Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A Walk to Freedom

Slut Walk” a new type of protest march started on last April 3, 2011 in Toronto and is going to spread globally. The protest marcher’s women wearing high heels and fishnet stockings were prominent in a demonstration. They named their protest from the words of a Canadian police constable r Michael Sanguinetti, who said that women should ‘avoid dressing as sluts to market less likely to be harassed”. Comments sparked a global movement galvanised by Face book and Twitter. "SlutWalks" have now been held in Dallas, Asheville in North Carolina, and in the Canadian capital, Ottawa, and are planned for Seattle, Chicago, Philadelphia, Reno and Austin.

I can remember in 1968, a group of women influenced by Betty Friedan’s book The Feminine Mystique staged demonstrations at the annual Miss America Beauty pageant held in Atlantic City, NJ. They argued this type of contest consciously manipulates its portrayal of women as ‘sex object’. They tossed their bras in the garbage getting instant media coverage and hence, the term "bra-burners" entered the media vocabulary as a pejorative for feminists.

Naomi Wolf and Ariel Levy with their books The Beauty Myth (1991) and Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture (2005) argued that to make a woman interested in fashion and beauty culture is purely political and also a part of the process to maintain the patriarchal system. Even women were asked to give up fashion, make up and even lipstick so as they could refuse to subject themselves as any sex object.

But there is a strange similarity in the attitude of Western social and radical feminists of the second wave and the patriarchal society as far as the sexual objectification of women is concerned. Both of them believe women have often been valued mainly for their physical attributes.

On March 04, 2010, just one year before the beginning of ‘slut walk’ in Canada, I discussed about these Beauty Dilemmas in an article and later It is anthologized in my book Sensible Sensuality. and now I am reading a news that the crowd marched on police headquarters, calling on police to stop blaming rape survivors for what happened to them and chanted, "Whatever we wear, wherever we go, yes means yes and no means no,"

I hope this movement may bring awareness to the shame and degradation women still face for expressing their sexuality … essentially for behaving in a healthy and sexual way.”

2 comments:

Kalimullah said...

“Slut Walk” is really the civilized and only way to highlight the issue which women are facing.
I remember my school days when I read news those British women complain about Pakistani and Indians that they always gaze at them constantly making them upset. But it was due to their background.
In those days I remember that most of women wear BURQA in Karachi, my mother and sisters wear BURQA, but now none. Anyone who doesn’t wear BURQA faces problems, like be gazed by everyone.
There is a standard or acceptable dress in every culture, if someone tries to change drastically, he will face similar problems.
I am not advocating the statuesque, but pointing hardship to be faced to change this scenario.
You are writing against the statuesque for a long time, and you face some severe problems from fundamentalists, but it is the only way to achieve the goal, constant endeavor will weak the power of fundamentalist.
Similarly a constant protest will change the mentality of fundamentalist all over the world.
Michael Sanguinetti intention was not bad, he was not ordering , but it was just his observations.

vinay said...

hope this movement may bring awareness to the shame and degradation women still face for expressing their sexuality … essentially for behaving in a healthy and sexual way.”
i agree with you and i want to add that there should be equal freedom for men and women in respect of sexuality,unfortunately which does not persist.

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