Marches des salopes: A quand une Marche des violeurs? (Slut Walks: As slutty as we want to be)

 Nous revendiquons nos atours de filles de joie, notre propension à montrer nos genoux, nos bas résilles et nos oripeaux polissons, car la révolution se fera en talons!  Yagg (collectif de lesbiennes)
Salaud aussi, c’est le plus vieux métier du monde. Isabelle Alonso
Les injonctions en matière de bonne conduite sont particulièrement puissantes parce qu’elles s’adressent d’abord au corps et qu’elles ne passent pas nécessairement par le langage et par la conscience. C’est très difficile de se comporter correctement quand on a une jupe. Si vous êtes un homme, imaginez-vous en jupe, plutôt courte, et essayez donc de vous accroupir, de ramasser un objet tombé par terre sans bouger de votre chaise ni écarter les jambes… La jupe, c’est un corset invisible, qui impose une tenue et une retenue, une manière de s’asseoir, de marcher. Elle a finalement la même fonction que la soutane. Revêtir une soutane, cela change vraiment la vie, et pas seulement parce que vous devenez prêtre au regard des autres. Votre statut vous est rappelé en permanence par ce bout de tissu qui vous entrave les jambes, de surcroît une entrave d’allure féminine. Vous ne pouvez pas courir ! Je vois encore les curés de mon enfance qui relevaient leurs jupes pour jouer à la pelote basque. La jupe, c’est une sorte de pense-bête. La plupart des injonctions culturelles sont ainsi destinées à rappeler le système d’opposition (masculin/féminin, droite/gauche, haut/bas, dur/mou…) qui fonde l’ordre social. Des oppositions arbitraires qui finissent par se passer de justification et être enregistrées comme des différences de nature. (…) Les injonctions en matière de bonne conduite sont particulièrement puissantes parce qu’elles s’adressent d’abord au corps et qu’elles ne passent pas nécessairement par le langage et par la conscience. Les femmes savent sans le savoir que, en adoptant telle ou telle tenue, tel ou tel vêtement, elles s’exposent à être perçues de telle ou telle façon. Le gros problème des rapports entre les sexes aujourd’hui, c’est qu’il y a des contresens, de la part des hommes en particulier, sur ce que veut dire le vêtement des femmes. Beaucoup d’études consacrées aux affaires de viol ont montré que les hommes voient comme des provocations des attitudes qui sont en fait en conformité avec une mode vestimentaire. Très souvent, les femmes elles-mêmes condamnent les femmes violées au prétexte qu' » elles l’ont bien cherché « . Ajoutez ensuite le rapport à la justice, le regard des policiers, puis des juges, qui sont très souvent des hommes… On comprend que les femmes hésitent à déposer une plainte pour viol ou harcèlement sexuel… Pierre Bourdieu (Télérama, 1998)
Enlever le haut rend la drague plus difficile. Les hommes doivent montrer qu’ils savent se tenir. En même temps, une jeune fille qui garde le haut montre une certaine attente conjugale, elle révèle son attente d’une relation sérieuse et de long terme. A l’inverse, une jeune fille sans le haut montre qu’elle est davantage prête à passer un joyeux été (…) La pratique des seins nus est un code culturel très particulier. C’est impensable aux Etats-Unis, ni même au Brésil où le string est de rigueur, mais certainement pas les seins nus ! JC Kauffmann
Depuis longtemps, les prostituées de rues se déguisent en pute pour bien expliquer: le rimmel, les bas-résilles, c’est moi qui vend la marchandise, j’annonce la couleur, laissez la petite secrétaire ou la mère de famille qui fait ses courses.  On savait à quoi s’en tenir.  Mais les marchands de fringues, de musique, de régimes et de cosmétiques ont su convaincre les femmes qu’être un objet était valorisant.  Et que montrer son piercing au nombril était chouette, que le string qui dépasse, la jarretière du bas auto-fixant, la bretelle de soutien-gorge était chouette et libérée.  Bref, la femme marchandise était conquérante, adulée, victorieuse. Et devenait l’étalon. Comme on imposait le voile dans d’autres pays et d’autres cultures, on imposait (moins brutalement mais plus sournoisement, certes) en modèle l’échancré, le transparent, le push-up, le moulant, le fendu, l’épilé, le siliconé. Ce sont ces fausses putes, les « salopes » médiatiques, de Madonna à Britney Spears en passant par Beyoncé qui, en vendant leur cul moulé et gigotant à longueur de vidéo clip ont promu la femme hypersexualisée, libertine et aguicheuse. Et fière de l’être.  « Dior j’adore » nous dit une bouche entr’ouverte et transpirante.  Le Perrier jaillit sur un corps bronzé, et la miss Wonderbra nous dit de la regarder dans les yeux.  La Saint Valentin, une débauche (sans jeu de mot) de peaux montrées pour vendre de la lingerie.  (…) Vous avez vu comment s’habillent les présentatrices télé?  Karine Lemarchand, Melissa Theuriau, Daphné Roulié, Anne-Sophie-Lapix, et des dizaines d’autres ont été choisie pour leur Q. S. (Quotient sexuel) AVANT leur QI.  Normal, sinon elles se feraient zapper entre les pubs qui montrent des filles sublimes.  Forum-doctissimo
Dans l’histoire de la mode, les périodes mini coïncident avec des périodes de prospérité comme dans les années 60 et 80 et les périodes de long avec les périodes de crise comme début 90. C’est la première fois que je vois une telle dichotomie entre les podiums et la réalité. Malgré le contexte international, les créateurs ont quand même fait du mini. Donc soit ils ont une préscience et la situation va s’améliorer, soit ils se sont trompés et les mini ne se vendront pas Cécile Sépulchre (rédactrice en chef adjointe du mensuel de mode « L’Officiel », août 2008)
Comment sortir avec une micro-jupe, viiiiite aidez moi Ma copine Mag s’est dénichée une micro-jupe sexy dans une boutique du boulevard St Michel.En la voyant l’essayer, j’ai toute suite craqué et en ai prise une aussi pour moi. Nous les avons mises le soir même pour une soirée avec quelques copains chez elle. Il fallait voir leurs yeux Le loup de Tex Avery. Après quelques plaisanteries, ils nous ont mises au défi de sortir un dimanche à Eurodisney dans cette tenue. Sur le coup nous avons dit que ce m’était pas un pb et relevé le défi , précisant même que nous irions en RER. Nous ne pouvons plus reculer maintenant. Nous avons prévues tennis et soquettes pour être moins provoc.Que devons nous faire ? Qui a déjà porté une micro-jupe pour sortir? Et quels conseils ? Viiiite, nous sommes dans la m. Paris 75 (forum.doctissimo)
Comment porter la micro-jupe ? …Sans avoir l’air d’être une fille que l’on n’est pas, sinon, c’est facile. La micro-jupe est furieusement tendance, mais la police du style a un boulot dingue à cause du manque d’information à son sujet. Quand je dis micro, c’est micro, la mini reste au fond du placard. A quoi on voit la différence ? La micro est celle que l’on n’ose pas porter… Les 5 points à respecter avec la micro jupe : 1. Elle est vraiment trop courte et se porte soit avec un legging, soit un collant opaque 2. Soit le legging est noir, soit il est noir. A la rigueur il peut rappeler un élément de la tenue, mais à manier avec extrême prudence (en gros, si on n’est pas une fashionista avertie et qu’on n’a pas un style ultra travaillé, on s’en tient au noir). 3. La micro-jupe est en jean, nette sans bavures (pas de fils qui pendent et autres fioritures). Côté couleurs on peut se permettre tout ce qui se fait de sobre, plutôt dans des tons sombres : jean brut, noir, gris. Côté forme, elle est exclusivement droite. 4. Le port de ballerines est obligatoire, aucune autre chaussure ne sera tolérée. Dérogation pour la plage : pas de leggings et des tongs. 5. Le top doit être flou, large, long… Bref le contraire de moulant et décolleté, il peut à la rigueur laisser voir une épaule bien que cette forme soit limite démodée. Caroline Daily (juillet 2008)
A slut is someone who enjoys sex. Samadhi Arktoi
I’ve spent my entire life being judged for my appearance and sexuality. I’m sexual, I have sex, I enjoy sex. I’m not going to be ashamed. Lauren Clair (organiser)
I like to wear tops that show my cleavage and show off my ladies. If that makes me a slut, then I’m a slut. Anne Watson (organiser, Australian Sex Party)
I’m proud to be a slut too, it’s all about “inner sexual confidence”.  Katherine Feeney (journaliste)
It’s a word I avoid, and I bristle when other people use it… Some people tell us they’re resistant to participating under that name. I ended up saying it was about the right to not be called a slut. But I do think that the more we use it, the more we empty it of its connotations. Karen Pickering
Organizers told people to wear whatever they wanted. The message was: Who’s a slut? We all are. Or none of us are. And who cares? It’s a stupid, meaningless concept anyway. “Slut” is just another way of saying “worthless” without having to come up with a reason. Little girls get called sluts before they even know what sex is. If someone calls you a slut, there’s nothing you can say to refute the claim because it never had any cognitive content anyway. If ‘Slut’ is another way of saying worthless, then why state “we are all sluts” – and then say it’s meaningless? If it is another way of saying “worthless”, then it’s not meaningless – and why would we all want to identify as ‘sluts’ if that is the case? Lindsay Beyerstein (‘Sluts like me’)
Aujourd’hui ce que nous faisons c’est SE RÉ-APPROPRIER le mot “salope”. En REPRENANT le mot salope nous lui ENLEVONS SA FORCE. Les gays ont repris le mot ‘queer’, et bravo à eux. Aujourd’hui les femmes et les hommes de Melbourne reprennent à leur compte le mot SALOPE. Leslie Cannold
Si d’une part des critiques ont fusé de tous les côtés, il en a aussi été de même pour une sorte de soutien intuitif, humain, que nous avons reçu. Nous avons accueilli des personnes de tous horizons dans la communauté de la SlutWalk. La marche a rassemblé des grands-mères accompagnées de toute leur famille, des femmes portant le hijab, des jeunes, des vieux, des homos, des hétéros, des trans, des bi, des Noirs, des Blancs, des hommes, des femmes, les salopes et leurs alliés se sont tous réunis pour tous ensemble se lever contre la stigmatisation des victimes. Et si vous n’aimez pas cela, ne venez pas. Karen Pickering (organisatrice de la SlutWalk de Melbourne)
While I support all efforts to challenge violence against women in all its manifestations – my blog is a witness to the global level of that violence – I hesitate to join the marching ranks. I welcome any confrontation with those who would blame the victim in rape. No woman deserves rape or invites sexual assault. I support the basic intention of the march. But I fear it has become more about the right to be ‘a slut’ than about the right to be free from violence. (…) Is it about mocking and sending up, or owning and embracing? Some organisers and supporters say it’s about reclaiming the word slut, using it as a term of empowerment for women. Some say it’s satire, a send-up, a mockery, about emptying the word of its power by making fun of it.
Using slut as the flagship word for this new movement puts women in danger through giving men even more license to think about women in a way that suits them, and not as targets of violence and terrible social discrimination. (…) The men chanting “We Love sluts!” don’t seem to be picking up on any satire. Why would they? Porn culture reinforces the idea that all women are sluts. Slut walks marginalise women and girls who want to protest violence against women but do not want ‘own’ or represent the word ‘slut’. I fear mainstreaming the term even further will increase harassment of women and girls because ‘slut’ will be seen as some kind of compliment. (…) The men who are responding to this message are not getting the irony at all … Men want women to be sluts and now they’re buying in. Gail Dines
As teachers who travel around the country speaking about sexual violence, pornography and feminism, we hear stories from women students who feel intense pressure to be sexually available « on demand ». These students have grown up in a culture in which hypersexualized images of young women are commonplace and where hardcore porn is the major form of sex education for young men. They have been told over and over that in order to be valued in such a culture, they must look and act like sluts, while not being labeled slut because the label has dire consequences including being blamed for rape, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and self-mutilation. Gail Dines and Wendy J Murphy
Utiliser “salope” comme le mot-phare de ce nouveau mouvement met les femmes en danger en donnant aux hommes encore plus de liberté pour considérer les femmes selon ce qui les arrange au lieu de les voir comme les cibles de violences et d’une terrible discrimination sociale. Gail Dines

