Archive for the ‘SlutWalk’ Category

SlutWalk 2: Legitimate Rape Boogaloo

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012



It’s that time again!

Time to put on your t-shirts, thongs, hoodies, dashikis, combat boots, tank tops, hijabs, miniskirts, Chuck Taylors, granny panties, stilettos, bow ties, Wonderbras, jeggings, jodphurs, jeanshorts, bikinis, overalls, OR scrubs, Crocs, saris, slacks, power suits, cummerbunds, evening gowns, Zubaz, bell bottoms, Birkenstocks, bondage pants, flannels, petticoats and WALK TO ELIMINATE RAPE CULTURE.

Here’s a picture of me at the walk last year:

No, I’m not the Clone Trooper, silly!  I’m holding the white NOW round, wearing my red SlutWalk Minneapolis sweatshirt, brown Old Navy cords, and Saucony Jazz shoes.

Did I look like what you expected?  Did I “prance down our streets in lingerie and fishnet (sic),” as a local self-described feminist worried, making me “look stupid, desperate and ignorant of our common history and the fragile, ever-eroding political power of Minnesota feminism”?

To be fair to Kristine, she’s right that rape culture did not magically end after October of last year.  But neither did the Minnesota legislature hurry to take away my right to vote and wear pants, corduroy or otherwise, in public.

What has changed is that the concept of  “rape culture” left the lofty realm of feminist academic (and blogospheric!) discourse and entered the mainstream.  Sadly, we have truly awful humans Jerry Sandusky, Joe Paterno and Todd “Legitimate Rape” Akin to thank for that, not the concerted efforts of millions of anti-violence advocates.

Sigh. It was ever thus.  In the meantime, we keep walking.


If you can’t join us on the Minneapolis riverfront on Saturday, remember: SLUTS VOTE!  I expect all you sluts to be registered and ready to cast your ballots on November 6.  The above image is available on a t-shirt that benefits SlutWalk Minneapolis would really rock your poll workers’ world.  Grab it before it sells out!


Thinking about racism (and getting a headache)

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

A funny thing happened at SlutWalk NYC last weekend–a white woman was photographed carrying this sign:

Yes ouch can you believe it I know oh my god.  Wow.  It hurts my brain.  It makes me feel terrible.  It makes me want to hit this fellow PWW* for making me look like an asshole by association.

Racialicious posted a discussion about it, featuring comment from the woman herself, but if you’re in a hurry all you need to read is this summation by the site’s editor Latoya Peterson:

Slutwalk is one of the many long, long conversations about relationships between feminism, racism, class, nation-states, colonization, and power… some people don’t want to understand why women of color would be angry at that phrase, and they don’t care why John Lennon isn’t the best representative on race issues.  

Ironically, I’m working on a piece today that’s NOT about SlutWalk (or at least it wasn’t a minute ago), but about a very heartfelt and thought-provoking discussion on racism that occurred in my neighborhood last week.  It was sponsored by Building Bridges, a new south Minneapolis organization that “seeks to understand how race and racism impact our communities and to build the future of our neighborhoods together.”  The group brought local-girl-made-good Michele Norris to town to discuss her memoir The Grace of Silence, selected as the first book in the city-wide One Minneapolis One Read.  Turtle Bread on 48th & Chicago was packed to the rafters with people of all colors who wanted to talk honestly about the history of racism in our community.  It was exactly the kind of nuanced discussion that, in my humble PWW opinion, has the power to make the transformative change that we claim we wish to see in the world.

And this photo turns up on Facebook.  Ugh.

In her book, Norris writes:

All the talk of postracial America betrays an all too glib eagerness to put in remission a 400 year old cancerous social disease.  We can’t put it to rest until we attend to its symptoms in ourselves and others.

I agree….but I need to take a handful of Advil first.


*privileged white woman

To our male allies: a challenge

Monday, July 18th, 2011

TW: rape culture, victim-blaming



Two years ago, I participated in a MPRIG-sponsored panel on sexual violence during the University of Minnesota’s Welcome Week. To their great credit, a large number of earnest 18-year-olds showed up to discuss an issue far less appealing than learning the forehand frisbee throw. During both the morning and the afternoon sessions, I heard a question that I remember from my own college days, asked the bravest straight male in the room: “This is really upsetting. Are women actually assuming I’m a perpetrator just because I have a penis?”


I’m sorry if it feels that way, I said. But don’t blame women. Blame guys like Neal Krasnoff, author of the blog The Loyal Opposition.
Now I’m not saying that Neal is a perp any more than those college guys were, but I do know that he has a mean streak a mile wide, and he vents said meanness on his blog. Normally, I’m of the mind to let creeps like him be. Why send him the web traffic? But today, the circumstances are different than when he called me a “matriarchic supremacist” back in 2008. I can handle personal trashing, but when I read his new post about SlutWalk Minneapolis (called “If she dresses like a slut, and acts like a slut, is she really a feminist?”), I felt a response was necessary.


Last week I wrote a post about frustration with rape culture that was borderline misandrous, and I was called out as such by a secret fan of mine who linked to it on a Modern Radio discussion forum. Since Jawknee also mentioned that I am “great” and “super smart,” I know that he must have seen my point: that rape culture curdles the souls of even sensible women from time to time. And Krasnoff’s piece on SlutWalk Minneapolis is as soul-curdling a bit of rape apologia as I have read in a long time. Set your TRIGGER WARNING alarm, then read him here:


“Slutwalk” ideology is not about rape, as the protestors claim. It is about an attempt to abrogate the moral agency of women. It posits that women can behave as they wish with no consequences for their acts. …dressing up in a club miniskirt, dancing and grinding with alcohol-fueled, hypersexualized 20-something men at a downtown club, then going back to their apartment with them to presumably discuss the Brothers Karamazov. Or travelling without niqab in Taliban controlled territory. Or holding raw meat out in front of a starving dog.

Does NO still mean NO if this gorgeous Asian slutwalker does everything to say “f— me”?

I hear quite a bit from straight men about how they aren’t sure that feminism is for them, while at the same time bemoaning the guilty until proved innocent phenom mentioned above. Well, guess what? It’s anti-feminist jerks like Krasnoff who are making your lives difficult, fellas. What on earth could make anyone feel comfortable comparing a woman to a slab of “raw meat”? Sexism. It’s not confined to small-time weirdos on the internet, either. It’s everywhere.
Help us end it, guys. We can’t do it without your help. We need you to speak out against this warped view of the world. You are not dogs, and we are not meat. We are all human beings who deserve respect, safety, and freedom.
What’s the saddest thing about a piece of writing like this? Neal Krasnoff knows rape survivors. He’s friends with them, he works with them, he even has some in his own family. He doesn’t realize this, though, because no survivor would ever share her truth with a guy like him. Yet he takes to his blog and condemns these very women for failing to apply “reasonable judgment and common sense.” I wonder how that goes over with the women in his life who were molested by family members and/or raped by their boyfriends, let alone the ones who were victimized after a night on the town. They have my compassion and pity. Neal? Not so much.