsea Fagan is an expert in the field of gender studies, linguistics, or anything else which might qualify her to write about this as an expert? No, I just don’t believe you, because on a purely factual level she is wrong. (Note: You can read Thought Catalog’s apology here).

Despite the apology, I’m sure that Chelsea Fagan was saying something on a number of non-feminist minds. I know it’s not my job to do this: sometimes it feels like feminists write and rewrite this article, so I made a chart.

The Chart

Click to See the Full Chart.

The Discussion

Does anyone else think it’s ridiculous that I even have to write this article? Why does it require explanation that saying yes to sex is different from saying yes to rape? Do we really have to note that being raped is not the same thing as receiving an annoying proposition from a creepy guy at a bar? It took me a really long time to make that chart, because it took me a really long time to make sense of her logic (sorry if I misrepresented what you were saying, Chelsea Fagan; it was the best I could do).

Women took to the streets to raise awareness for their right to autonomy under protection of the law. Or to begin “changing a ‘don’t get raped culture’ to a ‘don’t rape’ culture.” And that’s one of many distinctions that you still seem to miss. Consider drawing a distinction between “unwanted sexual advances,” such as someone hitting on you and then leaving when you make it clear that you’re not interested and rape, which continues regardless of what you say or otherwise indicate. Most people can handle a “proposition”, but rape is more difficult to deal with. It’s the difference between being asked for help while dressed as a police officer and shoved between a victim and a perpetrator’s bullet.

The slutwalk adresses the need for adequate responses to the rape of non-sluts as well. If rape laws somehow operate according to the “protect virginity” principle, you can see how the complaints of male victims would be poorly received by law enforcement and other social services [6],[7],[8]. Non-sluts are hurt by the way some police officers think about rape, which rapes are considered important, and which rapes may have been provoked. By working to change the way we think about rape, the Slutwalk should really benefit everyone.

I could keep going on about the myriad problems with Fagan’s article (I didn’t even touch on the weird class shit going on, or Dave Chappelle’s misinformed belief in the number of false rape cases, or her reason for opening with feminists have no sense of humor, lol), but now that I’m done with the chart I seemed to have used up every last bit of my compassion. I’m done, and my hope is that slutwalks future will prevent the need for me to write another article like this ever again.


Comment and let me know what you think and how you feel about the whole mess of issues. Do you have something I forgot in the article? A perspective I didn’t consider? Another common slut-blaming argument that I should respond to?

Don’t forget to share this article with friends and followers to let them know that the slut walk is worth supporting. (use the share buttons below)

References:
[1] 
Rape and Sexual Assault Myths and Facts
[2]
Facts & Myths About Sexual Assault
[3]Ibid.
[4] Statistics
[5]
Research in Brief
[6]
Rape perceptions, gender role attitudes, and victim-perpetrator acquaintance.
[7]
Judging Women and Defining Crime: Police Officers’ Attitudes Toward Women and Rape
[8]
UIC RESEARCHERS STUDY ‘SECOND RAPE’ PHENOMENON
[9]
Preventing the “Second Rape”
Rape Survivors’ Experiences With Community Service Providers

Note: These stats come from different times, different regions, and different types of surveys. While they seem to generally agree, there may be a little variation. I’ve traced statistics back to the original scientific journals when possible.
Abstinence Only Sex Ed Sez You Can’t Rape a SlutSaucy Boot’s Response,The Reason for the SlutWalk,STFU Kyriarchy: Trigger Warning, Sexual Assault the Funny Thing About the Slutwalk Yet Another Response,Traditional Attitudes About Gender Predict Perceived Severity of Rape, A Few Things to Stop Doing When you Find a Feminist Blog , The Soapboxist: Why Rape Culture Hates Men, Too General Ideas about Victim Blaming as a function of Belief in a Just World.