A quand, pour bien sûr « se réapproprier » le terme et lui « enlever sa force »,  une Marche des fiertés des violeurs?

Alors que suite au tsunami DSK la France découvre le machisme de ses élites …

 Et qu’après les grandes avancées des Spice girls, du porno chic et du décharné, des maisons de mode en crise se relancent avec le retour en force de la mini et même  la micro-jupe …

Pendant que, hallalisation oblige,  les filles et les femmes de certaines cités françaises se battent pour simplement porter une jupe

Et que, déniant toute primauté au biologique comme si on pouvait changer de sexe (pardon de « genre »!)  comme de chemise, nos multiculturalistes poussent tranquillement leurs pions dans les manuels scolaires de nos enfants …

Bienvenue, après Toronto, Boston et Melbourne et à présent Paris, Londres et Amsterdam, à la Marche des salopes !

Où, sur le modèle des marches des fiertés homosexelles et ramenant à côté sous les slogans les plus provocateurs les Berlusconi girls à de gentilles madones, des jeunes filles de bonne famille défilent dans les rues déguisées en salopes.

Réhabilitant ainsi, pour le plus grand bonheur des yeux masculins comme il y a 40 ans avec les autodafés de soutien-gorges, le fruit enfin reconnu …

De plus de 2000 ans, du rimmel au bas résille,  de savoirs et d’innovations techniques accumulées et toujours plus largement diffusées par les adeptes du « plus vieux métier du monde »!

Marche des Salopes

Marche des Salopes, le dimanche 22 mai 2011 de 14h à 16h, de Bastille à St Michel

Salopes de tous les pays, de toute condition et origine, unissez-vous!

Parce qu’on en a assez que la morale bien intentionnée vienne mettre son nez dans nos placards,

Parce qu’on refuse une quelconque justification aux agressions physiques et morales,

Parce qu’une jupe ne veut pas dire oui,

Parce qu’on devrait avoir le droit de s’habiller comme nous le souhaitons sans être stigmatiséEs et subir le comportement sexuellement agressif de certains (interpellations, sifflets, etc….)

Parce que PERSONNE NE MERITE D’ETRE VIOLéE

Parce qu’il y en a assez de ces flics (de la morale ou de l’Etat) qui nous disent de ne pas nous habiller comme des catins si on ne veut pas d’ennui et se placent ainsi dans une logique de sanction de toute initiative de réappropriation de notre corps, qui passe également par le choix de nos vêtements.

