More on the reclaiming slut issue

Since i posted previously i learned that there is to be a similar event held in melbourne and adelaide.
I now know that this event is about not blaming survivors of sexual assault or at least that is one component of it but i still think there are different ways of going about that.. In adelaide some feminist friends have told me they plan to attend this march with the banner “no one is a slut” – i think that speaks to a far more powerful reclaiming of our own identities than trying to win back a word that i dont believe can be truly anything other than negative.

People i have spoken to liken this to the way queer and nigger have been reclaimed by those communities. I dont believe they completely have. Its not politically correct to call someone a nigger but ive heard it happen. homophobes still call us queers.. Language that is meant to dehumanize will always do so as that is its intention. Buying into using the language of the oppressor will only further oppression – forgive me for sounding far left but it is true.

To me the most important word to be reclaimed is woman. Women, adults, people of age are often called girls in order to infantilze them long after theyve become women. I stopped being a girl when i had my first period, yet i am constantly referred to as a girl. There is also the dehumanizing references to women as animals – bitch, chick, amongst others. These are Rife in popular culture and deliberately designed to keep women from being seen as people.

As the tori amos quote goes “people are saying they are just words, what are you talking about, but they do matter, words are like bullets” so let us be critical of language in whatever form it takes.

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