Over a year ago I participated in the Toronto SlutWalk. For a recap…please click HERE.
The original SlutWalk was put together because a Toronto Police Officer told York University students, during a safety seminar, that they could avoid becoming victims of sexual assault if they just stopped “dressing like sluts”.
There have been a few recent events which have reminded me of why I proudly joined my first protest…and why opinions like those of the police officer are still rampant today.
Rob Ford’s niece, (FYI- Rob Ford is our cities amazing Mayor…insert super sarcasm here) tweeted, after a series of sexual assaults in Toronto, that for women to avoid being a victim of sexual assault they should not ”dress like whores”. The Globe and Mail reported on the incident HERE and although most news stations were able to pick up the tweet and post it, Krista Ford took the tweet down almost immediately and “apologized”. Although, in my opinion, the damage was kind of done.
If women don’t stick up for each other, in these sorts of situations, then why should we expect men or anyone else to?
Another piece of pop culture that got me thinking about this was the whole R-Pats and K-Stew cheating, break-up shenanigans. Now, I am the first to admit that I have read all the Twilight books, and seen all the movies (to date)…I even went to New Moon on OPENING night in Vancouver…and will NEVER make that mistake again. (Sidebar: Do NOT go on opening night to any Twilight movie because it’s you and a bunch of twi-hard pre-teens who are both grossed out by the kissing scenes (omigod cooties) and cheer loudly whenever one of the wolves is shirtless…I am so confused by this generation…)
Kristen Stewart, from what I have seen in the media, is being vilified for her transgressions. No, I don’t approve of cheating, but I have seen NOTHING posted about Rupert Sanders, the dude she cheated on R-Pats with. Ruper Sanders who is MARRIED and has CHILDREN… He’s also older, was Kristen’s director (I’m not going to get into the whole power/authority thing…but you get the picture) and did I mention that he was married with children? Apparently, he’s decided to go to counselling to save his marriage and based on that, the world has forgiven him and moved on. Maybe K-Stew’s problem was that she admitted to the affair and admitted that she made a mistake and that she was SORRY…. For a full recap on her apology, check out this UK article: HERE.
The piece that really sticks with me is that because of her mistake, Kristen has been labelled a “slut” a “whore”…and he co-conspirator has been literally out of the news since it happened. Nico Lang wrote a Huffington Post article, which spurred this whole blog post, talking about the public slut shaming of Kristen Stewart. In it, this paragraph sums up what got me thinking…
…But for young women, the culture of slut shaming that the Kristen Stewart scandal represents won’t go away. I might not be concerned for K-Stew, but I am concerned for all the young women today who are tuned into this scandal, ones who are learning that it’s not okay to screw up, ever. Chris Brown can publicly beat the hell out of his girlfriend but still be played on the radio and win Grammys. However, if you ever cheat on your boyfriend, your life is over and no one will ever want to be associated with you.
I highly recommend that you read the full article, click HERE to access it.
Yup, this is the type of world that I am now introducing another woman into…not scared at all…