Slutwalk Coming to New Paltz
Before you read to far I should explain that I have been known to go off on a tangent or two at times and this just might be one of those times. I experienced something today that had me thinking about what we say and why and where we say it.
I was handed a flyer today for something called a "Slut Walk". This is an actual event being held in New Paltz next weekend. It is being organized for next Saturday October 27th, to call for an end to among other things Slut Shaming.
This blog is not about the march or the flyer. This blog is about how I reacted to the name of the event and how a person I have just recently met reacted to the flyer and the conversation that took place between us.
So here is how it went. When I saw the flyer my first reaction was "what are these people thinking you can't use the word slut or more importantly why would you want to". If you are stand up for victims of sexual violence why on earth would you call it a Slut Walk / March. Later a group of us were discussing the flyer when a new person entered the conversation. We showed them the flyer and they had a much different reaction.
This woman found the only thing weird about the march and the flyer was that it all begins at the Middle School in New Paltz. The irony in that is none of us shock by the word "slut" were surprised about the march stepping off from the school. Just about everything that marches through New Paltz gathers at the Middle School to step off.
Any way this woman explained that it is all part of taking back a word. Apparently the idea is to empower and embrace the word differently in order to make it no long powerful to the negativity and the haters who use it to shame and victimize.
I actually stood and thought about that for a moment. It kind of made some sense. I also thought but why would you want to. I would rather get people to stop using the word all together. She explained if that were possible, great but in the meantime take the power of the word and turning it into a positive while embracing it was the only choice for now.
I thanked her for the incited and explanation. At least now I don't think it was just to create some level of sensationalism. Which by the way trying to redefine such a word in this manner I still feel is less about reclaim the word and more about getting us to talk about it. After all isn't that what I just did.