Car nous n’avons rien à perdre et encore tout à gagner, nous décidons d’occuper la rue en ce jour, de descendre de nos trottoirs pour battre le pavé au son de nos milliers de talons. Cette marche c’est notre marche, et nous la baptisons « Marche des Salopes » à l’exemple de la « Slut Pride » qui s’est tenue à Toronto en réaction aux déclarations d’un policier qui expliquait que pour assurer leur propre sécurité, les femmes devraient éviter de « s’habiller comme des salopes »..

En stigmatisant ainsi les supposées Salopes, l’hétéro-patriarcat bien-pensant ne fait que donner une justification au viol et aux agressions, se plaçant ainsi du côté des agresseurs. Ce genre de propos sexiste et essentialisant, n’est pas seulement insultant pour les femmes, il l’est aussi pour les hommes : ainsi sont-ils tous considérés comme des violeurs en puissance, incapables de réfréner leurs instincts face une prétendue stimulation lubrique de type minijupe, minishort, porte-jarretelles, décolleté, etc…

En enjoignant les femmes à se conformer à un pseudo idéal vertueux d’un autre âge afin de les « protéger », les autorités ne font que ravaler la femme au rang d’objet sexuel, puisque selon leur logique, une femme habillée « comme une salope » ne le fait que pour attirer l’attention des hommes, et n’a donc pas à se plaindre si ceux-ci répondent à ses « sollicitations passives »

Dans un contexte de retour à l’ordre moral, de stigmatisation et de persécution des travailleurEs du sexe, de tentative de récupération raciste et bourgeoise du féminisme au nom de la protection paternaliste de « la femme », nous refusons d’être des victimes, de nous faire voler la parole et de nous laisser faire plus longtemps.

NON C’EST NON!

Nous revendiquons nos atours de filles de joie, notre propension à montrer nos genoux, nos bas résilles et nos oripeaux polissons, car la révolution se fera en talons!

Que vous vous identifiez en tant que salope ou que vous soyez simplement un-e allié-e, peu importe votre identité sexuelle ou votre âge. Venez marcher, rouler, défiler, vous pavaner et crier avec nous.

Un événement organisé par Étudions Gayment

http://etudionsgayment.blogspot.com/

Voir aussi:

Les slutwalks comme nouvelle manifestation du fémininisme ?

Lilzeon

Le Boulevardier

9 mai 2011

Un phénomène étonnant est en train d’enflammer l’Amérique du Nord, depuis Boston et Toronto : les “slutwalks” ou en mauvais français “la marche des salopes“. Tout a démarré le 24 janvier 2011, quand un représentant de la police de Toronto a déclaré, en réaction à un viol à l’Université de York, que “les femmes devraient éviter de s’habiller comme de salopes pour ne pas être victimisées”. Une petite phrase de plus qui a pourtant embrasé les esprits, puisque s’est constituée une association regroupant de grands noms des causes LGBT, queers, ou des “gender studies”. Le principe du mouvement : se réapproprier la terminologie de “slut” pour en faire un élément positif. Et partant, militer pour le droit des femmes (et de n’importe qui d’ailleurs) à s’habiller comme bon lui semble. Alors les slutwalks, vraie manifestation féministe ou phénomène de foire dans les rues ? Petit débat, alors que la première Slutwalk débarque en Europe le 4 juin prochain, simultanément à Londres et Amsterdam.

La dimension positive du mouvement, c’est de lutter contre une forme de laissez-allez dans les mœurs

D’un côté, on n’a jamais autant parlé de viols dans sa dimension la plus médicalisée. Les sujets sont nombreux dans la presse autour des débats sur les castrations chimiques, sur la dimension soin. Sans doute ces domaines sont clés, mais on peut légitimement faire une mise en garde contre une trop grande distanciation de la question des agressions sexuelles. On peut lire les avis de Canadiens sur ce blog qui rappellent que tous les agresseurs ne sont pas des psychopathes du niveau de Jack l’Eventreur, mais bien potentiellement le voisin du coin qui, se laissant aller lors d’une soirée, arrosée ou non, peut commettre des actes irrémédiables. Le combat des mœurs est bien sur le territoire des idées, pas uniquement sur celui de la santé. Les “slutwalks” portent au plus grand nombre ce postulat là : il est question de respect, de choix individuels, de “vivre ensemble”.

Des dangers inhérents à cette tentative de réappropriation de la terminologie de “slut” sont pourtant forts : le risque de cristalliser des adversaires et de rejeter les meilleurs alliés du féminisme : les mecs

Sur le territoire des mœurs toujours, on oublie que les ailes les plus conservatrices sont aussi alimentées par…les femmes. Revendiquer la positivité du mot “salope” (et par extension, une certaine militance pour une féminité disons agressive) peut rendre encore plus inquiètes les femmes de ces organisations. Militer pour des droits à l’indifférence, ce n’est pas forcément militer pour un droit à la différence extrême du commun des mortels. Et dans les manifestations, l’image prime : le photographe de Reuters va avoir tendance à shooter les styles les plus atypiques, les plus forts, les plus déguisés, pas la femme “random” en milieu de cortège. Le mouvement peut donc se retrouver connoté d’une forme d’exclusion envers le grand public.

Les “hommes” semblent bien malmenés dans ce mouvement Dans l’essence même : ce sont eux qui sont mis en cause, accusés non seulement d’un glissement sémantique mais aussi des attitudes. On voit mal comment un homme pourrait tenir un discours sur la positivité du terme “salope” en Europe.

Enfin un autre élément semble compliqué : quand on tombe dans la guerre des signes ostensibles ou ostentatoires, on tombe très rapidement dans des reprises ou d’amalgame avec d’autres combats ; émergent en effet comme clivage dans les discussions autour des slutwalks toute une série de mauvaises blagues ou de contre-exemples sur les femmes en Burqa. De quoi cliver les citoyens dans les rues d’Europe plutôt que de les sensibiliser.

Et vous, vous en pensez quoi ?

Voir aussi:

Le  corset invisible

Pierre Bourdieu

Entretien avec Catherine Portevin

Télérama

5 août 1998

En avant-première du prochain ouvrage de Pierre Bourdieu sur La Domination masculine (éd. du Seuil, 140 p., 85 F, en librairie le 26 août), travaux pratiques avec le sociologue. En partant, chaque semaine, d’un objet, d’un personnage, d’une situation très ordinaires, pour comprendre la subtilité sociale des rapports entre les hommes et les femmes. Aujourd’hui, troisième épisode : la jupe. Ou comment un rectangle de tissu que personne n’aurait idée de remettre en question induit l’entrave des corps et le souci du paraître, d’autant plus puissants qu’ils se transmettent, comme tous les codes de bonne conduite, de mère en fille. Autant de contraintes intégrées dont on ne se libère pas si facilement. Et l’on continue de tirer sur nos jupes et de marcher à petites enjambées, même en jean et souliers plats…

TELERAMA : A quoi sert la jupe?

PIERRE BOURDIEU : C’est très difficile de se comporter correctement quand on a une jupe. Si vous êtes un homme, imaginez-vous en jupe, plutôt courte, et essayez donc de vous accroupir, de ramasser un objet tombé par terre sans bouger de votre chaise ni écarter les jambes… La jupe, c’est un corset invisible, qui impose une tenue et une retenue, une manière de s’asseoir, de marcher. Elle a finalement la même fonction que la soutane. Revêtir une soutane, cela change vraiment la vie, et pas seulement parce que vous devenez prêtre au regard des autres. Votre statut vous est rappelé en permanence par ce bout de tissu qui vous entrave les jambes, de surcroît une entrave d’allure féminine. Vous ne pouvez pas courir ! Je vois encore les curés de mon enfance qui relevaient leurs jupes pour jouer à la pelote basque.

