…I am a black woman entering middle-age. I won’t be marching in the Chicago Slutwalk (for my own reasons) but I am really excited to know that it is taking place and I stand in solidarity with its organizers and its marchers. I hope that you welcome being the targets of drive-by pundits who couldn’t organize their way out of their own clothes closets. I hope that you know how important it is that you are staging PUBLIC actions to make your voices heard. I hope that you remain fearless and creative and with good humor in spite of the endless navel-gazing and supremely useless pontificating. It is that very navel-gazing and pontificating that has atrophied actual feminist ORGANIZING in the last decade. Finally, I hope that the people who are offering critiques (some very valid and many incredibly vapid) about Slutwalk will organize their OWN thing. As Michelangelo has said: “Critique by creating.” If you don’t like what Slutwalk is all about, make your own thing and do it now….
Mariame Kaba, “On Navel Gazing and the Incredibly Pointless “Backlash” to Slutwalk…,” Chicago Taskforce on Violence Against Girls & Young Women, 22 May 2011.
Perhaps, also, if white women could recognize SlutWalk as being rooted in white female experience, it would provide an opportunity for them to participate in coalition and solidarity with similar movements that are inclusive and reflective of the experiences of women of color.
One example is the Stop Street Harassment movement– a multiracial movement that has led to “Stop Street Harassment” campaigns throughout the U.S. and abroad. It is that movement which is the subject of Hey Shorty! This movement, too, works from the premise that streets and schools should be safe for women, but it recognizes that challenges to that safety while similar in some respects, can differ across race and class. And as I said, earlier, different histories necessitate different strategies. In that regard, I don’t think sisters will be lining up to go on a symbolic “Ho Stroll” anytime soon.
Crunktastic, “Slut Walks v. Ho Strolls,” The Crunk Feminist Collective, 23 May 2011.