SlutWalk: A Stroll Through White Supremacy

Note: I had long ago decided to stop blogging here for a couple of reasons. For one, I could not devote enough time to posting as regularly as I had in the past, but I also found more and more outlets with wider audiences that would publish my pieces. With so much dialogue surrounding SlutWalk lately, I wanted to insert the voice of a woman of color to add critical pressure from the margins; however, I found it difficult to find an outlet that would publish me. I first queried The Guardian, which had already printed a couple of pieces authored by white women about the event, and never heard anything back (they have, subsequently, posted more pieces about SlutWalk, all authored by white women). I then attempted to add this post on HuffPo, where I have contributed in the past – although they were nice enough to at least respond to me, they rejected my post. Rather than waste another week trying to find an outlet, I’ve taken the advice of people I love and trust and have revived my once-retired blog to post a piece that (oddly enough) explains some of the ways in which white women have constructed a conversation that women of color can’t seem to participate in.

According to its website, SlutWalk was created by women who “are tired of being oppressed by slut-shaming; of being judged by [their] sexuality and feeling unsafe as a result.” SlutWalk aims to “reclaim” the word “slut,” by taking to the streets and demanding people begin to think about the way women are damaged by stereotyping. What’s now grown into a Global North movement, SlutWalk has predictably captivated the media. One can read numerous blogs and articles, and examine diametrically opposed op-eds posted on both sides of the Atlantic – all authored by white women. With such a sensationalized event name, it makes sense that the event would gain attraction. What doesn’t make sense is the racist way in which SlutWalk has chosen to present itself – the result of the group’s white leadership, which has systematically silenced the voices of women of color. Women are left with little assurance that the word “slut” can even be reclaimed at all, and it would be absurd to imagine that SlutWalk’s dramatized events will do anything to stop any kind of violence against women.

SlutWalk was conceived after a cop reportedly told a group of Toronto students that women “should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized” during a campus event to address sexual assault, which he was invited to. I understand the need to denounce this type of speech, particularly when uttered by a law enforcement officer. But what struck me was the fact that a group of students gathered with law enforcement to begin with. As people of color, our communities are plagued with police brutality, and inviting them into our spaces in order to somehow feel safer rarely crosses our minds. I’ve attended several workshops and panels on sexual violence and would never imagine seeing law enforcement in attendance. Groups like INCITE! have done a tremendous amount of work to address the way that systemic violence is directed against women in communities of color through “police violence, war and colonialism,” as well as to address the type of interpersonal violence between individuals within a community, such as sexual assault and domestic violence. SlutWalk “want[s] Toronto Police Services to take serious steps to regain [their] trust;” our communities, meanwhile, never trusted the police to begin with. For a group of privileged students to stage such a massive event and dismiss the work that our communities have done to make sense out of the disproportionate accumulation of violence that we face is wholly unacceptable.

As Trymaine Lee has reported, black, poor and transgender women are being disproportionately and systematically branded as criminal “sex offenders” on an online database for engaging in “survival sex” in New Orleans. Under the cover of an obscure, slave-era legal term called “crimes against nature,” police officers target those who engage in oral or anal sex-for-money. Those targeted for a second time are charged as felons (vaginal sex-for-money, meanwhile, is considered misdemeanor prostitution). 40 percent of those who appear on the sexual predator database are there because they were accused of committing a “crime against nature;” more than 80 percent of those are black women.

If SlutWalk truly wanted to bring attention to the systematic ways in which women are harmed by regressive and misogynistic thinking, they could have done the heavy lifting of reaching out and supporting black, poor and transgender women in New Orleans, for whom the word “slut” carries a criminal sex offender record. Instead, they force us to keep bearing the multiple burdens that come with not only being a woman, but also being a working class woman of color. Had SlutWalk organizers considered New Orleans – or perhaps any city in the Northern Hemisphere where undocumented women possess a very real fear that a call to the police for any reason will result in her own deportation – they might have thought twice about sinking so much time and energy into their event. They might have had to listen to women of color, and actually involve them in visioning for what an equitable future would look like. Instead, they decided to celebrate a term not everyone is comfortable even saying. While I will not pretend to speak for women targeted in New Orleans, I doubt that the mere idea of naming themselves “sluts” would be welcomed. SlutWalk has proven itself to be a maddening distraction from the systematic and interpersonal violence that women of color face daily.

On my Facebook feed yesterday, a prominent Boston-based white feminist complained that, although the BBC had interviewed her for one of its internationally highest rated programs, she “was on for like two seconds in the second hour which doesn’t air in the US. Verrrrrrry [sic] frustrating.” This woman had already participated in a 40-minute episode on a Canadian television program with four other white women, where they debated each other about SlutWalk. She was also a featured speaker at SlutWalk Boston, and her speech was posted online with full transcripts (as far as I know, not one person of color spoke at the event in question). The tremendous amount of entitlement implicit in her post felt suffocating. When I responded that two seconds of airtime was considerably longer than women of color had on the topic, she wrote that she agreed “with the larger critique,” but felt compelled to correct me by adding that “there were a number of women of color on this program.”

Her entitlement was coupled with the kind of lip service intended to keep women of color quiet, as well as a dose of correction to prove her superior ability to still be right – all typical of liberal white women who have never truly listened to begin with. Regardless of the fact that a scarce amount of women of color got international airtime on the BBC for the first time since SlutWalk was conceived several months ago, its organizers never reached out to women of color as equals to begin with; instead of making sure our voices participated in its visioning, we have been painted into a colored corner inside their white room. SlutWalk’s next turn, I’m quite sure, will be our tokenization. I imagine that women of color will be coddled by white SlutWalk organizers, eager to save (white)face, into carrying their frontline banners and parroting their messages at a stage near you. I’m hoping my sisters won’t fall for it; I know that I, for one, will stay home. This is not liberation – if anything, Slutwalk is an effective exercise in white supremacy.

There is no indication that SlutWalk will even strip the word “slut” from its hateful meaning. The n-word, for example, is still used to dehumanize black folks, regardless of how many black folks use it among themselves. Just moments before BART officer James Mehserle shot Oscar Grant to death in Oakland in 2009, video footage captured officers calling Grant a “bitch ass nigger.” It didn’t matter how many people claimed the n-word as theirs – it still marked the last hateful words Grant heard before a white officer violently killed him. Words are powerful – the connection between speech and thought is a strong one, and cannot be marched away to automatically give words new meaning.  If I can’t trust SlutWalk’s white leadership to even reach out to women of color, how am I to trust that “reclaiming” the word will somehow benefit women? The answer is, I can’t. In fact, “reclaiming” is defined as taking something back that was yours to begin with, and the word “slut” was never ours to begin with, so it would be impossible to reclaim it.

According to SlutWalk’s website, the event is slated to be reproduced in Argentina sometime this year. It’s the country I was born and raised in, among Spanish, Guaraní and Portuguese speakers – and I can assure you that the word “slut” is not used by anyone there. This is not what we need. I do not want white English-speaking Global North women telling Spanish-speaking Global South women to “reclaim” a word that is foreign to our own vocabulary. To do so would be hegemonic, and would illustrate the ways in which Global North “feminists” have become a tool of cultural imperialism. I will be going back home in about a month, and want to do so without feeling the power of white women bearing down on me from 6,000 miles away. We’ve got our own issues to deal with in South America; we do not need to become poster children to try to make you feel better about yours.

Whether white supremacist hegemony was SlutWalk’s intent or not is beyond my concern – because it has certainly been so in effect. This event will not stop the criminalization of black women in New Orleans, nor will it stop one woman from being potentially deported after she calls the police subsequent to being raped. SlutWalk completely ignores the way institutional violence is leveled against women of color. The event highlights its origins from a privileged position of relative power, replete with an entitlement of assumed safety that women of color would never even dream of. We do not come from communities in which it feels at all harmless to call ourselves “sluts.” Aside from that, our skin color, not our style of dress, often signifies slut-hood to the white gaze.

If SlutWalk has proven anything, it is that liberal white women are perfectly comfortable parading their privilege, absorbing every speck of airtime celebrating their audacity, and ignoring women of color. Despite decades of work from women of color on the margins to assert an equitable space, SlutWalk has grown into an international movement that has effectively silenced the voices of women of color and re-centered the conversation to consist of a topic by, of, and for white women only. More than 30 years ago, Gloria Anzaldúa wrote, “I write to record what others erase when I speak.” Unfortunately, SlutWalk’s leadership obliterated Anzaldúa’s voice, and the marvelous work she produced theorizing what it means to be a queer woman of color. They might do us all a favor now and stop erasing the rest of us for once.

538 thoughts on “SlutWalk: A Stroll Through White Supremacy

  1. Hi Aura. Great great post and so important. Just wanted to correct one thing, I’m teaching at the law school in question – as far as I know neither any law student groups nor any law students were involved in the organizing. Here’s my original post which I haphazardly updated. http://ifls.osgoode.yorku.ca/2011/02/what-not-to-wear/
    Even without knowing our school, though, you hit several nails on the head. For one, (see post above), our campus is a privileged oasis in terms of violent crime. We are in a so called “priority neighbourhood”, largely low income, minority, with a brutal history of over policing and negative press. Everytime we have to talk safety on campus I get jittery because of the ways in which we must struggle to prevent it becoming a dialogue about “keeping people out”. I don’t have to tell you about this if you are living in New Haven! But while Slutwalk was organized with some students from York University (of which Osgoode Hall Law School is a part) it wasn’t organized with law students, and the protest was held downtown (police headquarters, NOT that kind of “priority neighbourhood”). And recent incidents of more sexual violence on our campus (which does have a very large minority student population) haven’t been featured at all in all the catfights.
    I’ve tweeted your post. I think it’s incredibly important. I hope some of my students catch it though twitter. Thanks for doing this and adding your voice. (I especially appreciated the line commenting on the idea of regaining trust in the police – as you may know, Toronto is struggling with the aftermath of law and order policing during last year’s G20 summit and much of that dialogue has a similar ring – apparently “we” used to trust the police and now “we” don’t. But anti racist activists in Toronto have been protesting police violence and demanding accountability for years – it took the mass arrest of university students during the G20 to get a real conversation going. In some corners that conversation is great – but in other places it is that same “discovery” of police malfeasance. I think these two issues, Slutwalk and G20 have important connections, although not the ones that most people are making…). Thanks again.

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  2. This image at the top of the blog… I saw this photo several times today… and it really made me uncomfortable and I couldn’t really figure out why. While reading this, I became aware why Slut Walk has never “sat right” with me and why I haven’t been drawn to participate and why I won’t participate. You have articulated some amazing points here and put words to a lot of the feelings I’ve felt while learning about Slut Walk, mostly feelings of… wanting to avoid it.

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  3. Sonia: Thank you so much for your comments! I will edit my post and remove the “law” part from the students. I look forward to reading your post to gain additional insight.

    Normandie: I’m happy we’re opening up some new space for dialogue!

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    • If you want to open space for a new dialogue, you need to take down the “white supremacist” nonsense from your article. This is such BS – you are being an enemy to ANYONE who wants to speak out against rape, regardless of what their color is. Oh, but that’s right, you don’t give a **** if white women get raped. They deserve it, right? Who the he** cares if THEY get raped – is that what you are trying to say?
      This is not productive of YOU – what you are putting out there. If you have these concerns then address them in a way that contributes to the movement, not tries to sabotage it. You made yourself an enemy to the victims and their families, and a friend to the rapist. Thanks a lot for being oppressive.
      So I hope you see how undermining it is what you have done and join the good message of the movement – not mess it up. To do otherwise is wagging the dog. And it’s just wrong.
      I know lots of women who would crack a smile when a white woman gets raped. They think it’s funny. You want to join in on the hate campaign against whites, or do you want to smash racism completely?
      Hating whites is not fighting racism. It’s replacing it. It’s changing hands.
      Please take your hate agenda somewhere else because calling a bunch of people who: yes – a lot of them are white – are trying to do something right in this world, “white supremacists” – is a way to pull the rug on their message. And I cannot tolerate it. How could you be so repulsively low?
      Once again, someone who wants to help a rapist in this world by silencing and invalidating the victim. Way to go, you sinister woman.

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      • I have a right to say what I want to say – this is my right to freedom of speech, and the fact that you hate whites means you do not embrace diversity. And it means you are racist against whites. Telling a race that they don’t have a right to speak is racist. Get help.

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      • Anonymous/Excuse me?, I am white, and you do not speak for me. There’s a huge difference between calling out white supremacy and hating white people. And the only rights you have concerning free speech in the United States concern your right to not be shut up by the government. A private citizen, resident, or other individual human being in a private capacity can tell you to shut up all they like.

        Go write your own blog if telling people off is that important to you.

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      • I think you need to take time to step back from what you just said.

        Firstly, I didn’t get the idea that the author of the article hates white people AT ALL. I took the tone of the article to be disappointment that white women continue to exclude women of colour. There was no generalisation of white people; it all referred to the organisers of the slutwalk and the people who have been permitted by white-male-run organisations to speak about it. It is inhumanely twisted to suggest that the author of the article wants white women to be raped or thinks they deserve it. I thought the author’s point was that NO woman deserves to be raped and that it is the SLUTWALK that doesn’t seem to recognise this fact.

        Secondly, even if the author of the article WAS expressing hatred of all white people, on one level it would be no different to the systematic hatred that white people have of POC, but on another level, it is totally different. White people’s hatred of POC is the product of centuries of white supremacy and wanting to stay on top. Any hatred that POC have of white people is the product of centuries of white supremacy and being tired of being pushed down. Considering that history, you have ABSOLUTELY NO RIGHT to tell her how to feel about white people’s continued systematic abuse of people of her skin colour – especially not when people like you continue that abuse.

        I’m mixed race but my skin is essentially white and that is how I’m received by society, so I possess the privilege the author is talking about. I didn’t think that she was saying I would deserve to be raped if I wore a short skirt ‘just because’ women of colour are raped no matter what they’re wearing. It’s incredibly selfish of you to turn the statement ‘women of colour are more vulnerable to rape but the women that organise the slutwalk aren’t taking this into account’ into ‘poor white people, all women of colour want them to get raped’. You’ve just proved her point entirely.

        I found this article highly informative, and written in a sensitive and objective way. (Not that I would blame the author for not being objective about it.) If it doesn’t contribute to the movement, it’s the movement’s loss, and due to the fact that the movement is white supremacist. Whatever the author intended, your comment was completely unjustified. I for one don’t suggest you get your own blog. You would be perpetuating white supremacy making an utter asshole out of yourself even further.

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      • Anonymous, your commentary is that of a white, privileged person who doesn’t get their privilege. Many white persons such as myself once stood in your shoes. Nobody here hates white people, as you say.
        A good way to get acquainted with white privilege would be to look up, “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” found here: http://www.slcan.org/whiteness_handouts.pdf

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    • While I think the issues you raise are incredibly important and most of the conclusions accurate, I can’t help but agree with the obnoxious anonymous poster above that the title “A Stroll Through White Supremacy” is not just harsh, but irresponsible. An anti-sexual violence march that has gained widespread media attention isn’t inherently evil just because it’s flawed – I’m certain even you would agree that despite the problematic nature of law enforcement, it would be ideal for the police to consider women as more than just “sluts” who “weren’t thinking” when they wore a short skirt.

      “Not reaching out” does qualify as “silencing,” but only through omission – NOT in any way to justify this ignorance – but I would hope we could keep in mind just that word: ignorance. It’s never an honest mistake, but I wouldn’t qualify it as conscious and blatant racism.

      Thank you for this article – I’m glad you’re bringing attention to these issues and hopefully as this generation’s women learn to fight, they can build bridges to do it together.

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      • I don’t think the title is irresponsible at all. She did not call the girls White Supremacists or accuse them of consciously racist behavior. She noted that the whole concept of reclaiming “slut” depends upon have the white viewpoint as the overpowering (supreme) one.

        That’s why not reaching out is, in effect, silencing. The statement has already been made without input, secure in the opinion that their viewpoint is the naturally correct one. They’re steeped so unconsciously in their privilege, other opinions have to start with, ” But…”

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      • If you get hit by a car and suffer a fatal head injury and the driver didn’t know they hit you, are you any less dead?

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      • Calling out this “movement” for being racially insensitive isn’t the same as implicating every person involved as a deliberate, malicious racist. It’s “silencing” insofar as it assumes the original organizers’ (as privileged white women) reaction to the word “slut” is normative and sufficient for all women everywhere to rally behind. This isn’t “neo-Nazi” explicit “white supremacy,” but it implicitly places white women above women of colour by ignoring the well-documented and entirely unsurprising criticism from WOC describing a markedly different relationship with the word “slut.”

        I don’t think anyone intends to call the march “evil,” but as the most prominent anti-sexual violence event in the media for some time, it has a huge hand in shaping the popular conception of all current anti-sexual violence activism. Ensuring that the dominant narrative for an anti-oppressive activism does not inadvertently oppress other groups is a very serious concern.

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  4. @Aura
    Yeah, I think this is a true dialogue being opened up. I’m just so glad I stumbled upon this post, you just put into words so perfectly so much of what I didn’t even know I was feeling.
    With the post about the police presence in particular, I never would have thought about that. I am a white woman, and when I was raped (by someone I knew) I did not go to the police. Even without experiencing police brutality I did not trust the police. I did not even think about how law enforcement being present at an event like this would shut down so many people from even feeling comfortable enough to show up.
    I also think your phrase “assumed safety” is key. Those two words hit on so much about this movement. I just found out about this blog through your post and I am looking forward to reading more.

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  5. Speaking as an Afro-Canadian woman, your piece resonated with me until I arrived at this:”For a group of privileged law students to stage such a massive event and dismiss the work that our communities have done to make sense out of the disproportionate accumulation of violence that we face is wholly unacceptable.”

    First of all, none of the organizers were law students from York U. They were from all over the city, and from all walks of life. The co-founder is the mother of an eight year old son.

    I volunteered to make signs and buttons for the walk. I can tell you that there were many women of colour who were fully engaged in this initiative. It is evident that you have not researched the event and your bias has run a muck.

    Secondly, the walk is in its infancy and like another poster has stated, your suggestions on how to include women of colour, and make our voices heard would be welcomed by the organizers, I can assure you of this. Please make an effort to contact them before the next walk. This could also tie in nicely with the effort to educate the public about sexual violence.

    Third, you raise a valid point about Slutwalk’s recent international status. Consider this… as an international movement Slutwalk has an obligation to reflect certain needs and values of the culture at hand.

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    • 1. SlutWalk was born of a brief discussion between two friends (yes, white friends) and blew up faster than they could have imagined. It wasn’t really a vision. It began only as a march. The movement is, as Julie noted above, in its infancy, and they never expected it to grow beyond Toronto.

      SlutWalk is simply one tactic. It is about awareness. It’s taking the sting out of a word that has been used to keep all kinds of women quiet and “well-behaved.” It’s a retaliation against victim-blaming. It is not a comprehensive solution to ending sexual violence and if one of those exists, something that can change the ever-present rape culture we live in, I’d like to know about it.

      Can “slut” actually be reclaimed? I’m not sure. What I do know is that I can make the decision to not let it harm or define me and that’s as far as I can take it. I don’t need to go on a walk to do this. It’s a case-by-case thing and no one can say how SlutWalk can be embraced (or not at all) by someone else.

      Are there other tactics that work better? Sure, for certain people. Activism is about using multiple tactics to achieve a common goal. While SlutWalk doesn’t work for many, it does work for others. Instead of expecting it to tackle every injustice, perhaps we can think of an initiative that does work for these other issues.

      2. A police officer was speaking at a campus safety event at York U. Whether police actually provide safety or not is up for debate (and I myself am skeptical), but this was an entirely appropriate situtation in which to have an officer present. It was his “don’t dress like a slut” remark that was the straw that broke the organizers’ backs. We’ve seen a lot of victim blaming and slut shaming in North America, and it affects how we think of sexual violence and relations. It’s important.

      3. SlutWalk is organized in cities by people who want to host one. It is not thrust upon locations. There is no mother country colonizing other countries. No one at SWTO (where it began) is thinking “Hey, let’s do this in Argentina.” Someone in Argentina wanted to organize one.

      That said, what’s happening to coloured women and transwomen in New Orleans is appalling, and there is no question in my mind that this is a very dire situation, one more dire than being called a slut (though I maintain that the idea of a slut harms women everywhere in very serious ways). But there is a lot of terrible things happening everywhere all the time, and not everyone knows about all of it. People mobilize for change when they see something wrong and will not abide it. Normally this something is close to home. The SlutWalk organizers heard that comment from the police officer, added it to all the recent victim blaming and slut shaming, and created SlutWalk. This issue in New Orleans, it needs its own initiative, something that can give it 100% of its support and attention. I think it’s unfair to call out a separate movement for neglecting other causes.

      And this, to me, is frustrating—people can’t tackle everything. And SlutWalk *is* doing good work. It’s small-scale, sure. But it’s hopeful. And posts like this can help inform what is done about these other issues in the future. But to state that SW organizers should have looked at these issues you’ve brought up and thought twice about their event is unfair. Again, this is about diversity of tactics.

      4. SlutWalk does not control who does and does not appear in media. Many outlets in Toronto have approached the two co-founders, but other voices like Gail Dines and Jaclyn Friedman are contacted by program producers. It’s media workers who need to be pressured to be diverse and to be more inclusive.

      I find your attack on Jaclyn Friedman rather petty. She was promised airtime that came late and had been waiting for a very long time, something I consider fairly frustrating. And I can tell that you take issue with this because by all definitions, she is privileged. Her voice is being listened to. I’m privileged too. But we’re still people with reactions, not everything just rolls off. And more importantly, given more time, Jaclyn could have combatted the woman-on-woman hate and shaming that was happening on air. You know what the program did afterward? Gave airtime to rapists. I’d rather listen to her.

      5. The picture in your blog, one that has been cropping up just about everywhere, is nowehere near representative of the diversity of people who have walked in SlutWalks. They’re not a trail of young white feminist studies grads. They’re all kinds of women from all kinds of classes, backgrounds, and races. So when is this tokenization going to happen and why? Because I see a lot of women and transwomen of colour already participating.

      6. Institutional violence against women of colour does need to be addressed, but SlutWalk isn’t just about institutional violence. And as I wrote above, SW is merely one tactic, one option, for attempting to fight it. In order to properly address everything you’ve noted above, we need a lot more than SlutWalk—not a more inclusive, broadened SlutWalk, but a number of targeted initiatives.

      As for assumed safety, there is little. This is what SlutWalk is about. That with all our Western privilege, we’re still afraid. We still get raped (and blamed for it). Many women who have raped are afraid to report to the police (because they say things like “well maybe you shouldn’t have dressed like a slut,” for example). What kind of safety is that? That’s why, at least in Toronto, the walk was aimed at Toronto Police Services. In other cities, the meaning of the walk varies.

      6. All in all, I see a need for more tactics, initiatives, and organization. I have seen many, many women and transwomen of colour involved at multiple levels in SlutWalks, but I do see a need for more inclusion. What I’m really getting at here is that one movement cannot be expected to serve the needs of every person or every issue. More of us need to take on the fight.

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      • EW, can you please not say things like

        “Because I see a lot of women and transwomen of colour already participating.”

        Because saying “women and transwomen[sic]” puts trans women (note the space, it matters) into a mysterious third category and implies that we are some other thing instead of real/authentic/”regular” women. It’s othering as hell.

        The word cisgender is very helpful for making the distinction between women who are not trans and women who are. Ex:

        “Because I see a lot of cis women and trans women of color already participating.”

        Thanks for reading.

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      • To Alexandra:

        “Cis” and “trans” are prefixes taken from Latin meaning roughly “near side” and “far side”, known largely for their use in organic chemistry. As with all prefixes, they should be attached to the word. No spaces. Maybe a hyphen, but they cannot stand as words on their own, it just doesn’t make grammatical sense.

        I only point this out because, in order to gain legitimacy in your arguments, using proper grammar is key. Otherwise, people are wont to dismiss them without thought! :D

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      • @Grammar: “cis” and “trans” should be used as distinct words, adjectivally. “Trans” is an umbrella term that includes people who are transgender, transsexual, genderqueer, and more. There is a precedent for this kind of use (“Indo European”), and there is also a distinction in meaning that you’re missing if you insist on third-gendering us with “transwoman” or “transman.”

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      • Thank you EW for contributing. It is important that this movement does not get bashed and brought to its knees by a person with a hate agenda toward white women. Not everybody interested in going is white, and even if it were, white women get raped, too, and deserve to have a voice just as much as ANY OTHER RACE DOES. One race is not more important than the other. And just because the two people who HAPPENED TO START THIS WERE WHITE – it is getting coined a “supremacist” operation? That is so sad and pathetic that you have to go to that level for such a good cause.
        I have had enough of this crap. Many people now, because of this *#^%&#^$* article think this means that white people should be afraid of asking for an alliance with black people in standing up against the whole concept of rape because this is the kind of abuse they are going to get. This is awful. I hope to God that other people see through this person’s hate agenda and reject her ideas, and join the movement.
        Great movements come with great criticism, and instead of standing there and trying to tear it down, JOIN IT. And make it what it is, without trying to invalidate ANYBODY.
        This woman hates whites so much that she thinks that we don’t have a right to speak out if any of us are raped. This is taking things too far, and I won’t stand for it. What an evil, heartless thing to do. Imagine she were a police officer – and I was a white woman who was raped – imagine how she would treat me based on her personal problems with white women, imagine how much she would laugh in my face.
        but the thing is, I was never the person who hurt her – I wasn’t the person. I am the victim who was hurt. She helps the rapists more than anything else. That’s who she helps. She is on their side, not anyone else’s.
        So long as it happens to a white person, she is ok with rape – 100%. that’s all I see in her writing, is her HATE.

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      • @Hear, Hear.

        You state that “Many people now, because of this *#^%&#^$* article think this means that white people should be afraid of asking for an alliance with black people in standing up against the whole concept of rape because this is the kind of abuse they are going to get.”

        I see from this, based on and because of your comment, that non-white people should be afraid of asking for an alliance with white people in standing up against the whole concept of rape because this is the kind of abuse they are going to get.

        Seriously, really? I can see your hate from here… and yeah I’m white too. Wow. Just wow. You say we shouldn’t try to invalidate anybody or prevent them from speaking out. So, you fail at your own professed goals. You also ignore the way rape and sexual violence has been used against non-white women more/in different ways than against white women in our society, historically.

        Btw, as a white woman, this post doesn’t make me afraid to ask for an alliance. It illuminates reasons why I myself was uncomfortable with SlutWalk, and it brings to my attention reasons other women have for that discomfort that may or may not impact me personally, but that are damn well important. So listen up instead of being a troll.

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      • well I’m white. And I can see the white supremacy and white supremacist colonization within the Slutwalk movement as it spreads from country to country. And I don’t have a problem seeing it, or admitting it. Because I’m not racist.

        Have you noticed? The only people who ever complain when someone points out some bit of unfairness which turns out to be racism, are people who are racist.

        And make no mistake, it is noteworthy indeed that it is the very same people who can’t see the harm in re-labeling all women as sluts, who also can’t see the racism. And who also deny the existence of racism, even after it’s been carefully delineated for them. Fact is, women of color *are* treated differently, and sexism affects them on a whole ‘nother level than how sexism affects white women.

        I think white women need to ensure that they’re not guilt-tripping women of color into participating in a racist event. But it’s really too late. Why are white women only trying to drag them into participating NOW, after the exclusion has been pointed out? Well, obviously the white women are just trying to cover their butts.

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    • Hey Julie,

      I’m noticing that us PoC SlutWalkers commenting on this thread are being ignored (in favour of comment wars on reverse racism o_O) so I wanted to say that I hear you and thank you for speaking.

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  6. Thank you so much for this! :) And to the commentor upthread, no the slutwalk organizers are not “considering any criticism” they get, because hello they keep organizing more! The whole point of the criticism is that they’re harming women, not helping. And they refuse to engage honestly with the criticism — all they do is keep repeating how empowered they are.

    Anyway, thanks again for this, it’s just massive fail when these self-identified “feminists” completely ignore the perspective of women of color. Just goes to show how little thought they put into this.

    Er, the co-founder is an art student, found through this link:

    http://www.feminisms.org/2585/were-sluts-not-feminists-wherein-my-relationship-with-slutwalk-gets-rocky/

    And I notice from the slutwalk toronto page they’re doing a fine job of revising history a day at a time. Don’t fall for their hype.

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    • Yes! @Andrea — exactly. The organizers in Toronto keep telling everyone they want to hear and engage with criticism and ‘do better’ and yet….More Slutwalks?? Heather Jarvis contacted me to ‘talk’ after I wrote my post (which you linked to above) and I responded and said I was happy to chat. We scheduled a time and day, I passed on my phone number, and she never showed. I have no idea what there is to talk about, I’ve made my points pretty clear. Nonetheless, these events, to me, reek of white privilege. The whole BUT I’M EMPOWERED. IT’S MY CHOICE. THIS IS ABOUT ME crap is very much embedded in middle class, white women’s discourse. It’s like we’ve all read too many self help books or something. Telling the world that ‘we’ are reclaiming ‘slut’ is NOT, in any was, hearing the criticism or objections from other women, alienates other women, and tells men (and other women) that YEAH go ahead and call us ALL sluts. It’s ok now. Not ok. I say not ok. Where is this criticism being heard or reflected?

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      • White womyn DO NOT HAVE PRIVILEGE. Why can’t a lot of you get this in your heads? Only men have it. Hating on white people isn’t going to help the situation.

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      • @Kat: You should really have a better understand of the term “privilege” before you speak on it.

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    • “Anyway, thanks again for this, it’s just massive fail when these self-identified “feminists” completely ignore the perspective of women of color. ”

      Funny how the women of colour participating in SlutWalk have been commenting here – including me – and we’re all being ignored by everyone else, including folks like you.

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  7. m Andrea: All the SlutWalks are locally organised by people in those cities who resonate with the ideas behind the first SlutWalk and feel that it works in that city. I am a South Asian migrant in Brisbane who is heavily involved with the SlutWalk here (and nearly organised it before a couple of others took care of the logistics) and I feel that people are putting way too much responsibility into SWToronto.

    All SWToronto did was to organise a SlutWalk in response to a comment by a Toronto police person. It was a TORONTO-specific concern; why would they go out to other cities if they’re not based there? Canada and the USA are two DIFFERENT countries with likely very different issues around police. It’s not up to them to *start* a SW in New Orleans – that’s up to the New Orleans folk. The other SlutWalks will negotiate with the police and community issues the way their city knows best.

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      • Hi-5! :) ;)

        That is so cool that New Orleans is putting on a SlutWalk, hopefully in a way that is best for them! Austin is having SlutWalk this Saturday, so 6 days from now. I gotta decide before then if I’m going or not!

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  8. I really, really appreciate you posting this. This is missing from the visible discussions of Slutwalk and it’s obvious why, since everyone you approached has ignored you. People are so busy defending Slutwalk against criticisms like Margaret Wente’s that they completely ignore the fact that there actually ARE major problems with it.

    Thank you.

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  9. I don’t know if all of them this way, but at least on a local level to me (Riverside, CA) it was organized from the ground up…which actually made it a little more difficult than the Take Back The Night demonstrations but anyways, this one is being organized by a fierce woman of color, and centered the same way. Like Creatrix said, you’re putting way too much responsibility on SWToronto and completely ignoring the involvement of locals.

