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May 04, 2012

"We're Proud Sluts"

Jerusalem Slutwalk 5-201270 activists let it all hang out during the Jerusalem SlutWalk, part of an international movement to counter the false claim that how a woman dresses can justifiably provoke sexual assault and harassment.

Jerusalem Slutwalk 5-2012

J'lem demonstrators: 'We're proud sluts'
70 activists – mainly women – let it all hang out during the Jerusalem SlutWalk, part of an international movement to counter claim that provocative dress leads to sexual harassment, assaults
Omri Efraim  • Ynet

SlutWalk – the "modest" version: Some 70 activists, mostly women, took part Friday in a protest march that started from Jerusalem's Paris Square and ended at Horse Park in the city center. Some of the demonstrators wore risqué outfits and carried signs reading "No more harassment," "Enough – blame the rapist," and "I'm a proud slut."

A police escort secured the protesters, who shouted "We're not weak!" and "We won't be exploited!"

Despite the opposition of the city's Ultra-Orthodox population to the march, the demonstration concluded without event, although far from unnoticed. David Davidov, an observant resident, called the SlutWalk "a provocation. The provocative clothes of the marchers – and women in general – prompts men to attack them."

The SlutWalk movement grew out of an incident that occurred in Canada in 2011 in which a police office said that women should keep themselves safe by "not dressing like sluts." The first SlutWalk was held in Canada, and the idea took off around the world. The Jerusalem version – organized by Or Levy, 22 – comes on the heels of two marches already held in Israel, in Tel Aviv and Haifa.

"The women here all have a common goal. We are against harassment and want to feel safe walking in the street, no matter what we're wearing. It's every woman's right to feel safe, just like men feel secure," Levy said.

"This is not meant as a provocation against the haredim," Levy explained. "We live in this city, so this is where we're demonstrating. We understand the sensitivity of the haredim, and the protest isn't against them – it's against the men who harass us daily."

Lily, a 28-year-old Jerusalem resident who also took part in the SlutWalk, said that "too often, we hear the victim being blamed by questions like 'what was she wearing? Why did you drink? Why did you leave the house alone so late? The society that supposedly lets you do what you want is quick to judge."

Passers by watched the march with interest. Lital Levy agreed that the marchers were "right," but said that she "wouldn't join a protest like this in Jerusalem. There are people here who are really sensitive to this kind of dress, and it offends them."

Comments

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Cue the misogynists.

In other news: A condo in Akron was burgled (the home owner had left the door unlocked), a Buick LeSabre was stolen (keys were in the ignition, car was running), and a baby was created (unprotected vaginal intercourse). All actions (or non-actions) have consequences, even for 'sluts'.

So they're proud to be sluts, just not to be called sluts. Riiiiight

So for the first time ever, the problem is not the Haredim. It's the secular men harassing them. Long live Darwin! It's Survival of the most powerful!

They wish they were sluts.

nobody's doing them even for free.

They'd be safe on the toughest streets of Camden...

WOOFWOOF! BOW WOW!

If they looked any better, they could take off their clothes at the beach.

But there nobody would look their way, as well as they shouldn't for their own good.

Ewww. Just a bunch of ugly girls who wish men would pay attention to them. I don't think anyone would sexually harass these people even if they begged!

Nice insults, everyone. Really. Is this how you talk about women?

Yes!

More sluts. please! Pictures, videos if possible! This is what it is all about - SEX!

I wouldn't mind if the large breasted slut in the shown photo would start a chassidick movement. I would follow her anywhere and be her slave.

Aztec: With all due respect, they have self-identified as Sluts, are we to comment on their bridge-building acumen?

Posted by: BibleBeltJew | May 04, 2012 at 11:22 AM


You're disgusting and the reason why I'll take my daughter to get her CHL before her driver's license.

The intelligent person (not necessarily in the comment sections of this blog) must remember that the majority of rapes and sexual assaults are perpetrated by individuals who KNOW the victim (i.e. acquaintance, relative).

This myth that skimpy-clothes-wearing women drive perfect strangers on the street into a lustful rage is pure BS, and the purveyors of such BS (thankfully) show their true perverted misogynistic colors for the rest of us to see.

Eva, perhaps "skimpy-clothes-wearing women" drive their "relatives [or] acquaintances" into a lustful rage? Hmmmmm

Guys, I doubt any of those women would even spare you a glance. Mouth off all you want, it doesn't matter. They're entitled to their freedom of expression. At least their outfits presumably keep the Haredi rock throwers away.

Posted by: BibleBeltJew | May 04, 2012 at 02:38 PM

Kind of like when you screwed your sister after seeing her in a swimsuit, pig?