La jupe, c’est une sorte de pense-bête. La plupart des injonctions culturelles sont ainsi destinées à rappeler le système d’opposition (masculin/féminin, droite/gauche, haut/bas, dur/mou…) qui fonde l’ordre social. Des oppositions arbitraires qui finissent par se passer de justification et être enregistrées comme des différences de nature. Par exemple, avec  » tiens ton couteau dans la main droite « , se transmet toute la morale de la virilité, où, dans l’opposition entre la droite et la gauche, la droite est  » naturellement  » le côté de la virtus comme vertu de l’homme (vir).

TRA : La jupe, c’est aussi un cache-sexe?

P.B. : Oui, mais c’est secondaire. Le contrôle est beaucoup plus profond et plus subtil. La jupe, ça montre plus qu’un pantalon et c’est difficile à porter justement parce que cela risque de montrer. Voilà toute la contradiction de l’attente sociale envers les femmes : elles doivent être séduisantes et retenues, visibles et invisibles (ou, dans un autre registre, efficaces et discrètes). On a déjà beaucoup glosé sur ce sujet, sur les jeux de la séduction, de l’érotisme, toute l’ambiguïté du montré-caché. La jupe incarne très bien cela. Un short, c’est beaucoup plus simple: ça cache ce que ça cache et ça montre ce que ça montre. La jupe risque toujours de montrer plus que ce qu’elle montre. Il fut un temps où il suffisait d’une cheville entr’aperçue!…

TRA : Vous évoquez : une femme disant:  » Ma mère ne m’a jamais dit de ne pas me tenir les jambes écartées  » et pourtant, elle savait bien que ce n’est pas convenable  » pour une fille « … Comment se reproduisent les dispositions corporelles ?

P.B. : Les injonctions en matière de bonne conduite sont particulièrement puissantes parce qu’elles s’adressent d’abord au corps et qu’elles ne passent pas nécessairement par le langage et par la conscience. Les femmes savent sans le savoir que, en adoptant telle ou telle tenue, tel ou tel vêtement, elles s’exposent à être perçues de telle ou telle façon. Le gros problème des rapports entre les sexes aujourd’hui, c’est qu’il y a des contresens, de la part des hommes en particulier, sur ce que veut dire le vêtement des femmes. Beaucoup d’études consacrées aux affaires de viol ont montré que les hommes voient comme des provocations des attitudes qui sont en fait en conformité avec une mode vestimentaire. Très souvent, les femmes elles-mêmes condamnent les femmes violées au prétexte qu' » elles l’ont bien cherché « . Ajoutez ensuite le rapport à la justice, le regard des policiers, puis des juges, qui sont très souvent des hommes… On comprend que les femmes hésitent à déposer une plainte pour viol ou harcèlement sexuel…

TRA : Etre femme, c’est être perçue, et c’ est alors le regard de I’homme qui fait la femme?

P.B. : Tout le monde est soumis aux regards. Mais avec plus ou moins d’intensité selon les positions sociales et surtout selon les sexes. Une femme, en effet, est davantage exposée à exister par le regard des autres. C’est pourquoi la crise d’adolescence, qui concerne justement l’image de soi donnée aux autres, est souvent plus aiguë chez les filles. Ce que l’on décrit comme coquetterie féminine (l’adjectif va de soi !), c’est la manière de se comporter lorsque l’on est toujours en danger d’être perçu.

Je pense à de très beaux travaux d’une féministe américaine sur les transformations du rapport au corps qu’entraîne la pratique sportive et en particulier la gymnastique. Les femmes sportives se découvrent un autre corps, un corps pour être bien, pour bouger, et non plus pour le regard des autres et, d’abord, des hommes. Mais, dans la mesure où elles s’affranchissent du regard, elles s’exposent à être vues comme masculines. C’est le cas aussi des femmes intellectuelles à qui on reproche de ne pas être assez féminines. Le mouvement féministe a un peu transformé cet état de fait – pas vraiment en France la pub française traite très mal les femmes ! Si j’étais une femme, je casserais ma télévision ! – en revendiquant le natural look qui, comme le black is beautiful, consiste à renverser l’image dominante. Ce qui est évidemment perçu comme une agression et suscite des sarcasmes du genre  » les féministes sont moches, elles sont toutes grosses »…

TRA : Il faut croire alors que, sur des points aussi essentiels que le rapport des femmes à leur corps, le mouvement féministe n’a guère réussi.

P.B. : Parce qu’on n’a pas poussé assez loin l’analyse. On ne mesure pas l’ascèse et les disciplines qu’impose aux femmes cette vision masculine du monde, dans laquelle nous baignons tous et que les critiques générales du  » patriarcat  » ne suffisent pas à remettre en cause. J’ai montré dans La Distinction que les femmes de la petite bourgeoisie, surtout lorsqu’elles appartiennent aux professions de  » représentation « , investissent beaucoup, de temps mais aussi d’argent, dans les soins du corps. Et les études montrent que, de manière générale, les femmes sont très peu satisfaites de leur corps. Quand on leur demande quelles parties elles aiment le moins, c’est toujours celles qu’elles trouvent trop  » grandes » ou trop  » grosses  » ; les hommes étant au contraire insatisfaits des parties de leur corps qu’ils jugent trop  » petites « . Parce qu’il va de soi pour tout le monde que le masculin est grand et fort et le féminin petit et fin. Ajoutez les canons, toujours plus stricts, de la mode et de la diététique, et l’on comprend comment, pour les femmes, le miroir et la balance ont pris la place de l’autel et du prie-dieu.

Voir également:

SlutWalk is not sexual liberation

Women need to take to the streets to condemn violence, but not for the right to be called ‘slut’

Gail Dines and Wendy J Murphy

The Guardian

Sunday 8 May 2011

It wasn’t long ago that being called a « slut » meant social death. No « nice » boy would take you home to meet his parents and no « good » girl would ever be your friend. At the same time, refusing to submit to sex meant you were a « prude » or « frigid ». In short, there was no right way to be. Things have improved a bit in that young women are more insistent on their right to sexual autonomy, but sexually active women remain vulnerable to harsh social judgments even as the mass media celebrate and encourage such behaviour. And research shows that the label « slut » still has long-term negative consequences, especially for younger girls.

Nevertheless, a group of activists organised an event called SlutWalk, that took place on Saturday in Boston. It followed on the heels of a similar event in Toronto earlier this month, where women rallied in response to a comment made by a representative of the police that « women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimised ».

To be sure, such a comment from law enforcement is highly offensive in suggesting that some victims of rape are responsible for the criminal acts of their attackers. Rather than admonishing women to dress a certain way, police should be warning potential offenders that they should « avoid assaulting women in order not to go to prison ».

The fact that more than 2,000 turned out to march around Boston Common suggests that women are, indeed, hungry for sexual autonomy. But something else was at work here: many of the banners protested the ubiquity of sexual violence in the lives of women. Signs made by protesters showed that women are angry with being blamed for male violence and fed up with the failure of the culture to hold men accountable. Clearly the theme of the SlutWalk has struck a nerve, with similar events being planned around the world, including one in London in June.

The organisers claim that celebrating the word « slut », and promoting sluttishness in general, will help women achieve full autonomy over their sexuality. But the focus on « reclaiming » the word slut fails to address the real issue. The term slut is so deeply rooted in the patriarchal « madonna/whore » view of women’s sexuality that it is beyond redemption. The word is so saturated with the ideology that female sexual energy deserves punishment that trying to change its meaning is a waste of precious feminist resources.

