Why do we need ‘Slut Walk’?

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June 27th, 2011 Nayanima Basu

Alright, alright. I know this one is going to make sound like a big prude. I’m just about getting ready to be labelled a holier-than-thou cow. But I’ve grown up on a diet of legends such as Mother Teresa, Matangani Hazra, Rani Laxmibai, Razia Sultan, Annie Besant, Sarojini Naidu and a whole lot of other women who did this country proud. I learnt about them in textbooks and comic strips, and marvelled at their achievements in movies, plays, puppet shows.
 
Which is why, I got really peeved when a friend called me up and announced excitedly that she was taking part in what I can only put down as an insanely mindless protest march — the Slut Walk.
 
The concept originated in Canada in reponse to a police officer’s suggestion in April this year, that women wearing provocative clothing were more likely to get molested or raped. The cop in question categorically advised women to ‘avoid dressing like sluts’, hence the term.
 
The Slut Walk has gained popularity in North America and Europe, although marches are also being India, Brazil, New Zealand and South Korea.
 
I am particularly upset with the way some Indian women have taken to emulating the West at the drop of a hat. I am not sure the so-called protests with achieve anything apart from generating television TRPs and big moolah for the organisers. And, of course, some cheap and possibly unwanted publicity for the participants.
 
If the objective of the march is to stir the collective conscience of the Delhi Police or the rapists/molesters for that matter, the participants are barking up the wrong tree. In any case, many of them, like my friend, seem to be in it only because it is fashionable to do so.
 
As a society, we seem to have missed the whole point. Rapes are on the rise simply because the rate of convictions is phenomenally low. What we really need is very strong anti-rape laws supported by an equally strong justice-delivery mechanism.
 
You wouldn’t ever see men do anything so stupid as a Slut Walk, would you?  When was the last time you saw a male cheerleader in any sport? Yet men still rule the world and will continue calling the shots as long as we women insist on showing ourselves in such poor light. Why do you think advertisements on Axe, Zatak or any other male grooming products end up showing women in such repugnant manner? 
 
Back in the 1960s and 1970s the so-called radical feminists ruined the image of womanhood with the famous ‘Burn the Bra’ campaign. The event marginalised feminism and silenced some of the more meaningful voices who would have otherwise fought a tough war. It trivializes the social-footing of a woman.
 
How on earth can we stop as hideous a crime as rape by holding such protest marches? On the contrary, such protests completely defeat the very purpose for which they were designed. Stop this nonsense in the name of ‘women empowerment’.

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3 Responses to “Why do we need ‘Slut Walk’?”

  1. NEEL Says:

    Well..the whole concept of slut walk is laughable..As a man, I would just laugh when women would wear fancy clothes and walk on a street parade… I don’t go for City Marathon walk but I’ll surely go to watch a slut walk..afterall its been a while since I last visited a circus, especially with a media attention

  2. Gopal Krishan Says:

    Dear Nayanima,
    You seem to have missed a number of points in this blog. I have already seen many intelligent women doing that. I suspect the reason in the agitation their minds experience while discussing state of affairs for females of this world (and especially females of India). We may need a long conversation to clear up all those points but here only a few:

    1. Slut Walks are OK in populations with male-female parity and they are (should be) a protest against authorities telling females to dress in a particular way. They can never be a protest against rapists even if some organizers try to design them that way.

    2. Any degree of stronger anti-rape laws will not be able to eliminate rapes. Look at the beastly anti adultery laws in some countries neighbouring India that have not been able to eliminate ‘adultery’. Laws are often mistaken to be the source of social behaviour. Actually all the ingriedients of a social environment collectively determine that behaviour. The laws are only one of those ingredients.

    3. The main reason for the precarious situation of females in India is the catasrophal disparity in the numbers of males and females caused by ongoing, long term and large scale murder of female babies. Until that fundamental ingredient of indian environment is changed it will continue to generate a host of unsolvable problems. The situation of indian females is only one of them.

  3. deepak Says:

    Glad to read an article that looks at this in a sensible and mature manner.

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