    So, in this post it seems like you are making Women of Color completely invisible so you can focus on on white women. Nice.

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  10. Thank you all for your thoughtful comments – including the ones I disagree with. It feels like we’ve finally opened up a space for dialogue that was previously made unavailable by some of the processes I explained above.

    I was just sent an email that contained a link I wish I had read before, written by a South African writer, feminist and grad student, who articulates the way she was disempowered by her attempt to participate in SlutWalk Toronto. I highly recommend taking a serious look: http://www.musingsandmoans.com/2011/04/response-to-slut-walk.html

    I look forward to more dialogue!

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    • Not to late to include that link in your original post, Aura — many people are still reading for the first time, and many genuine feminists will continue to link to your post for many years to come. Really. Because this is yet another instance where a woman of color says, “hey this is racism” and her viewpoint was minimized by a bunch of racist, sexist and yes, privileged twits.

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  11. I’ve just been asked to speak at SlutWalk Los Angeles on June 4.

    It’s important to know that SlutWalk L.A. is organized by a committee over 50% women of color, working-class community college women. SlutWalk is about fighting sexual assault and standing strong with ALL survivors and victims. This includes genderqeers, transfolk, women, men, and children and the LGB community.

    I am personally involved because I am fighting against sexual assault — not because I love the word slut. (I don’t hate the word, either, but I get it that some people do.) That said, I oppose the slut-shaming culture we live in and I also understand how the word itself affects various communities in different ways.

    I take seriously the various concerns raised by this post and comments. I think it’s incredibly important to this movement that we fight sexual assault — not each other!

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  12. Shira: As I think you already know, the opinion that “SlutWalk L.A. is organized by a committee over 50% women of color, working-class community college women” was tweeted by the white male professor who is organizing a community college contingent. (I should add that, instead of ever listening to me, a woman of color, he felt compelled to correct me on Twitter. Three times.)

    As I already wrote, “SlutWalk’s next turn, I’m quite sure, will be our tokenization. I imagine that women of color will be coddled by white SlutWalk organizers, eager to save (white)face, into carrying their frontline banners and parroting their messages at a stage near you. I’m hoping my sisters won’t fall for it; I know that I, for one, will stay home. This is not liberation – if anything, Slutwalk is an effective exercise in white supremacy.” The fact that a white male professor is the one making sure that some poor brown and black arms are holding up a banner he thinks suits them reeks of coercion and disgusts me. It’s truly shameful.

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    • The women of color who support the Slut Walk including participants in the LA march are NOT tokens!! They are not mindlessly doing this march – as implied by the reference of the word token. Nor are they being “coddled” for crying out loud.

      Victim blaming is an issue that impacts all women — especially women of color. Which is why the women of color from LA should be applauded for organizing and participating in the Slut Walk marches. I, a woman of color, support this march and will be participating.

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      • Thank you. The idea that WoC who participate must be tokenistic is insulting and belittling the intelligence of WoC. We don’t need you white feminists trying to save us from ourselves.

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  13. Could it be that white women just happen to be the ones who are bothered to stand up and make their voices heard when women from other ethnic groups just can’t be bothered? You say it’s a white movement but you’ve not given any evidence as far as I can see that proves that other groups have tried to raise the issue on their own. So what that white women were the first to get the issue to the headlines? That doesn’t mean that other women can’t get involved, especially if they’re affected by the same issues.
    As always, I think you put too much emphasis on race and are determined to see conflict and discrimination where it simply doesn’t exist. The fact that the majority of women in the walk were white doesn’t mean that other ethnic groups were driven out, it could simply be that the area in which the protest was taking place was overwhelmingly white. I wouldn’t cry racial inequality if I saw a slutwalk that was overwhemingly black if it were taking place in subsaharan Africa.

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    • But many of these SlutWalks are happening in cities that are not majority white. And there are types of sexual violence that affect women of color in frighteningly disproportionate ways (black women in New Orleans were mentioned) or have far more severe consequences for women of color (undocumented women were also mentioned, and all people of color face more severe consequences in our racist criminal justice system). Shouldn’t a movement to challenge sexual violence reflect these realities?

      And do you really think that women of color just aren’t organizing against sexual violence? Or are you playing devil’s advocate with that? Either way, do you see why it’s problematic to look at a protest that’s mostly white and assume that women of color “just can’t be bothered” to come? I mean you call out the writer for not presenting evidence, but then tell a woman of color she’s wrong about racism without any evidence of your own. I live in NYC, and, in my opinion, some of the best organizing against heteropatriarchy and institutional violence is being done by feminist and LGBTQ that are run by people of color and/or explicitly anti-racist. But the mainstream coverage of women’s and LGBTQ issues is dominated by white faces. And that tendency is what’s informing this critique.

      If you’re interested in learning more about the white-washing of feminism, I think bell hooks and Patricia Hill Collins do a great job explaining it.

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      • Firstly, I live on the opposite side of the Atlantic to yourself and thus don’t share your ‘racist criminal justice system’ so I can’t comment on the ‘disproportionate consequences’ for ethnic minorities. As far as I can see, the UK justice system isn’t perfect but racism isn’t a critique which is often levelled at it.

        As for your comment about the Slutwalk movement having to reflect the realities of the racial makeup of the city in which it is taking place, I agree, but the fact that it doesn’t seems to indicate that it’s not resonating with those ethnic groups that aren’t as strongly represented as they should be. This is an absence which in my view indicates apathy amongst ethnic minority communities. I believe that if white determination were absent from the feminist movement then the movement itself would be significantly poorer. Protesting against the resultant white hue therefore strikes me almost as though you’re hitting the gift horse in the mouth.

        You’ve said that sexual violence affects women disproportionately across different communities. I agree with that, but many of the issues, whether they affect each community differently or not are still faced by all ethnicities and social classes and I can’t see the problem with all grouping together under one protest all of the different nuances of harm in order to achieve more impact. I think that the momentum gained as a whole is much more powerful than the sum of its’ parts would indicate and that whining about the racial makeup of the protest is irrelevant. I wonder how many people looked at that photo and thought ‘oh they’re all white, rape and sexual violence can only be a white problem then’.

        Finally, I just wanted to challenge your notion that ‘difference must not be merely tolerated, but seen as a fund of necessary polarities between which our creativity can spark like a dialectic’. While a noble vision, I think it’s slightly unrealistic. Differences do exist, people seize upon them to make themselves feel unique. The very existence of a LGBTQ movement perpetuates the cycle and draws a very clear line between hetero- and other.

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      • Excuse me? Whitewashing of feminism?
        Get over it; women and people who get raped are also white.
        Invalidating them for being raped just because they are white is a racist move of YOURS – I don’t care what color you are.
        The other thing is it’s far more worse for other races when they get raped? Excuse me – it’s bad for everybody. Just because you hate white people doesn’t mean they aren’t allowed to have a voice. Get with the program – whites get raped, too. White men, white women, as well as blacks. You are trying to part people instead of letting them stand together.
        Whites have just as much as a right to protest for their rights as blacks, or hispanics or anyone else does.
        So you are saying that white people DESERVE to get raped because they are white “b***hes” and blacks don’t? You are racist. We are a black person and a white person reading all of this nonsense together, and we are just shaking our heads.
        People like you wish we were not friends. People like you wish you could call SlutWalks a white movement.
        It is racist of you to call SlutWalks a white movement. It’s not. You are racist against whites, and if you don’t like racism, then don’t be racist. You got a problem? Take it up with the people who rape, not those who want to protest it, but oh – I forgot since you hate white people so much, they are the only ones in the world allowed to get raped. And everybody else is valid hen it happens to them, according to you. Just because everybody hates the white woman, it’s ok if they get raped. You are a sicko.

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      • I’m actually a white man who has experienced sexual violence. I was never trying to say that rape is worse for people of color. I see how it might’ve come across that way, but I would never intentionally invalidate sexual violence experience by white people–or anyone. I’ve spent a long time working to come to terms with my own experiences. That, along with seeing so many people close me (of all different races, ages, classes, genders, and sexual identities) hurt by sexual violence, brought me into organizing to challenge that violence and support survivors. So I’m sorry it came across as invalidating. Definitely wasn’t my intention.

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      • Joe Blog as a black person who has lived in both the Uk and the Us Ill just say this calmly you are another blind person, don’t talk nonsense. If you believe racial profilling is not happening here you must live in the shires somewhere or have no blacks male friends under the age of 30 if you do, after you have done the research(wikipedia is far from perfect but hey it is a starter. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_British#Crime) go ask them and then maybe you can read that Paul Gilroy ain’t not black in the union and then survey some of those friends if you have them and then maybe come again with the nonsense. On the whole issue reclaiming slut is backwards as hell, but then again much of new age femisnim seems somehow backward as hell to me Im going to liberate my self by having as much sex as men do as if the male behaviour was acceptable in the first place. but hey

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      • God you piss me off!
        This whole march is about proving that just by wearing certain cloths you are not asking for rape.
        This whole “slutwalk against women of color” is just BULLSHIT. an excuse for chicks pissy at whites to pull the race card, and it’s disgusting. Women if color CAN’T be excluded from the walk because you can’t force them to not come. You can’t force them to not walk.

        I go to anime conventions in AZ. MOST OF THE PEOPLE ARE WHITE. does this make us racist? No. Many nonwhite people just prefer not to come.
        THIS WHOLE BLOG IS STUPID, RACIST, AND TRYING TO TWIST A GOOD MARCH INTO SOMETHING IT’S NOT

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    • “Could it be that white women just happen to be the ones who are bothered to stand up and make their voices heard when women from other ethnic groups just can’t be bothered?”

      Congratulations. You just failed as a human being.

      Why don’t you try opening your ears up (or in this case, your eyes) and listen to the woman of color again.

      I’m white, as I stated back up the comments a ways, and yet I have been in a lower socioeconomic class for most of my life, and I have lived in what white folks call a “bad neighborhood.” So I have had a taste of how the cops and the city government and the landlords behave when the nice middle-class white folks, especially the men, are not looking. It’s not like YOU have to worry about it. YOU don’t have to LIVE there.

      I don’t either, anymore. My white skin gave me a free pass to get out. Many others are not so lucky.

      They don’t *dare* speak up, most of the time. They know that while there are a few good cops on every police force (at least they probably know that on an intellectual level even if they don’t experience it firsthand), those few good cops cannot rein in everyone else who is at best indifferent and at worst perpetuating of the injustices that people of color face.

      Why don’t you go look up Tim Wise on the internets and hear what he has to say about it. Another white person, and I don’t always agree with everything he says, but the typical pattern with white folks like you is you won’t believe what a person of color has to say unless a white dude interprets it for you. So go on, go check him out.

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      • Your white skin gave you a pass to get out? So someone came up to you said “You’re white! Here’s the deed to your new home in a nicer neighborhood.” Or did you work for it and get yourself out? This is what I can’t stand about discussions of privilege and socioeconomic status. Saying that you were able to get out because you are white while your poc neighbors were not and therefore are trapped totally invalidates the idea that anybody can do anything for themselves and rise above their circumstances. I don’t deny that we live in a society that makes it harder for black people to advance in the world than white people, but I won’t for a second agree that our system makes them completely incapable of making positive changes in their lives.

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    • I’m late to the thread here, but I couldn’t let this comment slide. White women are not the first or only women standing up to be heard on this, they are just the only ones who usually get recognition for it. And I say this as a white feminist. You should really check out the incredible work being done by groups like INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence, Communities Against Rape and Abuse (CARA), and Sista II Sista, to name just a few groups lead by women of color that are working against sexual violence. You should also consider reading The Color of Violence to gain more insight into why these issues disproportionately impact women of color.

      Also, to the white people who are claiming reverse racism here, as a white woman and a person who has dedicated her career to working with DV survivors, pointing out how sexual violence disproportionately and differently impacts women of color does not make the writer anti-white or insensitive to white survivors, it is pointing out a well-documented fact. If you can’t get over your defensiveness long enough to hear that and grow as a person from it, I feel really bad for you, because you are going to continue living your life missing a large piece of the equation and sounding idiotic.

      Not to mention the fact the reverse racism CAN NOT EXIST. Racisim is racial prejudice that is backed by institutional power. While it is possible for people (although NOT the writer here for simply pointing out yet another example of white supremacy) to potentially have a prejudice against white people, that is not the same as racism because it is not institutionally backed by anything. And I just want to re-emphasize that pointing out examples of white supremacy does not make a person anti-white, it is something we all need to be doing on a daily basis if we want to move towards equality. You all should be thanking her for taking the time to write such a thoughtful essay instead of attacking her.

      Finally, Aura, thank you so much for writing this.

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    • Firstly, I live on the opposite side of the Atlantic to yourself and thus don’t share your ‘racist criminal justice system’ so I can’t comment on the ‘disproportionate consequences’ for ethnic minorities. As far as I can see, the UK justice system isn’t perfect but racism isn’t a critique which is often levelled at it.

      As for your comment about the Slutwalk movement having to reflect the realities of the racial makeup of the city in which it is taking place, I agree, but the fact that it doesn’t seems to indicate that it’s not resonating with those ethnic groups that aren’t as strongly represented as they should be. This is an absence which in my view indicates apathy amongst ethnic minority communities. I believe that if white determination were absent from the feminist movement then the movement itself would be significantly poorer. Protesting against the resultant white hue therefore strikes me almost as though you’re hitting the gift horse in the mouth.

      You’ve said that sexual violence affects women disproportionately across different communities. I agree with that, but many of the issues, whether they affect each community differently or not are still faced by all ethnicities and social classes and I can’t see the problem with all grouping together under one protest all of the different nuances of harm in order to achieve more impact. I think that the momentum gained as a whole is much more powerful than the sum of its’ parts would indicate and that whining about the racial makeup of the protest is irrelevant. I wonder how many people looked at that photo and thought ‘oh they’re all white, rape and sexual violence can only be a white problem then’.

      Finally, I just wanted to challenge your notion that ‘difference must not be merely tolerated, but seen as a fund of necessary polarities between which our creativity can spark like a dialectic’. While a noble vision, I think it’s slightly unrealistic. Differences do exist, people seize upon them to make themselves feel unique. The very existence of a LGBTQ movement perpetuates the cycle and draws a very clear line between hetero- and other.

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      • Hi Tom. I live in the UK too. When’s the last time you spoke to a person of colour about the UK ‘justice’ system? What’s that? Oh, never? Oh, well that explains why you’ve never pieced together a thought about why people of colour in the UK are disproportionately imprisoned, killed by the police or killed in mental institutions by the police or by NHS staff. Next time you make a statement about something you know nothing about, I think you would come across as less of a twat if you did at least two to three minutes research. Just a quick Google of ‘UK justice system and racism’ would make you 35% less of a twat almost instantaneously.

        As for ‘This is an absence which in my view indicates apathy amongst ethnic minority communities. I believe that if white determination were absent from the feminist movement then the movement itself would be significantly poorer.’

        It troubles me that you took up so much space on this blog trying to pad out the basic statement that people of colour are lazy. Next time you want to bring such an analysis to the table, I say just go for it. Just go all out and call us lazy. Leave the padding, leave the context, leave the quasi political rationalisation. Just call us lazy in one sentence and be done with it. It’s nothing we haven’t heard before, from a thousand racist who think just like you. Just have the balls to come out and state it. You’re not alone. You’ve got the backing of such groups as the BNP, The English Defence League, The KKK, etc. All big organisations. They’re all behind you. So just come out and say it. Call us lazy. And then don’t post any more comments.

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  14. The main focus of Slutwalk is about demanding an end to systemic victim blaming and shaming. Despite the imperfection of the movement, I think that this goal is a valuable one for women of colour.

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  15. Where can I go to support a protest created by people of colour that specifically targets the justice system’s inclination for rape-victim blaming and shaming?

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  16. While you bring up some good points, I also believe there’s a lot of hypocrisy in this post. Your grasp of the facts regarding the diversity of SlutWalk’s organizers has been challenged multiple times and yet you refuse to acknowledge that. Why is SlutWalk bound to address your criticism if you’re somehow immune from the same? Why is Hugo Schwyzer to be slandered for correcting misinformation? And when you are confronted with the fact that women of color are in fact very involved with organizing some of these events, you refer to their involvement as “tokenization.” That devalues their choices to participate in the movement and you have no right to do that. Why don’t you contact some of them and ask them about their reasons for participating before you conclude that their involvement is the result of tokenization? Maybe, just maybe, the organizers of the Argentinian event do find slut-shaming to be a problem in their community and have made the autonomous choice to hold a SlutWalk in response to it. You don’t know because you haven’t even bothered to ask.

    Finally, you insult the organizers of the event by identifying them with the term “white supremacist,” a term commonly used to refer to neo-Nazis and other individuals engaged in race hatred. That term is not appropriate to the situation and possesses deeply offensive connotations.

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    • “Finally, you insult the organizers of the event by identifying them with the term “white supremacist”

      How, then, does privilege exist without the condition of supremacy? I don’t like soft language that conceals reality…

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      • I’m not advocating for soft language, but rather for correct language. I am objecting to the use of a term that is used to denote individuals engaged in race hatred. It refers to a specific ideology, and that ideology is not at play here. The use of it is offensive. It is a slur. It’s possible to call someone out on their privilege without accusing them of belonging to a movement that regularly commits hate crimes.

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      • Gabriel, seriously. Do you think a woman who happens to be white who is raped has any “supremacy”? Get real. Take your hate towards whites elsewhere, and stop further attacking women who are sick of being attacked by other people.

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      • People seem to be not understanding what “white supremacy” means. It isn’t limited to somebody running around with a white hood over their head burning crosses on the front lawns, and actively engaged in acts of terrorism.

        White supremacy includes things which are more passive, more subtle, and more indirect. It means a set of beliefs which consciously or unconsciously promotes the dominant narrative (which benefits the dominant group at the expense of people of color), and it is this narrative which encourages an environment where people of color are dehumanized in various ways.

        The focus, as always, is on the victim. Things white people say without analzing what they say, ends up causing other white people to make life unfair for people of color, in ways the first white person may never have intended. But we don’t care about intentions, because we’re focusing on the UNFAIR harm accruing to the victim. And the harm needs to stop, because it’s UNFAIR.

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      • Or as bell hooks said in “Talking Back: Thinking Feminist, Thinking Black” — “When liberal whites fail to understand how they can and/or do embody white supremacist values and beliefs even though they may not embrace racism as prejudice or domination (especially domination that involves coercive control), they cannot recognize the ways their actions support and affirm the very structure of racist domination and oppression that they wish to see eradicated.”

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    • SWTO leadership remains white, and you’re wrong in assuming they have addressed my criticism — in fact, I have yet to hear from any of them.

      Schwyzer is not being slandered; instead I am highlighting the fact that a white male professor created a Facebook group for Pasadena City College students to attend SlutWalk LA. As an actual student of color myself, this is extremely problematic to me, especially since I’ve already had one student from his campus personally reach out to me and express that she feels intimidated by the pressure she feels to join an event that she does not identify with, largely because she does not want to take Schwyzer on.

      You and others have pointed out that I may, in fact, be disregarding the real involvement of women of color as tokenizing — yet many more have expressed that they agree with my point about tokenization. If SW Toronto or Boston leadership steps forward and says, “Surprise! We’re actually mostly women of color!!” then I’ll admit I was wrong. But I don’t see that happening.

      In regards to Argentina: since I was born and raised there, and still consider it my home, I am very familiar what the ways white Global North people come down, fetishize our poverty, and supply us with alien ideas about activism (despite the fact that Argentina has a vibrant, unmatched history of radical activism itself). I know several Argentine feminists, and all have told me they believe this is the case. So maybe, just maybe, you can trust someone who is from there to tell you what’s up. This, of course, requires listening with respect, which, according to your epic rant, you seem opposed to attempting.

      Finally, the way that SlutWalk, as an institution, has been dominated by white people makes it white supremacist; they have created a hierarchy in which, by choosing their specific messaging and white spokespersons, they placed white women on top, with women of colors’ messages or ability to be moved in front of a camera was placed last. So, regardless of its intent, SlutWalk is, in effect, white supremacist. That term is the most appropriate to the situation and deeply conveys what I, and others, want to express.

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      • SWTO has in fact addressed it on their Facebook. That’s how I discovered your article.

        You’re raising a criticism without really offering a solution. The leadership of SWTO started the event in response to a problematic comment from a police officer. Should they not have responded? Should they have kept silent because they are white? It’s absolutely fair to examine the organizing process to discover whether or not women of color were excluded from that process, either deliberately or inadvertently. But to suspect that is automatically the case because the leadership is white is unfair.

        Ditto for Schwyzer. A community college professor created a Facebook group for community college students organizing a SlutWalk. Do you know whether or not he was asked to do this? Again, you’ve rushed to conclusions without asking the individuals involved about the facts. If a student feels pressured into joining the event then that is absolutely wrong. But you didn’t say that in your post. You merely criticized Schwyzer for correcting your facts, and then criticized him again for having a role in the event. Other posters have also corrected you, and have stated that women of color have been involved in these events as participants and organizers yet you ignore that.

        You say you know several Argentine feminists, and I would never try to state that I understand Argentina better than you do. But the fact remains that you have. not. spoken to the organizers of the Argentinian event. You haven’t allowed them the opportunity to express their respective reasons for holding it. This is highly problematic. Of course, asking them about their reasons would also require listening with respect.

        Creating a truly inclusive organizing process is a valuable discussion. I’m the co-organizer of the Day for Reproductive Justice in Columbus, and yes, I and my other co-organizer are white. We are marginalized in other ways, due to our respective gender identities, orientations and disabilities, but inclusivity has still been a paramount concern for us. In order to address that, our rally doesn’t have a list of speakers. All attendees will have the opportunity to share their experiences and motivations for participating. Maybe that’s a solution that SlutWalk’s organizers could consider. But your post offered no such solutions, which makes it appear like criticism for criticism’s sake. Doubly so when you insist on using a slur to refer to the Toronto event’s organizers.

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      • That’s right, Sarah, this is exactly what this racist woman is saying. She is saying that white women have to all shut up because they don’t matter and they don’t count, and they don’t have a right to speak out and protest because for some reason the social progress movement is only something that belongs to people who aren’t white, so if a white person gets raped then they are not allowed to talk. So basically she is on the side of the rapist. What a sinister, evil, and downright mean woman who takes sick pleasure in women getting hurt – so long as she’s white – it’s ok – this person right here who wrote the article. There are all kinds of people like her in all colors shapes and sizes and they are racist.

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      • Sarah, I live in Columbus. In fact I now live in what’s probably considered one of the more inclusive neighborhoods in Columbus, and I have a small daughter, and we go to the Whetstone playground. And while there is some interaction across racial lines, it’s still pretty clear that whites keep to whites and blacks keep with blacks (and so on through the color range) with the possible exception of the interracial-adoption families where white folks have bought kids on the international market because there’s such a shortage of children in American foster care that they needed some other way to display their generosity and compassion.

        I’m also from the South and while I know the difference between calling someone the N-bomb or lynching them and merely excluding people of color from leadership in an activist protest or ignoring a person of color’s emails or phone calls? I also know racism when I see it. And I see it here all the damn time.

        Just because you’re not straight and you’re disabled, by the way, doesn’t give you a unique perspective into understanding the POC point of view. Number one, there IS no “the” POC point of view. Number two, while oppressions do intersect, they all have different origins and motivations and outcomes. You walk a different path, end of story. If this is how you listen to the concerns of a woman of color and respond to them then remind me to not participate in your activism. I fear I would not be listened to either.

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    • The fact that you want me to provide a solution for a problem I didn’t create only exposes your own idiocy, and (again) inability to listen. This is the last time I will responding to you, and suggest you question why you, a white woman, feel it is so necessary to take up so much space on a post which critiques your style of thinking. I would have been glad to engage with you had you been informed and respectful — even if we disagreed — but your constant display of ignorance and defense of white supremacy is something I will waste no more time analyzing.

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      • Wait, so we’re clear: I disagree with you, so I’m an idiot? Wow. Thanks for insulting my intelligence and accusing me of race hatred all in the same post! I mean, it’s not as if I face such similar patronization as a person with disabilities on a daily basis. You just shot your own cause in the foot.

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      • Sarah – whatever. This female who wrote this is a racist bigot against whites. She has an agenda of hate. IF you are white, she won’t listen to you – she is a hateful person. She is ruining everything, and is trying to incite racial tension and violence around these marches. She is trying to destroy a good thing. Instead of taking up her concerns with the organization who is coordinating all of this she is trying to rip them apart. I was on the outside looking in with this situation, but now I am getting involved. My friends and I are infuriated about it. And no, they aren’t white girls, but if they were – it’s all the same that it’s not right to invalidate survivors of sexual abuse JUST BECAUSE THEY ARE WHITE. Man, you have no idea how furious I am about this. How dare this person even call herself a woman?
        But I find it particularly interesting that among the people who are so appalled at this article ARE people who are black and hispanic. It just goes to show, thank thankfully, not everybody out there is a hater of white people and aren’t racist against whites.
        We are all saying today right now with each other the common saying that one cannot fight racism with counter racism, and that’s exactly what the person who wrote the article did.
        A racist agenda isn’t social change, it’s just fighting racism with racism.
        I am glad many people are much more progressive than this and are wiser what this person was trying to do. You can’t fight hate with hate.

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      • You are all so ridiculous. I just can’t even comprehend a myriad of things, including (but certainly not limited to):
        1. How you think you have any right to colonize this post with your hateful, useless, and yes, stupid comments that COMPLETELY miss the point of this article.
        2. You are using such classically racist arguments, by appropriating the language of equity and anti-racism, that it blows my mind. By calling the author racist – a self-identifying woman of colour – though she never actually says these women are supremacist, says that she hates white women, or says that her “race” is superior in any way, you call her racist and hateful. When ACTUALLY you all are the ones being just that – racist and hateful – by shutting her argument down (clearly without actually having read or understood it) and two, by implying that she is unresearched or studied in the topic (though she clearly explains several times that her queries have gone unanswered) and three, by completely ignoring your own implicit, inherent, and undeniable privilege as (I’m assuming by your ridiculous attitudes) cis white women. So shut up.
        3. You tactics are so immature and belie your actual and complete ignorance of what equity, anti-racism, anti-oppression, feminism and a little thing that people like to term privilege and intersecting modes of oppression are.

        Honestly, reading some the comments here, mostly from you two, have made me disgusted.

        Aura, on the other hand, thank you so much for posting this – I’m not going to lie, I’m a cis white woman – but I loved this post and I think you are spot on with this movement, and what it’s trying (and failing) to accomplish.

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      • @Courtney

        Thanks for posting that, I was getting a headache from all the crazy and you summed it up nicely. The language appropriation is a biggie. Especially, there’s no such thing as reverse racism (“counter racism”?), since that requires a power relation that isn’t in place (semantics aside, it’s the power relations that are relevant). So, thanks for posting what I was thinking. :)

        Wait, can I just mention that to say “how dare this person call herself a woman” is super-extra-crazy??? I would say “haha” but it isn’t funny.

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    • Whilst I’m appalled at Sarahjane’s comments, as the author pointed out, it is educational to have a comment displaying a white feminist’s defence of white supremacy following an article addressing white feminist’s defence of white supremacy.

      And this has been already pointed out, but being disabled and not straight might make you an expert on disability oppression and homophobia. It does not make you an expert on racism (I know this being a disabled person of colour who is not straight. But also your comments about race kind of gave it away).

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  17. Aura, please don’t ever stop writing. I love you, muxer. Te dejo con las palabras de Nuestra Gloria who wrote US a letter…pa’ estos tiempos fregados:

    “Why am I compelled to write? Because writing saves me from this complacency I hear. Because I have no choice. Because I must keep the spirit of my revolt and myself alive. Because the world I create in the writing compensates for what the real world does not give me. By writing I put order in the world, give it a handle so I can grasp it. I write because life does not appease my appetites and hunger. I write to record what others erase when I speak to rewrite the stories others have miswritten about me, about you. To discover myself, to preserve myself, to make myself, to achieve autonomy. To dispel the myths that I am a mad prophet or a poor suffering soul. To convince myself that I am worthy and that what I have to say is not a pile of shit. To show that I can and that I will write, never mind their admonitions to the contrary. And I will write about the unmentionables, never mind the outraged gasp of the censor and the audience. Finally, I write because I’m scared of writing but I’m more scared of not writing.”

    Keep gasping, haters. You wanna play with fire until you realize that fire is HOT and you’re gonna get BURNED.

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    • Right – a threat – but the only one who is fighting fire with fire are you guys. You are fighting racism with racism, and hate with hate. You are violent people, and do not belong in a movement that is against violence. End of story.

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      • Honestly,

        Please read some books. simple sociology texts, The history of America texts, social work books, anything- and then start posting on blogs.

        Pointing out systemic injustice isn’t racism, it is a reality shaped by the history of this country. And pointing out how some movements further marginalize certain groups isn’t racism, it is again, a call for people to take notice that in their quest for equality they are excluding another group from it. please be more informed before you start name calling other people. you’ll be doing a service to yourself and others.

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      • Honestly,

        Please read some books. simple sociology texts, The history of America texts, social work books, anything- and then start posting on blogs.

        Pointing out systemic injustice isn’t racism, it is a reality shaped by the history of this country. And pointing out how some movements further marginalize certain groups isn’t racism, it is again, a call for people to take notice that in their quest for equality they are excluding another group from it. please be more informed before you start name calling other people. you’ll be doing a service to yourself and others.

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    • I am white, and I see the racism. I am massively ashamed at the level of ignorance displayed by the WHITE SUPREMACISTS in this thread who cloak their own hatred in the language of liberation and disguise their guilt-trippy manipulation silencing techiques as the behavior of a dis-interested, neutral observer.

      You are not neutral. You have a position, a world view which you are promoting. Recognize it, own it, and then trash it — for it is utter freaking garbage.

      Never did I think I would see the day where such a foolish tool of the patriachy would stoop so low as to accuse a woman of color of “hating white people” merely because she hates the oppression which some white people inflict. Do you also think women who hate the oppression which some men inflict onto women, is “hating men”? I bet you do, in which case it’s doubtful that you would call yourself a feminist, so why are you here?

      Honest to god, from what website are you people coming? Where are these people congregating that they are all so dumb?

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  18. I just want to object to the photo at the top of this page as being taken as representative of most/all slutwalk participants.

    As someone who was not involved in the organization of the event, but did attend the Toronto march, there was an incredible diversity of people present – both women, men, trans, adults, children and so on. Some were white, many were not, and there were a number of Indigenous organizers present as well.

    Moreover, some people felt that wearing “slutty” outfits (and by this I mean outfits stero-typically understood as slutty) like the ones pictured above but many people took different approaches. I personally wore jogging attire because that is when I feel most vulnerable and objectified and labeled, many wore regular clothes, I’m guessing to make the point that being a slut doesn’t necessarily have much to do with what you’re wearing.

    That picture above bears little resemblance to what the totality of the walk looked like, and the diversity present. This is in no way to disparage those particular women, but but merely to point out that there were a variety of different approaches to the event!

