Slut Walk 2012 & The New Illinois Birth Control Ruling

Slut Walk 2012 & The New Illinois Birth Control Ruling
Protesters at the original Slutwalk in Toronto in 2011.

This past Saturday, Slutwalk Chicago 2012 occurred. It is an event where both men and women alike take to streets demanding respect no matter how revealing their attire might be. The march takes on the ideas of slut-shaming and victim-blaming especially with regards to rape, and counters them with the message of "Yes means yes, no means no. Whatever you wear, wherever you go."

In a political climate where women's rights are slowly being chipped away at, Slutwalk could not come at a more appropriate time. Even here in Illinois, an appeals court recently upheld a ruling that exempted pharmacists with religious objections from prescribing emergency contraceptives, finding that the medical professionals were protected by state law. Denying emergency contraceptives is another form of "slut-shaming" in our modern society. No one has the right to deny someone a form of medication. What if I am a super-Christian Walgreens clerk, and I feel strongly against alcohol consumption, and I refuse to sell any? I'd probably get severely reprimanded by my supervisor or even fired. Yet, as proven by the recent ruling, that type of logic doesn't apply to all professions.

The anti-shaming Saturday crowd was big, but it was still obvious that there are more people, especially women, in Chicago who could have participated. The question is why they didn't. I would say that it is due to society sending mixed messages about female sexuality. I personally believe a girl should dress in whatever manner she wants without facing harassment or rape. Yet, there's the misconception that a woman can't dress sexily without wanting to attract a man's attention. If a woman is showing skin, it is to garner a man's attention not to feel control and pride over her own body. When you look at the women who have a predilection towards showing skin in society, i.e. strippers and prostitutes, that misconception gets continually reinforced on both the minds of men and women.

So, Slutwalk is not just fighting men's conceptions of "slutty" women but also women's own conceptions about those women. Which one is going to be harder to overcome? Laws can be placed to punish rapists and harassers (mostly men), but there can be no laws in place that control how people (both men and women) think about scantily clad women considering that, in our shared history and culture, the way a woman dresses has dictated so much of her life.

This realization leaves Slutwalk at the same starting point, challenging the way all people think about "sluts." It's going to be a long uphill battle that must reach out, in some way, to the women and men who think dressing revealingly justifies rape and harrassment. The movement cannot stay and have an impact if only the same feministic core comes out to support. I'll leave on a very important note that not only men are misogynistic, women are too.

----

Read More About Chicago Politics:

Fee for More Cops.

Ald. Moreno Chick-fil-a Letter.

Wal-Mart Worker Strike.

Soda Tax or Wellness Program?

Pension Reform.

Filed under: Violence

Tags: Birth Control, Slutwalk 2012

Leave a comment

  • ChicagoNow is full of win

    Welcome to ChicagoNow.

    Meet our bloggers,
    post comments, or
    pitch your blog idea.

  • Advertisement:
  • Fresh Chicago News

  • Tags

  • Latest on ChicagoNow

  • Advertisement: