In the course of the past two weeks, I have made numerous attempts to sit at my blogging desk and knock out a few posts on the various topics that have simultaneously raised my eyebrows and my ire. Despite my passion for these issues, I have been unable to produce the goods. Instead, I found myself facing a familiar infliction. Rather than suffering from writer’s block, I am sometimes silenced by a fear of writer’s rant. I experience a conflicted state, whereby the urge to speak up argues with a niggling voice that says “what’s the point of expressing yourself, things won’t change just because you blog about it”. Hence, I am reluctant to ‘go there’, for fear that my exploration and analysis will merely exacerbate my frustrations. For me, the process of writing is so organic that I often have no notion of the direction that a blog post might take me. And once I have started, there’s no stopping me, it’s like a runaway train, and we all know how that story ends. To avoid insurmountable wreckage, in this post I thought I would limit myself to a relatively ‘brief’ summary of the major issues that have been bugging me lately. Word of warning, there will be no happy ending or philosophical musings in this post, just a healthy smattering of vitriolic discontent and disbelief at the state of the world. And so, with a deep breath and in the hope of reaching some moment of catharsis, let’s jump on board the train and see where it takes us.
Slutwalks: For the sake of brevity, I won’t elaborate on the origins or evolution of the slutwalk movement, except to say that the impulse came from the remarks of a Toronto police officer who told a group of female university students that in order to avoid being raped, they should not dress like ‘sluts’. You can research more for yourself, there’s plenty out there in the blogosphere. I intend to devote an entire post to this movement following the Edmonton Slutwalk, scheduled for June 4th. Meanwhile, here are some thoughts that have been running through my over-active mind: what it means to ‘reclaim’ language and examine the discourse of sexuality and sexual assault; what it means to be a feminist in a society resistant to ‘isms’, amongst women who feel compelled to massage fragile male egos while they apologise for being independent, ambitious and successful; the importance of female solidarity and male allies; the place of self-respect, dignity and pride; the conflation of sexual promiscuity, sexual desire and sexual violence; the role of the media in providing a balanced representation of multiple perspectives; the role of the police and legal system in perpetuating the victim-blaming mentality; and the power of social media to incite activism.
Causes Cindy Sullivan Supports
Plan: 'Because I'm a Girl'
Fred Hollows Foundation