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  19. Yet, one has to wonder the extent to which organizers “play to” misogynist media with such personas and the march title. One can’t merely dismiss that message by arguing variety. There is a catering to raunch culture and the GGW esthetic that needs to be taken into account in understanding why a society that is just fine with sexual exploitation gives ample coverage to these events and sets up the feminists that vocally disagree.
    Another angle of the race issue has been, for me at least, the way defenders of “reclaimg sluttiness” have pointed out sdme use of the word “nigger” within the Black community. I tfeel that this analogy fails on many points – Blacks haven’t for decades put themselves on show as “niggers” for the entertainment of White folks – and doesn’t do justice to our responsibility, as Whites, for racism.

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  20. The reason that none of the aforementioned periodicals chose to publish your piece was not that the editors were racist; it’s that your piece is rubbish.

    There is nothing at all stopping women of colour from participating in Slut Walk and drawing attention to violence against all women as a whole, not just white women. The fact that we live in a country that has a relatively small African-American community contributes to the paucity of their presence – they are, by definition, a minority here. Get over it. If you want to see change, get out there and make it happen instead of clickity-clacking your vitriol all over a blog.

    Please keep writing if you’d like to further discredit the modern women’s movement.

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    • In “The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House,” Audre Lorde writes, “Difference must not be merely tolerated, but seen as a fund of necessary polarities between which our creativity can spark like a dialectic.”

      That, to me, embodies the true spirit of feminism. Growing through and because of our differences, not drawing lines in the sand and telling people to “get over” their hurt.

      I disagree with some of this post as well. But a true desire to further feminism or women’s movement should urge us to do the hard work of honest, sensitive dialogue about our disagreements. If you want to do that, go for it. But, please, don’t use the modern women’s movement as a excuse to dismiss something so obviously important to many women here.

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    • Quinn,
      Thank you. I am trying to say it, but you say it better. I just am having a hard time because I just can’t get over the hypocrisy that is going on in this blog and on the comments. I am in shock that some people on here think it’s ok for black people to be completely racist against whites.
      If you want to get ahead in this world, you have to do so without hate.
      I am white, do you have a problem with the color of my skin in the way that whites had a problem with the color of an African-American’s skin – or anyone of African descent’s skin? If you do – then you are a racist. There are no ifs, ands, or buts. That’s the end of it.
      If you have such a problem with people being racist against you – then don’t be racist in return. Because that is saying it is ok to be so.
      And saying that ANYONE – I don’t care who – doesn’t have a right to speak out against rape – that they are not allowed to do that, means that you are on the rapists’ side, and not the side of the victim. You are saying it’s ok to rape, so long as you rape a white woman, because we hate white women.
      If you want to be seen differently then say it differently. But trying to shut down SlutWalks JUST BECAUSE some people HAPPEN TO BE WHITE is just completely racist – I don’t care who you are. Yes, I am talking to you – because I am white. And you know what? If something happened to you and you are black – I would not be sitting there trying to sabotage your ability to speak out against it. So stop criticizing them, and picking them apart, and JOIN THE CAUSE. Address your concerns IN A PRODUCTIVE WAY, and stop hating white people.

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      • I’m still trying to figure out what blog post you are talking about because you sure aren’t talking about this one.

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      • Wow you have the patience of Job dealing with all the unfiltered ignorance run rampant by the comments how typical. When it’s not about me get defensive and argumentative then they question ‘why’ black women or women of color don’t feel 100 percent comfortable joining. Watch that you don’t bust a blood vessel from all the banging of your head against the brick wall though.

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  21. For those who want to argue that it’s OK for white folks to predominate at an event organized in Toronto, Canada, please learn something about the demographics of that city and that country before you pitch in. As an american immigrant to Toronto, allow me to disabuse americans of the idea that Canada is USA junior. Toronto has one of the highest immigrant populations in North America, most of which are not white. The city is NOT predominantly white.

    All of the pearl clutching gasps of “but we -did- listen to the coloured people!’ really don’t matter if people of colour who tried to speak don’t come away feeling like they were heard. As with sexual harassment, intent really doesn’t matter, so STFU and listen when people call you on your shit, instead of telling them how they just misunderstood. Much like men telling you you weren’t really assaulted cause he didn’t mean it, it’s fucking insulting.

    Furthermore, there *are* a number of really amazing grassroots organizations by and for people of colour, including but not limited to No One is Illegal, South Asian Women’s Rights Organization, a number of indigious women’s groups, Maggies (a sex-worker’s rights org), and so many more that I, as an overeducated white woman, don’t happen to know about. They are doing amazing work supporting communities, working to keep immigration officers out of women’s shelters, finding ways for sex workers to work safely and without fear (yes, sex workers can still say no and mean it). you might not have heard about it because they aren’t white middle class women, and the news doesn’t have much interest in movements that aren’t led by scantily clad college co-eds.

    I live in Toronto, and I did go to the march. I went because there are some aspects of the purpose that agreed with, but I left literally nauseated. None of my favourite sluts were there, because they are women of colour, trans women, sex-workers, rape survivors, surviors of police violence and repression, and many more whose stories and experiences were not included in the discourse. From the speeches, it seemed that the takeaway message was that 1) “most men don’t rape” (actual quote from a white man working with rape prevention in men, work that on the whole I support, but he really liked the sound of his own voice, and that is not OK), and 2) rape happens to innocent college girls in dark alleys by strangers. So cops should take them seriously.

    What I didn’t hear was that sluts can still say no, even to people they have had sex with before. I did not hear that yes means yes and if you don’t have a clear yes maybe you should back the fuck off. I did not hear about how the cops have rarely been helpful, because whether or not they say it out loud, it’s what they are thinking and we know it. Or that the process of going to the police, or the hospital, or to court is a second, third, fourth trauma. What I did not hear was that sexual assault is not just violent forced penetration by a stranger. I did not hear anyone say that maybe ‘most men don’t rape’ but most men (and many women), whether they mean to or not, do perpetuate a culture where consent is optional, and most sexual assault is not taken seriously, and every women you have ever met knows that she is vulnerable, and if she has not been raped (yet) feels lucky. lucky. that’s fucked up.

    As an overeducated white middle-class queer woman, I suppose I was represented. But I am not the one who needs that space. I had hoped for better from the event, and maybe it will play out differently elsewhere, but having been there in Toronto, I’d say most of Aura’s critiques are bang-on.

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    • Interesting how you, a self-described white woman, said that there was no diversity at the TO march because “your fave” minorities weren’t there – yet already in this post there are 2 people from said minorities who affirmed the diversity and felt erased by this post. You sure you didn’t have blinkers on because these minorities weren’t on your radar?

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    • It’s NOT our responsibility to have WOC at the event. THEY have every right to show up. Their failure to show up and stand with their white sisters goes to show that they simply didn’t care about what was happening. If they want us to be their enemies then that’s FINE. But let me tell you: they won’t win this battle.

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      • @anonymous: wha WHAT? SO much othering. So creepy. And YES IT IS your responsibility to create inclusive spaces, or to at least own that you’re not representing all women at the event in ways they’d like to be represented. I mean I guess you are doing that, actually – maybe you’re just prouder of it than I would be.

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      • Anonymous: If you’re the same person who was yelling at Aura all the way down the page for being “racist” and “hating whites” and thinking it’s OK for white women to get raped, you’ve got NO room to talk.

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      • What “battle”? The battle of White Sluts vs. Women of Color? And you’re claiming that you’re not racist???

        Notice how all these people in disagreement are posting annonymously? With no traceable account? As if they’re afraid of their words coming back to bite them on the arse?

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  22. I feel like I have a lot to write about this, and unfortunately a paper due, but as a non-white queer trans-identified femme former sex worker who marched in the Toronto march with other non-white femmes and women, sex workers, and trans folk,, I find this post upsetting as it completely undermines the legitimacy of those of us folks who were there participating. Yes I agree that there could be more diversity in the organisers but at the same time, there were non-white folk who were speakers, and many non-white folk who marched. Perhaps the problem is that we weren’t made visible by the mass media in it’s normal everyday white-washing of event coverage?

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  23. In general, I feel like you’ve misunderstood the broader point of SlutWalk. While it is partly about reclaiming the word “slut” (which has been used to disparage women of all sexualities and races) and taking the power away from that word (which does impart white privilege in a sense), it is largely about eradicating *rape culture*—something that especially hurts the lives of women of colour. Because of rape culture, the colour of our skin indicates to patriarchal and white supremacist society that we are hypersexual and therefore deserving/responsible for our own sexual assault. SlutWalk aims to bring this to light—albeit with the example of one’s clothes—but in the grand scheme of things, by letting the police know that it is not a woman’s responsibility, no matter her age, race, class, immigrant status, sexuality or ability (or style of dress), to make sure that she doesn’t get raped. It should be on the men who rape, and that the police must take it upon themselves to quit normalizing this.

    Calling this entire event and calling the creators out on perpetuating “white supremacy” is an example of shoddy research and critique. It offends while painting with broad brushstrokes—as other commenters said, there were many POC at the events engaging with the message, and other POC who have commented and contributed to the public SlutWalk discourse. Speaking of tokenism when talking about POC who have felt compelled to participate also discredits their (multiple, some of which you may not know) reasons for contributing.

    In all, I do agree with you that there is whiteness implicit in a movement that aims to reclaim “slut” and call for the police to change—as a Black Canadian woman myself, I’ve been aware of police corruption for years involving race (and gender) before the Toronto law school incident, and because of my skin, I can recall being called worse things than “slut” because society sees my race before my gender. You did have some valid points about those things. But I simply feel that you fail to grasp the fact that the broader concepts of SlutWalk do not discriminate.

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  24. Hey, I’m from New Zealand (South Pacific, ex-Brit colony, multicultural with indigenous maaori people) and we’ve just had a pile of brouhaha about Slutwalk hit the media down here. There’s one planned in the middle of our winter, hardly gonna get me out there in short-shorts and a skimpy top, and I’ve been annoyed that the timing is to coincide with US events.

    This post has opened my eyes to the context in North America (which I had been unaware of) and makes me wonder once more just how we can all be feminists, and still so much stuff gets ignored because class or ethnicity are not ‘central’ to the current issue-du-jour. So I’m very glad that you wrote this and posted it where it is searchable and not behind yet another media corporation paywall!

    NZ is a slightly better-off part of the global south, but we probably identify more with south-east asia or india in our social and ethnic policy strategies, apart from a small elite who want to be known of in the corridors of power in the USA and the UK.
    The legislation that covers prostitution here is very much more liberal than that in the USA – prostitution was legalised some 5 or so years ago, and much more of the industry is woman-owned and woman-identified than used to be the case.
    We still get redneck apologists for rape who argue that prostitutes should get used to the idea that ‘selling it, or giving it away under duress, are the same thing to most men seeking sexual service’, which is vigorously challenged by Rape Crisis services here, and their supporters.
    The Police force here are getting better at running adequate prosecutions to convict rapists who target prostitutes, after a lot of work by rape survivor support groups.

    Keep up the fight to get your community’s voice represented. Our country is small, only just over 4 million citizens, but we are an example of things that can be done, when the will is there.
    I know it has become just that much harder in the last decade to show dissent in the USA – be strong, share your strength, be proud of the richness and diversity that you bring to your daily lives.
    All of us who are not part of the dominant political paradigm need to support one another, to keep that diversity and to keep the scattered communities of diversity going and to give a chance of thriving in the future. Sometimes that means pulling back to your roots, to your base of strength, so be it.

    Finally, I’ll situate myself a little – I’m pakeha (our indigenous maaori word for ‘stranger’) in New Zealand, working-class rural roots, university educated, feminist, with academic research interests in gender and history.. I speak three languages, I aim for a couple more, I will have brown grandchildren some day in the near future, my family is multi-cultural. I support diversity and difference, dissent and discussion, and I don’t expect that everyone who works on a project will always (ever?) agree on every part of it’s entirety. That’s what makes us human, which I am above all, beyond my grip on feminism!

    Thank you again for making me aware of another side to this action, another way that we here in the south pacific can view what is happening in other places, without the censorship of the dominant paradigms operating.

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  25. @Alexandra

    Yes, sorry about that. I’ve been told by some that transwomen is an appropriate term. Will use cisgendered instead.

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  26. @EW

    Does the terminology actually matter? As ‘one of those people’ you refer to as a ‘transwomen’ I have yo say I actually prefer the term ‘woman’ as one that truly encompasses me. It doesn’t matter what term you ultimately choose, if you choose anything other than ‘woman’ you immediately marginalise me and that seems to defeat the purpose. Any woman who objects to having me as part of the universal sisterhood might perhaps identify themselves as ‘non-transwomen’ to ensure that the brotherhood and divisive women might see them for exactly what they are. Thank you for engaging in this debate. The greatest chance of success is in unity, not division.

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  27. hold on – aren’t you erasing the women of colour who are involved in the SlutWalk movement? For example, SlutWalk Birmingham is being organised by a black English woman.

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  28. First of all, Aura, thank you for publishing this. I’m a white, queer, middle class man living in NYC who’s tentatively in support of the SlutWalks, and I really appreciate that you’ve created a space for dialogue about this.

    Like I said, I’m still tentatively in support of these marches, but only, like EW wrote, as one tactic within a much greater, holistic movement that uses a number of diverse tactics based in the experiences and needs of as many people as possible.

    I’m seeing two major critiques in your piece, and I want to respond to each. I realized that I’m stepping into this conversation as white, middle class dude, and I hope what I’m writing comes across as sincerely trying to engage you have to say. If that ends up not being the deal, I apologize. Without putting the burden/demand on women of color to educate me, I ask anyone who’s willing to help me understand if I misstep. I do a lot of organizing around sexual violence in the Bronx, where I live, and have been having a number of conversations about critiques of the SlutWalks (yours and others), hoping to better understand how to build a movement that confronts all of the ways we experience violence and shame.

    1.) Okay, so the first critique, if I’m hearing you right, is that the organization of the Toronto SlutWalk and the media coverage have largely ignored and excluded the work being done by and issues affecting communities of color, particularly in the way they frame things as restoring trust in the police without calling out systemic violence and police brutality.

    I’m totally with you here. The amazing work done by and in low-income communities and communities of color (like a lot of the orgs where I live in the Bronx) so often gets co-opted and liberalized when white/middle class/college communities start raising their voices and getting media coverage. I’m sorry your piece was rejected. I also agree that talking about sexual violence without talking about the greater institutional violence of poverty, the criminal justice system, the sex industry, healthcare/lack thereof, etc. ends up creating a shallow, ineffective movement. That’s my major critique of some (not all) examples of sex-positive feminist activism/theory.

    So my question is how do we create the marches and movement that we all need? Can SlutWalks be changed to address systemic violence and racism, or do you think the whole idea is bankrupt? Can there be a SlutWalk that actively challenges white supremacy? What if the messaging were different or white organizers intentionally reached out to the awesome organizations that fight sexual violence in communities or color, looking to have real dialogue that avoids tokenization as much as possible? Or what if there were teach-ins with a radical, anti-racist curriculum? I’m good friends with an organizer of the SlutWalk in Detroit, and I think she’d be very open to conversations about this.

    2.) The second critique seems to be that reclaiming slut is not a positive thing, that it hurts women more than helps them. You point to people “for whom the word ‘slut’ carries a criminal sex offender record.” I’m glad you brought it there. I think any discussion about reclaiming or subverting language needs to be as real as possible about the everyday effects of that language. That said, I’m not comfortable saying that if some people find “slut” disempowering, no one should try to use it to feel powerful. Not that you’re necessarily saying that. But I’ve worked with a lot of people from different class and ethnic backgrounds who find something powerful and subversive in taking control over that word in some way, working to make it their own and refuse to allow others to use it a weapon to control their sexuality. Occasionally embracing “sluthood” has been personally liberating for me in working through experiences of sexual violence and queer shame and self-loathing. Granted, I’m a white, male college student. So my relationship to “slut” is complex and very different from a sex worker of color in New Orleans. I should certainly have to face that fact.

    But is there room for some folks to subvert “slut” like this while at the same time being sensitive to others’ experiences and situations? We all negotiate oppression differently and use different strategies to survive this destructive system. Some of these strategies make me/us uncomfortable. But can we call certain strategies acceptable and others unacceptable without denying people’s agency or autonomy? I mean I’d be very uncomfortable working as an exotic dancer, for example. But I know some people who find that liberating. Do we say that this type of sex work perpetuates objectification and reject it? Or only accept it in certain financial circumstances? Personally, I’ve tried to approach those situations by feeling out and dialoging through my discomfort, hoping to collectively find ways to stop strategizing alone and start doing it collectively. My thinking has been that, sure, some men will use the existence of sex workers to justify oppressive behavior, but a conversation about dismantling heteropatriarchy seems more effective than a conversation about challenging some people’s attempts to assert sexual autonomy, even if those attempts wind up ineffective. I feel uncomfortably dismissive/patronizing/victim-blaming saying that some people’s efforts to subvert heteropatriarchy are invalid or misinformed.

    These conversations about the word “slut” have made me think a lot about identifying as queer. A black, lesbian filmmaker from the South once told me not to call her queer, saying that word could only be oppressive to her, that her upbringing made it too painful to use positively. I understood and respected what she was saying, and now I only use queer to refer to myself or communities I know identify that way, going with the more general LGBTQ most of the time. But it’s still very important to me to identify as queer. My father and other people from the working class town where I grew up use it as a slur to this day, but I don’t think I could ever give it up. Even though it’s been used to police and control my sexuality by people very close to me (maybe even because of that), it beautifully captures the resistance that has come to define my sexual identity. I personally get frustrated with LGBT people who tell me to stop identifying this way, saying that I’m allowing straight people to use “queer” against us and perpetuating marginalizaton. I think the target should be those people, the ones enforcing heterosexism and trying to control us with slurs, not me or people like me who find power in subverting “queer.” One use is way more damaging than the other, and I would hate to see my identification as queer keep me from being able to organize and build a movement with folks who don’t identify this way. I feel the same about “slut.” If identifying with that works for some people, I’m okay with that. But it has to be one tactic in a much greater strategy, and I hope it doesn’t create yet another divide to building the movement we all need.

    3.) This brings me to my last question (sorry this got so long!). A few comments have mentioned people of color who agree with or are participating in SlutWalks. How can we engage or support them? I use “we” here recognizing that the way I approach/should approach these issues as a white man is different from the way a woman of color approaches/should approach them. But my point is that if some women of color find the SlutWalks empowering or want to work on bringing anti-racist politics to the table, what is our responsibility or response to them? From your post, it seems like you feel that any inclusion of women of color will be tokenizing (please correct me if I’m wrong with that). As a white man trying to listen to people of color and be an anti-racist ally, I’m not sure what my responsibility is to this critique. It feels like a roadblock to me. I want to help make a space to extend this dialogue further, and it seems like supporting and talking to people of color interested in the SlutWalks would be one good starting point. But your concerns about tokenization (which, to be clear, I’m not at all saying aren’t justified) kind of write that off as an option. Do you think that women of color can be involved in the SlutWalks in a way that is authentically anti-racist? How would you respond to a woman of color who wants to address your critiques by actively participating in a SlutWalk? Just in case it needs saying, I’m not trying to say the white male professor who tweeted about SlutWalk LA was in the right. I don’t know anything about how that went down. But, hypothetically, if a group of women of color is playing a major role in organizing a SlutWalk somewhere, do you think white feminists like myself could help challenge the white-washing you’ve pointed out by reaching out to them, or is it a lost cause?

    Just as a final comment, I know I asked a lot. And some of it’s difficult. Straight people expect me to know how to undo heterosexism often enough for me to be wary of this coming across as a white dude expecting a woman of color to have the game plan for ending racism. I don’t mean for it to be that way. Ideally, I’d like to see activists of all races take these on as collective burdens. So I’m sorry to put that burden on you or the women of color reading. I appreciate you answering whatever you can.

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    • Just wanted to say that Creatrix Tiara’s post made me realize that I addressed Aura *about* women of color who support the SWs without speaking *to* those women of color here who’d already voiced support. It didn’t even occur to me that I was perpetuating something messed up in doing that. I’m sorry.

      So, to throw it out there, I’d really love to talk (not just to Aura) about ways to support people of color in challenging this white-washing.

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      • Oh man –
        White washing. This is some racist garbage. I am not even going to call it “reverse racism” because racism in this day in age against whites should be called racism just like racism against anyone else is.
        Calling anything “white-washing’ s racist against whites. If you are white and saying this, you are self-effacing, and doing nobody a favor.
        I am not going to hate myself for being white, just like I am not going to hate someone for being black. But I am going to call a racist a racist, no matter what their color is.

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    • Hi Michael. There’s a grand distinction between saying, “hey this word empoweres me so I will use it privately” and saying “I don’t care what your objections are, I’m not ever going to actually address your objections, and I especially don’t care that you have any objections — I will still use it IN PUBLIC, AS IF YOU AGREE WITH ME”.

      See the distinction? It’s princess white girl entitlement and of course let’s not forget that the mainstream media gives lots and lots of face-time to princess white girl while giving almost none to anyone who objects. So princess white girl’s opinion (and lack of concern for anyone who isn’t like her) becomes the dominant narrative.

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      • I understand your distinction, but that is really not what I saw at the Vancouver march. I agree with a lot of prior posters. There seems to me a disparity between how participants saw the marches, and how the media has represented them.

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  29. women all over the world are criminalised and or deported due to their engagement in sex work and sex for survival, including me. the fact that i cant call the cops if i am raped without fear of being thrown in jail myself is the EXACT reason i am going to participate in slut walk, and am thrilled so many other women are willing to stand next to me, cos normally noone does.

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    • I’ve been (and remain) really conflicted about SlutWalk, but this has decided me. I don’t think SlutWalk will reclaim ‘the’ word. I’m sure most of the comments and criticisms are true, at least in some elements. I understand it’s problematic. But women need to support each other, and stand together, because yeah, all too often we leave each other, or are left, standing alone so we or other women can be safe, or righteous. Thanks Mary :-)

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  30. And the self-professed white, middle-class man of course has to say the most… can’t let the white middle-class men go unheard, can we! They’re always around, making sure they dominate all space.

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      • Not sure if that’s directed at me or not, but I didn’t waste much time on him. Just made the point that he followed the typical route of white men and made sure we all knew he was a white man before speaking at length with no regard for whether this space was really his to do so.

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      • That is directed at you, because I found your response ironic and hypocritical – you’re trying to call out white men for “taking up space” while not noticing the massive problem of white women completely ignoring WoC on here. So much whitesplaining, not enough white-listening.

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      • I have noticed it actually and I agree it’s a massive problem. But there IS calling out of white women here. And when I posted, no calling out of the white man.

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    • That’s a very snide comment, I can’t see any domination whatsoever. This is an open forum, anyone can comment and make their views known, including the white middle-class. Surely if you want to protest, it’s the views of the white middle-class male that you’ve got to change. Maybe you should concentrate on doing that and winning rather than whining when he comes and participates in your debate.

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      • I fail to see how that is in any way relevant to my post Starlet Harlot. Just a handy little link to throw in someone’s face and neatly sidestep the issue at hand.
        This IS an open forum, there’re no signs saying that this is a debate for women of colour only. The whole point of slutwalk is to challenge the system in which rape and sexual violence is allowed to continue. A system which is dominated by the white middle classes. I don’t see why they can’t add their own opinions and questions, especially if it’s out of curiosity rather than hostility, it just ultimately permits a more comprehensive debate. But then that might not be what you’re after…

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      • I don’t care whether I ever change your mind, but I’d love to know you go to prison for the rest of your life without parole if you ever rape a woman of ANY color.

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    • I didn’t mean to dominate and didn’t even think about how much space I was taking up relative to other people. But I understand how the privilege of not having to think about all that can lead someone to monopolize things and mess up a space created specifically to avoid dealing with that privileged blindness. So I’m sorry for that.

      Aura, you can delete my comment if this isn’t the place for it. It seems like I can’t. But if anyone’s willing to have these conversations somewhere else, like email or something, I’d appreciate it. The folks I organize with are really trying to work through some of these questions.

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      • Hi Michael, I would like to thank you for your comment because personally I struggled somewhat with understanding Aura’s post and the questions you asked helped me get a better grasp on the issues being discussed here.

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    • If there is overwhelming agreement that Michael’s posts should be removed, I will do so — however, I would personally like to keep them here. Part of the reason this post was originally authored was because many of us felt there needed to be a space to have these conversations around SlutWalk, and since the leadership never engaged with us, it felt impossible. Now that people are responding, I’d rather keep the multiple conversations going. As much as I love that people of color are engaging with each other, I also recognize that some white folks are thoughtfully reaching out (as opposed to the white folks who have posted who are, at best, ignorant of perpetuating white supremacy here), and I would rather not stifle that by removing the posts.

      Again, I welcome your thoughts on this.

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      • How do you expect people to react when, in the act of addressing their privilege, you accuse them of belonging to a movement that commits hate crimes? You used a slur, and you seem to expect those it was directed toward to simply accept it as the truth.

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      • Aura, honestly – I am sitting here as a white person, and I am in a room with a black woman, and the both of us are totally shaking our heads at you.
        I think you should be ashamed of yourself for taking a good thing and twisting it so far out of whack, it’s unbelievable. You are causing more problems than good.
        If you had a problem, instead of being a hate-monger, you should have addressed your issues with the SlutWalks people, and if you didn’t think that you were being heard, you shouldn’t be crying racism – that’s seriously far-fetched. Maybe the SlutWalks people just barely respond to anybody.
        But writing an article with pseudo-intellectual drivel, along with an honestly weak argument – not to invalidate what the undocumented immigrants and sex workers are going through – but honestly – you are using things to try to cancel the validity of a voice that needs to be heard. And if the voice was from women who happen to be white, how dare you invalidate them? You are going after the wrong people. Join the movement and go after the rapists. That would be a more WISE thing to do. Go after the ones who invalidate – don’t join the ranks of the invalidators.
        That’s like taking YOUR hate to an extreme. I think you hate white women so much that you don’t mind if they get raped. I think it’s ok according to you if they do, and that they are not allowed to speak out against it. How dare you?
        If a co-worker or a fellow student was a pretty white girl, and got raped, and got attention from the police about it, and got the guy imprioned who did it, would you take it out on the woman who was raped, or the police for the fact that they don’t pay ample attention to blacks who get raped? Would you say it’s the white woman’s fault for knowing it’s her right to report this? That is called ENVY – and it’s very sick that you have it in such a situation as this – envy isn’t cute – it’s defined as something volatile, and the true definition of it is the desire to destroy another person. Do you want to destroy a woman just because she is white, and happened to get raped? Is the fact that she is white in any way invalidate what she went through? Or di you honestly think she deserved it because she is white, and dressed provocatively -?
        Then you are just as evil as that cop up in Toronto.
        Seriously.
        How dare you be so racist and evil? If a black woman was raped – or even a black man in prison, I would have the same degree of fervor or wanting that rapist to pay for his crimes as I would if it happened to a white woman. You want to hate on me? Guess what – I am white. You got a problem with me being a compassionate person who happens to be white?
        If I got raped, would you laugh just because I am white?
        Seriously.
        I am so angry that you would write such a horrible article that would try to muzzle a movement. It is so messed up of you.
        I can’t believe you.

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      • It’s really not constructive to keep using the “I have a black friend/trans friend/cis friend/homosexual friend/blahblah blah on and on arguments if you want to lend any credence to your arguments.

        Also I think if I read one more whitesplaining comment I might just vomit. As Aura says, this is a place for dialogue, so I think a really great new thread option would be to start talking about ways Slut Walk could really become – or be completely be reworked – into a new, sustained movement that is welcoming and completely self aware.

        I, for one, think this entire movement has nothing to do with being a slut, or necessarily a woman in any specific terms, I think it has to do with a culture in which those who deviate from the norm are criminalized, brutalized, and left to fend for themselves within the very system that is meant to protect them. I think that it is impossible to talk about sexualized violence, or really any systemic violence, without also talking about the prison industrial complex, the police state, the socioeconomic disparities that are largely grouped along racial lines, etc. Let’s start a movement that recognizes those links, and try to engage with a broad-based systemic transformation of our society.

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      • Exactly, AURA. WOC do have rights to spaces for and by them but Michael’s statements are made to be of benefit not to “silence” so they are not necessarily unconstructive. About your criticisms being racist though Aura, I think that is a bunch of bull. I don’t completely condemn the SLUTWALK MARCHES regardless of the invisibility of POC since sexism, patriarchy, double standards as a result of this oppression, and sex violence is universal but your criticism is not THAT unfounded.Similar criticisms have been made before because too often times they are true.This criticism usually is and if this is the case these criticisms should be considered since they aren’t the first. Alot of feminist movements created by Western, First World, middle class white women have correctly been criticized because they practice exclusivity while supposedly claiming universality but being exclusive because they were(and white working class feminists have said for years that these white women don’t speak completely for them either). All I hear you saying-and I could be wrong-is that it is sanctimonious to claim to be universal and speak for everybody when everybody’s interests aren’t considered. Why? Well simple. How can you claim to be concerned or of service to everybody-or speak for everyone- when you can’t relate to people that perhaps with reason feel excluded or bear to hear the complaint of people excluded. Why shouldn’t the issue of tokenism of marginalized people not be considered if there issues are overlooked? Really that is all I get from your post. What I find interesting is that the people that claim to speak to universal issues fail to see how they exercise their own priviledge when they silence both women of color and white working class women making similar observations by ignoring their legitimate gripes through accusing the former of reverse racism and the latter of white guilt. But that is just me!

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  31. I think there is another point that should be brought up and that is the issue of white sexuality. White female sexuality has been (historically and residually) presented as normative and desirable, while the sexuality of WOCs are presented differently (desexualized, hypersexualized, fetishized, etc) and therefore we do not share the same issues vis a vis how our sexuality is treated.

    Therefore, I understand why many WOCs felt uneasy about being used as fodder for the reclamation of (what would benefit) white female sexuality. White women have the privilege (among other privileges) of having their sexuality be normative. This is just another example of how the issues facing WOC and white women differ and how our ideas of feminism are NOT the same, hence our absence.

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    • This is a serious generalization. And generalizations are the beginning of racist behavior. You are a racist. It doesn’t matter what color you are. Taking sick pleasure in the fact that white women get raped is really sick and twisted of you. You need to get that it is awful for ANYONE to get raped. Your hate agenda towards whites needs to be out of this scenario. RAPE is the enemy, not white people. You need to get that. You can say “vis a vis” to try to act all smart, and everything but it means nothing if you can’t recognize your own ignorance about your own hatred of whites.

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      • Not that ad hominem is probably kosher here, but you seriously need to check your blood sugar and your B12 levels, ’cause you are raging well beyond what ought to be expected for what was actually said in the original post.

        An eye exam might be within the realm of reasonableness as well.

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  32. Slutwalk is also West-centered, many Muslim women living in Europe wear the hyjab as a rejection of the hipersexualised society they live in, many of them see western culture as one that treats women as objects. I agree.
    Also, if the patriarchal press is giving so much attention to this, it is because Patriarchy loves sluts, just as it loves virgins. I understand the goal of these protests, but they remind me of the PETA ads, in which they use women’s bodies to call attention. And yes, they argue that those women choose to participate. But choice should not be the final argument in a radical discussion, since we know how tricky that concept is in our societies.
    Please, let’s focus on reclaiming our dignity as women, as human beings, not as labels created by those who oppress us.

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    • I agree – I’m not so sure about this reclamation of oppressor’s labels.

      I cannot be truly “seen” when filtered through the oppressor’s viewpoint.

