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I’m not sure if this is going to come out coherent, because its rather late, but this has been bugging me for a couple of hours and I feel like if I don’t write out something about it, I’m not going to sleep well.
SlutWalk completely ignores the way institutional violence is leveled against women of color. The event highlights its origins from a privileged position of relative power, replete with an entitlement of assumed safety that women of color would never even dream of. We do not come from communities in which it feels at all harmless to call ourselves “sluts.” Aside from that, our skin color, not our style of dress, often signifies slut-hood to the white gaze.
We? I’m going to be fair, I don’t relate to anything written in this article. I don’t know what its like to be distrustful of police, or to hear the word “slut” as a criminal charge rather than just a lazy insult. That was not my life. I’ve lived the blissfully sheltered existence of a middle class New Englander, who only began to recognize her coloring as an issue within the past few years. But I never felt erased by SlutWalk’s purposes and ideas. Until now, that is. Because apparently the privilege of being able to reclaim the word slut, to demand respect from the police, and to consider any of the tenants of SlutWalk’s movement as relevant to one’s life is something that only belongs to white women. Seriously, fuck you.
I get that that’s not the point of this article, and I get that it has a lot of great points, and that SlutWalk’s organizers have made some serious mistakes in racial relationships. It doesn’t invalidate what they’re trying to do, and it doesn’t mean that its not helping people or doing good. No movement is one size fits all, nor should one be. Is INCITE! supposed to be relevant to white women as well? Is it supposed to be relevant me?
You can blame this all on the ignorance granted by my upbringing, the privilege of my class, whatthefuckever. But the ambitions of SlutWalk spoke to me, were relevant to me, and excited me to be more active and knowledgeable in these areas. I know that it won’t do the same for everybody. Its not meant to be a magic bullet, its meant to allow people to make their voices heard. Congratulations, you just did that. Not to mention, it is a young movement that is developing organically, that doesn’t have a singular head, and has plenty of room to grow. I do not see the point in attacking it like this, when it had nothing but good intentions. To equate mistakes made by its leaders to “white supremacist hegemony” is absurd.
You know, I’ve been really trying to educate myself a lot lately about civil rights and social injustice, and I used to be a lot more flippant about racial issues. I’ve become a lot more aware lately. However, now I’m finding myself reeling back to the anger I felt four years ago during a Multiracial Children’s Literature class I was taking. The idea that the only way children could feel validated by their storybooks was to see children that had the same skin color as them fucking enraged me. How about books about nerdy little girls who wrote all day and got made fun of for reading science fiction? I think that would’ve done a lot more for me than reading about someone with olive skin.
I don’t know. I’m upset and pissed off because I feel like I’ve been deemed irrelevant to this conversation. I’m not light enough to reap the benefits of liberal white woman entitlement, and not oppressed enough to recognize it or feel offended by it. Apparently, I’m not invited to either party. I almost want to delete this post just because having to link to that article makes me feel kind of sick. Maybe I don’t really know why I’m so angry. Maybe I really do hate fist waving white girls who couldn’t possibly know what I go through. So how do I feel like I know what they go through? Hm.