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Sluts, socialists and tumble weed – “Prostitution is not permission”

By creative_canberran 6 June 2011 25

I think by the time prominent local feminist Melinda Tankard Reist had joined others speaking of the folly of reclaiming the word “slut”, it had become clear that SlutWalk wasn’t something to be taken seriously.

No surprise then that of the almost 800 who RSVPed on Facebook for Canberra’s walk, less than 100 actually attended.

Of those, many seemed to be incidental attendees anyway. The organisers interviewed by the Canberra Times made yesterday’s cold weather a scapegoat. Perhaps though other factors were at play:

  • First and foremost, this was always a stunt by student politicians and interest groups. Hence Socialist Alternative had a stall set up at the rally rather than the Rape Crisis Centre or other victims and women’s groups.
  • The messages at the event were at times amusingly odd including a curious banner saying “Prostitution is not permission” captured and published by CT.
  • Some participants messages were downright counterproductive including one that claimed women aren’t responsible for their own safety.
  • The march included an inordinate number of grey haired blokes, walking alone without banners but some with cameras. Curiously absent were women in the same age group… kinda strange.

To those participants who did turn up with messages of rape being unacceptable and women deserving respect while avoiding the term “slut”, good work. Congrats for sending a very important and and mature message. A shame though those messages had to compete with those of confused cheerleaders and politics.

What’s Your opinion?


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25 Responses to
Sluts, socialists and tumble weed – “Prostitution is not permission”
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chewy14 1:00 pm 07 Jun 11

Lord,
Claiming everyone who disagrees with you is ignorant doesn’t help your argument.

The fact that most people who are sexually assaulted will know their attacker means that rapists aren’t choosing their victim randomly by what she is wearing on the street. This actually supports what I was saying, which is that your Slutwalk isn’t going to reach the people or change the behaviours of people who are going to rape someone.

And I called the event a convoluted joke because of the conflicting messages that were given from people attending; from reclaiming the word Slut (whatever that means) to wanting their public behaviours to be free from judgement.
The main aim of the event (if there ever was one) got lost in these messages long ago.

As for your statistics, they make great headlines but when you look deeper what Mouthface has said is correct.

mouthface 12:27 pm 07 Jun 11

Lord said :

In the ACT only 2% of reported sexual assaults end in prison sentences, and that is without including the thousands of unreported sexual assaults that occur every year.

This is an interesting statistic and whilst sounding damning, does very little to support your argument. You have stated 2% of “reported” sexual assaults. That’s a good starting point so we have to discount all reports that do not end in a charge. Then we have to discount all reports that end in a charge but not in a conviction. Then we have to discount sexual assaults that end in a conviction but are not deemed serious enough for the defendant to do jail time. Here is a definition of sexual assault taken from an ABS paper. As you can see, whilst there are many behaviours that would justify jail time, there are many that would not be deemed serious enough to end in a jail term, so throwing statistics around may make you think that you have a case, but please make sure you don’t misrepresent .

“Sexual assault is unwanted behaviour of a sexual nature directed towards a person:
which makes that person feel uncomfortable, distressed, frightened or threatened, or which results in harm or injury to that person; to which that person has not freely agreed or given consent, or to which that person is not capable of giving consent; in which another person uses physical, emotional, psychological or verbal force or (other) coercive behaviour against that person.
Sexual assault may be located on a continuum of behaviours from sexual harassment to life-threatening rape. These behaviours may include lewdness, stalking, indecent assault, date rape, drug-assisted sexual assault, child sexual abuse, incest, exposure of a person to pornography, use of a person in pornography, and threats or attempts to sexually assault.”
From ABS: SEXUAL ASSAULT IN AUSTRALIA: A STATISTICAL OVERVIEW

As for “unreported” cases. Well they are unreported, and that means we have no way to gain any information from them or come to any conclusion about them.

Classified 12:05 pm 07 Jun 11

fgzk said :

… a well practiced whore will take your money, spend the time, and still leave you wanting…

Sounds like some consultants we use.

mouthface 11:55 am 07 Jun 11

When women report their assault they are always met with accusatory questions like “What were you doing alone with this person?” or “Why were you so drunk?” These questions are irrelevant to the crime and in fact do harm to the psyches of the victims. The point is that it is never the fault of the victim, nothing justifies rape.?

These questions are not irrelevant to the crime at all. As you said, most rape victims know the person who raped them. Therefore the court has to establish whether a rape actually took place. This means that the victim has to be questioned, and ultimately those questions will be uncomfortable. As in any criminal case, a good defence lawyer will grill the complainant or witness for the prosecution, it’s his or her job.
What are you suggesting as an alternative then? That every woman who claims that she has been raped is simply taken on her word? That no enquiry should take place?

Lord 11:11 am 07 Jun 11

Lord said :

Yes,
because your everyday rapist would have seen your show of strength (200 people) and decided to stop raping people.
And what is this disturbing culture of victim blaming?
Slutwalk was a convoluted joke.

Your response demonstrates that you have no understanding of rape at all. 60% of all sexual assaults are perpetrated by someone that the victim knows, most happen in daylight in an environment that the victim is familiar with. Rapists aren’t these awful people who hide in the shadows waiting to strike an unknowing victim.

In the ACT only 2% of reported sexual assaults end in prison sentences, and that is without including the thousands of unreported sexual assaults that occur every year. When women report their assault they are always met with accusatory questions like “What were you doing alone with this person?” or “Why were you so drunk?” These questions are irrelevant to the crime and in fact do harm to the psyches of the victims. The point is that it is never the fault of the victim, nothing justifies rape.

Also, if you don’t understand something why not try to learn about it? Engage with it, and if you decide that you don’t agree with it, say something constructive about it. Claiming that it is a “convoluted joke” adds nothing to the legitimate debate about the merits of SlutWalk and the impact that it had. If you don’t your ignorance will continue to define you.

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