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  33. Girl, you got a problem. You can’t fight racism with racism. So you are saying that it’s ok that white women get raped? And they don’t have a right to protest? And you are getting all upset because they ain’t paying attention to you? You need to not tear down a good cause, and JOIN IT. Stop being a racist that says white women deserve to get raped. If we don’t stand next to our sisters – no matter what their color, then we are saying it’s ok they get raped – now how deep is one woman’s jealousy gonna go? You are just joining the perpetrator if you are gonna tear this down. I am telling you you are wrong, and the face of the devil. And I feel bad for you that you let resent in your heart get in the way of doing something to help. Would you sickly smile when a white woman gets raped? Would you get a secret thrill? – then you are nothing but evil, girl. Let them protest, and be quiet. They ARE one culture, and if more people in who live in Canada are white, then they have to be quiet – and not speak out? We are the only ones in the world who are allowed to protest for civil rights? Get real. You are trying to muffle their screams for help and I think you sickly like hurting the just because they are white.
    And FYI – there are PLENTY of words in Spanish for the word “slut”. The problem is everywhere. Get real.

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    • *face-palm*

      Did you hear that WHOOSH sound as the point when right over your head? What about all those red-herrings? Although, I did find one thing interesting about your comment.

      “Let them protest, and be quiet. ”

      Translation: Be quiet you silly other. You cannot possible have anything substantial to contribute. I’ll be the decider of racism.

      Indeed, you are an emblem of white-privilege.

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      • The person who wrote that wasn’t white, but I am. And I am going to tell you something – any act of bigotry against ANY race is RACISM. You are racist. If you were born in white skin, you would be a KKK member. It is your mindset. It is messed up. You have some thing called an “Entitlement Issue”. Look it up – stop masking your hatred as “social progress”. Hate is hate, no matter what color it is. And you ARE a racist.

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      • And telling someone of any race that what they contribute is not substantial is called invalidation. And the fact that you did that, and thought they were white means that it was once ok when whites did that to black. It’s what you are doing that is bigotry. You are just as bad as white racists to blacks when you do it to them. You are saying “I will behave the same way – because apparently it seems ok to do it at all”. Look up a psychology term called “emulating the abuser”. If it was so bad what SOME whites did to blacks, then why would you mimic the behavior back? Oh, that’s right, because you have an “Entitlement Issue”.

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      • Oh, by the way – with a “face-palm”- if this means you would do that in real life, means you hate other women. I would never be violent to other women – ever, and neither would my friend who wrote that original post. So the fact that you would do that shows even more that it’s ok to be violent to other women. And since this is about an issue that addresses violence against women, then you are no ambassador to this movement until you calm down, address your hate, see where you went wrong, and stop having a violent attitude towards others.

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      • Good God! The level of your stupidity is disturbing. Judging by your posts, I can tell your educational levels are low and your life experience, minimal.

        Face palm = MY palm to MY face – a universal signal of frustration. Anyone with half a brain would know this.

        Since your ‘friend’ (I’m sure it was just you) was not ‘white’ then he/she is just delusional and stupid than someone blinded by white privilege. My mistake.

        “Any act of bigotry against ANY race is RACISM”

        Nope. Racism is discrimination + power, thus the only relevant racism is that by non-racialized, privileged people. I don’t expect you to understand that.

        The point is, nothing I said was racist, and you and your ‘friend’ just diverted to talking nonsense than actually address the point of this article – probably because you failed to comprehend it.

        People such as yourself are people I’d describe as having good intentions, but still a lost cause. You have exhibited a lack of mental capacity to address the issue at hand, so please stop posting.

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      • Nope, wrong again. We are in my house, and I am doing the typing because she is just one of the people here that is so pissed off that we can’t go to Savannah that she doesn’t feel like typing. So I am. And actually there are four of us here, who got together today to figure out how we were going to do our road trip to Savannah when we just found it was called off ALL because of this nasty person who wrote this article! Now we are all totally in agreement that this woman completely ruined what would have been an great event for us to go to! It’s her fault – she had the “power” to hurt people and she chose to do it. So whatever, think what you want, but honestly racism is racism. And you are totally wrong. To say whites are the only ones with power is wrong. Look at the president of the united states right now. Duh. Ok? Oh – and she just told me fine, we won’t call you “racist”, she said we should just call you a nasty hateful (I can’t write the rest). Thanks for spreading your hate! And if you claim to be so smart, you forgot about how ignorant it is to hate ANYONE for the color of their skin. Oh, I forgot – you are “entitled” to hate people. Ok. Right.

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      • *facepalm* means the writer is putting their OWN face in their OWN palm as if to say, “Can you believe this idiot? WTF?”

        Seriously. Blood sugar. Check it. NOW.

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  34. I get that the process of dealing with slut-shaming can be different for women of colour. You’re dealing with racial stereotypes and sexist stereotypes at the same time. That sucks. Maybe women need a certain amount of privilege before we can call ourselves sluts and have it weaken the word more than it weakens us. But I don’t think it weakens women of colour for me to use my white privilege to take some of the sting out of ‘slut’, and I don’t think I should be disallowed from joining this SlutWalk movement that addresses the problems *I* face, just because the problems that other people face are different.

    I had read on The Curvature about women in Louisiana being branded “sex offenders” for prostitution-type acts, and I think it’s horrible. Excuse me while I go see if there’s someone I can write to about it. I doubt if anyone cares about my voice, I’m not even American, but, hey, if you think I should be doing something for women of colour then I will.

    And to all the people who say that a bunch of women marching to say we’re not afraid of the word ‘slut’ is just ‘raunch culture’, well, I refuse to let the fact that there exists an exploitative stereotype of female sexuality stop me from having a sexuality. Deal with it.

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    • I have a sexuality that does not require me to go on marches dressed like a prostitute so that men can feel OK calling me a hateful word.

      And I’m straight, mind you. Bless.

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      • Whoa, watch the whorephobia. No one is required to wear anything specific at a SlutWalk, come however you like – and even if you want to dress like a prostitute, so what? It’s your right to without being judged, which is the WHOLE POINT of SlutWalk. Some of the SlutWalks (like the one in Sydney) are even being actively organised by sex workers who would be appalled at this response.

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      • I’d hope that SlutWalk would make men (and women) feel less comfortable using that word hatefully. I’ll stand up and take that word, to show that it can be applied to almost anyone, and if you try to use that word to hurt us, we’ll stand together and support each other in being unafraid of it.

        And yeah, “dressing like a prostitute” isn’t an insult in and of itself, even if you use it as such. I respect prostitutes.

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  35. I have some people over my house, and all of us wanted to go to Slutwalks in Savannah, GA.
    And we were just planning it today, only to discover that SlutWalks Savannah that was supposed to happen this June 11th – WAS SHUT DOWN BECAUSE OF THIS ONE ARTICLE. Thanks for being such a monster, whoever wrote this article with an agenda of hate on her mind!
    Because this woman accused SlutWalks of being a “white supremacist” operation, me – and my friends: one who is black, and another who is hispanic are now just as pissed off as me that someone would destroy such a good message.
    Now, because of fear of racial violence and threats on people’s lives – they have to shut it down. Because now – I guess ANYBODY of ANY race, creed or color cannot speak out against RAPE – all because someone said it was racist – hello – who is the real racist in this scenario? Maybe the woman who wrote this article?
    I think it’s the consensus here right now, as we have been discussing this in my home that it’s awful that horrible things are happening to black women in New Orleans – and to ANY woman regardless of her citizen status in this country. But then shutting down other people whose lives are valid as well? How counter-productive can you get?
    I am thoroughly angry that someone who calls herself a woman would DARE try to invalidate and ruin a movement and a message, and try to shame ANYONE into contributing to it, AND THEN helping MORE violence happen – ON TOP of the violence we are protesting!?!?!?
    I heard that now people down in Savannah are AFRAID TO MARCH in Savannah.
    Way to go, whoever you are, for destroying the movement down South!
    You could have helped it thrive by just talking to some people about you concerns, but, instead: look what you did – now my friends and I can’t even go, and a lot of people are disappointed mow.
    Thanks a lot for ruining EVERYTHING.
    Go speak out against the REAL white supremacists and LEAVE THE SURVIVORS OF SEXUAL ABUSE ALONE!
    I seriously can’t help but think you are on the rapists’ side! So long as the victim is white, right? Oh man, are you so seriously blinded by your own hatred of white that you can’t see how misled you are?

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    • I strongly doubt the OP ever intended violence to occur as a result of her post. But your comment does point out the implications of calling people “white supremacists” when the term doesn’t actually apply. I’m so tired of seeing these silencing tactics employed in the progressive community and we have a responsibility to each other to be careful with our use of language. Of course, what do I know? I’m an idiot, according to the OP, and a white supremacist. But I’m also a survivor of sexual violence, and a person with disabilities, and I support SlutWalks. I am not racist. And I will tolerate anyone’s attempt to silence me. Nor should anyone else.

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      • Right, because you and the people supporting you never indulged in silencing tactics. Especially not in this exact thread. Hypocrisy is funny.

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      • So, white folks ignoring a woman of color, not giving her a public voice in their forums while giving other white people a voice, but claiming to represent all women anyway–that’s not attempting to shut her up? My determination to stay out of “progressive” or “radical” political activism in Columbus, Ohio has just been redoubled. You don’t speak for me.

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    • Oh dear lord, vegandiabetic, STOP IT. I am white and your posts are making me want to crawl into a hole and die from embarrassment.

      First of all, I did some checking (Facebook, Tumblr, etc.) and, from what I have gathered, SW Savannah has NOT been cancelled (well, not definitively – more on that in a moment). And I certainly found no mention of this article anywhere in relation to SW Savannah. I did find that the organizer is currently in the hospital, and so it is still touch and go as to whether or not she is going to be well enough to continue organizing. But no mention of this article anywhere to be found. So, one argument down…

      Second, no, people of color cannot be “racist” against white people, but thanks for playing. We have some lovely parting gifts for you on the way out. As some one has already tried to explain to you, racism = privilege + power. People of color are not privileged over whites, therefore cannot exhibit racism. I know you are just going to disagree with me, but just had put that out there one more time.

      Thirdly, just because some one has (very valid) critiques of a movement, does not mean they cannot support what the movement stands for. Believe it or not, I don’t think anyone in this thread wants people of any color to be raped, nor would they think they deserved it and gloat about it based on the color of their skin. I am pretty sure Aura and the other posters who agree with her are against rape, victim-blaming and all of the other things SW wishes to combat. However, she has some very valid points. Sexual violence disproportionately affects women of color, especially if they happen to not be cis. To exclude them – either purposefully or through careless omission – is erasing the very people SW claims it wants to help – victims of sexual violence.

      However, some other posters have brought up some good points. SWTO may have been jacked up in that it excluded women of color, both cis and trans, but that is not necessarily the case with other SlutWalks. SW is not Starbucks – if a SW was organized in a city, it is because some one in that city resonated with what SW stood for and wanted to bring the message to their hometown. I would be very interested to know the organizing dynamics of some of the other walks.

      Also, (and this is something that I struggle with as a white person who organizes activist-y things) at what point does inclusion become tokenization? When I organize, I try to make a point to reach out specifically to organizations that deal with marginalized groups in the areas I am organizing (for example, when I am doing pro-choice organizing, I reach out to groups that specifically deal with pro-choice issues facing POC, or the LGBTIAQ community, or people with disabilities). I want to include them because I realize that those groups have long been silenced or ignored and their voice is important. Is that tokenizing them?

      Ugh, sorry this was so long. Thank you, Aura (and all the other posters!) for your perspective. I was on board for attending the SW here in Chicago and, while I am still digesting a lot of the things I have read here, you have definitely given me some very good food for thought.

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      • We have some lovely parting gifts for you on the way out.
        Really? Is that a hint that you are threatening violence in any way shape or form? Way to do that on a discussion about stopping a form of violence! Genius! Well, guess what – my view will not be leaving this continent, so you don’t get your wish, and you aren’t God.
        Furthermore, if you haven’t checked lately there are PLENTY of blacks in positions of power. So really, your argument is obselete.
        Hate speech towards ANY race should never be excused, and you can taking your parting gift, and go crawl up in that hole you wanted to go to, by yourself! And don’t join the movement if you are going to hate people who happen to be white who want to speak out about it!
        PS You read a few things on a few websites – you don’t really know all about what’s going on in Savannah.
        So hate on all by yourself!

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      • o.o Y’know, just because you change your name doesn’t mean people can’t tell who you are. Gravatar sort of gives you away.. well and the straw army you keep bringing with you.

        “Furthermore, if you haven’t checked lately there are PLENTY of blacks in positions of power.”

        Yeah… and with that oppression is completely non-existent. You clearly do not get that power = institutional power.

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      • If this person does not want anyone to be raped then why is she trying to shut Slut Walks down for trying to protest an issue directly associated with rape? Cause and effect – now everybody, including MY friends are afraid to organize anywhere in the South for fear of a race riot AND we can’t go to the Savannah event.
        So seriously, why don’t you come out and explain what the “parting gift” is, and I will let the police know what it is as well.
        PS – I think it’s good to get the police involved in talking about the subject of rape because they are the ones who have to take reports of rape seriously. And Bria Grace, if you threaten me again, I will take it so seriously I will get them involved with this asap.
        THIS is exactly why Savannah was cancelled – because of violent people like BriaGrace who use their negative behavior to sabotage a movement. It’s not righteous; it’s cruel and criminal.
        Like I said, whatever that parting gift is – you need to keep that to yourself, and not say such a crazy thing ever again.

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      • Honestly – I don’t care about whatever name I use. I am not even paying attention to it. It’s the message that needs to get out there because it’s not just me in my surroundings that feels this way – it is the consensus of my friends here, and people I know. And no – actually not all of them are white but everyone where i am at completely understands what I am saying and they agree with me – because it is pretty much common sense.
        Telling people of color that they have no power is not right. I have spoken to many people of color today who I know are powerful people, and I respect them. So, I would not called anyone of color “powerless”. So yes – everyone is accountable if they say anything that is racist. And honestly, waging war against anyone who feels the way I do is wrong. You are the one doing it – not me – I am just telling everyone that it is a shame that some saboteurs got together to destroy what would have been a wonderful, empowering day in Savannah, for everyone involved in the Slut Walk that was SUPPOSED TO BE scheduled on June 11th.
        Fight the war against rape. Focus on what is important.
        I will not respond anymore to any of your hateful comments so hate all you want, by yourself, in your misery that you want to drag everyone down into. I am going to move on to what matters – and that is getting involved in the campaign against rape. And because you can’t get past that you might have to work with other people in this movement that might very well be white who are just as concerned about this important issue, then that’s your problem.
        You created a race riot, and completely tried to destroy what could have been a good thing for people everywhere, because you can’t get past your hate issues. You will see it is no straw army – it is really the providence of love and compassion that I GET – along with several other non-hateful people that it’s NEVER right to hate people according to the color of their skin EVEN IF THEY ARE WHITE. So you will see what a straw army that isn’t – in your own life, even when I am not around. You will hear what I am saying from people who do not even know me – people of all colors. You will get that. MLK wanted everyone to be together in something, not apart. You are trying to tear everything apart. Straw army, I don’t think so. It’s just that many people are pressured and oppressed into not saying what I am saying right now – they are afraid to talk, because the opposition is hateful and violent. They fear for their lives – just like people do when they are about to be raped. Thanks for bringing that fear and terror into these conversations to re-traumatize a good number of us.
        I am someone who wants diversity and equality for everyone and I am not alone, and it’s not going to be achieved by writing such a negative article like this and by having haters like you keep the hate alive. This article is not based on the desire to bring people together. It is a desire to shame a bunch of people into not talking about rape just because they are white. It is a concept that will prevail forever – hate is never justified – NEVER. I am sorry that you are so hateful and ignorant, that you refuse to see what other people are saying. There is no straw army because there is no “army” “against” you. But yes, there are plenty of people who understand, can comprehend and totally share my viewpoint. You don’t have to hate white people to achieve equality – it doesn’t work that way. I am so glad – regardless of what color my skin is – that I just don’t feel the “privilege” or “entitlement” to hate – what a horrible thing to feel “entitled” to do. You can have that hate all you want, but I choose not to have it. Goodbye.

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      • You ramble too much for me to care what you say anymore. Your defensive reactions are truly sad, as are your silencing tactics and yes Strawman of claiming this article is out to ‘destroy’ Slutwalk. This hate you imagine is just that, something you have imagined because you seem to think criticism = hatred. You can’t handle it, so this is your reaction. Sad, really.

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      • If their actions result in white people being disproportionately favored over people of color, then they are white supremacists.

        If you get hit by a car and suffer a fatal head injury, and the driver didn’t even know they hit you, are you any less dead?

        Intent doesn’t matter much in these situations.

        And you’re a white supremacist too.

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      • To Dana,
        I’ve had a lot of reactions to this conversation, but kept reading and seeing other perspectives, and decided there was more to learn from listening than contributing.

        But I must respond to this. I don’t feel that your car-accident-fatal-head-injury is fair.
        Not all white people are acting with the intent of being disproportionately favored over people of color. Many have quite the opposite intent, but fail – due to a misunderstanding (or unintentional ignorance) to the needs and opinions of people with a different cultural background than their own, due to growing up in a society where the white point of view was the only one taught to them or available to them day after day, maybe even due to being met with resistance when they try (perhaps in a misguided or inappropriate manner given misunderstood context) to learn more about another race or culture – whatever the reason they fail, failure to hold all races in equal favor in a given situation should not be misread as intent to exclude or disfavor any one race. As you put it in this case, white supremacy.

        The beauty of diversity is that we do have such a wide variety of backgrounds, knowledge bases, experiences, teachings, beliefs, and values to tap into.

        When we encounter people who approach situations differently than we would, or approach us differently than we would like them to, it is important that we have a compassion for this diversity and keep an open mind that perhaps these people are trying their best given their own history and knowledge base to expand their minds and their understanding of the viewpoints of minorities.
        Yes some people are simply racist, white supremacist, or selfish and want their views shown disproportionately. But to say that any time this is the result that those people are somehow inherently bad or racist is to show a very narrow-minded view of your world.

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  36. Calling a white supremacist system is always dicey, but I didn’t feel that the original essay had any hateful tone. Ir rather went into detail as to how the SW organizers did little to challenge the white supremacy, and how they could have avoided playing along with its pet view of women. My own impression is that the organizers went with their white privilege of easily getting press for a raunchy public event, without attempting to check in with various communities as to how “reclaiming” the word slut to mean interest in consensual sex would be perceived by women differently situated and if that would be their first choice in fighting a rape-ist victim-blaming, justice-denying system that still coddles male privilege.

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    • But the term “white supremacist” has hateful connotations. It refers to a specific movement, and while (as I’ve already said) I think Aura made some very valuable points regarding the privilege in play, the use of “white supremacist” was inappropriate and inapplicable to the situation. Due to its connotations it implies that the organizers are actively involved in promoting race hatred, hate crimes, or other acts associated with Neo-Nazi philosophies. Therefore, the tone was set.

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      • “White supremecist” doesn’t necessarily refer to neo-Nazis, it also has a history of being used in political discourse as referring to power structures that favour whites.

        When the speaking platform at a rally is dominated by white faces, when every single public face of an event is white, when non-white people who say that an event doesn’t speak to them are told to shut up and focus on what’s “really important” (to the organisers of the event), that’s white supremecy in action. It’s not as dramatic or obviously violent as a beating or a burning cross in somebody’s front garden, but it still serves to silence and exclude non-white voices.

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      • Listen to SouthernFriedChicken. You clearly have not paid much attention to the literature, online and in print, of people of color involved in anti-racism work if you don’t understand how they commonly use the term “white supremacist.” If you are all about the justice activism, maybe you should start.

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      • What I’ve gathered from scrolling so far down this page is that there is a language war going on.

        Because she used the words “white supremacy,” and that doesn’t sit well with you, you traipsed about stating that her whole multiple-paragraph argument is invalid.
        Instead of twisting yourself up like this, focus on what “white supremacy” really means. It means the view that being white is supreme, is over all else. The events you named are historical consequences of a white supremacist view. She did not state that the organizers were white supremacists. She stated that by ignoring people of color, they were perpetuating white supremacist views (that white is supreme, and others are common minorities) and that is what this critique is about.

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  37. P.S.: For the record, Aura did NOT “accuse the Toronto organizers of being white supremacists”. What she wrote was: “Whether white supremacist hegemony was SlutWalk’s intent or not is beyond my concern – because it has certainly been so in effect.”

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    • I feel that the implication is there. And her facts are simply incorrect. She has chosen to attack one event. There are over 70. The LA SlutWalk is being organized by a committee that is over 50% women of color, for example. Reality doesn’t back her up here, and accusing the Toronto organizers of supporting white supremacist hegemony is hateful.

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  38. The writer wrote from where she stands and what she sees and understands: whether we like what she wrote or not, it is her perspective and why deny her her perspective? Why does it have to turn into a bloody session. As someone who initially responded positively to participating in the walk in my city, over the past few weeks, in the final weeks, I knew that this was something I was not feeling comfortable with. The word just does not resonate with me. And, in my opinion, it is not a word that we need to reclaim (as previously stated) — it wasn’t ours to begin with.
    For me the article provided new information…

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  39. Aura,

    Thanks for your words. So, I knew only a little of the beginnings of SlutWalk and then saw one is being organized in my city for this fall. As a male, I initially saw this as an opportunity for me to come and stand in solidarity with women standing against rape culture. Then I saw a link to your blog post above, read the whole thing, and now I’m not sure what my role should be in this effort. The walk in my city is just getting organized, so there’s time to maybe suggest how to do it differently. I should say also, I am white, but resonate with what you shared above in the post (I couldn’t get through all the comments).

    I guess I’m just asking, I have the opportunity to give voice and suggest one specific Walk look different and be more all encompassing in some way. And I’m asking if you have any suggestions for how to do that. I’d appreciate your thoughts, either directly via email or in a comment below. Thanks.

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  40. So white males and transphobic white feminists (I’m looking at mAndrea) agree with you, almost to the extent of being the only ones to…
    You see where there might be a problem, right?

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  41. Also, the tokenism charge: when does it stop being tokenism?
    Do I as a trans woman, get to complain that even though we are barely 1% of the population at most, are being tokenized if we’re not a large number? Say 10%?
    Do I get to complain that YOU are tokenizing me?

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  42. As a survivor of rape, and a trans woman of colour and somebody who lives in Toronto, I dunno what the issue is? It seems like the logic is that if ppl do one thing, they can’t do other things (which is also the logic that a lot of anti-feminists use at us, about problems in the middle east, or bigger fish to fry, etc etc… how can you care about nething when you could be caring about XYZ, as if we do NOT). I wasn’t at Slutwalk but I completely support it, and even tho I myself have had scary and dangerous encounters with security guards and police officers, and I dun trust them or feel safe around them at all (tho in a classroom setting in a law school, as a law student is different), I still WANT them to be educated about rape and not carry around rape myths b/c it’s a HUGE reason why ppl aren’t reporting rape (and I understand there are OTHER reasons too, esp among trans ppl, sex workers, WoC, etc, I never reported mine, for those reasons AND that I didn’t thnk I’d be believed neways, all of those have a lot to do with rape myths that society, including the police, buy into) and I think that women, even if they’re white or cis should feel safe in being able to report rape, AND fighting rape myths and victim blaming in society is a good thing, it’s not just a white woman thing. I had many great feminist friends who are trans, WoC, sex workers, white, cis who supported this march, who marched IN it, and who ALSO deal with those other issues you’ve talked about, and other ones you haven’t. Who write, and blog and march and organize and work to make spaces, campuses, shelters safer for WoC and trans ppl. :) Taking an hour or 2 out of their time to march doesn’t mean that they aren’t doing other things as well, or that we can presume what they believe or what they care about :) I LOVED the march, and I loved that some minds WERE changed by it (there’s at least one radio host who was supportive of the cops comments who changed their minds listening to the speeches) and I felt the march DID speak to me, and it wasn’t a white women’s only problem (since rape and date rape and victim blaming abs aren’t) or a cis women’s only problem, and I suspect that for many of these women, this isn’t the only activism they do, or care about :)

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  43. Living in australia I was quiet unaware of any of the problems mentioned in your post and I would have to say that it does come off as very white. But as history repeats itself, it wasn’t hard to think this wouldn’t happen- suffergettes anyone?
    That said I will still attend the march in sydney australia, because in recent years there have been a number of assaults where the victim has been slutshamed on a national level.

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  44. This is a really, really interesting article, and I appreciate it so much. As a white woman I had been bathing in my privilege while not even considering the effect the SlutWalk had on people of colour.

    I definitely appreciate the comment on not being able to reclaim a word that wasn’t yours to begin with.

    I can’t say that I understand completely this point of view, because I don’t, and I’m not sure that I ever could as a white woman, but I do appreciate it, and value it more than I thought I would upon first gaze. As an activist against all types of oppression, I’m glad that I’ve been given this new idea about the SlutWalks.

    However, I always saw SlutWalks less about reclaiming the word “slut”, and more about stopping victim-blaming and having a more sex-positive culture. It could just be my white privilege talking, but in my mind, I never saw it as anything to do with race. I do realize though, that that “colour-blindness” (which I’ve disagreed with so much in the past) in this situation could be attributed to the fact that as a white woman, I’ve never had to see anything to do with race.

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  45. This outrage is *such* an expression of privilege.

    If you look around the world today, and what outrages you is that a Toronto cop advised girls not to dress provocatively, to lessen their chances of being assaulted, you DO NOT understand the world.

    Cause, you know, we all have the right to wear our sweat-shop made clothes to show a lot of skin, riding in the car driven by dictator-supplied gasoline, down to the party where we can get drunk and forget that there’s a war going being fought against the middle class, and smoke the pot which white kids get excused for but black kids get time for. You got to respect our rights!

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    • Yeah dude, and when your dudely self is fighting all those battles simultaneously and winning, come back and tell us how to do it right.

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  46. I am a woman of color& have been discrimintated against.but I also believe that reverse discrimintion in my community isn’t right eather.It is important for all womyn to speak,to have a voice.personally I think that people should see us standing together.to give Slut walk a label of racist,could potentially have womyn of color walk away.twospirit(myself) or other people in the community who might be discriminated against …..isn’t right eather.

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  47. @ Halli – You said that ‘Racism is discrimination + power, thus the only relevant racism is that by non-racialized, privileged people. I don’t expect you to understand that.’ In other words in this context, that it’s only possible for whites to be racist towards other ethnic groups and that any ‘racist’ behaviour shown by other groups cannot in fact be racist if directed towards whites because they don’t have power?! That’s utter crap. Racism is hateful behaviour towards another ethnic group, doesn’t matter which particular one you belong to. Sorry but you can’t just excuse yourself from having a racist tag that easily.

    @ Aura. Your comment that ‘[t]he fact that you want me to provide a solution for a problem I didn’t create only exposes your own idiocy, and (again) inability to listen.’ is unfortunate and only highlights your wish to moan rather than doing something constructive towards ending injustice. No one person has single-handedly managed to create anti-female or anti-ethnic bias, it’s been a collaborative thing and as such needs the input and views of all sorts of people so that a solution might be sought. The fact that you’ve said you didn’t create the problem so other people should fix it for you but at the same time you’re quite happy to whinge about it is shocking.

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    • No, actually, that’s pretty much the working definition of racism in a lot of social activism. There is such thing as ‘reverse’ racism. Just as there is no such thing as reverse sexism. And yes it does actually matter group you belong to.. given there’s /sort of a history/ behind racism and who exactly has been handing it out in most extreme sense.

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      • For example – if someone kicked me yesterday and he was Jewish, then I would have “carte blanche” to kick any random Jewish person the next day just because some particular person did this to me yesterday? It’s not right.

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      • So what you’re saying is that identical behaviour displayed in identical circumstances by different ethnic groups can be racist if it were displayed by a white, but not racist if displayed by a member of another ethnic group. I’m not that bothered by your American history to be honest, every ethnic group has demonstrated hostilities towards others, so I think actually every group is just as guilty as everyone else.

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      • Haha, right. Yeah, white people totally are not guilty of any horrible crimes against people of color whatsoever. PoC have totally hurt white people in some kind of equivalent way. Do you /really/ think the hostilities have been equal in any sense of the word? Sorry, it’s not even close buddy. And exactly which identical behavior and identical circumstance are you talking about?

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      • Lilith, the sad thing about you is you’re not getting that there is no straw. If you leave this thread and talk to rational people everywhere who celebrate diversity, they will say nobody will get anywhere in their life with hate toward ANY race. It’s no way to live. And it’s no way to shut down a walk against rape in any city. Now I am done telling you this seriously – goodbye, and good luck.

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      • @ Lilith
        ‘Haha, right. Yeah, white people totally are not guilty of any horrible crimes against people of color whatsoever. PoC have totally hurt white people in some kind of equivalent way. Do you /really/ think the hostilities have been equal in any sense of the word? Sorry, it’s not even close buddy. And exactly which identical behavior and identical circumstance are you talking about?’
        Firstly, why does a racist event even have to involve a white person at all? Most of them don’t, coloured people from all backgrounds are just as able to be racist when there’s no whites around. The Japanese slaughtered the Chinese in World War Two in a series of racial policies, genocide in Somalia and Rwanda is racially motivated, there are too many examples to list. Whites are just as capable of being racist towards other whites, German anti-Semitic and anti-Slavic holocaust in WW2, genocide in Serbia. All examples of racism.
        As for providing an identical circumstance for you, how’s this? A white person walks into an overwhelmingly black area and gets confronted and beaten by a group of blacks who are meanwhile shouting racial slurs for just being in their territory with no provocation, would that be racist? Now how about you swap the white person for a black person in a white neighbourhood and ask the same question. For me both are undeniably racist incidents.
        Finally, because you say ‘hostilities’ in racism involving whites have been unequal, coloured people have now got free reign to do as they please in order to balance the books in terms of atrocities?! Two wrongs don’t make a right Lilith. By carrying on apologising for racism amongst non-white communities, you’re just continuing the cycle. Here in the UK, I’m glad to say, ethnicity is irrelevant when considering whether one’s actions are racist. Take this example :
        http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/1294021.stm
        or this one:
        http://www.guardian-series.co.uk/news/8183948.BARKINGSIDE__Man_needs_62_stitches_after_racist_attack/
        I guess under your definition, these can’t be racist attacks because the victims are white and are thus in positions of ‘power’. Don’t you see, your satisfaction and lack of empathy make you just as guilty of perpetrating racial division and tension as the whites you claim are entirely at fault.

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      • “For example – if someone kicked me yesterday and he was Jewish, then I would have “carte blanche” to kick any random Jewish person the next day just because some particular person did this to me yesterday? It’s not right.”

        This is straw. No one was supporting this kind of stuff. You got defensive, misinterpreted it, and distorted it. You presented a strawman, no one was arguing in support of ‘hate’. You’re the one accusing them of that.

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      • Please, do not listen to these mindless drones. You are smart, observant and bringing honesty to the discussion. In solidarity.

