This bugged the hell out of me 6 months ago when a large number of my friends asked me to take part in the SlutWalk.
The SlutWalk, if you haven't heard of it, were in reaction to a Toronto police officer's suggestion, following a series of rapes, that "women should avoid dressing like sluts" to remain safe.
My initial reaction to this was: how is that statement any different from the following statement. Considering the increase in armed robbery in this neighborhood, men should avoid dress that conspicuously advertises their wealth to remain safe?
Right. I don't think a businessman in a Brooks Brothers suit and 400 dollar tie deserves to get robbed at gunpoint.
I don't think a girl who dresses like a whore deserves to get raped.
But seriously, I do think the dandy-ed up businessman (or woman) walking through an urban area deserves to get harassed by beggars. And I do think the tarted-up chick deserves to get harassed by drunken men.
What is the end-goal, anyways, of being able to wear hot pants and string-kinis and hooker heels in public and not get unwanted attention? What is the end point if this occurs?
Either, it means that men cannot express physical attraction under any circumstances. OR it robs women of the ability they possess to consciously use appearance and attire to influence the way in which they are perceived.
What is so seductive about being a woman is the ability to code-switch...simply by throwing on a hijab, or a conservative suit, or glasses and sweatpants, or a mini-skirt.
And what slutwalkers and second wave feminists alike do not get is that the sexualization of certain women does not lead to the sexualization of all women.
This all became overwhelmingly blatant one evening working in a strip club. The manager, an attractive brunette in jeans and an oversized tee-shirt, was sitting with a group of clients, regulars. She chatted with them...and she was simply, one of the boys. They all talked. They all looked at the dancers. They all resumed speaking. It was the most gender-neutral exchange I've seen in my entire life.
The funny thing about being in a strip club is that it is perhaps the only place a woman can go alone, drink, and not receive male attention.