The Slut Walk Protest

    Last Saturday, I took my daughter on the Slut Walk.  The SlutWalk protest marches began on April 3, 2011,[1] in Toronto, Canada, and became a movement of rallies across the world.[2] Participants protest against explaining or excusing rape by referring to any aspect of a woman’s appearance.[3] The rallies began when Constable Michael Sanguinetti, a Toronto Police officer, suggested that to remain safe, “women should avoid dressing like sluts.”[4][5] The protest takes the form of a march, mainly by young women, where some dress in ordinary clothing and others dress provocatively, like “sluts.” There are also speaker meetings and workshops.[6]

    Now, I have to say that I understand the purpose of this rally but I don’t totally agree with the way these women are going about it.  I believe that anyone has the freedom and right to express themselves and their sexuality any way they want. I also believe that women should celebrate and enjoy their femininity and express it in their outer appearance when appropriate and safe.  I also strongly believe that how you dress is not linked in any way to most sexual abuse and being a victim of rape or any other form of harassment and violence.  Most victims are children and people who aren’t dressed provocatively at all and are in situations that are beyond their control. There are a large number of male victims who of course arn’t dressed like “sluts” and aren’t refered to as such. I absolutely hate the word slut and if it wasn’t because of the underlying message of the rally, I wouldn’t have walked it just because of the negative name.

     In my family, sexual abuse runs back several generations, along with physical and substance abuse. Growing up in my family was not always fun. Both my parents were not sexually abusive, but were both victims who projected their shame on both me and my younger brother. With the abusive and oppressive environment of shame based parents, along with an alcoholic mother and rediculous religious rules, I have been a victim from day one.  As children we are forced to live in these environments. We can’t use our voice to protest, or leave if we want, we adapt to survive.  These survival techniques work growing up, but as adults we become adult children of alcoholics, or sexual, physical and emotional abuse survivours, and tend to repeat patterns of abuse, co-dependency, and other shame based behaviours.  We subconsciously put ourselves in victim situations such as abusive relationships, bad situations, or let others use us.  Or we develop substance abuse problems to block out pain, or live a sexually self-exploiting lifestyle or career.  Many repeat the pattern they learned and become abusers themselves, or marry partners that abuse them and their children.

     As an adult child survivor of many things, I have made many mistakes in my lifetime, but I have also been pro-active with my healing process.  Since my early 20’s I have been involved in extensive  inner child work and cognitive restructuring to change negative thinking and patterns that were the result of my abusive childhood environment. In my 30’s I have integrated spiritual and holistic healing in my process that has helped me to reach a full balance in my recovery.  I have always worked hard and have been dedicated to personal growth.  It has been a long and sometimes difficult and painful path. I have not always made the best choices and I have made many mistakes. But through all the ups and downs, I have aquired a lot of wisdom and strength, and I have had the privilege to help and inspire people along the way. I have also broke the pattern of abuse in my family and I’m very proud to raise my children in an abuse free home environment.

     Now back to the Slut Walk.  I love wearing glam-sexy clothing.  I just love fashion and it shows with my huge 12ft closet and large array of shoes.  I love to dress sexy and wear sexy shoes in my spare time.  I don’t care what people think, and I really enjoy looking nice and feeling good about myself and my appearance.  Here’s the thing…there is a time and place for everything, and there is a level of self respect that goes along with being a woman of power.

    As a powerful and sexy woman, I believe in respect and responsibility.  In our male chauvinistic, and sexually charged society that views women as sex objects I believe that our idea of sexy comes from men, and the reason we dress sexy is mostly to get the attention of men, and turn them on sexually. If we intentionally dress in a provocative and skimpy way and our intent is to grab the attention of men and tease them visually, there is nothing wrong with that, but with all the choices we make in life, there are consequences.  When we dress sexual, and act sexual, then complain that we are getting sexually explicit comments or attention, we are giving away mixed messages.  Real power starts with ourselves and being responsible for our behaviour, and the environment we find ourselves in. If we want sexual attention, then great! You got it and enjoy it! But if we don’t, then we should re-evaluate the message we are giving others.   If we over indulge in alcohol or drugs and then loose control of yourself and our safety, and have not set up safety nets like good friends or a ride to pick us up or take us home safely, then of course you could find yourself in a vulnerable situation where we are vicimized.  This does not give anyone the right to abuse or violate anyone, but given the state of the world and people’s values today, we have to be careful and aware of our choices, and environment.

     As a mother, I teach my daughter to love herself and be comfortable with her feminine self.  We talk openly in our house about everything, and I try not to attach shame to any personal issue when it comes to anything in life.  I have also taught my daughter that your outer appearance is an extension of your inner self.  You should always have pride in your appearance, as with your self.  The way you present yourself tells others a storey about you.  It tells them your boundaries, your level of confidence and self worth, and how personable you are.  You do not wear dirty or smelly clothes or pyjamas in public. You have self respect and pride and dress the part.  Dressing appropriate is important. Just like you wouldn’t wear a bathing suit to a business meeting, you don’t wear skimpy sexy clothes to school.  Letting others view your “goods” just because is demeaning and too easy. I teach my daughter that she’s worth more than that.

     The same goes with myself. I always dress nice and often with a sexy flair, but never out of line with what I’m doing at the time.   I love to wear sexy clothes, lingerie, and big stilettos. I’m very outgoing and friendly, open minded, and men love me and my good sense of humour. I’m definately not a slut.  I never get myself in a dangerous situation.  Men love the way I look and the way I’m flirty but they never get the message that I’m easily available or even that I’m available at all.  I’m very picky with the type of men I like and for the most part I think most of them are not to bright or attractive. Sorry. I’m also very cautious because of the large amount of sexually transmitted diseases out there and people tend to be dishonest with a multitude of things that takes time to get to know about someone.

      The point is that just because you might “hope” or want to be with someone doesn’t give anyone the right to force their will upon you.  Everyone has the right to change their mind and refuse sex no matter what the situation.  Everyone has the right to make a mistake or a bad choice. What we as women need to do is not be afraid to do that in any situation.  If we find ourself being a victim, we need to speak out. We need to get help and report the crime that has been done to us.  Silence is not an option. 

     So that is why I brought my daughter on this walk. It’s about awareness and taking away the stigma and shame that society and religion has put on women and sex.  It’s about me being proud of my inner strength and courage overcoming the obsacles I had to hurtle to make my life a happy and healthy one. When we heal ourselves, we help heal others. When we embrace our inner strength, we encourage others to do the same. When we ruffle feathers and speak out, that’s when things start to change.  Silence is detremantal to our evolution as people and as a society.

Below is the link to the wikipedia page on the Slut Walk.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SlutWalk
   

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I am the proud owner of Smudge Metaphysical. The products that I create support my local women's shelter Hiatus House. I teach others how to achieve their goals and heal themselves via magickal practice, energy manipulation and spirit work. I'm a proud recipient of a prestigious Biz-X Award for "Best Little Retail Store 2015". I encourage personal power through your unique expression of self and spirit, and have created a safe space for others to develop their magickal skills via Smudge Metaphysical.

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