Advocates would be better off exposing the myriad ways in which the law and the culture enable myths about all types of women – sexually active or « chaste » alike. These myths facilitate sexual violence by undermining women’s credibility when they report sex crimes. Whether we blame victims by calling them « sluts » (who thus asked to be raped), or by calling them « frigid » (who thus secretly want to be overpowered), the problem is that we’re blaming them for their own victimisation no matter what they do. Encouraging women to be even more « sluttish » will not change this ugly reality.

As teachers who travel around the country speaking about sexual violence, pornography and feminism, we hear stories from women students who feel intense pressure to be sexually available « on demand ». These students have grown up in a culture in which hypersexualized images of young women are commonplace and where hardcore porn is the major form of sex education for young men. They have been told over and over that in order to be valued in such a culture, they must look and act like sluts, while not being labeled slut because the label has dire consequences including being blamed for rape, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and self-mutilation.

Women need to find ways to create their own authentic sexuality, outside of male-defined terms like slut. The recent TubeCrush phenomenon, where young women take pictures of men they find attractive on the London tube and post them to a website, illustrates how easily women copy dominant societal norms of sexual objectification rather than exploring something new and creativeAnd it’s telling that while these pictures are themselves innocent and largely free of sexual innuendo, one can only imagine the sexually aggressive language that would accompany a site dedicated to secret photos of women.

While the organisers of the SlutWalk might think that proudly calling themselves « sluts » is a way to empower women, they are in fact making life harder for girls who are trying to navigate their way through the tricky terrain of adolescence.

Women need to take to the streets – but not for the right to be called « slut ». Women should be fighting for liberation from culturally imposed myths about their sexuality that encourage gendered violence. Our daughters – and our sons – have the right to live in a world that celebrates equally women’s sexual freedom and bodily integrity.

Voir aussi :

Should women walk away from the word ‘slut’?

Melinda Tankard Reist

Punch

27 May 2011

Using slut as the flagship word for this new movement puts women in danger through giving men even more license to think about women in a way that suits them, and not as targets of violence and terrible social discrimination.

The global phenomenon that is SlutWalk makes its Australian debut today in Melbourne, with other walks planned for Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide.

While I support all efforts to challenge violence against women in all its manifestations – my blog is a witness to the global level of that violence – I hesitate to join the marching ranks. I welcome any confrontation with those who would blame the victim in rape. No woman deserves rape or invites sexual assault. I support the basic intention of the march. But I fear it has become more about the right to be ‘a slut’ than about the right to be free from violence.

The walks were sparked by the comments of a Toronto police officer who told 10 college students: “I’ve been told I’m not supposed to say this – however, women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimised.”

This statement is based on the myth that the primary form taken by unwanted sex is: man on dark street sees woman with not much on, and attacks her while in the grip of uncontrollable lust.

If the policeman wanted to talk about risk factors, he should have talked about friends, lovers and relatives because the majority of perpetrators and those know to the victim. I support smashing myths about rape.

But I’ve been trying to understand the meaning of the slut walks before going into print with my views. I’ve found the explanations given about the meaning of the slut walk confusing.

Is it about mocking and sending up, or owning and embracing?

Some organisers and supporters say it’s about reclaiming the word slut, using it as a term of empowerment for women.

Some say it’s satire, a send-up, a mockery, about emptying the word of its power by making fun of it.

For Sydney SlutWalk organiser Samadhi Arktoi, “a slut is someone who enjoys sex”.

Another organiser, Lauren Clair, is also keen to reclaim the word “slut” as a source of pride, not shame. “I’ve spent my entire life being judged for my appearance and sexuality. I’m sexual, I have sex, I enjoy sex. I’m not going to be ashamed.”

The Australian Sex Party, organising the Brisbane event, says it is proud to embrace the word. “I like to wear tops that show my cleavage and show off my ladies,” says organiser Anne Watson. “If that makes me a slut, then I’m a slut.” . Sex industry spokeswoman Elena Jeffreys has been on Twitter with her “Slut and Proud” messaging.

Entertainment reporter Katherine Feeney is “proud to be a slut” too, saying it’s all about “inner sexual confidence”.

But another Melbourne organiser, Karen Pickering, bristles at the term and understands why many women don’t wish to embrace it.

“It’s a word I avoid, and I bristle when other people use it… Some people tell us they’re resistant to participating under that name. I ended up saying it was about the right to not be called a slut. But I do think that the more we use it, the more we empty it of its connotations.”

In ‘Sluts like me’ Lindsay Beyerstein writes:

Organizers told people to wear whatever they wanted. The message was: Who’s a slut? We all are. Or none of us are. And who cares? It’s a stupid, meaningless concept anyway.

“Slut” is just another way of saying “worthless” without having to come up with a reason. Little girls get called sluts before they even know what sex is. If someone calls you a slut, there’s nothing you can say to refute the claim because it never had any cognitive content anyway.

If ‘Slut’ is another way of saying worthless, then why state “we are all sluts” – and then say it’s meaningless? If it is another way of saying “worthless”, then it’s not meaningless – and why would we all want to identify as ‘sluts’ if that is the case?

So if any woman who has sex is a slut, we should embrace it and be proud of it, but have the right not to be called it. And actually it’s meaningless. Got that clear? Me neither.

The confusion is reflected in young girls asking on Facebook if they have to be “sluts’ to attend.

Using slut as the flagship word for this new movement puts women in danger through giving men even more license to think about women in a way that suits them, and not as targets of violence and terrible social discrimination.

If it is a word to embrace and be proud of, we should all welcome slut Facebook pages then, like this one I wrote about last year.

A number of men certainly seem to enjoy the term and are looking forward to the slut best-on-show parade. Some have posted on FB slut walk pages: “WE love SLUTS!!!!!” And men have apparently chanted the slogan at previous walks.

Owen C Bignell is looking forward to the Melbourne march: “I’ll be in too, if all goes to plan. Shouldn’t be too hard with so many sluts to choose from!!”, he posted on the Melbourne FB wall. The men chanting “We Love sluts!” don’t seem to be picking up on any satire. Why would they? Porn culture reinforces the idea that all women are sluts.

Slut walks marginalise women and girls who want to protest violence against women but do not want ‘own’ or represent the word ‘slut’. I fear mainstreaming the term even further will increase harassment of women and girls because ‘slut’ will be seen as some kind of compliment.

As US anti porn author and activist Gail Dines, currently in Australia, says: ‘‘Men want women to be sluts and now they’re buying in’’.

 Voir enfin:

SlutWalks and the future of feminism

Jessica Valenti

The WP

June 3 2011

More than 40 years after feminists tossed their bras and high heels into a trash can at the 1968 Miss America pageant — kicking off the bra-burning myth that will never die — some young women are taking to the streets to protest sexual assault, wearing not much more than what their foremothers once dubbed “objects of female oppression” in marches called SlutWalks.

It’s a controversial name, which is in part why the organizers picked it. It’s also why many of the SlutWalk protesters are wearing so little (though some are sweatpants-clad, too). Thousands of women — and men — are demonstrating to fight the idea that what women wear, what they drink or how they behave can make them a target for rape. SlutWalks started with a local march organized by five women in Toronto and have gone viral, with events planned in more than 75 cities in countries from the United States and Canada to Sweden and South Africa. In just a few months, SlutWalks have become the most successful feminist action of the past 20 years.

In a feminist movement that is often fighting simply to hold ground, SlutWalks stand out as a reminder of feminism’s more grass-roots past and point to what the future could look like.