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  48. Thank ou for your interesting and challenging post. As a white european woman living in London, i’ve had mixed feelings about Slut walk London, and I would very much disagree that the Police here are not racist. Examples here : https://www.facebook.com/Campaign4Justice4SmileyCulture and here http://www.prostitutescollective.net/ and here http://www.racerevolt.org.uk/issues/issue%20three/queers%20bash%20back%20raju%20rage.html . (em, also remember Jean-Charles de Menezes, shot in the back of the head because he looked like a muslim…?)
    I’ve also found it problematic in relationship to the growing Islamophobia that is happening right now, and the lack of engagement by white feminists on issues like the Burqa bans as well as the lack of engagement on the extreme prejudice travelling communities-and the women in these particularly-suffer from the daily and banal racism which affects their freedom as women.I’m not sure how something like ‘slutwalk’ is useful if it doesn’t adress the institutionalisation of racist violence and how this affects women of colour disproportionately. If I participate to the one in London, I’m thinking of highlighting this maybe, although I would be weary of tokenising and/or speaking in other people’s names. Your post is great food for thought, Thank you. Solidarity.

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  49. How can you lump together all “white liberal feminists”? I am a white, liberal, anti-racist, queer, disabled feminist, and I have a sincerely hard time being grouped together with all “white liberal feminists” like we are some homogenous collective, all with the same ideas, privilege, and actions.

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    • It’s like: because you are a liberal, and you happen to be white – it doesn’t matter if you for equal rights. These particular people are saying that you need to sit there and shut up. Thankfully not all people of color feel this way about white people who want to get involved in social change.

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    • The person who wrote this article is just a colored extremist… no different from a white Nazi. She thinks all white people are scum. She has no idea what we (white woman) have done for them and they’ll never thank US for it.

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      • Now that is racist to say “what we have done for them and they will never thank us for it” Seriousy??…..Not cool. In this world we have all had tremendous roles to play throught history and no one individual’s actions or one race’s actions supercede another. Remember that when you next proclaim to have helped the poor little….insert stereotype…..!!!!!!

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      • “She has no idea what we (white woman) have done for them and they’ll never thank US for it.”

        Wow. This may be in the running for the Most Offensive Statement right alongside Proud Racist Misogynist White Male Oppressor down there.

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      • Aura thank you for this really thoughtful post. I don’t think I would have tolerated repeatedly racist and bigoted comments as you have here, I can only imagine this has a lot to do with you not posting frequently. But you really have opened up this discussion and it is such an important one to have, so thank you. Please completely ignore the comments of “anonymous” and her like (apparently all sharing the same room), as much as I think it is important to engage with diverse and opposing perspectives, responding to these particular threads will take up the energy you need to continue doing the work you’re doing. It’s unfortunate that so much energy, time and space is being dedicated to challenging comments made by individuals (cowards) who deliberately seek to provoke a reaction. And thank you to everyone else who has responded in such a constructive way!

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  50. OOOOHHHH IT’S THE OPPRESSION OLYMPICS.

    Let’s argue over which group is oppressed more!!!!!!!

    I’ll be over here laughing at you fucking cunts and nigger cunts.

    Signed,
    Proud Racist Misogynist White Male Oppressor

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      • You are a grown up? You hinted at a threat of violence against someone on this thread but YOU are a grown-up? Get a life.
        I hope you get arrested along with the rapists and other people who commit acts of violence.

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      • My last statement here is –
        If you go out and go and talk to ALL people of all backgrounds most thank goodness – if they got anywhere in their life, and are generally good hearted people, they will say that hating on ANYONE according to race is NOT RIGHT. So I don’t think that’s a straw Army, my dear.
        PS – You can’t speak for “BriaGrace”‘s actions – you never know what someone’s motives are when they say something in the way that person stated it here on this thread. There has all ready been violent threats against people who want to participate in Slut Walks and that violence needs to STOP.
        Slut Walks was organized to stop a form of violence and then they get hit with threats of violence? Stop your negativity, and leave everyone alone who wants to get involved in the walks. I am no longer responding to your statements that drag away from my day, which I want to spend on efforts to help stop rape for people everywhere. Deal with yourself and confront your own hate. Now once and for all – Goodbye.

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      • That’s nice, do understand your strawman was claiming ‘parting gift’ was a threat of violence with no back-up whatsoever. You just decided it was, due to your defensiveness and need to distort other people’s words to make your ranting seem even a little credible (still not). And, once again, criticism =/= violence, negativity can sometimes come for completely legitimate reasons. From the looks of this thread you’ve been dragging on your days for while, long before I got here, don’t go blaming me.

        Like

      • Hahaha, really? No, there was no threat of violence anywhere. The phrase I used – “We have some lovely parting gifts for you on the way out” – is a phrase used on game shows when contestants leave after losing the game. Emphasis on “leave after losing”.

        Tell me, is it hard being a white person in the world today? It seems like everyone is out to get you from how you are posting on this thread! *clutches pearls* Will some one please think of the poor white woman?!

        Like

      • I just read this. I know the person you are replying to and they don’t wear pearls. They are a vegan. Look up veganism. You seem like you might be stereotyping white women and doing nobody any favors, by assuming they all have a string of pearls to wear. Please get into a dialogue with influential members of organizations that bridge gaps in communication to create more racial equality and diversity, and they will explain to you that creating a white stereotype is just as toxic as relying on stereotypes when it comes to other races and cultures such as african, israeli, arab, hindi, latin, asian, etc. ethnicities. Are you in college? Hope that you are. I think the more you learn, the more you’ll know, and the better an instrument of peace you could be. Hopefully this is what you want to be.

        Like

      • Oh, hi there again, vegandiabetic. I really don’t know why I keep feeding the troll, but here we go again…

        “Pearl clutching” is yet another figure of speech, one that expresses mock horror. I didn’t literally mean that you had pearls on and were holding them.

        Thanks for condescending to me and assuming both my age and education level by telling you you hoped I was in college so I could continue to be schooled in the ways of how difficult life is for the poor, disenfranchised white wimminz.

        Yes, I want to be an instrument of peace, but I want to be an instrument of peace for all people, not just poor, pearl-clutching whites. Believe it or not, there is still racism in the world. And, no, I am not talking about so-called racism against white people. Believe it or not, people of color still experience overwhelming levels of institutional racism. The comments on this article are perfect examples.

        Oh, and if I hear one more person say that racism was magically cured because we elected a black president, I am going to vomit.

        Like

  51. Thank you for this article Aura.
    Reading this has made me reassess my opinion of Slutwalk.
    While I support Slutwalk for creating public discussion regarding the use of terms such as ‘slut’ and bringing into public awareness the disgusting yet usual response to sexual assault- Victim Blaming, this article has helped me to see that it also has severe flaws /shortfalls.
    Before reading this article I was totally excited about Slutwalk especially feeling like for once my (female) voice was being heard. So it was difficult to read through this and realize that the voice of Slutwalk (which I feel largely does speak for me) is unfortunately an exclusive one. From a position of a white female it can be difficult to accept that while my sex may not have privilege in a white patriarchal society, my race does. And if I do not accept and address this, then I am continuing to create a hierarchy (of White supremacy – yes this term sounds harsh but it’s true). Slutwalk is an action created from a particular feminism (a Westernised/white-centric feminism) that has not yet succeeded in opening up the dialogue beyond a primarily White discourse. Therefore action based on this discourse will inevitably be exclusive as it presumes that the Westernised discourse is universal, and yes, it (once again!) white-washes over the issues.

    Admittedly, this article has also reminded me of my own white privilege and of the affect of this privilege being that I can too easily forget that this privilege exists.

    I really appreciate you writing this and for making me think.

    Like

  52. Aura,
    Thank you for some of your criticisms and perspective. We would really like to have more conversations with you to try to all find understanding and common ground about how to do the things we want to do – fight rape culture, victim-blaming and slut- and sex-shaming – and be better at doing them. The organizers behind SWTO are battling a lot right now (health, time, jobs, family, conflicts, emails, calls, and more) so we may not be able to talk right away but we would really like to.
    Sincerely,
    Heather from SlutWalk Toronto

    Like

    • You’re not serious are you?? You are actually agreeing with her? The Toronto SlutWalk did EVERYTHING we could to get ALL womyn to show up.. it’s not OUR fault if minorities hate us and don’t show up.

      Like

      • I think in future it is not a caseof saying that group hates us and wont show us, rather that group wont engage why? As I have criticued this article for having an us against them atttude I must critique your response. The onus is on women of colour to attempt to engage and on hite women to understand why they have not been able to engage with ethnic communities before. Rape is massive, for example…a woman is raped every 45second in the Democratic Republic of Congo, this will take all women standing together to fight this type of atrocity.

        Like

      • YOU sound like the one ‘hating’ and yeah stupid if a group of people supposedly praching inclusiveness yet PRACTICING exclusiveness I won’t feel at all comfortable being around you either. And that IS your ‘fault’.

        Like

  53. Re: white commenters talking about “racism against white people”

    I know you won’t listen because you never do, but racism against white people is not a problem. The only way racism hurts your average white person is the way it poisons the mind with privileged ideas that are wrong and hateful and harmful and, well, white supremacist.

    For an example of what happens as a result of white people’s racist way of thinking, you can refer to the blog post you just claimed to have read, in which the author is discussing a specific instance of how racism by whites can play out in real life to silence people of color.

    By re-purposing a word to fit your own agenda (to prove that you are not racist despite the fact that you were taught to be and you are), you further the cause of white supremacy. So, like, stop.

    Like

    • Uhhh.. for those of us in colored communities yes it IS a problem. we DO face discrimination for being white. you are tearing the feminist community apart by making ridiculous accusations.

      Like

      • Racist white feminists were the ones who made the “feminist community” that you glorify so exclusive from the start that many WoC will never desire to be part of it at all.

        I grew up in a city that is only about 15% white (one of the less privileged suburbs of Detroit) and attended schools that reflected the local demographic, so what you’re saying is not exactly news to me. I have faced exclusion as a white person in those spaces, but that is not even comparable to the systematic racism that the poster is discussing here. It’s not even close, and for you to bring it up is to change the subject and attempt to silence the author.

        Like

    • I was just refused government services ONLY because I am white, because the staff there is 100% black. Their mindset is: these services only belong to OUR people. Really? Think again. They are for evrybody. I KNOW this happens to white people, too – but we have to just sit there and take it. Goodbye – I have had enough of the hate speech towards whites on this thread and won’t entertain it anymore.

      Like

      • I’m with you on this. I’m so SICK AND TIRED of people of color blaming whites for all their problems. I’m so tired of hate speech against me because I’m white. It’s all SO hypocritical.

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  54. This whole post is nonsense. Complete and utter nonsense.

    I love how you claim to support equality yet you constantly victimize white people for your problems… do you not think that white woman deserve freedom as well? Do you only think woman of color are oppressed? America elected a black President… we passed civil rights bills… millions of dollars each year are spent on woman of color to protect them (which I’m glad we’re doing)…. what else do you want?!? Total domination? What about OUR rights? What about OUR freedoms? Are we white people not people in your eyes? Are we not allowed to protect OUR people?

    Like

    • THIS.

      seriously. i can’t even count the amount of time i’ve had POC discriminate against me and no one could do anything about it since they seem to have immunity on these sorts of things. reverse racism is NOT OKAY folks. we are people too. we deserve rights as well. i have no idea what else these people could possibly want.

      Like

      • I have no idea what else these people could possibly want?

        Yikes and”These people?” Are you kiddings! My how anti-racist and white of you.

        Like

    • Yeah after how many DECADES of white males ONLY presidents?!! And please much of that work was NOT done by ignorant,whiny,arrogant,self-absorbed pissants like you!! Yeah poor baby no ‘freedoms’ for you which is why the nightly news is SATURATED with stories of white females prefarably thin/blond/pretty/middle class who goes missing or are killed. So all you have done is protect ‘your people’ bottom line the feminazi movement from DAY ONE has been ‘whites only’ with some worthless lip service of being about ‘all’ women BULLSHIT!! You have never been about all women because you as you have proven with your whiny egotistical comment are all about me,myself,and I. How typical and your so-called ‘racism’ against whites is really just KARMA coming back to bite you on your spoiled little ass!

      Like

  55. Just writing you a note of support. When I first head about/saw pictures of Slutwalk, I got a sinking feeling in my gut and this piece puts into words a lot of the disparate thoughts that were kicking around my head. Thank you.

    Like

  56. @ Lilith
    ‘Haha, right. Yeah, white people totally are not guilty of any horrible crimes against people of color whatsoever. PoC have totally hurt white people in some kind of equivalent way. Do you /really/ think the hostilities have been equal in any sense of the word? Sorry, it’s not even close buddy. And exactly which identical behavior and identical circumstance are you talking about?’
    Firstly, why does a racist event even have to involve a white person at all? Most of them don’t, coloured people from all backgrounds are just as able to be racist when there’s no whites around. The Japanese slaughtered the Chinese in World War Two in a series of racial policies, genocide in Somalia and Rwanda is racially motivated, there are too many examples to list. Whites are just as capable of being racist towards other whites, German anti-Semitic and anti-Slavic holocaust in WW2, genocide in Serbia. All examples of racism.
    As for providing an identical circumstance for you, how’s this? A white person walks into an overwhelmingly black area and gets confronted and beaten by a group of blacks who are meanwhile shouting racial slurs for just being in their territory with no provocation, would that be racist? Now how about you swap the white person for a black person in a white neighbourhood and ask the same question. For me both are undeniably racist incidents.
    Finally, because you say ‘hostilities’ in racism involving whites have been unequal, coloured people have now got free reign to do as they please in order to balance the books in terms of atrocities?! Two wrongs don’t make a right Lilith. By carrying on apologising for racism amongst non-white communities, you’re just continuing the cycle. Here in the UK, I’m glad to say, ethnicity is irrelevant when considering whether one’s actions are racist. Take this example :
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/1294021.stm
    or this one:
    http://www.guardian-series.co.uk/news/8183948.BARKINGSIDE__Man_needs_62_stitches_after_racist_attack/
    I guess under your definition, these can’t be racist attacks because the victims are white and are thus in positions of ‘power’. Don’t you see, your satisfaction and lack of empathy make you just as guilty of perpetrating racial division and tension as the whites you claim are entirely at fault.

    Like

    • No assholes it’s called REAPING WHAT YOU SOW! And funny how when assholes like you actually do acknowledge violence against people of color you start whining about how ‘two wrongs don’t make it right’ blah,blah,blah. No but there IS a little thing called ‘what goes around comes around’ so don’t try and act like the WHOLE world should stop because you don’t like the taste of your own damn medicine brat!

      Like

      • Wait, so, because I’m WHITE, I DESERVED to have drug abusing parents, I deserved to be sexually assaulted at the age if 7, and I deserved to be poisoned by my foster parents.
        Mr. King would be disgusted with you all.

        Like

  57. I didn’t chose to be born white. I’m not the “white girl” that ignores people based on their skin. Would it be fair to say that since some men rape, that all men are rapists? No. Is it fair to say that since some white people are racist, that all white people are racist? No, it is not fair. Again, I didn’t chose to be born white. I don’t identify with my ancestors who participated in genocide or slavery. I’m sincerely sorry if you feel that your voice has been silenced by “evil” white people like me. No one deserves to have their voice taken away.

    Also, I am not your enemy because I am white. Should I abstain from blogging because I am white? Should I be silenced because I am white?

    I understand that systematically through out history, white folks have been intensely destructive to other cultures, and if I was a Woman of Color, you better believe I’d be pissed. I get that as much as I can for a white person.

    Through out your post, I was looking for a solution. What do you suggest us evil white people do? You said “They might have had to listen to women of color, and actually involve them in visioning for what an equitable future would look like. Instead, they decided to celebrate a term not everyone is comfortable even saying.” Should the solution be to demolish SlutWalk because the word hurts some people? Should I stop identifying as queer, a word that some people have reclaimed, because for some it is an insult? I would really like to help, truly, I would, but I don’t know how. I understand that even though I didn’t choose to be white, I am white, and that means I have white privilege. I get that. What would you like me to do? How can I help?

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  58. Honestly,

    Please read some books. simple sociology texts, The history of America texts, social work books, anything- and then start posting on blogs.

    Pointing out systemic injustice isn’t racism, it is a reality shaped by the history of this country. And pointing out how some movements further marginalize certain groups isn’t racism, it is again, a call for people to take notice that in their quest for equality they are excluding another group from it. please be more informed before you start name calling other people. you’ll be doing a service to yourself and others.

    Like

    • You can’t be racist and a feminist and therefore SlutWalk CANNOT be racist. Get this in your heads. No one at the events was racist. There is no racism in the feminist community because that would be a paradox. The only privilege in this world is male privilege – white womyn don’t have privilege.

      Like

      • This is an unbelievable statement. Just because you self-identify as a feminist doesn’t mean you automatically have an analysis of racial privilege. The complex history of feminism attests as much to this. Asserting that there is only male privilege completely ignores very clear privileges of race, class, education, ability. You consider yourself a feminist, which is great. Now perhaps you might want to take some time and effort to explore more the institutions of oppression that clearly you want to dismantle.

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      • I think it is a falicy to suggest you cannot be feminist and racist….you can, just like you can hate racism and be homophobic, or totally prejudice free except for islamaphobia or……the list goes on. I am sure you are not a racist but we are having the wrong argument here. Stop focussing on the argument and focus on a solution. Rape effects all women…a woman is raped every 45second in the Democratic Republic of Congo, this will take all women standing together to fight this type of atrocity.

        Like

  59. @ Lilith
    ‘Haha, right. Yeah, white people totally are not guilty of any horrible crimes against people of color whatsoever. PoC have totally hurt white people in some kind of equivalent way. Do you /really/ think the hostilities have been equal in any sense of the word? Sorry, it’s not even close buddy. And exactly which identical behavior and identical circumstance are you talking about?’
    Firstly, why does a racist event even have to involve a white person at all? Most of them don’t, coloured people from all backgrounds are just as able to be racist when there’s no whites around. The Japanese slaughtered the Chinese in World War Two in a series of racial policies, genocide in Somalia and Rwanda is racially motivated, there are too many examples to list. Whites are just as capable of being racist towards other whites, German anti-Semitic and anti-Slavic holocaust in WW2, genocide in Serbia. All examples of racism.
    As for providing an identical circumstance for you, how’s this? A white person walks into an overwhelmingly black area and gets confronted and beaten by a group of blacks who are meanwhile shouting racial slurs for just being in their territory with no provocation, would that be racist? Now how about you swap the white person for a black person in a white neighbourhood and ask the same question. For me both are undeniably racist incidents.
    Finally, because you say ‘hostilities’ in racism involving whites have been unequal, coloured people have now got free reign to do as they please in order to balance the books in terms of atrocities?!  Two wrongs don’t make a right Lilith. By carrying on apologising for racism amongst non-white communities, you’re just continuing the cycle. Here in the UK, I’m glad to say, ethnicity is irrelevant when considering whether one’s actions are racist. Take this example :
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/1294021.stm
    or this one:
    http://www.guardian-series.co.uk/news/8183948.BARKINGSIDE__Man_needs_62_stitches_after_racist_attack/
    I guess under your definition, these can’t be racist attacks because the victims are white and are thus in positions of ‘power’. Don’t you see, your satisfaction and lack of empathy make you just as guilty of perpetrating racial division and tension as the whites you claim are entirely at fault.
     

    Like

  60. Jesus Christ. All this derailing about reverse racism and whatnot is going further to silence and obscure us PoC who’ve come into the comments to share our perspectives. ALL sides are ignoring us here.

    Hello! Wanna chat with us!?

    Like

      • So upsetting. I dont understand how it got so lost in…..your racist…no you are!!!!!!!!! Such Bull. Rape effects all women…a woman is raped every 45second in the Democratic Republic of Congo, this will take all women standing together to fight this type of atrocity. We need a solution!

        Like

    • The reason who are ignored is because a lot of the comments from POC here are clearly hateful and racist against white people and everything we have accomplished. The right to vote, universal suffrage etc. were all gained by white womyn FOR ALL OTHER WOMYN. Yet even this is not enough it seems……

      Like

      • You mean like those white women who DEMANDED black women walk in the back and seperate were THEY fighting the good fight too?!! And another thing sweetie don’t expect a parade because you cleaned up a mess YOU made.

        Like

  61. Are these dissenters serious? It was good for a few laughs, but now it’s getting sad.

    Nothing in Aura’s blog is racist.

    White privilge in its most basic form is simply being blind to one’s own white privilege. Sorry, Aura, that there were so many that could not see beyond a few charged words in order to see your message.

    Thanks for the blog.

    Like

    • Actually everything in Aura’s post is racist. It assumes that SlutWalk is white supremacist and makes totalizing statements and assumptions about white people in general. It is racist against white people and thinks that our struggle doesn’t matter or that we shouldn’t be able to do anything for ourselves.

      Because we grew up in middle (or upper) class communities doesn’t mean we don’t get raped.

      Because we are white doesn’t mean we are oppressing you.

      Because we are white does not mean we have power. Ever heard of Barack Obama? POC are in power now. White womyn are JUST as oppressed as womyn of color. I’m sorry but you’ll have to accept this. I’m not saying racism doesn’t exist because it does exist… but to assume that we should drop everything, that we should drop things that bother US (as in white womyn) so you can feel satisfied is ridiculous.

      So get off your high horse and join us or be left out. Frankly I’m getting sick of tired of this anti-White racism running rampant through the feminist communities.

      Like

      • POC are in power now.

        Huh???

        White women are just as oppressed as “womyn of color”?

        Really???

        SMH.

        Like

    • ‘White privilege in its most basic form is simply being blind to one’s own white privilege’

      That is LOL worthy, you can’t define white privilege because it doesn’t exist.

      Like

  62. There is no disagreement here that there has been a great deal of privilege and oppression on the part of whites… but to attempt to attack marches that have the goal of bringing attention to rape, seems counter-productive at best and like whiny sabotage at worst.

    Sure it is problematic that PoC are underrepresented in the coverage of activism movements… but is the best way to draw attention to this by attacking fellow women’s rights movements? Seriously, all this seems to do is undercut their cause and make yours look petty.

    Additionally, it seems nonsensical to say that a certain racial group could not be racist against another one simply because of their level of privilege… Farrrakahn is racist against Jews for example. Excusing racism because the person who is discriminating is a PoC is to use a double standard and to undermine the aims of the movement, not just because it feeds the stereotype of the angry, self-righteous minority.. but because it is rhetorically ineffective to excuse bad behavior on one’s own side and then accuse the other side of bias and derailing.

    If we are going to talk like adults, maybe this blame game “you’re a supremacist.. you’re a supremacist..” stuff should be put away and ideas should be forwarded of how to change things positively without certain persons constantly having to apologize for their race. I advocate for particular positions, such as veganism, and if I got white christians or black hindus.. I would say thank you for the help and interest, rather than reminding them of the inquisitions or the caste system.

    If you harbor ill will against others because of their race or ethnicity.. that is racism… just because institutionalized power inequalities exist does not give free license to people who feel slighted to wantonly discriminate and hate others who did not ask to be born whatever race they were born.

    If you have ideas, it would be great to hear them.. but if you are going to simply “raise awareness” by blaming and race-baiting, that’s help I’m not sure is helpful. If you are going to help, by all means help, but if not.. well, don’t pretend that you’re helping.
    If you have nothing good to contribute productively.. then just gripe about things on the internet, apparently that is what it is for.

    Like

    • Doesn’t seem nonsensical to me. It’s already been explained why there’s no such thing as reverse racism. And no one here ‘excused’ racism against white people, because there was none in this blog post.

      Like

      • Definitely no such thing as reverse racism….JUST RACISM. I am Nigerian and if I make judgements agains an indian person for being indian, spanish for being spanish, french for being french…whatever….its racism full stop.

        The divide and conquer tactic seems so evident here, whereas we should vbe coming together to fight this atrocity Rape effects all women…a woman is raped every 45second in the Democratic Republic of Congo, this will take all women standing together to fight this type of atrocity. lets do something!!!

        Well said K

        Like

      • Racism is….RACISM. it’s possible to be racist against whites just as it is against whites. And this blog IS racist. Besides photos, no evidence of whites not allowing blacks into the slut walk us evident.
        Go online. There us a letter posted from the some black group to the toronto slutwalk leaders saying they REFUSED to participate because the word slut was involved.
        Therefore, they decided not to go THEMSELVES.
        IT’S CALLED FACTS, PROOF AND EVIDENCE, PEOPLE. THAT IS ALL I WILL LISTEN TO.

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  63. I’ve learned a lot from reading your critique. A couple of walks are being organised for my country. Mainly it was over the word slut and the idea that it could be reclaimed and somehow take away it’s meaning and it’s power to hurt. I’ve been shot down in flames by supporters of the walk. The slutwalk concept has been and is being highly divisive amongst feminists in my country. I’m appalled at the accusations that have been levelled at you and the level of racist abuse and bigotry displayed in some of the posts. The racism in your country and mine and in far too many others is built into the very structures and ideology of our states. Thank you for showing me another perspective. I’ve referred people to your blog. Hope that’s ok and thank you too for the space. I hope you do keep writing here.

    Like

  64. I am saddened to see an article like this. It is so well written and incitefull created yet full of a lot of hatred. Before I elaborate I must quote Mahatma Gandhi ” An eye for an eye will leave us all blind.” The message about the lack of representation of women of ethnicity’s issues is lost in the quite blatantly anti-white rhetoric. As a Nigerian woman living in the UK and someone who has once nearly been the victim of sexual assault I can understand your discomfort arund what is being done and how ALL women are not being represented. What I dont understandis the us versus them attitude. I think one thing we can be certain of in this world is for us to progress we must worktogether, especially on a topic such as this which is so ubiquitous it requires all women to stand together. If you felt sidelined why not approach the organiser as an individul or as part of a group of ethinic women. If they refused to accede to your request of equal representation you should have exposed them for this blatant negligence and prejudice. Why make them your enemy from the outset? Ever heard of divide and conquer?

    No dobt you are correct in your assessment of the different issues of women of colour but how ywould you expect someone who has no experience of this to know without being informed? Juts as I know very little about Japanese culture and the issues that effect the women there. This is not because I look down my nose, or believe they are less important just my ignorance reduces my natural awareness. And yes I am defending the White women to an extent because I dont expect them to know. Nonetheless I will tell them, and once they do know I expect them to act in the same way I will.

    I think It is important that we encourage cohesion, and dispell these rumours of hatred. we must come together. Next time I think it would be worth writing about the apathy within ethnic communities as a whole and why we (refer to black people now as I dont really know enough about other communities)find it difficult to act and stand together. This is where our problem lies and this is why the white people dont know. We are the minority in the global north therefore our issues will always seem esoteric unless we speak loudly….that is our issue and that is where our first fight should begin.

    Remember we must speak up and speak out .

    Like

  65. Hi There Everybody:
    I just want to let you all know that we are trying to get people from the black and hispanic community involved, not to continue the argument but to create a solution for the writer’s concerns about this issue of trying to bring leadership to the issue of fighting against rape and shaming women out of reporting crimes against them.
    I think it is important to get representation from strong leaders of the people of color community who will take a stand against the issue of rape in a way that will help everyone involved and hurt no one, and yet still give our people of color the support they need and deserve.
    Instead of taking sides, it’s important that really good problem-solvers who are not white can come in this dialogue, and help get the fighting to stop between everybody, and still give the ones who are upset about not being heard some comfort and some involvement in the fight against rape.
    Culturally it seems the dynamic is a little bit different with how certain cultures want to handle the issue, and they way that whites might handle it is the way they might understand works for them, according to the cultural language that they speak. They are just doing it the way they think is right, and the way they are doing this does speak to some people – forgive them for they know not what they do that it might be leaving some people out.
    They don’t know this – they are just conveying this in the way they culturally know how to. For example, if someone doesn’t speak Urdu, they are not going to know Urdu, point blank. So forgive them, and let them know that this may be ok for them, and is helping some people get the message, but now there are other approaches that work better for other cultures about how to address the issue, and then show them how things should get done, and then work to do those things to get your message across in the way that you know would help the people of your culture – so on and so forth. Some things work for some cultures, and some things don’t. So just help them. And if you don’t want to help them, then start your own movement against rape that speaks to your culture, and helps them to express themselves in the way that they feel comfortable. Hurt no one. Call a truce about this whole misunderstanding, and let’s just fix the issue at hand. That’s all; it is too simple. There is no need to get all upset over something that can be resolved.
    This is a good cause and I would hate to see it fall to the wayside by a great number of people who seem to be equally concerned about something, but just feel like everybody is stepping on each other’s toes.
    If you don’t want to work together, then work with others that you have the same ideals with, and do this thing in your way – but please, I would hope everybody doesn’t stop talking about how to end rape for anybody and everybody. Do your thing in the way you feel the need to express it in order to get the message out that rape is wrong. If this is all about America, people are fighting daily to make it a more free country – exercise your freedom and make the statement yours. Like I was saying, if you don’t like how someone is doing it, then do things your way. It looks like there are plenty of people looking out for one another on this page – so all of you get together and protest rape in the way you think it should be handled. But please, never stop talking about how rape needs to stop.

    Like

      • Thank you. I want there to be some love in these discussions because it’s important to love others. If one feels that someone is an enemy with the way they see things then love the enemy because one suffers less themselves. It causes the body stress to hold onto anger. Don’t stress, just forgive. People who are members of important organizations have such debates, only it is behind closed doors so the world doesn’t see how heated it can become. It is only natural for humans because we are all so different, but similar. Somehow later they arrive at a solution that should benefit all members, and then life continues. If others can do it in other circumstances, so can we.

        Like

  66. Very interesting post. Well written and really made me think. So many feminist movements which actually get media pick-up (such as “SlutWalk”) have traditionally been helmed by white women. I agree that the discourse needs to be opened up to include the experiences of ALL women, regardless of colour. I have a few friends doing their graduate schooling in gender studies and the curriculum (and student body) is frighteningly white-washed.

    I guess I have to disclose now that I am a white woman. That means that anything I have to say will come from the hazy fog that is my white privilege. Fair enough. I can empathize with how privileged my position is. It is true that white people are treated with much greater respect from authorities than those of colour. I will never deny that and it is extraordinarily unfair. I can empathize and sympathize until the cows come home, but I will never truly know the unique challenges that women of colour face in our society.

    My critique of this piece is similar to some posts I have already read. Your points get lost in the heavy-handed language of branding the SlutWalk coordinators as perpetuating a form of white supremacy. We’re talking about the brain-child of some pissed of undergraduates here who saw a police officer spew some hateful stuff. I highly doubt that they had the presence of mind to look into the extremely troubling circumstances facing women of colour in New Orleans… In their minds, they were standing up for all women. Call it naivete, ignorance, white privilege, or whatever you would like. But branding them as essentially racist people does not compute rationally. It cheapens your valid points and makes the reader question your rationality. In my opinion, this post creates more division than it does to encourage unity.

    As a woman who has suffered sexual assault myself, I can’t tell you how dissapointed that makes me.

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  67. White people, please put yourself in the shoes for a minute of a black person. You were born into a country where there is only up to 13% of people your color in this country. For some reason, for reasons unbeknownst to you, the majority of people in this country from way long ago had some kind of problem with people your color. There is no way you can change the color of your skin or the way they feel. For some reason you go around and people hate you. They are disgusted by you, you are not welcome, and people don’t like you. The whole time you can’t change that aspect of who you are.
    Then people come along from the majority and want to protest an injustice that you saw allllllll along, but to you it’s nothing new. It’s just when you said it, people won’t hear you. Nobody is going to listen to you because look at you, nobody wants to hear you. You are in that 13% It is as simple as that.
    It is painful to watch because they are doing something that you feel you aren’t even allowed to do. Ever. It hurts.
    There is so much more to this issue, but if you really want to know how some people feel, then begin with that. It is a horrible feeling that nobody should ever have.