The correct response to rape is that of Absalom in regards to Amnon. Absalom never stopped to inspect the quality of Tamar's tunic.

As a man, I am embarrassed by the disgusting stupidity spewed by men in these comments. It is not necessary to act in such a stupid way just because you are a man.

I don't agree with everything that advocates of these events believe, but, I do agree that men have no right to excuse any behavior of other men because of the behavior of women, short of direct provocation.

As a man, I do understand that a provocatively dressed woman can be a difficult thing to deal with. I choose to remove myself from a situation where that is the case.

The crux of the problem here is that men imagine acting on admittedly strong impulse to a violent act is somehow mitigated by the victim's behavior, it is not. A real man uses the strength inherent in masculinity to do what is right over what is desirable.

All of you who see women as objects are acting like predatory animals, and that is the problem, not the behavior of your "prey".

Ya'akov: Well stated, as usual. Still in all, when one's bigdey isha are not dissimilar to those of a sharmutah one may want to re-consider one's fashion choices.

Eva: You obviously have anger/daddy/phallus issues and/or you havent gotten some in awhile (regardless of your sexuality). Your personal attacks on me are entirely uncalled for. BTW, what are you wearing?

My sister and I wish y'all a Shabbat Shalom.

Yaakov, Home Run! Kudos!

Nice insults, everyone. Really. Is this how you talk about women?

Posted by: AztecQueen2000 | May 04, 2012 at 12:42 PM

Yes, that is how they talk about women. It's part and parcel of being brought up in the Haredi world. They're never properly socialized, it's how they secretly see all women - as sex objects - and if a woman doesn't play by their insane and arbitrary rules - she's fair game.

There are two ways of looking at this business.

-As a matter of right each of us is entitled to feel secure and safe from assault as we move around our chosen environment / neighborhood /etc. If we're minding our business we should be left alone, no matter what we're wearing. We should not be mugged or robbed even if we're decked in jewelry and texting away on an expensive phone or tablet.

-On the other hand prudence demands that if need drives you to traverse a known unsafe or hostile neighborhood (however defined) you don't make an overt or purposely provocative display of whatever might attract unwanted attention to yourself. This is just common sense. .

Whlle displaying lots of flesh/your Rolex/your iPad/a wad of cash/you name it in a rough neighborhood DOES NOT JUSTIFY your being attacked and while your having done the displaying is by no means a mitigating circumstance the fact remains that it's just plain foolish to do that. Such is the way of this imperfect world. The marchers have a very legitimate point to make in their dramatic fashion however we're a long way from universal realization of an expectation of being undisturbed under any and all circumstances. Until that happens a little common sense will go a long way. That's certainly what I taught my adult daughters and what will be taught to my granddaughters. The objective is to remain unscathed.

SML:

I agree with the principle behind your comment. Pragmatically, we must first address the complaint before us, then we can consider the more subtle issues.

You cannot tell a women who has been raped, "don't dress that way" and expect they will consider you a friend, advocate, or even not a threat. We, as men, must first deal with the fact that forcible rape is never, ever, justified or mitigated by the clothing a woman chooses to wear. Once we have well and truly dealt with that issue, we can move on to the idea you mentioned, and have a dialogue between men and women about it.

SML

Beautifully written.

Not a good idea for woman wearing a tank top (braless) cut of shorts and hang out with a hundred drunk bikers.

Posted by: Jake | May 04, 2012 at 04:57 PM

Not a good idea for a male Orthodox Jew in kippah and tzitzit to hang around with a hundred drunk bikers either. But if they beat the crap out of him I have to wonder if you'd be as flippant as you would be had a woman been raped instead.

yaakov

bravo

This is one of those few occasions where i have to be pro-Haredi. Certainly not a prude, i'd rather not take these images or gay pride marches as memories when i visit jerusalem. This is an insult to Jewish heritage as those who value it see it and its origins as a light unto the nations. Wrong place, wrong time.

zionist goy,

gay pride marches offend you?
stay home

gays also bring light unto the nations.
gays serve in the IDF.
my gay friends are hands down some of the nicest people.
they carry such a HUGE rucksack of compassion after being offended by people like you their entire lives.

please stay home.

Some of these comments remind me of that misogynistic Egyption ad portraying men as brainless flies and an uncovered woman as a lollipop.

Being raped or harassed has nothing to do with dress,and everything to do with power and humiliation, putting someone in their place.

I would like to know how many very modestly dressed wives are raped by their husbands in patriarchical housholds. I reckon very many.

Miss Piggy might want to consider eating a few less pies. Then she would probably be at home getting the good news rather than doing the lesbian march of doom.