The marches are mostly organized by younger women who don’t apologize for their in-your-face tactics, making the events much more effective in garnering media attention and participant interest than the actions of well-established (and better funded) feminist organizations. And while not every feminist may agree with the messaging of SlutWalks, the protests have translated online enthusiasm into in-person action in a way that hasn’t been done before in feminism on this scale.

The protests began after a police officer told students at Toronto’s York University in January that if women want to avoid rape, they shouldn’t dress like “sluts.” (If you thought the days of “she was asking for it” were long gone, guess again.)

Heather Jarvis, a student in Toronto and a co-founder of SlutWalk, explained that the officer’s comments struck her and her co-organizers as so preposterous and damaging that they demanded action. “We were fed up and pissed off, and we wanted to do something other than just be angry,” she said. Bucking the oft-repeated notion that young women are apathetic to feminism, they organized. What Jarvis hoped would be a march of at least 100 turned out to be a rally of more than 3,000 — some marchers with “slut” scrawled across their bodies, others with signs reading “My dress is not a yes” or “Slut pride.”

The idea that women’s clothing has some bearing on whether they will be raped is a dangerous myth feminists have tried to debunk for decades. Despite all the activism and research, however, the cultural misconception prevails. After an 11-year-old girl in Texas was gang-raped, the New York Times ran a widely criticized story this spring that included a description of how the girl dressed “older than her age” and wore makeup — as if either was relevant to the culpability of the 18 men accused of raping her. In Scotland, one secondary school is calling for uniforms to be baggier and longer in an attempt to dissuade pedophiles.

When I speak on college campuses, students will often say they don’t believe that a woman’s attire makes it justifiable for someone to rape her, but — and there almost always is a “but” — shouldn’t women know better than to dress in a suggestive way?

What I try to explain to those students is part of what the SlutWalk protests are aiming to relay on a grander scale. That yes, some women dress in short, tight, “suggestive” clothing — maybe because it’s hot outside, maybe because it’s the style du jour or maybe just because they think they look sexy. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Women deserve to be safe from violent assault, no matter what they wear. And the sad fact is, a miniskirt is no more likely to provoke a rapist than a potato sack is to deter one.

As one Toronto SlutWalk sign put it: “Don’t tell us how to dress. Tell men not to rape.” It’s this — the proactive, fed-upness of SlutWalks — that makes me so hopeful for the future.

Feminism is frequently on the defensive. When women’s activists fought the defunding of Planned Parenthood, for example, they didn’t rally around the idea that abortion is legal and should be funded. Instead, advocates assured the public that Planned Parenthood clinics provide breast exams and cancer screenings. Those are crucial services, of course, but the message was far from the “free abortion on demand” rallying cry of the abortion rights movement’s early days.

Established organizations have good reason to do their work in a way that’s palatable to the mainstream. They need support on Capitol Hill and funding from foundations and donors. But a muted message will only get us so far.

“We called ourselves something controversial,” Jarvis says. “Did we do it to get attention? Damn right we did!”

Nineteen year-old Miranda Mammen, who participated in SlutWalk at Stanford University, says the idea of “sluttiness” resonates with younger women in part because they are more likely than their older counterparts to be called sluts. “It’s also loud, angry, sexy in a way that going to a community activist meeting often isn’t,” she says.

Emily May, the 30-year-old executive director of Hollaback, an organization that battles street harassment, plans to participate in SlutWalk in New York City in August. “Nonprofit mainstays like conferences, funding and strategic planning are essential to maintaining change — but they don’t ignite change,” she says. “It’s easy to forget that change starts with anger, and that history has always been made by badasses.”

Unlike protests put on by mainstream national women’s organizations, which are carefully planned and fundraised for — even the signs are bulk-printed ahead of time — SlutWalks have cropped up organically, in city after city, fueled by the raw emotional and political energy of young women. And that’s the real reason SlutWalks have struck me as the future of feminism. Not because an entire generation of women will organize under the word “slut” or because these marches will completely eradicate the damaging tendency of law enforcement and the media to blame sexual assault victims (though I think they’ll certainly put a dent in it). But the success of SlutWalks does herald a new day in feminist organizing. One when women’s anger begins online but takes to the street, when a local step makes global waves and when one feminist action can spark debate, controversy and activism that will have lasting effects on the movement.

Established feminist groups have had tremendous success organizing feminist action in recent years. The 2004 March for Women’s Lives — put on by the National Organization for Women, NARAL Pro-Choice America, the Feminist Majority Foundation and others — brought out more than 1 million people protesting President George W. Bush’s anti-woman, anti-choice policies. It was an incredible event, but the momentum of the protest largely stopped when the march did.

It’s too early to tell whether SlutWalks will draw people on that scale, but they are different in a key respect. Instead of young women being organized by established groups, SlutWalks have young women organizing themselves — something I believe makes these women more likely to stay involved once the protest is over.

SlutWalks aren’t a perfect form of activism. Some feminist critics think that by attempting to reclaim the word “slut,” the organizers are turning a blind eye to the many women who don’t want to salvage what they see as an irredeemable term. As Harsha Walia wrote at the Canadian site Rabble: “I personally don’t feel the whole ‘reclaim slut’ thing. I find that the term disproportionately impacts women of color and poor women to reinforce their status as inherently dirty and second-class.”

Anti-pornography activist Gail Dines argued, along with victims rights advocate Wendy Murphy, that the SlutWalk organizers are playing into patriarchal hands. They say the protesters “celebrating” the word “slut” and dressing in risque clothing are embracing a pornified consumer sexuality. Frankly, I don’t think any of these women will be posing for the “Girls Gone Wild” cameras anytime soon. Yes, some protesters have worn lingerie, but others have worn jeans and T-shirts. Organizers encourage marchers to wear whatever they want because the point is that no matter what women wear, they have a right not to be raped. And if someone were to attack them, they have a right not to be blamed for it.

In the past, clothing designed to generate controversy has served to emphasize the message that women have a right to feel safe and participate fully in society. Suffragists wore pants called “bloomers,” named for the women’s rights activist Amelia Bloomer. They were meant to be more practical than the confining dresses of the times. But, echoing the criticism of SlutWalk participants today, the media did not take kindly to women wearing pants. The November 1851 issue of International Monthly called the outfits “ridiculous and indecent,” deriding the suffragists as “vulgar women whose inordinate love of notoriety is apt to display itself in ways that induce their exclusion from respectable society.”

The SlutWalkers, in outfits that could be grumpily labeled “ridiculous and indecent,” are not inducing exclusion from respectable society. They’re generating excitement, translating their anger into action and trying to change our supposedly respectable society into one that truly respects men, women and yes, even “sluts.”

Jessica Valenti, the founder of Feministing.com, is the author of “The Purity Myth: How America’s Obsession With Virginity Is Hurting Young Women” and the forthcoming “Why Have Kids?: The Truth About Parenting and Happiness.”

COMPLEMENT:

But 20 summers later, we’re marching in hot pants. (…) To object to these ugly characterizations is right and righteous. But to do so while dressed in what look like sexy stewardess Halloween costumes seems less like victory than capitulation (linguistic and sartorial) to what society already expects of its young women. Scantily clad marching seems weirdly blind to the race, class and body-image issues that usually (rightly) obsess young feminists and seems inhospitable to scads of women who, for various reasons, might not feel it logical or comfortable to express their revulsion at victim-blaming by donning bustiers. So while the mission of SlutWalks is crucial, the package is confusing and leaves young feminists open to the very kinds of attacks they are battling. Rebecca Traister

Ladies, We Have a Problem

Rebecca Traister

The New York Times

July 20, 2011

I wanted to love SlutWalks, the viral protest movement that began this spring after a Toronto police officer told a group of college women that if they hoped to escape sexual assault, they should avoid dressing like “sluts.” In angry response, young women (and men) have marched in more than 70 cities around the world, often dressed in bras, halter tops and garter belts.