    Like

    • You..just…NO.
      I stopped reading after “white people, please for a minute put yourself in the shoes of a black person.”

      That’s DISGUSTING. The whole point you were trying to prove was just destroyed. Congrates.

      Like

  68. Thank you for writing this!
    I am soooo tired of this situation that I could scream. Even thought way too many skipped the actual critique presented in the work because they were caught up in defending white privilege – it actually proves your point.
    white folk assume they have the answer cuz they are white folk and why should they listen to us coloreds…we don’t know nuttin bout……nuffin
    Basta! there are plenty of organizations that everyday are supporting womyn, trans, and youth deal with police and other violence but they do not get notice because they are not walking around flashing their tatas. They are too busy doing the real work of empowerment which happens 365 days not just with an afternoon stroll by media hounds. battalions of people of all colors (because in spite of the a holes, we do end up having some dope white allies emerge) making a difference world wide! sigale comadre!
    As a person that lived a rape – I thank you
    as a woman that has been harassed on the street since the age of 8! – I thank you
    as a fierce brown femenista that is so comfortable with her mind, body and soul that I could wear anything I please without apology (always a lady, never needing to be a slut) THANK YOU !

    Like

    • MamaX, I think you should help make it a better movement – the anti-rape movement. If they are doing it wrong, tell them how it should be done right – if you have the right way to deal with it, tell them how it should be completely addressed so all people’s stories are included. Because they all seem to want to truly address the iisue without a doubt.
      What about “Take Back the Night”? is this an OK org. when it comes to including the view of colored people in your opinion? What is needed in order to make this topic for everybody to discuss and still feel like they have an equal part in the discussion? How can all races form a united front about rape?
      I know the black community already addresses this, but how can all races come together for the greater good and confront the issue in an event or set of events? what is the ideal way, and what would it look like? Please throw some ideas out there to give it a more clear picture to people. Please give them some answers- some people are very much outside the black culture that they have never seen into it and so they are not aware of what needs to be known.
      Please put it out there.

      Like

    • First of all please learn how to write. “Nuffin” is not a word.
      Secondly your entire post reeks of anti-White bias.

      I’m sick of tired of people of color constantly saying that womyn of color aren’t oppressed. WE ARE OPPRESSED TOO.

      Like

      • Kira, I hear your frustration, but let it go. I think the fact that MamaX feels comfortable to just talk how she feels comfortable is a good thing. Nobody wants to be picked apart for the way they talk or spell.
        I think the big flaw with this whole argument on this entire site is that people are saying, “hey, I am significant but you are insignificant”. And the thing is everybody has a right to their view and a claim in this very real problem in the world and each person’s claim about it is significant. It is too bad some are convinced they have to try to degrade another person because they think it will help get their own point across, but none of that is true – it doesn’t work that way. We all should be listened to. And yet I see almost everybody here being guilty of the same flaw here, with no exceptions, unfortunately.

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      • I am so tired of Non-Women of Color trying to flee away from the fact that White Women oppress colored women too. You can hide behind feminism all you want but you still have to atone for your sins against your so called “fellow sister” . White feminists get on my nerves. Subscribing to a movement or label does not change deeply woven,widely accepted harmful views about women of color. Get over your White Privilege .

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  69. Many of these comments just go to show how hatred of white people and white womyn is just out of control amongst minorities today….. truly disgusting.

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    • I think that is unfair and quite unfounded. If you read my post, as a Nigerian (black woman) I have stated that race is not the issue calling someone a white supremacist is not the issue just as calling people white hating minoritiesis not the issue. RAPE is.

      What is good about this discussion is the fact that it has brought certain things to the fore which we must all work on. Women of colour feel marginalised and silent, no one wants to listen to them and no one cares about their issues. White women feel they are acting in the best interests, they believe, for women. The are totally unaware that the issues they face are not the sa,e issues that all women face. They are unable to engage large scale with the ethnic minorities.

      So we have two areas to deal with:
      1. Caucasian women need to establish a way of better engaging with the ethnic community. This will ensure they are knowledgeable about the issues affecting all women and will also increase participants as women from all backgrounds will be involed. it will also strengthen the message…we all stand side by side.

      2. Women of colour must start speaking up. Must caucasian womne have has very limited contact of minorities and when they do it is generally in their own environment. We cannot expect them to be psychic. WE MUST SPEAK UP, tell them our experiences, tell them what effects us and what would benefit us so it can be incorporated. We must then galvanise our communities to be part of the process, they cannot do this on our behalf and I would not want them to!

      I am Nigerian, from the continent of Africa so issues from their really go to my heart. In The Democratic Republic of Congo, due to long term civil war and the tactics used by warring sides, a woman is raped every 45seconds………EVERY 45seconds….. The women of DRC cannot fight this alone, the women of Africa cannot fight this alone……This will take the women of the world!!!!!!!!!!

      Like

  70. Just want to say how although I sympathize with the writer, it still sets the stage that alienates whites instead of helping them understand. You can’t start a conversation in an attacking tone and expect to get anywhere.
    If white people will never understand where you are coming from, help them understand. Seeing them as the enemy isn’t necessarily accurate, perhaps they don’t know, and so here is your opportunity to educate, and not abuse. That’s all. To be exclusionist is not fair – and denounce your own race is not productive, either on the side of whites or people of other races. To want to get rid of white power only to just replace it with power of another race is just missing the point. Some people are not out for equality, they are out to be the race in power. This is not a good mindset for anyone. To think that any race is superior is not wanting equality. To say, whites are not the ones who deserve privilege, only we do – and not them, is wrong. It should not be that any one race at all should have the majority rule – but it just so happens there are a lot of whites in this country. But if you go to other countries, you will see that it’s not the case. White people are not the blame for every problem in the world just like black people are not the blame, either. Let’s not get into blaming races, please. And please, let’s not start a discussion by attacking a group of people and then going and saying, “oh good! I am so glad we can talk about this now!”~ after you just tore someone’s race apart. And picking whites apart for not knowing something doesn’t make any sense. When somebody doesn’t know something, they don’t know. Be patient with people. How are they supposed to know unless you come out and inform them, not in rage because they don’t know yet, but “hey, ok let me share something”. Don’t be rude or condescending about or insulting. Don’t call people idiots because they don’t know. Just take the opportunity to share. Plenty people in the black empowerment movement in the US alone can do this with grace. Some choose not to, but I think it really helps to just calm down and realize you live in a country of all kinds of people and not everybody is going to know about your culture. So just teach them. And please do this calmly. Treat others the way you want to be treated. And forget about how angry you are at a certain race for not understanding you. Maybe it is your opportunity to teach them, then.
    I say this on all sides of this issue. To everyone. Just share. That’s all! ( :

    Like

  71. This blog is an example of why im too nervous to post any of my Critical Race Feminist views.. or even talk about them in most public spaces.

    Aurora, I really enjoyed reading you article, like i enjoyed reading White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack by Peggy McIntosh and anything by bell hooks. Im sorry that im not a better ally to all of you critical thinking feminists that are brave enough to interrogate these sex positive activists from a CRF perspective.. But come on… the level of ignorance that some of these posts exihibit are indicative of people without a ‘critical thinking brain thumb!!!’ most of these people need to go do ‘anti racisim 101′. and there is so much positive learning and activiating to do with out trying to engage with people who havnt even bothered to learn about Critical Theory let along Critical Race Feminism.

    thanks again for the artlcle and all the CRF inspired posts and to all the defensive ignorants… please get soem critical thinking brain thumbs and come back to the table for coffee n cake!

    “I will not have my life narrowed down. I will not bow down to somebody else’s whim or to someone else’s ignorance.” bell hooks

    Like

  72. firstly, Thank you Aurora for bringing a Critical Race Feminist perspective to slutwalk. Thank you to all the posts who have echoed the CRF perspective.. over here in Aussie land we still havnt really caught on to the value and shared learning opportuntites of CRF yet, I hope it hits critcal mass soon tho cause I Love It.. like I love Peggy McItosh and bell hooks, being willing to open up and learn through interrogating your own priviledge is both brave and inspiring and thats the interllectual and spirtual hope I have for myself.

    this being said, I dont much talk about CRF is public spaces tho, cause there are way to many people still indoctrinated within the Banking Method of education and hense lack what I call, Critical Thinking Brain Thumbs… im sorry to see that so many people here have yet to pass ‘anti racism 101′. I personally dont bother engaging with complete and repetative ignorants. Im quite bored of reading their defensive and over dramatic responses.. Im sorry if this makes me less of an ally to non-white women, but critical thinking women have inspired me to attempt to take on the dominant thought more often… so I will, as i chant my favorate bell hooks quote

    “I will not have my life narrowed down. I will not bow down to somebody else’s whim or to someone else’s ignorance.” bell hooks

    http://www.uakron.edu/centers/conflict/docs/whitepriv.pdf

    in Peace and Learning
    Leela

    Like

  73. Please can we all stop talking about racism. It is only a misunderstanding that ahould not form the bulk of this argument. Lts focus on getting back to the realtopicof standing up against rape and how we should do this together.

    What is good about this discussion is the fact that it has brought certain things to the fore which we must all work on. Women of colour feel marginalised and silent, no one wants to listen to them and no one cares about their issues. White women feel they are acting in the best interests, they believe, for women. The are totally unaware that the issues they face are not the sa,e issues that all women face. They are unable to engage large scale with the ethnic minorities.

    So we have two areas to deal with:
    1. Caucasian women need to establish a way of better engaging with the ethnic community. This will ensure they are knowledgeable about the issues affecting all women and will also increase participants as women from all backgrounds will be involed. it will also strengthen the message…we all stand side by side.

    2. Women of colour must start speaking up. Must caucasian womne have has very limited contact of minorities and when they do it is generally in their own environment. We cannot expect them to be psychic. WE MUST SPEAK UP, tell them our experiences, tell them what effects us and what would benefit us so it can be incorporated. We must then galvanise our communities to be part of the process, they cannot do this on our behalf and I would not want them to!

    I am Nigerian, from the continent of Africa so issues from their really go to my heart. In The Democratic Republic of Congo, due to long term civil war and the tactics used by warring sides, a woman is raped every 45seconds………EVERY 45seconds….. The women of DRC cannot fight this alone, the women of Africa cannot fight this alone……This will take the women of the world!!!!!!!!!!

    Like

    • Good post on this topic. It’s clear many women feel they are not being heard, that is important.

      Like

    • T, thank you for providing diplomacy in all of this. This is what we need – solutions. Thanks for sharing your ideas about how to create a solution for everyone involved.

      Like

  74. why are we ignoring the idiot who wrote the words..c**** & the -n word-.why is his post still there?he signed off as.proud racist,misogynist white male oppressor.

    Like

  75. Once again, Aura, thank you for posting this. Reading these comments has made me seriously question my involvement with SlutWalk here in Chicago. If this is representative of the movement, I want no part in it. This saddens me, a survivor of years of sexual assault and trafficking. I feel the general idea of what SW stands for – breaking down the stereotypes and myths surrounding sexual assault – is a very good thing. Lord knows I didn’t report my rape. One time I tried, the cop apparently didn’t like my attitude and called me a “fucking little bitch”. So, yeah, I know the firsthand the need for education, empowerment and the abolishing of stereotypes. But the racism being thrown about by the people commenting in this thread is horrifying and I cannot in good conscience be a part of a movement that harbors such hate.

    Like

    • Please PLEASE listen to WoC like myself and a couple of others who are actively involved in SlutWalk in our areas and have explained many times why we feel passionate about the cause. In this malarkey we’re being overlooked here by EVERYONE, no matter what side they take, and personally I feel that it’s not helping in the “making sure the marginalised get heard” department – if you really want the marginalised to be heard, stop engaging with the trolls and engage with us instead!

      Like

      • I am very much taking into account all voices on this thread, including the voices of the WoC that are in support of the movement. I, too, support the goals of SlutWalk – the breaking down of stigmas and myths surrounding rape – and I am happy that you have had positive experiences in organizing with your local walks. I am sorry you are feeling overlooked. I want to attend SlutWalk. I want to get out there and scream and march and take back the voice that was repeatedly taken from me. However, I cannot ignore the voices of those that have been burned and the voices of the racist asshats in this thread. As a white person, I have a tricky place in this world. I benefit from white privilege even if I don’t like the fact that I do and there are times when I contribute to white supremacy even when I don’t mean to because, hell, I am not perfect (no ally is). There are times I fuck up. I want to keep those times to a minimum. And I feel like participating in something that has proven to me to be so problematic would be contributing. I am not saying I am just going to sit back and do nothing. I would love to add sexual assault victim advocacy to my list of activism activities. (Actually, as an aside, this is something I have wanted to do for a long time. However, I am moving across the country in a couple months and didn’t want to get involved with something, just to have to leave as soon as I started.)

        I would be interested in hearing more of your input about SlutWalk. I am really trying to balance my activism with being an ally and so ALL input is important to me. :-)

        Like

      • I am very active in organising the Brisbane SlutWalk and in fact got the ball rolling on that one.
        Everything has its problematic elements; stepping aside isn’t always helpful. Informed participation is key – if you’re there, you get to help out the rest of us directly, you get to support us when we do need support. Otherwise it seems kind of patronising – “oh the poor coloured people” – especially when some of the SlutWalks are actively managed and supported by PoC.
        Not every place or country (I’m in Australia) shares the same police history, so trying to impose American history and cultural values on everyone else is rather dangerous.

        Like

  76. Hi,

    I never usually comment on blogs but this is absolutely brilliant and spot on. I am completely opposed to ‘slutwalk’ as a hispanic woman living in the UK and from what i’ve seen and read so far it seems that the majority of women do not feel comfortable with the term ‘slut’ been thrown around so liberally. You are completely right, it was never ours to start with, it was a power tool of white middle class men to subjugate women. What they are doing in this movement which is incredibly top down, is far from standing up for and protecting the rights and welfare of women. They say they are opposing rape, violence and assault towards women yet they are holding fundraisers in strip clubs… and not thinking about the root causes of such problems. It is completely reactionary, and whilst I agree that it is awful what was said by the police, women should know that in an institutionally racist and sexist organisation, you cannot rely on the police to defend you! We should be focusing on changing the gender stereotypes and perceptions of all women rather than arguing over what we can and cannot call ourselves. We need a united feminist movement and as you’ve articulated, this will never happen when media driven groups like slutwalk cannot represent women of colour or the working class!!

    Great post, thank you!

    Like

  77. Hi Aura,

    This is my first time reading your blog, and I just want to say: THANK YOU. As a transnational WOC, I couldn’t quite articulate why I felt excluded from SlutWalk, and from “Yes means Yes” and from “The Vagina Monologues”, but you’ve problematized all these white feminist ventures excellently. You’ve inspired me to write a new post (to which your post will be linked) :). I’m so sick and tired of white feminist hegemony, white feminist privilege, and white feminist whining when they get called racist. I’m sorry you have to deal with the all their bile in the comments section. Keep writing your truth; our sitio y lengua is way more vital than the tears of white women. **hugs**

    Like

  78. it’s amazing how many white-hating racists there are here. where are your priorities? do you want us to apologize for being white? we’re fighting for everyone’s rights, not just white people. yet POC have events where only THEY are represented… so what if Slutwalk was a white event? don’t we have issues as well? doesn’t our voice matter? our voice matters. we matter. we are, after all, in the majority.

    Like

    • Someone’s privilege is showing. It’s astonishing how there is so much “reverse racism” nonsense on this thread. It makes me wonder if the people making attacks against the author even read the article? Why is challenging white supremacy and racism, especially within social justice movements, seen as “anti-white” or racist? Such accusations are really harmful and I think that should be taken into account before attacking people with labels like “white-hating racists.”

      Like

      • I live in a house, and have a car, and have food to eat, and access to medical doctors, and the list goes on.
        You were able to write your little piece from a computer, take a cute little picture of yourself with an expensive camera! You seem to be doing fine so why don’t you just be thankful for what you got and stop blaming white people for everything? I will be damned if I go through my whole life blaming them for everything all the time for the reason my life is not ok. I can wipe my own butt, thank you very much; I am not going to sit there and be crying about the fact the white man didn’t provide my ass with toilet paper! Why is that the contemporary white man’s problem? We sit here and whine and bitch about all this shit jargon – but people in their mind use it as an excuse for not taking care of their own lives. Sure some white people are nasty racists, but so are some POC; you can’t blame whitey ’till kingdom come / you grow up one day and realize that blaming one race for everything is a crutch & excuse for why you refuse to take care y self and advance in the world on your own.
        I have running water and heat in the winter, what about you? If you are in America aren’t some white people on the crew that helps turn your electricity on at night? Didn’t Rome, which was made up of a good number of white people, did they not create a good aqueduct system? Ok, good – I am glad I have running water. Oh but you are going to argue that the Romans stole that idea from other people. Always something. Give it a rest. Plus if you are here in the white dominated global blah blah blah, you will realize you have more than people in Southeast Asia! Is that the white man’s fault why people area starving in southeast asia? “the damned white folks forgot to drop food off at my house – damn them” Like it’s the white people’s responsibility in this world to take care of everybody when they are just kids of kids of kids of kids of kids who once were racist. Ok? Their great great grandfathers did all this shit – ok? If you still have a gripe, then go after them, but they are all dead. So go after their kids, right? Ok, then that makes you the mean one then. My parents were some low down people and I will be damned if someone comes after me for some shit they ever did. So be a teacher, not a hater. How are they going to learn when you are being mean to them about it? Just teach them about your background. You will realize that some people actually care more than your own sometimes. You just got to get with the right people. And if they don’t get it, be patient – it’s hard sometimes for people to learn something new. I avoided calculus like the plague; it’s human nature.
        The woman who wrote this is doing fine, writing for the Huffington Post, and I am sure there are people who work for the Huffington Post who are white who helped her get that gig and she is still bitching about whitey. The newer generations are a lot more removed from racism, and the rest you are using as an excuse every time your life fouls up. “Oh damn, my car broke down – f whitey – where’s a white person I can take it out on”. But forget the fact that some white people helped make the car work – but you are too focused on the mistakes those white people made that caused it to break down – once, and all the miles you drove in it were in vain. Somehow all these little things are all their fault, but nobody ever left the country, they kept having kids and raising them here – never left and went to mexico so we must agree that it’s ok to thrive here with them as the majority, so really things are getting better every day.
        Yes, like I said, there are still real examples of it, but just as much as any other hate going around.
        I have people in my life who are white who support me, and I am no oreo or sell-out so just stop buying this propaganda and have peace.

        Like

      • Someone’s insensitivity is showing.

        but trying to dismiss ‘reverse racism’/racism against whites, you are showing that you don’t actually care if white people have their rights violated or not, which means your ‘anti racist’ title doesn’t mean a hill of beans.

        Like

  79. Hi,

    You sound Butthurt that no one wanted to publish your tripe. Have you considered that perhaps the reason was not that you are a woman of colour but rather that your article rambles on about your perceived exclusion from a movement that was as racist as cat poop is racist; in that it wasn’t racist in the slightest.

    You came to this conclusion because “black communities do not trust police and would never invite them to panels”. This is a lie at worst and a blanket statement at best.

    so.. yeah. I can assure you: you weren’t published because you’re an idiot with “race card blinders”(tm) on, not because you were being excluded.

    you know what? not everything is about race. dumbass.

    Like

  80. Thanks for writing this, Aura, I don’t know much about this Slutwalk stuff and it’s interesting to see an critical perspective on it.

    Like

  81. What in the world would many of us do without the magnificent strategies you write about on this blog? Who comes with the endurance to deal with crucial topics for the sake of common visitors like me? My spouse and i and my girlfriends are very delighted to have your blog among the kinds we often visit. Hopefully you know how a great deal we love your efforts! Best wishes through us all.

    Like

  82. Unfortunately, most white people wouldn’t recognize “white privilege” if it sat on their face and wiggled.

    Simply put: If you had the luck to be born white in the United States, you are privileged. Period. Even if you are not economically or socially privileged, you are racially privileged.

    In any number of real, tangible, albeit sometimes subtle ways. From how you are treated, to the opportunities you are given, to the level of credibility you are afforded, etc. You are believed at face value more and second guessed less.

    Think about this: How many times, while watching TV or a movie, or reading a book, have you had to actively search out someone who looks like you? I’m guessing never. But do you even notice when there aren’t any people of color around?

    I was clued in relatively early to this phenomenon, fortunately, because I live in DC. I remember being in elementary school when “Murphy Brown” came on TV. It was getting great reviews and was set in my hometown, but when I tuned in to watch and saw that there weren’t *any* people of color (IN A SHOW SET IN DC!!!), I had to turn it off, because it was obvious to me that it wasn’t at all realistic or representative of where I lived and the people I saw every day. It was disappointing and an eye-opener, all at once.

    I am not going to comment on the motives or politics behind the SlutWalks. I think victim blaming and slut shaming are serious problems that need to be dealt with in a serious way, and even though I don’t necessarily think that parading about in my knickers is a good way to go about it, I can see where these women were coming from. Now, if all of these groups could be inclusive to all women and men who are affected by the rape culture, that would be grand.

    I will say, however, that we ALL need to understand that a person’s attire, sexual history, social behavior, intentions, etc. are NOT valid “reasons” for rape. And any qualifier attached to circumstances of rape is, indeed, victim blaming.

    Like

    • Yes because white people don’t know they have a white privilege. They are just trying to live their lives. They don’t know your story unless you tell it. Thank you for giving the example of your Murphy Brown story so that this can better illustrate why you see things this way. Lots of people are sick of rich people in Hollywood and on TV anyway – even white people who are poor – it’s an unrealistic representation of America in general for everybody, and there are all things wrong with the numerous program like Murphy Brown that forget about the real people of the US – not just the wealthiest 10%.
      But understand that white people make up about 65% of the population and they can’t just make themselves vanish off the face of the earth as many people would want them to. If you are into a genocide campaign, then check in with Hitler.
      But nobody can listen to someone who says “Look all you stupid privileged white people, you better shut up and listen to me”….You can’t make an enemy out of your audience right off the bat.
      That’s why there needs to be more people of color in the universities and in places of learning – or even in a regular day, who are willing to calmly and compassionately teach people how to treat them. But you can’t belittle and condescend to your crowd who you want to listen to you – it is hard to learn from someone who doesn’t respect you and who emotionally abuses you. If you are so charged up about some white people in this world then don’t go after the babies. Look at those girls, they are just little babies. This is too much for them, all of this aggression. They are in the sponge phase of their life – they are from the university where people usually want to open their mind and learn about different things they never knew before. So teach them your story.
      People need to treat people the way they want to be treated. It works better.
      Screaming at white women and accusing them of all being white supremacists – young white college girls – that’s very strong speech for them and belongs more in a militant setting when you are dealing with corrupt police and government, not a bunch of young college girls who are trying to help to world and do know not what they do – you got to be careful who you are targeting with that aggressive speech.
      They really are just young people in the whole scheme of all of this, and seem to want to help make the situation better. Being hateful toward them and calling them white bitches isn’t going to help. They aren’t the ones who rape. They don’t know that they are privileged in the way you say.
      You have to just tell them your stories – put out a book with an account of all the things you went through as a human being, get these stories into the mainstream, and teach white people what people of color really experience – don’t throw all this jargon at them – but just tell them in a plain and simple, ordinary way with examples of exactly you go through as a person of color, and give examples of it and how it makes you feel, and why you feel that way. Coming at them with hate and militancy is no way to achieve the goal of getting them to understand you. That militancy belongs in other settings. Let’s achieve goals instead of just sitting here and complaining about a certain race of people.

      Like

      • Speaking of condescension…your reply drips with it.

        I’m white, by the way.

        Any white American (and I only speak about Americans here, because that’s what I am, and have no firsthand knowledge of life in other countries) who doesn’t realize they are privileged hasn’t been paying attention. 65% is not that big a majority, and it keeps getting smaller every day. What on earth will the poor, misunderstood white people do when they are the minority?

        I love my town, and I love that it has given me a unique perspective about race as a white person. But even as a member of a racial minority on the local level, I was and still am privileged because of my lack of melanin. How ridiculous is that? But it’s true, and it’s something of which I am constantly aware.

        Instead of attacking the author of this piece for her views, why not attempt to understand them? Can you even comprehend the level of frustration and anger she must have felt in order to pen a piece like this? I honestly don’t think it came out of left field. And while I may not agree with some of the language used, I can understand why it was used.

        And another thing…why should people of color, ANY people of color, go out of their way to assuage your latent white guilt? THAT’S NOT THEIR JOB! As the majority and the privileged, it is *our* job to do the reaching out.

        It’s 2011, ferchrissakes. If we can all be a little more aware of the world around us–the diversity of the people in the world–and be a little more inclusive in all that we do, things will get better. It’s already better than it was when my parents were my age, and it will hopefully be much better when my kids are my age.

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    • in other words you hate diversity so much that you wish to destroy the ONLY white institutions, which only make up a fraction of the world institutions.

      Why should the countries that house the ONLY sizable white populations in the world have to be more inclusive when non white people are already overrepresented in these countries?

      Things are only getting better when you ignore that non white on white crime has shot up, how high the white suicide rate is, how racist just about every non white govt official openly is etc.

      For white children, the world is getting increasingly more hostile, and people are becoming more and more accepting to the idea of anti white racism.

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      • Riiiiiight because there are just NO stupid,racist,hate filled rhetoric coming from white male politicans please take your head out of your ass before you poop on yourself!! And yeah all that ‘non white’ crime of cops shooting and killing COUNTLESS unarmed black people with little more than a suspension happening. I’ll be thinking about poor little you when it’s 30 degrees and I can’t catch a cab while TEN pull up for you. or when I’m driving a new car and get stopped 5,000 times or get followed in certain stores. But I’ll be thinking of you poor thing!

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  83. so I’m still wondering why the proud racist,misogynist white male oppressor.his own words.he get’s to call us c****& the n-word.so is he being ignored?his comment is still there.well…..I guess it’s not that importan?.

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  84. Thanks for posting this critical piece about Slut Walks. Even though I think protesting is important and am fairly active, I feel good about sitting this one out when it comes to my city.

    It was also interesting to read of the colonialism-esque attempts to “bring” activism to Argentina. Ha!

    Sorry about all the haters! Keep up the good work, Aura!

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  85. I’ve read most of the comments, and recognize that some people want to see the intently harmful n-word and c-word comment removed. Several hours passed between the time it was first posted and the time I first saw the message, and although my initial inclination was to remove it, I also felt drawn to allowing it to stay there in order to reflect the way some people are realistically approaching this. I can certainly be swayed otherwise, and very much welcome all of you to keep communicating about this — but for the time being, I do not plan on removing it.

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  86. I complained about the racist misogynist pig,that gets to keep his post up?he called us cunts&then nigger?wtf keeping that up to make a point?well……let him get away with it.I DON’T like using those words.I was trying to make a point.me I was called a spic,stupid Indian(native)that complains to much.and being harras(s)ed by straight men.because I’m a dyke trying act like a man.I’m tired of fighting, the majority of my life .but I won’t give up eather.

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  87. Well, I guess the writer got what she wanted. She didn’t want to be silenced anymore so she is getting all the attention she thought she deserved. But at what cost? Because, if I were a white person I would be scared to be in her life. I would feel like I would have to walk on eggshells all the time with her hostility in how much she apparently does not care for white people, unless bend over backward to agree with her, even if she might be a little bit wrong. One would feel like every single thing they say or do has to be under the microscope with her, and they would have to kiss her butt and apologize all the time to appease her.
    And please, if you are white, never call yourself her friend because white people should never say they have friends of color, they are not ‘allowed to'; according to people who have the same mindset she does. It’s terrible, really, that people buy this animosity as the voice of “strength” in communities of people of color. That how much of a good servant you are to your community is gauged by how much you dislike white people.
    So, I hope that she has a change of heart, but I highly doubt it. It’s weird that she complained about white people getting all the press but this person who wrote the article seems that she works for the press, so I don’t know what she’s complaining about. She has the ability to have her voice heard, too. So there isn’t just one race in the spotlight, here. I am sure that if she made her article a little less hostile, and addressed the situation at hand, and gave clear solutions along with a plan, then I am sure the Huffington Post would have picked up the article.
    The last thing anyone should do is silence her, but if I was a white person I would be afraid to walk within 100 feet of her. I’d be afraid she’d take my head off.

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  88. I refuse to pay any more attention to a spoiled privileged – yes I will say privileged because I just found out she is/was a Yale student (hello ivy league – I feel so bad for her) who is acting like a 6 year old having a temper tantrum that cannot be quenched by anybody no matter how hard they try. We are not worried about her anymore – she is doing ok, and just thriving off the power of trying to start her own little revolution with her article. I just found out she doesn’t want any solutions – she just feels like being messed up.
    Her needs are cared for. She’s an ivy leaguer, and still complaining about the system that is working for her, obviously! Pay her no mind, and let’s just move along.
    We get the point, but now I think everyone should just boycott this person’s page. There is a shred of truth about it, but she’s using it not for the greater good but to create pandemonium, and then the rest of it is garbage. Officially boycotting as of now.
    Using this as propaganda for people of color to create soldiers in her own revolution as she just sits up there at Yale or wherever she is. Nobody here in this house is going to this page ever again. We are allergic to it from now on. I am giving everyone a rubber band here to put on their wrist if they even want to come back here and comment. Yale….oh my goodness……..now I get this.

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  89. Hi Aura,
    I thank you for writing this, as it brings up valid points that need to be honored and addressed. I’m stunned by the reactionary, hostile nature of many of the responses and left wondering why simply listening to your perspective is such a challenge. That said, consider posting your article with the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity.

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  90. Aura, thank you for this article. I think you’ll laugh a little bit, if ironically, to hear that I saw it linked on a FB friend’s update remarking that she wanted to attend the next Slutwalk that took place local to her. I’m not sure she read the entire blog post. Sigh. But I’m glad I took the time.

    If there is anything I have learned about hanging around progressive and liberal and “fringe lifestyle” types, it’s that if they are determined to not listen to you, they never will listen to you, no matter how politely you speak your truth. Then if you get fed up and rude, they decide they were right not to listen to you anyway. The simple fact of the matter is that merely adopting a label does not absolve a person of their sins, and being political is a PROCESS, not a label. If a person is not willing to engage in the PROCESS, then they should go turn on some American Idol and tune out the political discussions because they are absolutely useless for the latter.

    No one’s perfect. No matter what label it is. But everyone has room for improvement, and potential to pursue said improvement. And part of that process is identifying where you’re still wrong and accepting feedback to correct your course. I mean “you” generally here.

    And it’s clear I have a lot more reading to do. Of anti-racism literature from people of color, mind you, not of VeganDiabetic.

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    • “if they are determined to not listen to you, they never will listen to you, no matter how politely you speak your truth.”

      You are absolutely right! Although you can expand it beyond progressives and liberals to everyone.

      It’s the same whether you are dealing with a Westboro Baptist Church person or a sanctimonious lib who is convinced they know all; you will never turn their head.

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      • ” if they are determined to not listen to you, they never will listen to you, no matter how politely you speak your truth.”