Although the skanky tat will forever remain aspirational.

Slut walks: political activism for morons incapable of rational thought.

Posted by: mimi | May 05, 2012 at 06:50 PM

Unfortunately, those same people would probably claim that it's impossible for a husband to rape a wife.

The British ridiculed the fighting tactics and discounted the resolve of the Colonists early in the American Revolution. This is something that is often employed by the existing power structures and their sycophants against those who would challenge or question their authority.

Examples abound from over 2,000 years until the present day. I have given one, here are three more: Julius Caesar vs. Pompey Magnus, Octavius vs. Marc Antony, and Wall St. Robber Barons and their fans vs. OWS.

These kinds of marches leave me rather numbed out for two reasons. First, the idea of women desiring to be free from attack or rape is about as controversial as "mother's milk is healthy for the baby". Second, anyone who wishes to dress or talk slutty to make their insipid political point comes off sounding as immature as that baby desiring mother's milk.

dress or talk slutty.
have you ever been to a museum?
so some women wear sleeveless tops or shorts....
and that makes them slutty?
i'm not going to change your mind. i just wish you would open yours.

women visiting a museum are not engaged in political protest. And they feel, quite naturally, they are dressed appropriately. Its interesting that expressing an opinion is interpreted as a sign of closed mindedness. If anything is closed minded, it is the inability to see how infantile certain women appear in the way they choose to make public political statements. In the article we saw two opposite examples:

"I'm a proud slut." <--- that is talking slutty and immature.

the marchers were "right," but said that she "wouldn't join a protest like this in Jerusalem. There are people here who are really sensitive to this kind of dress, and it offends them." <--- desires to engage in reasoned statements, and is mature.

With all due respect, they have self-identified as Sluts, are we to comment on their bridge-building acumen?

Why not comment on their POINT?

I personally think a better response to these issues would be a broad-based, community-wide march against sexual violence. That said, these women are correct that their right to be safe and free from harassment should not be contingent on wearing the "right" kind of clothes. The fact that some commenters here have chosen to only focus on the method of protest rather than its substance is sad-- and that several have chosen to go even further and engage in abusive attacks on these women's characters or bodies is disgusting.

>The fact that some commenters here have chosen to only focus on the method of protest rather than its substance is sad

It is accurate. The method is the only real issue as no one is out to promote lawlessness, mayhem, or violence like a bunch of pirates. The concept that women should be free from violence is universally accepted, with a governmental infrastructure to implement this mandate, that *everyone* agrees to. There is no controversy here. The only issue of discussion is the tactics.

I happen to think these tactics infantile, but to each their own. And I should not be accused of being close minded or anything negative just because it seems obvious to me how immature the whole thing is.

"I'm a proud slut." <--- that is talking slutty and immature.

the marchers were "right," but said that she "wouldn't join a protest like this in Jerusalem. There are people here who are really sensitive to this kind of dress, and it offends them." <--- desires to engage in reasoned statements, and is mature.

Posted by: Yoel Mechanic | May 06, 2012 at 09:04 AM

1. they're young. give them a break.
2. and yes there are people really sensitive to this. you're right.
but they live on the planet earth with many human beings on it.
they can handle it. life goes on.

The concept that women should be free from violence is universally accepted, with a governmental infrastructure to implement this mandate, that *everyone* agrees to. There is no controversy here. The only issue of discussion is the tactics.

I disagree. I see the tactics as being indicative of how jaded many people have become that would-be activists feel the need to use shock and controversy to get people to pay attention to what, as you said, should be a no-brainer.

And I should not be accused of being close minded or anything negative just because it seems obvious to me how immature the whole thing is.

You're entitled to disagree with them. As I said, I'm not particularly sold on the idea. However, if the only thing you feel the need to comment on is how silly and immature they are, then it seems like you're willfully missing their point. The various derogatory comments here targeting these marchers' looks as opposed to merely disagreeing with their approach, as you did, to me exemplify the exact attitude these women are trying-- albeit perhaps unsuccessfully-- to challenge.

"Then she would probably be at home getting the good news rather than doing the lesbian march of doom"

Are you insinuating that to get a man is the grand prize and to attract a woman is the "consolation prize" for the unattractive?

The misogynist comments here show just how much a slutwalk is needed in Jerusalem. The "high regard" orthodox Jews supposedly give to women, is in reality only meted out to women who meet particular standards of behavior and appearance (and not always to those women either). Women who do not meet those standards may be vilified, harassed verbally, and/or attacked physically, with impunity, as such behavior is justified as protecting community standards of morality. Frequently tznius is used as a "cover story" for attacks that are actually motivated by community rivalry or personal/family animus. Thus tznius becomes a stick to beat not only sluts and whores, but any woman who runs afoul of anyone powerful, or any woman related to a man who has enemies.