But at a moment when questions of sex and power, blame and credibility, and gender and justice are so ubiquitous and so urgent, I have mostly felt irritation that stripping down to skivvies and calling ourselves sluts is passing for keen retort.

This fall will mark the 20th anniversary of Anita Hill’s testimony before Congress about the sexual harassment she experienced while working for Clarence Thomas. Though Hill offered only her own narrative about the behavior she witnessed, her story helped other women build a vocabulary and learn to talk about unjust sexual-power dynamics. Thanks in part to her, we were, by now, supposed to be braver and more skilled at calling out injustice, at exposing or reversing sexual-power imbalances. But 20 summers later, we’re marching in hot pants.

I understand that SlutWalkers want to drain the s-word of its misogynistic venom and correct the idea it conveys: that a woman who takes a variety of sexual partners or who presents herself in an alluring way is somehow morally bankrupt and asking to be hit on, assaulted or raped. Not coincidentally, it is a word that was used to discredit Hill by one of her (since repentant) denigrators, David Brock, who called her “a little bit nutty and a little bit slutty.”

To object to these ugly characterizations is right and righteous. But to do so while dressed in what look like sexy stewardess Halloween costumes seems less like victory than capitulation (linguistic and sartorial) to what society already expects of its young women. Scantily clad marching seems weirdly blind to the race, class and body-image issues that usually (rightly) obsess young feminists and seems inhospitable to scads of women who, for various reasons, might not feel it logical or comfortable to express their revulsion at victim-blaming by donning bustiers. So while the mission of SlutWalks is crucial, the package is confusing and leaves young feminists open to the very kinds of attacks they are battling.

That lack of precision and self-protection leapt out in another recent example of a woman grappling with issues of sexual power. In June, Good magazine published an online personal essay by Mac McClelland, a respected human rights journalist. In it, McClelland recounted how a series of assignments, especially a two-week stint in Haiti in which she spent time with a traumatized rape victim and fought off threatening, unwanted male advances herself, left her with post-traumatic stress disorder and the conviction that the only way to unravel the coil of debilitating anxiety in her chest was by having a consensual but violent encounter with a friend. The essay began with the arresting sentence, “It was my research editor who told me it was completely nuts to willingly” have sex “at gunpoint.”

McClelland’s strategy, like that of SlutWalks, was to regain sexual power through a controlled embrace of the dynamic that had initially rendered her, and women around her, vulnerable. But the story read as if McClelland was so jumpy about writing it that she did so with eyes closed and face scrunched up, rushing to get the words out before she lost her nerve. The result was a flashiness that drew in readers with a “violent sex” headline and taboo premise, but also an imprecision that left her open to reasonable critiques (from those who felt she portrayed Haiti in a colonialist fashion and used the tale of an unnamed rape victim without permission) as well as hateful ones.

On Twitter, not just prudes but peers impugned McClelland’s journalistic abilities; they referred to her as an attention seeker (as if any writer puts forth work without wanting it to garner notice) and a liar, and wondered whether she might not be branded a “geisha” because of her description of sex with a French U.N. peacekeeper. The writer Amy Wilentz unfavorably compared McClelland’s essay to the account of Lara Logan, a journalist assaulted earlier this year in Tahrir Square. Wilentz noted that Logan had “reported it right. The facts, with an element of emotion” — the suggestion being that there is some proper way for a woman to convey a tale of sexual trauma.

It was odd, given that McClelland had not been raped herself, that the tenor of some of the attacks on her read like a compendium of invective commonly used to discredit actual rape accusers. Scanning through them, I found myself again wishing that the young women doing the difficult work of reappropriation were more nuanced in how they made their grabs at authority, that they were better at anticipating and deflecting the resulting pile-on. But I also wondered if, perhaps, this worry makes me the Toronto cop who thought women should protect themselves by not dressing like sluts.

The trouble with Wilentz’s assessment and my own anxieties about self-preservation is that two decades after sitting through Hill’s excruciatingly careful narrative, there is still no way for women to tell stories of sexual injustice that allows them to bypass character assassination.

Logan was herself trashed as an attention monger and for dressing in a manner that invited assault. A young woman who pressed rape charges against two New York City police officers could not be believed, in part, because she was drunk. When an 11-year-old Texas girl was allegedly gang-raped by 19 men, The New York Times ran a story quoting neighbors saying that she habitually wore makeup and dressed in clothes more appropriate for a 20-year-old. The maid who accused Dominique Strauss-Kahn of rape has been discredited for being a liar, and The New York Post claimed she was a prostitute. The young French woman who is pressing charges of attempted rape against Strauss-Kahn — an event she has recounted in a novel — has been painted as an unreliable narrator, young, overdramatic and unstable.

None of us can know the veracity of any of these women’s claims. But the standard response to any public attempt by a woman to upend expectations of consent, passivity and silence — whether she does it calmly or hurriedly, in court or in fiction, or while wearing a corset on Michigan Avenue — is still that she is a little bit nutty and a little bit slutty.

The most sophisticated attempts elicit just as much derision and, frankly, receive a fraction of the attention. All of which suggests that while clumsy stabs at righting sexual-power imbalances may be frustrating, they remain necessary.

Social progress is imperfect, full of half-truths and sloppy misrepresentations. After all, we celebrate the victories of a civil rights movement that was shot through with misogyny, and of a women’s movement riddled with racial, class and sexual resentments. Fighting for power is a complicated, messy process, especially for complicated, messy human beings. Often, the best we can hope for is that our efforts draw a spotlight.

Which, I guess, is enough to make SlutWalkers of us all.

Rebecca Traister is the author of “Big Girls Don’t Cry: The Election That Changed Everything for American Women.”

COMPLEMENT II:

The issues Femen claims to want to discuss are important. They are very, very important, particularly the issue of sex trafficking and prostitution in Eastern Europe. The sexual exploitation of vulnerable and poor women is increasing at astronomical rates. But, this isn’t what the media is discussing. Femen’s insistence on baring their breasts, regardless of what they are actually protesting, just reinforces Patriarchal norms. They have become objects for men to wank over rather than feminist protestors. Whatever message they had is obscured. Instead, their breasts are what are deemed important. (…) Protest needs to be vibrant, engaging and culturally specific but we will not smash the Patriarchy by reinforcing its belief that the only women who matter are those who conform to the Patriarchal Fuckability Test. (…) And, that’s the problem with Femen. Men aren’t listening to the message. They are wanking to the image. Louise Pennington

Femen: Reinforcing the Patriarchal F***ability Test

Louise Pennington

Feminist activist, historian and blogger

The Huffington post

29/10/2012

Femen are back in the media once again. This time they are running about Ikea with their breasts bared to protest Ikea’s decision to edit out all the images of women in their catalogue for the market in Saudi Arabia. Now, I’m quite offended by Ikea’s decision but I’m not sure what protesting in the Ikea in Paris two weeks after the story broke is going to change. In using women’s bodies as a canvas of protest, Femen are using some fairly basic signifiers of woman as object. Their message is obscured by the medium of their protest because the medium conforms to the normalised construction of the Patriarchal Fuckability Test. As Exiled Stardust says, getting naked or stripping aren’t acts of Feminist defiance or resistance. They are simply appeasement since « (m)en don’t care if you write incendiary messages of revolt all over your naked body, as long as they get to see that body. » Femen’s activism using the objectification of women’s bodies to make a political point isn’t new. It isn’t clever. It’s just the Patriarchy trying out a new hat. After all, as Megan Murphy has pointed, PETA’s been doing this shit for years. Their male supporters include a veritable who’s who of celebrities with criminal convictions for Violence against Women.

