These 'Slut Walks' Prove Feminism Is Now Irrelevant to Most Women's Lives

Daily Mail (London), June 13, 2011 | Go to article overview

These 'Slut Walks' Prove Feminism Is Now Irrelevant to Most Women's Lives


Byline: the Melanie Phillips column

EMMELINE Pankhurst must be revolving in her grave. At the weekend, various cities around Britain hosted demonstrations by thousands of young women dressed -- or to be more accurate, half-dressed -- as sex objects, all supposedly in the cause of 'feminism'.

Hold on a minute, you say -- wasn't feminism supposed to be a revolt against treating women as sex objects? Indeed -- but the ostensible aim of these 'Slut Walks' was to negate the impact of any judgments upon women for how they may flaunt their bodies in public -- by deliberately dressing in the most sexually provocative manner possible.

These in-your-face parades started in response to a Canadian police officer who, in a talk about public safety, suggested that if women didn't want to invite sexual assaults they should avoid dressing like 'sluts'.

Cue a tsunami of ludicrously over-thetop protests that this officer had effectively blamed women for their own rapes.

Such an inflation of well-meaning, if incautious, advice into a thought-crime against half the human race triggered an international explosion of self-indulgent and absurd posturing.

Absurd

Dozens of Slut Walks have now taken place, of which the weekend marches around Britain were but the latest example.

These narcissistic stunts are yet another frivolous distraction by those who take advantage of the unprecedented freedoms won by others as they wrap themselves in the mantle of victim.

It's absurd that they cannot see the contradictions in what they are doing. For even though they demand that women should not be judged by what they are wearing, such a judgment is precisely what dressing as 'sluts' requires the watching world to make.

And the absurdity is deepened by their insistence that clothing -- or its absence -- has no effect on other people.

By this logic, if a woman walked down the street naked except for a thong and a pair of stilettos, this should be assumed to have no effect whatever upon men.

Of course, sexual assaults take place against women who are dressed perfectly conventionally. But it is wrong to say that therefore there is no such thing as provocative dressing.

Indeed, the reaction of men leering at these silly girls as they paraded their exposed flesh demonstrated all too predictably the supreme fatuousness of their assertions.

Clothing, like all social conventions, carries meaning. Modest and immodest dress tells us that the wearers have very different attitudes towards sexuality.

Of course, no one dresses in order to be raped. But a girl who barely covers her behind with a pelmet skirt and exposes acres of cleavage is sending out a signal that she wants to be leered at or fantasised about.

Wearing revealing clothing signals that she regards her body as a kind of advertising hoarding for her sexuality. It demonstrates that her sexuality is not a private matter, and most certainly is not restricted to a loving relationship -- nor indeed to any kind of relationship.

To disclaim any connection between such signalling and opportunistic sexual responses by men is simply ridiculous. And to claim that stating this obvious connection is to hold that women deserve to be raped is a startling denial of reality, logic and common sense.

Of course, any man who sexually assaults a woman is to blame for his own behaviour. But the issue arising from women's clothing is not blame, but prudence.

After all, if you walk across a motorway and get knocked down by a car, or if you leave your house unlocked and it is burgled, no one would say you 'deserve' to be killed or burgled. But a reasonable person would surely say that it was reckless to cross the motorway or leave your house unlocked. In other words, you must take some responsibility for what happened to you.

Belittled

The insistence that women's behaviour never contributes to any harm that may befall them is profoundly anti-feminist -- and indeed, anti-human. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

These 'Slut Walks' Prove Feminism Is Now Irrelevant to Most Women's Lives
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.