        This,

        You are absolutely right! Although you can expand it beyond progressives and liberals to everyone.

        and this right! My sentiments exactly. Although I respect the pleas for compassion in reference to some uninformed whites in particular and people in general, it has not been lost on me-it has annoyed me that some of these well meaning critics have not probably considered that just maybe the hostility often displayed by people of color(and maybe even alot of working class whites) exist at times because they have been rebuffed so many times by self styled enlightened people and progressives “even when polite” that they feel they may be silenced however they come across! Overlooking this, some of them show bias generalize people of color by giving the impression that people of color are never civil. They are just mean and petty whiners without a cause more often then not! They even dismiss the lady by saying her views were American-centric. I do get this criticism. This is fair enough, but this lady is from Argentina; and, some of the people critiquing the march are not all from the US either. One of the bloggers even direct a critique of the march made by a South East Asian lady from Tehran! Are their post US-centric for sharing similar views to the lady blogging along with the posters!

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  91. So a trans person being beaten and raped is worse than a cis-gendered woman being beaten and raped?

    And further, what is keeping transgendered people and people of color from joining in these walks? Why do they have to be invited? I very much doubt that people of color and trans people would have been turned away had they shown up. I didn’t see a single sign in the Slut Walks that said NO BLACKS OR TRANSWOMEN ALLOWED. You shouldn’t just assume a movement excludes you because they didn’t say “hey, specifically you – come along.”

    I am extremely pro-trans. Two of my best friends are trans. I donate to trans causes and legal funds. I admire trans people and respect them for the very unique struggle they have in this society. That said, I see a lot of this (in the m to f community) “I’m assuming when people talk about women, they’re not talking about me” without going to the effort to see if that is really true. I’m pretty certain that if a contingent of trans women organized and showed up at the Slut Walks they would have been welcomed with open arms. This is the kind of action that will get the trans cause out there and in people’s faces. If you keep hanging back waiting to be invited to the party by people you view as “priveleged” it is just not going to happen. It’s not personal. It’s just human nature at work.

    The whites didn’t invite the blacks to have equal rights. Men did not invite women to vote. Gay and lesbians were not invited by straights to run for office in the seventies. That is not how revolution works. You need to get out there with other trans men and women, and your cis-gendered allies, and fight for what you want, or it is never going to come to you. It sucks but it’s true. Equality is an uphill battle. Always has been, always will be. Trans people do not get special exemption from their fight. But you do have allies all around, you need only to reach out to them.

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  92. had to get off a bus in vancouver on sunday because there was slut walk clogging traffic.i was troubled by the whole thing why do women want the right to be called a slut? i would rather be called a cunt! regardless I also dont understand why women dress in ways that expose so much skin if they r not infact looking to get laid. not to say that anyone should ever be forced into sex against their will i just think the more skin you show the more chance you get of having sex, no matter your choice of male or female partner.

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  93. Hahaha! Awesome. The status quo doesn’t even need to defend itself any more, we have the disenfranchised doing it for us!

    Bless you for attacking each other. This is brilliant to watch.

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  94. @ Lilith

    Firstly, why does a racist event even have to involve a white person at all? Most of them don’t, coloured people from all backgrounds are just as able to be racist when there’s no whites around. The Japanese slaughtered the Chinese in World War Two in a series of racial policies, genocide in Somalia and Rwanda is racially motivated, there are too many examples to list. Whites are just as capable of being racist towards other whites, German anti-Semitic and anti-Slavic holocaust in WW2, genocide in Serbia. All examples of racism.
    As for providing an identical circumstance for you, how’s this? A white person walks into an overwhelmingly black area and gets confronted and beaten by a group of blacks who are meanwhile shouting racial slurs for just being in their territory with no provocation, would that be racist? Now how about you swap the white person for a black person in a white neighbourhood and ask the same question. For me both are undeniably racist incidents.
    Finally, because you say ‘hostilities’ in racism involving whites have been unequal, coloured people have now got free reign to do as they please in order to balance the books in terms of atrocities?! Two wrongs don’t make a right Lilith. By carrying on apologising for racism amongst non-white communities, you’re just continuing the cycle. Here in the UK, I’m glad to say, ethnicity is irrelevant when considering whether one’s actions are racist. Take this example :
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/1294021.stm
    or this one:
    http://www.guardian-series.co.uk/news/8183948.BARKINGSIDE__Man_needs_62_stitches_after_racist_attack/
    I guess under your definition, these can’t be racist attacks because the victims are white and are thus in positions of ‘power’. Don’t you see, your satisfaction and lack of empathy make you just as guilty of perpetrating racial division and tension as the whites you claim are entirely at fault.

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  95. Your claim that the SlutWalk organizers are white supremacists is undone by the fact that by your own logic, you are an American supremacist. The idea that a march based in Toronto, (which is a city not nearly plagued to the same extent by the problems of American cities) has to redefine itself by the standards of New Orleans basically means that Canadian subjectivity is completely delegitimized.

    Canada may be a tenth of the size of the United States, but it’s still a distinct electoral, legal and sovereign polity, with some cultural differences to boot. Canadians do not pay taxes in America, they do not vote in American elections and they do not need to have an encyclopedic knowledge of every American law, no matter how barbaric, governing sex workers in order to organize a feminist march in their own goddamn country.

    I understand where some of your anger comes from, considering that the SlutWalk has been exported to some cities in your country. But maybe something that is relatively representative in Toronto is not representative in New Orleans or Boston. Maybe those who appropriate ideas and movements from Toronto are mistakenly thinking that just because they wish their society was like Toronto’s, it is not.

    America is a rich country. If you don’t like the way things work there, maybe you should organize in your own way to change it, rather than expecting Canadians to do it for you. But don’t blame Canadian organizers for overlooking the problems in your country when they were trying to organize to fight against problems in their own community.

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  96. Hi. White trans person from Britain here. I share your concerns about the idea of wanting cops to prove themselves as nice anti-sexist allies (or allies of human society in general, given the number of different populations that the police exist to control and, uh, police). Having had a number of negative experiences interacting with the police both as a victim of violent crime and as a suspect, I’m really glad to have the opportunity to read another perspective on issues in the fundamental assumptions underlying Slutwalk about who “we” are and what “we” need to create social justice and safety. It’s surprising to hear other Brits talking about how un-racist the British legal system is, seeing as we’ve just recently had a report indicating that racism in the criminal justice system isn’t just bad, but statistically worse than the US. So all that noise about things being more liberal over here is the legacy of colonial superiority dreaming of the lost empire.

    I or my partner (depending on which of us can make it) will probably attend Manchester Slutwalk, due to the resonance we have with a need to take part in resistance to slut shaming (which affects us personally, and many people we know). Hopefully the awareness that this action is not sufficient will permeate further around anti-oppression communities here and elsewhere. Your blog link has already been posted around by a few folks I know.

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  97. Good points buried in divisive BS and posturing. You had a real opportunity to support other women and bring in some needed education and you blew it by telling them they didn’t go far enough to satisfy your agenda. Progressives need to learn to support and to not eat each other out of frustration and hatred. The “white supremacy” line is some supreme BS. You had a group of young students doing things the best way they knew how and instead of stepping up to include yourself in it you’re throwing it in their faces as if their concerns aren’t worthy of attention. No wonder no one would publish you’re thinly veiled diatribe.

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  98. Just to clarify: SlutWalk is a series of events which are open to absolutely ANYBODY WHO WANTS TO TURN UP AND MARCH. No one demographic is invited, no one demographic is barred. so if women of colour are under-represented at SlutWalks, maybe there are questions you need to be asking of women of colour rather than the laughable accusations you’re levelling at SlutWalk organisers.

    I really, really, really think you’re way off with this one, and you’re demonstrating your own persecution complex and your own racism that you equate “not many black people showed up” to “the white people who turned up must be hateful bigots”.

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    • Oh, also your automatic assumption that “white = middle class”. It’s called racial profiling, and it’s a bigoted thing to do.

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    • After reading the article I thought I would comment, but then I read all the replys and figured to hell with these -mostly- dumb sluts, your comment ‘you’re demonstrating your own persecution complex’ really just summed up all my thoughts. Thanks for that.

      As for me, I will probably be participating in my own city slut walk (Montreal, May 29th). By the way I am multiracial (black, white, south american, portuguese, all kinds)
      Sluts-R-Us!

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  99. thank you for posting this. I left the slutwalk discourse and have thought it better to start my own discourse since it does seemed only centred around “typical” male on female sexual violence. I just noticed the discourse became dismissive to uncomfortably quiet when the topic was not hetero. Given the startling statistics, like the one’s you mentioned, and some other new statistics on gender and sexual crimes, there is an urgent need for this discourse.

    I am disappointed the members of this group did not pick up on it.

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  100. That this could be considered “white supremacy” just goes to show how the University has colonized feminism with incoherent, divisive Identity Politics and silly trivialities. Emma Goldman and Cynthia McKinney are the real feminists, challenging the Empire and Capitalism.

    And while you’re at it on the Identity Politics, notice how little AcaFeminism actually consults sex workers themselves (as in, for rare example, “Whores and Other Feminists”), lest they share horror stories for Dines and her fellow crusaders to cherry pick.

    Great job taking an issue which has no clear answer and making into a “holier-than-thou” false diatribe for “The Oppressed” – meaning, the Academic Vanguard for the Oppressed.

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  101. i just wanted to offer that i really appreciated this post. i don’t think there’s a lot of clear answers about the word “slut” — it seems difficult to me to try to fix the power of any word outside of the relations in which it is used, even in a reclaiming way, and the power dynamics in which “slut” is currently being used, the slutwalk, are very neutralizing and silencing — but (though the contexts and exact experiences are very different) i found the foundations of the critique very resonant with the discomfort i’ve felt about the marches as a sex worker and a poor woman.

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  102. I simply cannot believe that there are women commenting on this blog post which such venom and anger. If you are a woman who does not agree with this blog post then of course you are entitled to your opinion but it should be made in a constructive way.

    Feminists have been trying for years to unite women who are different, and it becomes an increasingly difficult and complicated task. Nevertheless there are efforts to do so and hopefully, these efforts will turn into a reality where feminism is no longer synonymous with a ‘West is best’ policy.

    I am a white feminist living in what you could call a liberal society and I am very much for the idea that all people in the world should be united against violence and inequality, regardless of their status, colour, orientation, gender, whatever. So it angers me to see women on here making futile comments that are not part of a political debate on this subject. How can we ever hope for a united feminism if women of the world want to slog it out against each other?

    I respect you for posting such an informed opinion and though people may not agree with it, they shouldn’t reply with such base comments.

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    • Really? After being called “white supremacists”, people who don’t like it should be singled out for offering “constructive” comments? Lol. You guys are something else.

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  103. The first part of this post reeks of grasping polemics. The fact is that the insensitivity of the group to other, more important issues about woman’s rights does not make them racist. The apparent presence of police officers in no way implies cooperation with racist activities – as far as I can tell, you are just as culpable for “insensitivity” by ignoring dense population centers near Toronto which have real issues like the one mentioned in N Orleans.

    You’re right when you say its a privileged doctrine. But you fail to realize just how much privilege you enjoy. The fact is that only a marginal minority in the world enjoy online access, or even stable food economies. And one of the primary population centers suffering from this disparity are black Africans.

    Falling back on ethnic identity has nothing to do with the real dynamic of exploitation. Exploited white women have just as much right to express their own anger. The bridges should be gapped – and if you think exploited whites are culpable for the media ignoring black exploitation, you’re simply wrong. One may as well attack the urban homeless for the plight of malnourished Zimbabweans. The fact is that these are simply different exploited groups – none of whom should have their struggle diminished by that of other groups.

    What you should be worried about is the media’s attacks on exploited populations, which is really what you seem to be referring to here.

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  104. Pingback: Why Slutwalk? ~
  105. SlutWalk, as far as I understand it, is about undoing the message that a women’s outfit invites sexual violence. Its about putting the responsibility of rape on the rapist, not the victim. This is not a racist message, nor is race the primary feature of the message because rape affects ALL women. You could argue quite easily that sexual violence disproportionately affects women of color – and I would agree completely. You could also effectively argue that racism and sexual violence are intrinsically linked in societal sickness – and again, I would agree.

    But did SlutWalk begin as a New Orleans protest of the deportation of rape victims, or the criminalization of specific sex act committed by prostitutes who are only trying to survive, the majority of whom are black? No, it started in response to the sexist comments of a cop at a university in Toronto. It also didn’t address that its usually not women, but CHILDREN, that get caught up in prostitution… but neither did this post. Am I to conclude, then, that Aura wants to silence child rape victims because she didn’t specifically address their needs in this post?

    “… I know that I, for one, will stay home.” Thats where you lose me, sis. Your message to readers seems to be: they tried to silence us, so when the chance comes to speak, you better just stay home rather than contribute your voice like you wanted to in the first place. Thats not trying to create change, thats just petulance. If you want to address the problems facing the women of New Orleans, then tell me where to sign up! But your article didn’t even do that much. You had a bunch of readers and people commenting – a great chance to be heard. And you didn’t so much as link to a few charitable organizations trying to help sex workers, or give us the information to write our legislature about the unfair laws in New Orleans.

    Its not to late. Why not add an afterword telling your captivated audience what they can do to help, instead of telling them what NOT to participate in?

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  106. Can people please stop writing “this country” “our laws”. Most of the time they are referring to the United State of America… the movement started in Canada, people from all over the world are reading this post. I am Mexican and Canadian. “This country” means nothing in an online conversation.

    Also what is going on, the is a battle between blacks and whites? Whites and people of colour (which I later on realized that is what POC meant)? Honestly I don’t identify with either of those groups. I am human, I am a woman and I have the right to not be blamed if I were ever raped.

    I completely disagree with the classification of 1. white and 2. people of colour. Wat the hel those that mean, there are people walking around with a complete white skin, and yes there are: albinos, but surprise surprise race has nothing to do with that.

    So if I have black hair, light skin, freckles, brown eyes… am I white? most might think so, If I add that I was born not in Canada … oh no actually from Mexico, then all of a sudden I am of colour? HAHAHA makes me laugh. What will happen when my dark hair turns completely white… will I be white again? hahaha

    People have races, people have cultures, DNA that varies all around the world, people have ideas about their own person, their prefences, the names they want to be called, and all that is always mixed and combined and overlap. Stop using racist language to stop racism, lets talk about individuals, with names, lets talk about institutions with names, lets talk about countries with names.

    Thanks

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  107. Before I give my comment I would like to share some facts about myself. I am caucasian woman and dating a beautiful (in all sense) black woman. Personally I hate to admit it but a lot of the law and public is still prejudice in religion and race. By posting anything with white supremacy will not help in getting people to listen properly to the message. Just some advice… in any event you do, you have to have a large mix of all races, backgrounds and religion. I personally do not agree with how the “slutwalk” especially the name was handled. I agree with why it was done but all they did was lessen the voice for the cause. What truly strong woman wants to “take back” slut. First off the entire statement of that is completely moronic. Take back what??? It means what it means. And all I saw was a group of stupid woman marching half naked with signs. The march was a JOKE! It could have been something great, something meaningful but NO. It should have been a march for police slander and inappropriate behavior. Congratulations ladies, you made the office look good with your march. For those of you planning on marching in the future for any rights… please do it right, intellectually and with pride! ALL woman should be proud of who they are, where they came from and fight for ALL woman and their rights with dignity.
    This is just my opinion of course, but I hope someone listens and uses what I have said in the next course of action and or protest for whatever the cause and keep in mind, slandering everything else outside of your cause makes you no better and diminishes all your hard work. Best of luck with your message of REAL equality and strength among ALL woman. Please remember, for every asshole male out there, there is a wonderful man and forever slut there is a real woman.

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  108. Let me start by saying I am disturbed at how many WOC and Trans folk have been completely ignored in this thread when they come out in support of SlutWalk.

    Next: Critique, and yes, some harsh wording, is absolutely necessary to propel any movement forward. This become especially true when you are talking a topic so diverse as women.

    However, this article fails, and fails hard on so many levels. It’s like no research was done whatsoever.

    First of all the “white leadership” of even SlutWalk Toronto, is not all white. I mean, honestly. Who needs the white supremacy to erase you if other “minorities” are more than willing to do it?

    Second: The police officer who made the inappropriate comments was not invited by students but the school at large and it was most certainly NOT some kind of panel on sexual violence. It was a safety information session for the general safety of all students on the York University/ Osgoode Law School Campus (one in the same).

    Third: Women are not labeled as sex offenders for prostitution in Canada. Let’s just state right here that almost every following this is asking for Canadians to adjust their politics to Americans.

    So, no there was no question on sex offender registration because that not applicable. Prostitution in Canada is a little complicated but it’s technically decriminalized.

    No they probably were not think about any situation in New Orleans, again, Toronto, not New Orleans.

    No, this has nothing to do with a death in Oakland and the use of a racist phrase. Again, Canada. Canadians are not required to deal with the racial issues of our southern neighbours. Yes, nigger is still used with hate, but queer has been reclaimed. We don’t know the end result, so why doom the reclamation of slut without giving it a chance?

    As far as Argentina, you have to be willing to place the blame on Argentinians. The only thing the original not-all-white, yet white supremacist organizers did was allow other groups the chance to use the name. You can’t lay the fact that people around the world took them up on that offer.

    I think that the SlutWalk can totally be dinged for being a little bit of an exercise of privileged girl partying (Not that I would agree with that). But instead this article shows a lack of knowledge and a lack of cultural awareness.

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  109. This is honestly ridiculous. Black women shouldn’t be able to use their skin color and certain physical differences to men to make “oh poor me excuses”.

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  110. Um……

    I see hundreds of women talking back and forth without a single man in the discussion and here goes. It’s really very simple…

    The vast majority of us respect women. We have mothers, sisters and girlfriends and we would never want any disrespect, let alone sexual violence to befall them.

    Having said that, if you march down a street in your bra and panties, I am not thinking about feminism. I am going to pull up a chair and watch those titties go bouncing in the wind…. You are not reclaiming “sluts”… you are being one.

    My 2 cents.

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    • Really? Because to someone with delicate sensitivities, a T-shirt and Bermuda shorts is also considered “being a slut.” This isn’t hyperbole. That’s the crux of it , there is no one set definition, it’s all relative. And there is a VAST difference between being ogled by an anonymous blogger who “respects women” and being raped by someone whose defense when caught is “She was asking for it dressed like that,” then denied justice because that defense actually fucking works.

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    • Late to the party, BUT:

      1. Great article, and thank you for challenging my views. However, I strongly feel that racial selectivity in media and the failure of those you have attempted to get in touch with to respond should not define your perception of all participants. I am still struggling with your perception of the institution of SlutWalk as an example of white supremacy. Many of these specific concepts of how actions have weight are new to me and are deserving of serious consideration, but I also have my own reservations that mainly stem from a hesitation to slam well meaning individuals for their ignorance. For example, I truly did not know about the “survival sex” situation in New Orleans, and if I hypothetically choose to form a sexual assault awareness group that fails to take into account a point of view shaped by the “survival sex” experience, my efforts do NOT constitute an act of silencing. The classification of the failure to acknowledge an individual or a group as “silencing” requires the silencer to have possessed knowledge of the existence of the aforementioned individual or group. Your efforts to reach out and add your voice to the dialogue were silenced, and that is shameful, but some organizers can have good intentions that are not diminished by a lack of awareness, and to devalue and label as “tokenizing” any attempts to expand that awareness and improve upon their efforts accordingly simply does not allow for any personal growth. It feels like my insensitive actions (caused by my privileged experiences and factual ignorance) completely negates any subsequent growth and active consideration for, respect for, and refusal to silence all experiences outside of my social, financial, racial sphere. Anyways, in a nutshell, thank you so much for pushing me to reconsider and learn so many things, but please do not generalize all liberal white women as you did in the sentence “Her entitlement was coupled with the kind of lip service intended to keep women of color quiet, as well as a dose of correction to prove her superior ability to still be right – all typical of liberal white women who have never truly listened to begin with.” I want desperately to listen, I want to be corrected so I can learn how to better listen, I want to figure out and understand this new and expanded (to me) definition of white supremacy, and just as all Jews are not the same, all South Koreans are not the same, all women of color are not the same, us liberal white women are also not all the same.

      2. John, the number of men who have been responsible for the harassment, assault, and abuse of women (not to mention other men and children) does not support your statement that “the majority of us respect women.” It is a really uncomfortable truth, but one that cannot be debated. This is not to say that men are inherently disrespectful – the problem of masculine sexual violence is largely a product of societal influences, and just as the Toronto officer’s comment laying all responsibility for preventing assault on women insults and belittles women, it also insults men by stripping them of any cognitive power and restraint in the midst of sexual arousal. Yes, judgment is impaired when you get horny. But women get horny too, and self-restraint is lower when we are horny, just like men. But the violation of another human being? The physical, emotional, psychological destruction of another living creature?

      The notion that men are such lower slaves to their sexual desires than women to the point where they are incapable of respecting the desires and needs and basic human rights of an individual is horrific, and if it is true, then all men are monsters.

      But it is not true. Men can and ought to be better than what the Toronto officer, and so many others, believe. Men are not monsters. But a vast majority of men are raised in a culture where women are second class citizens and it is permissible, even expected, to engage in behaviors that at best, disrespect and objectify women, and at worst, relegate women to slave status. And thus, the majority of men behave as the monstrous being, and comfort themselves in the belief that their actions are not disrespectful, that objectifying remarks are entirely well-intended compliments, and that any women who raises her voice and says, “I do not like that, please stop” is either overly sensitive, a man-hating bitch, or hypocritical due to a manufactured, false perception that she did something and the only possible result was the very thing she dislikes and so it’s her fault, anyways. Because, let’s be honest – how do you deal with the news that a close male friend has raped a woman? It’s really fucking hard to accept the idea that somebody you trust and respect could do something so inexcusably heinous, and it’s so much easier to shift the blame away from somebody who is so important to your life. And that same urge to believe that your friends and family and self are not misogynistic is present in everyday activities and speech, not just extreme cases such as rape.

      You may think the vast majority of men are respectful. Listen to women when we tell you that your perception does not agree with reality. Listen to yourself when you use the word “slut.” This is a negative, denigrating word that, in its permanent attachment to females (any male dressing provocatively is typically called a man-slut, displaying a need to alter the word in order to even be applicable to men in the first place) reveals a pervasive objectification and degradation of any woman who bares more skin, regardless of intent, than is considered “safe”. Notice that the same level of displayed pride of one’s body as expressed by a male does not elicit such a response. See a man with his shirt off, admire or gag (depending on the level of attraction), but no remarks are made that bear on the character of that man. Nobody assumes that a shirtless, well-built man is wearing only pants in an attempt to draw sexual attention. But a woman in a short skirt? Not only is she assumed to be dressing with the intent of attracting a man, but her character is defined by her clothing. In the eyes of cultural norms, she IS a slut, and the judgment on her character absolves those who treat her as a sexual object of any responsibility.

      So enjoy the show, enjoy the bouncing titties, there is no shame in that. Just like you, I’ll enjoy the hot guy taking off his shirt, and I will fantasize like crazy about all the things I want to do with that man. Because it is great to look at sexy, sexy people and say, “DAMN that person is sexy.” But I will not be attempting to excuse any disrespectful comments or actions by using clothing as the sole and final judgment on character and on worth as a human being.

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  111. All in all, thank you for writing this post.

    I will admit that SlutWalk always seemed a little distant from me. Perhaps it’s the observation that people in my community don’t even use the word “slut”, defaulting to the term “ho'” instead. I’ve been called a ho many more times than I’ve been called a slut, and I think that’s because I am surrounded by black people, and slut is thought to be a word of white culture.

    Before anyone makes any “racist” accusations against me, I will offer another example of a word that’s not ass cross-culture as people would like to think. This is a little graphic (and also slightly humorous) but bear with me.
    Take the word “cock,” for example. I will state this directly for simplicity, even though it’s not absolute: Black people don’t really use the word “cock.” Many black women and men I know prefer the term “dick” when using informal language to describe a penis. As a result, any video, article, blog post etc. that uses the word “cock” is automatically thought to have a white author.
    Bringing it all together, I just felt like the term “Slutwalk” implied a white face (author) that made me less inclined to join in because the movement didn’t seem made for me. I am located in Savannah and I didn’t call for the cancellation of the event. I just felt an indirect exclusion and didn’t plan on attending. Why go and fight for reclaiming a word that I don’t use, that the culture I am immersed in doesn’t even use, and that is used against my entire demographic of people? Currently, I’m not interested.

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  112. It seems to me as though the critiques of Slutwalk are critiques that apply to a much broader topic than Slutwalk intends or claims to address. While I am not diminishing the problem in New Orleans, criminalization of “survival sex” is different than blaming a victim of rape because of what she wore. The existence of Slutwalk does not mean that others can’t create different or overlapping protests. I just don’t see how an event(s) targeting one thing, victim blaming, can be critiqued in such an aggressive manner for not involving more things, especially since women of all colors, shapes, sexual orientation can and have been blamed for their rapes due to wearing things like lipstick.

    @Chi: the difference of language used, “ho” versus “slut,” is really interesting to me. I wonder what term could attract women from all over the spectrum. “Anti-Victim Blaming Walk” doesn’t have a very good ring to it although it is the most accurate and, I imaging, should be the most inclusive.

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    • You ever stop to think about international (domestically based) victims of human sex trafficking? Branded as criminals and abused as all hell–they have very few options to reach out to esp if they are undocumented

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  113. just wanted to say that i agree with courtney and rachrach…i was thinking the exact same thing but i am not very articulate so unable to communicate those things. their comments were making me frustrated and angry so thankyou for ur comments, i hope those people will stop writing on here.
    i hope this whole thing opens peoples eyes and raises awareness. thanku aura for your article, for speaking up. it isnt fair, and u are helping others to contribute to change. im glad i came across this. i hope that women and men can all work together to work towards a better and just world…

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  114. All I gotta say is: fuck racist, fuck sexist, fuck the person that wrote this article, and fuck people who are picking fights with slutwalk organizers!!! You are some ungrateful motherfuckers! You hear me? You have alot of nerve! You grammar and punctuation will get you far in life. But your hateful bullshit, ass- backwards propaganda won’t. I promise you that!

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    • This is why she wrote it, because it’s like hitting a brick wall with you. As someone who is, I’m assuming, privaleged it’s very difficult to see oppression when intersection is involved. the author brings up a lot of valid points, however, i think esp since this is a grassroots newly erupted (and its mainstream) its up to us as women of color to grab and ORGANIZE slutwalks to address the inequalities out there!

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  115. As a privileged middle-aged suburban white guy I’ve found the original article and most of the replies very informative. I think both have raised a lot of very good (if sometimes tangential) points and forced me to see things from perspectives I haven’t before. Reading through the original blog entry and the replies though, I’ve kept the same question in mind: “Is SlutWalk, (however flawed) at least a small baby step in the right direction?”

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    • The claim that I suggested that SlutWalk “organizers are white supremacists” indicates a fundamental misreading of this post. Although Chiu writes that she “commend[s me] for looking at SlutWalk with a critical race analysis,” she obviously fails to understand that systems-based analysis. I never wrote that the organizers were white supremacists; I wrote that the institution itself was. Big difference.

      And no, my perception was not “colored” (colored? really?!) by the media. I write that as a journalist myself; one who has worked teaching media literacy to youth and understands quite well the way media works. The claim that I let the media deceive me only insults my intelligence. My perception was informed by the fact SlutWalk’s leadership remains overwhelmingly white, and their event was centered around white anxieties and entitlement, which ignored the experiences of women of color.

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  116. Eva – the Vancouver Slutwalk dealt with the issue of the Missing and Murdered – many who would be alive today if the BC police did not have slut-shaming prostitute-madonna complex and actually took the concerns of parents and siblings when the first of these women went missing. The issues in New Orleans and Toronto ARE different, thus, the issues addressed in a New Orleans Slutwalk should be different than the issues addressed in a Toronto Slutwalk.

    Chi – Ho versus slut, runners versus sneakers, eavestroughs versus gutters, and when NHL games are called in Punjabi, it may sounds a bit different than the English version, but the game is the same. “He shoots, he scores” versus “Mahriaa shot, keeta goal.” The Toronto cop who told women not to dress like “sluts” was white. The Winnipeg judge who let a rapist off with no jail time because “sex was in the air” because the victim was wearing a tube top was also white. These are men for whom their winkies could legitimately be referred to as their mini-me s.

    John – the person wearing the least at any Slutwalk so far was a man in kerchief and backpack. Because you have mothers, sisters, friends you should march. Because males are also sexually assaulted and slut-shamed 1in6.org , you should march. Don’t be too disappointed that most of the people will be dressed normally – which, in Vancouver meant wearing their Canucks jerseys.

    Hypatia – agree with the lack of research and knowledge of the Toronto Slutwalk. With your third point, even Libby Davies concedes that Sex trade workers need a safer work environment. That said, other issues should come into Slutwalks. If a person in Canada is from New Orleans or Libya originally, there is nothing wrong with bringing up related issues from there – though, playing the odds, local aspects of this are more apt to be brought up.

    Venus – who do you think the media would focus on, the vast majority of participants or those camping it up! The media has a vested interest in portraying and covering Slutwalks a certain way – thus, the differences in reporting between those who were actually participating and corporate stations.

    Sophia, Sluts-R-Us – thumbs up! Tehran is run by a couple of American males – they see this as a wet t-shirt contest.

    Lee – saw plenty of rainbow flags at the Toronto Slutwalk and a sign saying “I don’t need Correction”. The Slutwalk mandate is to see men both as allies and fellow survivors of sexual assault – especially because of the residential school situation in Canada. Agree that you don’t hear about this as much as you should, though.

    Find an American Solution – we may not vote in American elections, but we definitely have an opinion on them. Joe Bloggs – that is the issue of Comfort Women and Canada has issued an apology to Chinese survivors of that practice. It would be a racist comment to say that POC cannot be racist.

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    • “Lee – saw plenty of rainbow flags at the Toronto Slutwalk and a sign saying “I don’t need Correction”. ”

      Dear Lucette, I was unfortunately not referring to abuse by men, ie. “corrective rape” but rape by women, and domestic violence issues within the gay community. It’s sad. Maybe it’s the wrong march to be at, but rape by any gender should be talked about, and I think needs to share the same spotlight as abuse by men.

      “The Slutwalk mandate is to see men both as allies and fellow survivors of sexual assault – especially because of the residential school situation in Canada. Agree that you don’t hear about this as much as you should, though.”

      Unfortunately the dialogue on the facebook page fell short of that mandate at times (not from the central organizers). For instance saying only men are abusers, or that their experience of abuse is less psychologically/physically harmful is a hurtful stereotype in itself. There was another comment that sort of irked me which the person told me in order to fight all rape we had to address it through getting men to open a dialogue amongst each other. That’s great and all but I still think that dialogue should include women. This was said when I mentioned some empathy about gender stereotypes at one of the few men’s clinics for sexual abuse survivors being shut down.

      Sure, it is the mandate of Slutwalk to include all genders, races, orientations, abuse experiences, life experiences etc….. but that mandate was definitely not shared or communicated by everyone.

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  117. Loved the article! As a Chicana feminist, a rape survivor, a victim of police brutality, and someone who has been moved by the INCITE! organizers in the US, I really wanted to express my deep respect. The points you raise are insightful, challenging, and needed to be said.