As with "take back the night", gay pride, and many other kinds of marches, including voting rights marches, the point of slutwalks is to demonstrate that people OUGHT to be free to do certain things (walk outside at night, dress unconventionally, be open about their sexual orientation, exercise their right to vote, etc.), without fear of physical assault.

The reality of the risk of assault is precisely WHY a march is planned: so it can provide safety in numbers and via police presence and media attention. The point is to demonstrate what would be possible in a society where it was not so common to victimize people who are X or who do Y in public.

In the case of the slutwalk phenomenon, what the "sluts" are protesting is a set of beliefs about women's sexuality: (1.) that the way a woman dresses can "provoke" a rapist to rape, as opposed to his own beliefs and motives; (2.) that there is universal agreement about what clothing is "slutty" and what is not, and that adhering to the non-slutty dress code is protective in the same way that locking doors protects the interior of cars and buildings; (3.) that a woman's displaying signs of sexuality in her appearance or behavior is offensive and should be punished with social sanctions, such as attacking her reputation, verbal harassment, exclusion from places or social groups, and physical attack ranging from pushing her to exclude her from somewhere, to beating her up or raping her as an intimidation tactic or punishment.

The point of proclaiming oneself a "proud slut" is that any woman can be labeled a slut and vilified or attacked on that basis, regardless of her actual behavior or appearance. Categorizing women as slutty vs. nice/good/modest is a way to involve women in their own oppression, and a way for men to give vent to misogyny while believing that they respect women. It's usually known as the virgin/whore dichotomy, if you want to look it up. Calling the march a slutwalk is a way to diminish the power of women-only, sexually-based insults, and also to declare solidarity with other women.

When sexual desire is considered sinful (lust! OMG!), a hormonally normal man, from adolescence until whenever his sexuality decreases to a level where it is no longer compelling, is forced to define himself as sinful. This "catch-22" can be deflected by blaming one's lust not on the normal functioning of one's own mind and body, but on external factors, especially the appearance of women in published or broadcast material, in art, and in real life.

The sisyphean task of removing erotically stimulating imagery from public life and private availability, ironically only serves to further inflame the sexuality of the pious. Firstly, this kind of campaign necessitates thinking about and seeking out these kinds of materials more than would otherwise be the case. Secondly, it seems to be an axiom of human sexuality that whatever is normally concealed is erotic, while whatever is normally observable is comparatively boring. Therefore, the more you insist on concealing, the more sensitive you become to eroticism.

Some examples: the Victorians obsessed over glimpses of attractive feet and ankles. As soon as women stopped wearing floor-length skirts, ankles lost their attractions. Feet remain an obsession for some, but usually when semi-concealed in "sexy" shoes. Naked feet are much less often of interest. I would guess that feet lack any sexual currency in places where nobody normally wears shoes. It is certainly the case that in hot places where people habitually wear minimal or no clothing, nudity itself is not erotic.

I am not saying that sexuality is absent among nudists, but that familiarity prevents them from feeling shock at the sight of body parts. It is that shock which gives a boost to feelings of attraction or repulsion (and often both together) at the sight of a thigh or whatever you like. To give a counterexample: we have all seen both attractive and hideous noses, but it would be odd to think of a nose by itself as sexy, and we barely notice the vast majority of noses that cross our field of vision.

In short: tznius is mostly a counter-productive exercise. As normally practiced (as opposed to its theoretical application) in religious and irreligious communities of all stripes, it serves (1.) to antagonize men towards the women they find most attractive; (2.) to focus everyone on rating the physical attractiveness of women and how much they have done to enhance or minimize it, i.e., how much to blame they are for the impression they make on men; (3.) to sexualize normal situations and actions, such as shaking hands; (4.) to focus everyone's thoughts on sexuality almost all the time; (5.) to prevent men and women relating to each other as fellow human beings because of 2., 3., and 4.; (6.) to severely curtail what women may do, according to the possibility of men's seeing or hearing them; and (7.) to trap women in a no-win situation where they will frequently find themselves blamed, and perhaps punished, for any or all of the following: failing to conceal adequately their attractive features, for trying to improve their appearance, for not putting enough effort into their appearance, or for having the presumption to act as if they were attractive, when in reality they are ugly.

Comparing a woman with movable property, and her sexual assault with theft (presumably from her "owner"), is particularly revealing of a misogynist attitude that sees women solely as sexual objects of men's desires, not as human beings with their own worth and dignity.

would have been pretty funny had they tried to march thru Meah Shearim.

Very well said, RW.

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