    One point I will bring up is this: I will be attending SlutWalk here in Montreal this Sunday and I will be attending the vigils for the 1000s of Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Sisters in Canada. I support both efforts but will put more of my energy and activism in building/propping up the hard, unrecognized work of Aboriginal, women of color and LGBTTQ communities who work to build more anti-oppressive anti-violence movements capable of critiquing violence in all of its forms (racism as violence, the prison/police state as violence, etc.). Hopefully, while marching with the sisters at SlutWalk, I can also build some alliances with some of those willing to listen. Who knows? I won’t hold my breath but I’ll also give some folks the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps one day we can have a “Million Woman March for Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women” throughout las americas.

    Andale hermana! Keep on keepin’ on! And don’t let the haters get you down.

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  118. I have read the above article three times and I am still confused on why you feel that these white women are exercising their white supremacy. I do not disagree that most white women enjoy white privilege; however, after reading your article, I felt that there was little evidence of overt or even covert racism.

    The woman who was mentioned on the BBC portion acknowledged that black women did not receive the airtime they deserved and I can understand how her dismissal of the comment after that came across as disrespectful, but to go as far to say that black women should not join the movement because of “tokenization” is an assumption.
    Oppression is oppression everywhere, rape is rape everywhere. I do not deny that as a woman of color, the severity of the violence is higher and more detrimental, but I do not think it’s fair to discredit someone else’s movement because your situation is worse. A victim is a victim. That’s like women in Africa not supporting the Million Woman March because the speeches did not cover enough information against female mutulation in Africa.
    As a feminist myself, I respect all female empowerment, whether it effects me directly or not. Instead of encouraging women of color not join the SLUTWALK movement, create a movement of your own that directly addresses women of color in your own way.
    I am aware that other activists have done this before and the lack of media attention that they have received, but being affiliated with an organization will always make you look bias. These women who started SLUTWALK were students; no affiliation.
    I do agree that the “reclaim” portion of the agenda is a little backwards; however, people of the younger generation handle things differently. Despite our differences in age and wisdom, the older generation can never predict the reactions of the younger generation. What may seem backwards to us, may make sense to younger women in a way that the older generation activists can not convey. It was not meant for us to understand. Like you said, they had a target market!
    If any black woman gets the opportunity to represent other black woman within the SLUTWALK movement, I encourage them to take the challenge. Address issues facing us specifically that they remain ignorant to. There would be no Paul Mooney without a Step N Fetchit!

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  119. Amazing article. Wow. I was blind to all of this, and I had no idea of the atrocities being committed against prostitutes in New Orleans. Thank you so much for this.

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  120. Pingback: "Slutwalk" - CurlTalk ~
  121. Aura,
    I want to say that I really appreciate your perspective. It’s challenging and I intend to mull it over & re-read a few times, but I eventually just had to abandon reading the comments section because the inane “you just hate white people” spamming got to be more than I could tolerate.

    I apologize beforehand if any of the following points/questions were already addressed in the comments, or if they just sound stupid because I haven’t thought this all through.

    I would be really interested to see what you would say about the women of color and indigenous backgrounds who HAVE been active in organizing for various demonstrations around the globe… Do you think their efforts are wasted?
    I get the impression that you see the SlutWalks as being a top-down organization being controlled by the organizers in Toronto calling the shots? If each individual event is organized by unconnected people simply inspired by each other in an organic “grassroots” way, does that change your critique at all? Maybe it doesn’t, maybe it doesn’t matter, because the effects are more relevant than intention.

    The difficulty of engaging activism across racial barriers isn’t limited to either SlutWalk’s brand of anti-sexual violence tactics, nor feminist actions more generally. It’s a difficulty shared by, it seems to me, virtually all activism in western countries (I could as easily say “english-speaking countries” I think) because we as communities are racially divided. (I’m US-based, I admit to lacking comprehensive social knowledge about other countries where SlutWalks have been held.) I was advised once in a discussion to remember whenever grappling with diversity and inclusion in social justice campaigns, that there is a reason why our communities seem like light-years away (even in the same small town), that there is a divide & conquer strategy being intentionally used by the powers that be, and it definitely isn’t for the benefit of any of us on the ground. I don’t resent other racial communities not “joining” “us” on various issues. I think we often don’t know how to find or speak to each other in words that resonate.

    I do wonder if some of your critique might be.. I don’t want to say “explained,” that sounds obnoxious and patronizingly condescending, but does mitigated work? Addressed by? The nature of the beast wherein a rush of energy rapidly outpaced the flashpoint that ignited it, and a global response was far larger, more complex, and ultimately far more unwieldy than it was on a local scale? Perhaps not, maybe even at the local level the SWToronto had these issues, but it’s certain that any demonstration, once removed of it’s context, experiences a profound identity crisis and needs to address itself through restructuring in order to remain valid for different audiences.

    Anyway, food for thought, peace.
    -Ari

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  122. I have added (copy/paste) your voice to my facebook as I follow the ‘slut walk’ debate I how ever as an out and respectful homosexual male to those of my sexual persuasion who did suffer violent abuse or murder while having “queer” spat at them I include ‘queer’ in the not so salubrious terms not to be too bothered in attempting to appropriate along with ‘slut nigger slopehead gook faggot coon’ or any other hate filled historically violent slur term existing to to be while of course supporting clever ways to negate them..cheers Ken

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  123. So many of the comments regarding the organizers of Slutwalk LA are so wildly off base…

    I know a couple of the organizers. First off, the committee was started by two girls – one a Hispanic-American student at Cal Poly and the other a community college student. They spread the word and a community college professor and a few others joined the group. I’m not sure where this idea that the professor “coddled” his students of color to joining his team came from. Why is it that race is even being brought into this discussion? A blog such as this one hammering down the idea that racism and white supremacism is so deeply embedded into our culture isn’t uprooting the problem – it’s perpetuating it! I’m absolutely baffled by the fact that you guys truly think that the hispanic females are being paraded when in reality they STARTED the Los Angeles movement. This has absolutely never been about race. Know the facts before you start bringing extraneous and distracting discussions. This is about sexual assault and absolutely not race.

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  124. PS I meant “or any other hate filled historically violent slur term existing OR to be, while of course supporting clever ways to negate them”
    and while it was all exhausting reading for my poor brain it was alot of fun and also insight into other countries cultures and values (or lack of them)
    I love U Aura ‘ballsy’ (actually a complimient down under) gals like U I gravitate too

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  125. While the majority of participants in the SlutWalk movement appear to be white and most of them pass as straight (I don’t know, I suppose we could put out a survey since demographic information seems to be such an issue here.) I always approached SlutWalk as an opportunity to open up dialogues about the assumptions people make about sexuality based on race, bodily abilities and disabilities, socioeconomic status, queerness (i use that as an umbrella term, please just don’t even try to nitpick it because you’ll be ignored.), etc. This movement does not actually hinge only on the word “Slut”, it is, in fact, about the connotations and assumptions made about individuals (of any demographic) who enjoy sex, and why society is so uncomfortable with individuals who aren’t ashamed of pleasure. Additionally, this is about standing up against society that finds that individuals who enjoy pleasure no longer have a right to bodily autonomy or are in some way deserving of sexual abuse as punishment. Along this vein, SlutWalk can lead to new movements like the long overdue fight for the rights of sex workers, and the start of new discourses on why hegemonic language and mentalities need to be changed and the need for more acceptance of gender and sexuality as fluid parts of the individual identity, not rigid biologically/racially/socially dictated rules. SlutWalk is also a movement to encourage ALL survivors of sexual violence to remember that they are not alone, and that it was not their fault. It is also a statement of support for individuals who report their assault. These are not “white” problems, they are human rights problems. Rape is a world wide assault on individuals, families, and communities. SlutWalk is just one small step towards sanity in a society that builds prisons for our bodies & closets for our minds. No one participating in SlutWalk claimed that we were going to fix all of the problems in one day, and yeah, it’s no secret that “feminism” as most people know it is saturated in assumptions and white privilege, but to villainize this whole movement as white supremacy is just ignorant. Many of the white participants in SlutWalk, myself included, participate because the dialogs about sexuality are full of accusations and assumptions, and new conversations where people are listened to and respected are vital for social mental health. But if you want to sit around and slander this movement then that’s cool too, I guess.

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  126. No one was talking about race at all until you showed up. The only people race matters to are usually racists, or victims of racism. I don’t see how you were silenced, because I don’t see where you stepped up in the first place. I bet if you wanted to be, you could have been as big a part as you wanted to be if you actually tried. No one is going to give you something just because you’re a color- regardless of if you’re white, black, brown, fuchsia or neutral gray- unless you stand up and at least ASK for it. If you don’t see representation somewhere, why aren’t you representing?

    I’ve seen a lot of pictures from these events. I don’t have any problem at all finding numerous pictures of numerous colors of women. They’re grinning and holding up signs just like everyone else.

    You really have to be looking hard to place racism on this, and the people who look the hardest are usually trying to cover themselves with it.

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  127. Thank you for this article. It perfectly contains just about every full-of-shit identity politics privilege-baiting bullshit ever. God bless the combined liberal arts graduate schools of North America for turning you all into a pack of fucking morons. A bunch of women, mostly white, start a spontaneous, viral campaign against shaming women who are victims of violence. And the response is that its “white supremacy”. GIVE IT A FUCKING REST.

    You know what’s “white supremacy” — the prison system. But the Identity-mongers don’t have time for that. They’d rather talk about how they are “silenced” when someone else has something to say. You aren’t silenced. You just don’t have shit to say except “shut up”.

    Whenever graduate students start talking about how they are “silenced” normal people laugh their fucking asses off.

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    • @ trace hunter:

      As someone who attends a a liberal arts graduate school, it isn’t so much the school itself that turns people into morons its the fact that a lot of people, both graduate students and “normal people,” are easily and irrationally swayed by anything and a lot of people like to cry victim.

      For the most part though, I otherwise agree with your post. Please try not to lump all graduate students together.

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      • Part of the problem is there was too much emphasis on getting a graduate degree and less focus on what its in. Same with a college degree. Education was in a bubble, probably about to pop soon. There are some graduate students like some college students who are going to be squeezed after getting their degrees. Many of them unfairly, but others were probably sloppy.

        I feel reducing access to education at higher levels, by decreasing subsidies for graduate education is however the wrong step to take. It might be counter-intuitive but while the system is messy, it is shows that people are adapting to the demand for more skilled workers. What is needed is access to a school system that will not bankrupt students. The prices are too high for the wages offered after graduation.

        Additionally what is needed is more quality control. Critical thinking skills should be emphasized, but if entire departments have political biases this is going to make it easier for people to surround themselves with like minded academics. As a student in social sciences (as well as math) I noticed that at least some students were very polarized. It creeped me out, and affirmed my point of view that I should stay vigilant against those who would manipulate through emotional appeals.

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  128. It’s pathetic enough that someone wrote this (seeming) satire. What’s even better is the commentary that follows. Anyone who has ever tried to engage in collective action (in a college setting) is surely familiar with the now-familiar identity mongers. Women’s meeting? Must be racist. Socialist gathering? Obviously a pack of white racists. Anti-war discussion? What about the Trans sex workers getting abused??? YOU ARE PRIVILEGED NOT TO BE DISCUSSING IT.

    And people fall all over each other in guilt and shame rituals. Nobody says what is required: you are fucking idiots — piss off. Take your bullshit elsewhere. Put your money where your mouth is. Fight the power, not the person in the next chair. But no. SOOOO much easier to pin white supremacy on some 19-year-old chicks head than, say, Prime Minister Harper or Citibank.

    Anyone ever see guilt-trippers actually fight the government? Nope. But I guess that’s their privilege…

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  129. You sound ridiculous in this article!

    SLutwalk may be narrow in scope but it is certainly not racist! Its not
    excluding transgender women or black women its attempting to fight back against how raped women are treated beyond race.

    You are superimposing race into this. And I honestly find it grotesque. How does a group of mostly white women wanting to confront negative police attitudes about women hurt black women? Perhaps your article was not published because the points you make are patently absurd and seriously reaching. There are real racial justice issues out there this is NOT one of them

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  130. For someone so critical of Slutwalk you fail to understand that it is locally organized by anyone who wants to organize one. And if you are so interested in local empowerment why on earth would that bother you. if women in the global south or NOLA want to organize slutwalks good for them!

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  131. Austin is having SlutWalk this Saturday, so 6 days from now. I haven’t decided if I should participate! I appreciate the efforts of anybody fighting victim-blaming and in particular issues of rape and sexual assault. I also appreciate the efforts of anybody fighting for women to wear whatever they choose to wear, without others saying that “she’s asking for it” or calling her a “slut,” because, come on now, the word is steeped in the ugliest of connotations and meanings. It implies worthlessness and is offensive and harmful. The word invites others to treat the “slut” or the “skank” like dirt and to spit and sneer at her, while at the same time wanting sex from her or forcing sex on her. All of these things cross my mind when I hear the word “slut.” Now people that believe in equality or claim to believe in equality want to extend the word to men, too, and call him “man-slut,” and other people laugh. That is hardly helpful. That hyphen denotes that woman is the standard for “slut”. You know who I think are the real sluts? Not the woman that is wearing a short skirt, not the man that is flirting with one girl not long after another – they are not dirty, and they are certainly not worthless and do not deserve to be treated like so. You know who deserves that more? Rapists. Yeah. Who am I to judge who gets called a slut? You’re right, this is unfair, as well! But rapists – rapists by definition violate others, force others to have sex with them, force their victims into an unwanted and physically and psychologically harmful experience. Sex is at its best fun and loving and intimate in an educational and wholesome way. Sex can heal, can make babies, or can simply save your day! When somebody rapes someone else, the rapist to me is dirty and as close to worthless as I can see a person. But does society call rapists sluts? No. Well, fuck.

    So you see, I do not believe in re-claiming the word slut. I am not comfortable with the word slut. It obviously makes me think the worst things. It makes a lot of people of all sexes and genders and races think the worst things. If it just happened overnight, that everybody suddenly used the word “slut” to mean “people that enjoy sex” or “people that wear little or revealing clothes because they love their bodies,” well, that would be wonderful. But it’s not going to happen overnight. And in the meantime, I don’t want anybody to call me a slut on any given day. In the meantime, women of color especially do not need anyone to call them “sluts” in public even well-intentioned, because someone’s going to be around to hear this, perhaps just accidentally, and immediately think: Dirty. Worthless. Evil.

    In the heads of people that have or will commit rape, deep down there’s that voice that says: “This person is dirty and worthless (a.k.a. a slut), and I do not care that I am going to hurt her/him. Someone so low is not even a person, so what do I care that I’m going to ram myself in her/him.”

    I’m all for being empowered – I love dressing how I want when I want and along with my smiles basically giving a silent but pointed “Fuck you!” to all those who might look at me and think I should put more on, lest I am inviting rape. I agree with that part, because I love my freedom and want to keep it, and I must admit it’s never hurt me to wear a short dress. Though harassed, I have never been sexually assaulted. I do not have the white privilege of greater safety, but I, a very cute Mexican girl, have been fortunate. For the reasons in THIS final paragraph, I am tempted to attend SlutWalk this weekend in Austin, but I wonder if perhaps I should not because I do not believe in re-claiming the word, as I argued above. I don’t think that the event should be shut down, because I see how it would work for people that are not as uncomfortable with the word as I am and how it would make them feel better and how maybe get the message would get across to other people that what you choose to wear does not make you blame-worthy but if anything should make you powerful… I see that. I think that’s wonderful. But no, it is not inclusive of everybody, including myself, so perhaps I should not go. This is also just food for thought for you guys on the grossness of the word “slut”.

    xoxo

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  132. I’m wondering why no one is noticing that the word “slut” is being used ironically, and is a direct response to a SPECIFIC police officer in a SPECIFIC location (Toronto) who made a SPECIFIC comment about a SPECIFIC ISSUE — namely, women’s clothing and its supposed relation to their being targeted by rapists. The SlutWalk organizers are PLAYING ON this cop’s sexism and his use of the word slut, and making a fool of him by throwing it back in his face via the SlutWalk….

    As for the larger SlutWalk movement– I don’t know enough about the demographics of who it is or is not attracting, and what issues it is or is not addressing– but obviously the notion that a woman who “dresses like a slut” somehow is at fault for being raped has provoked widespread resistance and outrage. If SlutWalks are calling attention to the fact that this sexist, blame-the-victim attitude still exists among male supremacists– and that it will not be tolerated– then good for them. If SlutWalks are calling attention to the fact that many cops have sexist attitudes and cannot be trusted for protection or support, then good for them.

    In truth, I find this article a bit reactionary, because it seems to desire one, grand, totalizing Feminism– capital “F,” that addresses every possible problem facing every possible woman in every possible social situation. As EW pointed out: “SlutWalk is simply one tactic…. It is not a comprehensive solution to ending sexual violence and if one of those exists, something that can change the ever-present rape culture we live in, I’d like to know about it.”

    Additionally, the author could be criticized for being centered on American problems and blind to those of other women of color around the world, especially in poor nations or nations being occupied by armies whose troops use rape as a weapon of war and genocide. I would call this America-centered view another result of privilege. But this is what happens when we get into the “less-privileged-than-thou” game…

    allenelizabeth also makes an awesome point that highlights another reactionary element of Aura’s piece: “The whites didn’t invite the blacks to have equal rights. Men did not invite women to vote. Gay and lesbians were not invited by straights to run for office in the seventies. That is not how revolution works…. Equality is an uphill battle.” If white women reached out to black women to create and participate in a feminist event, would this not be perceived as colonialist condescension or tokenism?

    Okay– now that i got all of my criticism out of the way, I want to say I appreciate Aura’s writing and her frustration about why there isn’t the “SlutWalk” kind of outrage when it comes to the criminalization of poverty, the commodification of poor women’s sexuality, the criminalization of women who resort to commodified sex as a means of survival, the problems that arise when a woman of color reports being raped to a police squad consists mostly of white male officers, the challenges immigrant women face when it comes to reporting rape, etc…. In other words, the types of sexual violence that poor women and women of color face, rarely generate such invigorated movement or receive the sensational press coverage that SlutWalk is receiving. And while ALL women are hurt by slut-shaming and blaming-the-victim, these other forms of sexual violence and their invisibility and marginality in our media and disursive culture most definitely IS a problem.

    Thank you Aura for challenging your readers and for stimulating critical thought about SlutWalk, feminism, and the impact of the intersection of sexism, classism, and racism in the daily experience of women everywhere.

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  133. Feminism is for women’s rights. There are a number of different women in the world, and all of them have different problems.

    While it’s fair to say that certain women’s groups need more support, need more media coverage, are more oppressed than other women, I think it’s completely illogical to complain that women advocating for themselves and for women in general are somehow putting down other women by doing so.

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  134. Your issues are absolutely valid. But understand that others will bring their own assumptions to SlutWalk (mine are at the end, here.) This is true of every march, rally, movement, organizing effort and late-night bar session. Lefties, sexual and political, are an unruly bunch, and will not be herded into a single line or march in the same direction. If we were fascists it would be easier. Of course people will ignore or miss or misinterpret, sometimes quite hurtfully, and sometimes from an oblivious and unconscious sense of entitlement. This happens to avowed and even militant feminists as well as everyone else.

    Having been unsatisfied that no one was describing SlutWalk the way I would, I wrote this on the SF SlutWalk Facebook page.

    What is SlutWalk? Start with the term ‘slut’, the new sense of which comes from the book The Ethical Slut, which sees polyamory as requiring honest communication and trust among lovers of all kinds. No secrets. No cheating. This was revolutionary in its simplicity: it’s the way adults behave. Contrast this with the recent statement by a police officer that in order to be “safe” women should not dress like sluts.

    Forcible rape and and consensual love distinguished by how one dresses?! Bullshit! We are responsible, ethical adults and you by-fucking-God will respect us as such! So we rally and march! SlutWalk!

    YMMV, but that’s my understanding. Fundraising for victims of rape? Fine. But the core issue is the freedom and responsibility to love and be loved whomever we wish, without labels, without shame, and without fear.

    There’s a place for both of us, all of us, in SlutWalk.

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  135. “And make no mistake about it: we can be called sluts for nearly any reason at all. If we’re dancing. If we’re drinking. If we have ever in our lives enjoyed sex. If our clothes aren’t made of burlap. If we’re women of color, we’re assumed to be sluts before we do a single thing because we’re “exotic.” If we’re fat or disabled or otherwise considered undesirable, we’re assumed to be sluts who’ll fuck anyone who’ll deign to want us. If we’re queer boys or trans women, we’re called sluts in order to punish us for not fearing the feminine. If we’re queer women, especially femme ones, we’re called sluts because we’re obviously “up for anything,” as opposed to actually attracted to actual women. If we’re poor, we’re gold diggers who’ll use sex to get ahead. And god forbid we accuse someone of raping us – that’s the fast track to sluthood for sure, because it’s much easier to tell us what we did wrong to make someone to commit a felony violent crime against us than it is to deal with the actual felon.”

    -Jaclyn Friedman, “privileged white feminist”, Boston SlutWalk

    As a white New Orleanian, you bring up some excellent points, but your execution is very flawed. Rape is not a race issue. It is a human issue. Not just black women get raped, not just white women, not even just women. And this rhetoric does NOT help. As previous posters have suggested, your energy would be MOST welcome in the SlutWalk organization, especially in New Orleans or ANYWHERE in the South.

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    • Race and rape have a VERY close history – to ignore that is foolish, indeed. I’m from the US, and in this country, it was very common for white men to rape the black women they kept in slavery. (Who was going to stop them? These women were considered chattel. Meanwhile, black men were lynched for even looking the wrong way at a white woman, because white women were – still are – considered the pinnacle of womanhood, to be protected at all costs.) And it’s no coincidence today that Native American women suffer from the highest rates of sexual assault in my country, the perpetrators usually being white men. Hundreds of Latina women have been disappearing from Ciudad Juarez over the last decade – raped, murdered, their bodies dumped in the woods. It doesn’t make the news because they’re female, brown and poor.

      Rape deals with power and those with the least amount of it (namely, women of color) are most at risk. Does rape affect white women in droves? Yes. Is it horrible? Absolutely. But please don’t overlook the extra layer of evil and violence that race adds to rape, in addition to factors like gender, sex, sexuality and poverty. Google “intersectionality” for more info.

      – a white woman

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  136. Firstly, this event isn’t about reclaiming the word “slut” anymore than Take Back the Night is about reclaiming the WORD “night.”

    If you are asserting that Argentinians do not engage in slut-shaming,

    As for your mention of the disparate impact of prostitution sentencing in NOLA, I haven’t seen such a blatant red herring in a very long time. While it’s a pressing issue, it’s got nothing to do with Slut Walk. One could choose any issue effecting women of color and make the same argument- that “if Slut Walk really cared…”

    Feminism isn’t and shouldn’t be a game of triage. All these issues are important. And frankly, I doubt your sincerity and think that you are taking a contrary stance deliberately for publicity alone.

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    • I don’t think people are getting this… It’s not really about “reclaiming slut,” it to “combat victim blaming.”
      No one under any circumstances asks to be violated. My color, my gender, my nationality, nothing gives you that right to hurt me. Slut I feel kind of triggers something for all of us American woman. The belief that you “bring it upon yourself.” and the confusion people have by not being able to differentiate sexual violence form sexuality. Those are two different things. Rapists know better and it’s not about sex ever. Women don’t entice men into raping them. It is about power and control not sexual pleasure (as a rape crisis counselor I know this). What needs to be addressed at these events, if they’re not, is the intersection of race & -isms and its role in institutionalized victim blaming. Ladies we need a movement the time is now. Don’t let colonialism run the show.

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  137. Thank you, Aura….the Slutwalk movement is a distraction from the real institutional issues of a male dominated/rape culture– male entitlement and privilege. The thornier issues of consent, boundaries and accountability in relationships and communities again get clouded over in events like these, although well-intended..The Slutwalk unfortunately glorifies a lot of young white ladies asserting their bad-assness to walk down the street in short shorts. Right on. Got it. Why not spend that energy really educating men on how to have healthy relationships and how to promote and get consistent mental health and couples counseling in poor communities? Similarly, the effort to end institutional racism (i.e., white gentrification of communities of color-good white liberal families who will buy a cheap fixer-upper in the brown side of town, but can’t bear to send their children to the school right down the street from their house) are lost in ceremonial MLK marches, or else outrage at more overt forms of racism, which most of all of us can agree are heinous. The lack of women of color at these events is uncomfortably noticeable, to say the least. Thanks for the check, and for voicing our concerns.

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  138. Hi, we’re organizing a walk in KCMO.. We realize exactly what this article states. Although I can say we can’t represent everyone and there is going to be critique regardless. We want opinions and suggestions as to how we should go about the inclusion on everyone including new Orleans. How should we go about doing this without sounding like complete “pushovers”…

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  139. Aura, we will love to have your article in a feminist blog in Colombia, could you please let us know how we can contact you to get the rights to do it

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  140. First off, there really is no concrete evidence that colored women are being alienated in this situation. As a white woman I honestly didn’t think twice about the women’s ethnicity’s involved and I would have no problem being represented by colored women. It sounds like you have more of an issue with the relationship between your “community” and police rather than w omen’s oppression. Working with law enforcement is not a betrayal to colored women because all police aren’t corrupt and it would be counterproductive to fight stereotyping with stereotyping. Also, what is the point in declaring 80% of the “crimes against nature” predators are black? these sex workers that you speak of are not exactly rape victims and generally speaking, the label “whore” does apply to them since it is their profession.

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  141. I am so leaving this as an anon. post. I think you make a lot of valid points, however, I wish to address something to your audience.

    First, I am a woman of color, second the other two women I’m collaborating with who are of color. We are organizing a Slutwalk (in America). We’re not hiding in a colored corner; we’re the organizers. There is not one white woman organizer in our effort. We merely had a few guidelines from Toronto, which isn’t going to damper our efforts.

    I wanted to take the opportunity to address something to all the ladies of color out there. Slutwalk doesn’t outreach for these rallies to occur around the world, rather it is the other way around. Slutwalk asks if you need to change the name of the event to fit the inclusive needs of your community then do so. Address the needs of your community.

    Ladies don’t give up hope. You can organize a Slutwalk (or change the name) and address the needs of our communities, especially if you’re running the show.

    My group is NOT “reclaiming slut” and marginalizing other groups. We, however, are calling our event Slutwalk, but one could only imagine what kind of things we’re going to pull off with ALL colored, female organizers. I see keeping the name “slutwalk” will garner mainstream attention, which I feel is needed. But the content of the event needs to address what is inclusive to all our communities. Is anyone getting the drift?

    If anyone is in New Orleans then outreach Toronto and say you want to host an event. Address those things listed above. We can use this to our advantage.

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    • Good luck with your initiative. I think this type of participation is very positive. If the country is to be more diverse it helps if there are smart leaders who are entrepreneurial from all groups. Race should not matter but it still does. I feel we are at an inflection point, somewhere between the future and the past. It would be naive to stop fighting the inequalities, but it seems hard for many to understand (like you seem to) that it is quite possible to have a biased system without widespread bigotry. (I am not sure if I should speak for all pockets of the country, but nationally racism is on the decline). It is quite a subtle point, but a lot of the discrimination is built into legal infrastructure and defended by special interests.

      I feel a lot of problems could defuse naturally, if we are able to dismantle some of the economic incentives that perpetuate the system, but that gets into murky territory. And might require people to think about things very differently.

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  142. This is why I never speak for or about people of color. I am a cis-woman from a fairly middle-class family. I am white and well-educated. I know not to speak for people whose experiences I will never have. I was repeatedly harassed and put down for being white in the all-native american school I went to. Do I hate natives? No! But I do not speak for them. I do not make their struggles mine. It is really a terrible thing to do in the eyes of any non-white person, and I understand that. I do not hate non-white people. I do not tell them what to do or what to say. Do I think the slutwalk was an inherently evil thing? No! Yes it silenced women of color, and the fact that it did so sunk its credibility very low. But I do still think white women in nice neighborhoods deserve to dress and act how they like and not be blamed for their own rapes. It is a difficult and disheartening topic when a person or organization excludes people who should not be excluded, but to dismiss said person or organization as a whole because it is flawed is counterproductive.

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  143. l8 2 chime in on this one. quite nice! yet, the declaration of obsolescence is too late. the American black political movement died with a whimper in the 90s while I attended uni in Boston. Funny thing is I watched it die. Like a petrifying Lotus flower … very sad. but, I say, do no lament the glory of the perfidious albion – rather, wave ur own freak flag. if ur Rihanna or Beyonce – ur voice will be heard.

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  144. Wow. I really couldn’t bear to read through all the angry racist/anti-racist comments. I wanted to connect with the original commenter, and all others interested, because I myself am in New Haven, and wanted to organize something similar to SlutWalk in a near time frame with the upcoming NYC SlutWalk on October 1.

    Your acknowledgement of race (or lack of prior acknowledgement) in the ongoing SlutWalk movement is really welcome, perhaps especially in a city like New Haven, in a state like Connecticut, which REMAINS THE #1 STATE IN THE U.S. IN TERMS OF INCOME DISPARITY. But I seriously want to ask, “what else can we do now?” While I support and encourage women taking to the streets and having their voices heard outside of shouting at oncoming traffic to stop harassing them, I’m also not sure how comfortable I feel about the possibility of rehabilitating the term Slut. But kind of like race and racism, using such a term provides an easy shortcut for an issue so deep and so pervasive in our society that a permanent revolution might not even provide enough time to get underneath it.

    Wouldn’t it be great to get some of us away from our computers and into the same room so that we can put our anger, in all of its forms, to good use in transforming the SlutWalk movement into something we can continue to work with?

    I encourage all of you to reach out in solidarity and help make the well-intending momentum of SlutWalk useful to us, even if the title is on its way out.

    If you’re interested, you know how to get in touch!

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  145. Pingback: TheSuccesLife.com ~
  146. I as a woman of color think this use of “white supremacy” in this context lessens the meaning of the word. You should try using a relative word to the relative crime being acted out. Just because some white folks were inconsiderate and self centered doesn’t justify to me the name.

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  147. This article has made me aware of my white privilege, and for that I am grateful. I’m glad I am no longer ignorant about this. I hope soon we can organise a march against rape culture and victim blaming in which nobody feels excluded.

    Some of the comments though, dear me!

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  148. I agree with Aura that it is important to listen to and include the voices of women of color and trans communities. However, I tend to agree with the posters who expressed the concern that calling Slut Walk a White Supremacist event is extremely harsh and uncalled for.
    Slut Walk is about protesting violence and expressing how nobody deserves to be sexually assaulted no matter how sexual we are, what time we’re out at night, or how we’re dressed. Though I agree with the author of this Aura that many people are uncomfortable with the term “Slut”, that’s because the term has traditionally been used in negative, hateful ways and often still is. Slut Walk is about redefining this term in positve, empowering ways, and getting rid of the negative stigmas against sexual women, whether it be based on occupation, lifestyle, or both.
    Instead of calling this White Supremacy, perhaps focus on building bridges with the organizers of Slut Walk and work together to make the organizing of the event more inclusive.

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  149. Understanding White Supremacy:
    The old tactics of “calling names and telling lies” have really served the Sons of Hell very well in their quest to destroy God’s Holy Seed from upon the Earth! Well, we know what has always worked for us. Searching for the truth and standing up for the truth when we find it! It is the Truth that protects the righteous in the Christian World!
    So, let’s put all our racial theories into practice, shall we?
    White Supremacy: Name the race of people that has accomplished more – or even as much as the White European People have done (law, science, invention, art, literature, etc.,