Femen’s use of the female body is a tactic deliberately chosen in order to get recognition in the western media and they seem more interested in the attention than any specific feminist goals. They have already joined the Free Pussy Riot movement and, frankly, there are very few attention-seekers who haven’t hopped on that bandwagon. It’s proving to be quite a profitable one for everyone but the two women currently being transported to a penal colony. Inna Shevchenko demonstrated her « support » for Pussy Riot by destroying a crucifix in Kiev with a chainsaw. This stunt coincided exactly with the court in Moscow finding Pussy Riot guilty of hooliganism; make of that what you will.

Femen have also occupied the Louvre to protest the rape of a young woman called Mariam by two Tunisian police officers. Personally, I think the women of Tunis taking to the streets is a more important and braver protest than a bunch of topless women running around the Louvre. Equally problematic are Femen’s anti-burkha protests. Femen attacked an easy target; veiled Muslim women are some of the most frequently silenced of women’s voices. But Femen aren’t really doing anything really radical here. Instead, they are just doing exactly what western neo-liberal men do: attack a visible target with little to no power. Running about in front of the Eiffel Tower stripping off burkhas to reveal young, thin white women in their underwear isn’t very interesting. Setting up a « bootcamp » in Paris to teach French feminists how to tackle the Patriarchy using tactics developed in the Ukraine is also not very clever. A reversal of the normal imperialism it may be, but it nonetheless shows a rather incredible lack of self-awareness. Thing is, which protests get more coverage? And, which ones really deserve the media attention?

And, this is the problem. The issues Femen claims to want to discuss are important. They are very, very important, particularly the issue of sex trafficking and prostitution in Eastern Europe. The sexual exploitation of vulnerable and poor women is increasing at astronomical rates. But, this isn’t what the media is discussing. Femen’s insistence on baring their breasts, regardless of what they are actually protesting, just reinforces Patriarchal norms. They have become objects for men to wank over rather than feminist protestors. Whatever message they had is obscured. Instead, their breasts are what are deemed important.

We won’t destroy the Patriarchy by reinforcing its constructions of « acceptable » women. We won’t destroy the Patriarchy by targeting one small group of women and demanding that they remove their veil, without even considering the political and cultural structures in which they are either forced or, in some cases, choose to wear the veil. We cannot demand the government of Tunisia tackle the issue of rape by police officers, by running about art galleries naked. We won’t change the control that the Church has by chopping down crosses half-naked. Protest needs to be vibrant, engaging and culturally specific but we will not smash the Patriarchy by reinforcing its belief that the only women who matter are those who conform to the Patriarchal Fuckability Test.

As many a wise feminist has said: if the penis is keen, it probably demeans. And, that’s the problem with Femen. Men aren’t listening to the message. They are wanking to the image.

COMPLEMENT III:

Rise of the naked female warriors

Known for its topless protesters, Femen is a worldwide movement against patriarchy. But are the activists’ breasts obscuring the message?

Kira Cochrane

The Guardian

20 March 2013

One day last summer, Inna Shevchenko went into a forest outside Kiev, to learn how to use a chainsaw. The lumberjacks who were instructing her couldn’t work out why she was so keen. « They thought I was just a crazy blonde, » she says, shaking her white curls. « I was acting like: ‘Oh really?' » She affects a coy, clueless demeanour. « ‘That’s how you do it? Great!' »

The next day she went to a hilltop overlooking Kiev, and stripped to a pair of red denim shorts, worn with heavy boots, leather gloves, and a mask to protect her eyes. The Pussy Riot verdict was due that day, and in tribute to the Russian punk activists – and to mark her opposition to all religions – Inna proceeded to chop down a 13ft wooden cross that had been there since 2005. Despite her preparations, it wasn’t easy. « When I started to cut it, I thought, ‘it’s not possible to destroy it,' » she says. But after seven minutes it fell, and she posed against the stump for invited journalists. With « Free Riot » scrawled across her bare breasts, she held out her arms to mirror the figure of Christ now lying on the ground.

Death threats arrived instantly. She says there were official calls for her arrest, and Russian TV reported that the cross was a memorial to the victims of Stalinism. Inna denies this, but Ukrainian journalists repeated the claim, and anger towards her sharpened. Men she suspected of being secret service agents immediately began milling outside her apartment, and a few days later, she was woken at 6am by the sound of her front door being kicked in. She escaped, jumping through a back window, then down from a first floor balcony, and made her way to Warsaw with $50, a mobile phone and her passport. She feared jail if she returned to Kiev, so some days later, she travelled to France, where women had expressed interest in joining Femen, the feminist group she runs with three Ukrainian friends.

Femen’s aims are straightforward, broad and radical. A war on patriarchy on three fronts, calling for an end to all religions, dictatorships and the sex industry. The group has been offered a space in a rundown theatre in Paris as headquarters, and it is here I meet Inna, 24, at the start of a training session with 20 young Femen activists. She is giving instructions on the correct stance – feet apart, firmly rooted, aggressive. Femen warriors never smile, she says, they are not there to please anyone. The group has been protesting topless since 2010, using their bodies to attract attention, to lure journalists, and they have been roundly criticised by some people, who accuse them of playing into sexist stereotypes.

In a room covered with posters and murals – Fuck Religion, says one, Go out! Undress! Win!, says another – the activists stand in rows, screaming slogans at each other. They’re dressed in T-shirts and tracksuits, occasionally stopping to swig bottled water. This is gym class for the revolution.

« Not a sex toy, » they scream. Then « Poor because of you » and « In gay we trust ». One by one, they take to the middle of the room, to show how they would behave at a protest. One new member shouts « Pope No More », before two other activists launch themselves at her. For a moment all three are mid-air, then they hit the ground and start struggling in a blur. Inna has told them they must move constantly, to avoid being covered; their slogan will be written across their bare chest and back, and they need it to be seen. One woman fights hard, still screaming, occasionally breaking free, running a few paces, only to be brought down again with a brutal thwack. Finally, Inna calls a halt, and the woman stands up with blood running down her arm. Inna smiles, grabs her hand, and holds the injured limb aloft. There is clapping, cheering, congratulations.

As the activists start the next stage of training – situps, press-ups, running-while-screaming – journalists and cameramen swirl around. There is no attempt to hide the fact this session is being played out for the press. As women fight, Inna comes up close to them, in her denim hotpants, hooded top and Converse boots, instructing them to look at the camera. It doesn’t matter how many people come to a protest, she says – if there’s one camera, that’s what they need to target, to get their message out to millions.

On some level, this is working. Each time Femen stages an action, videos pop up on websites worldwide. But are their breasts obscuring their message? When I tell a friend I’m due to interview them, he is fascinated by the idea of topless feminist warriors – but switches off as soon as I mention their arguments. I suspect there are long-time feminist activists who take one glance at their tactics and, jaded by the use of women’s bodies in art, advertising, commerce, don’t pause to hear what they’re saying.

Their message can also get lost in the breadth and sprawl of their protests. While other groups focus on one or two issues, Femen are everywhere. Over the past few years they have protested for gay rights in St Peter’s Square during the Pope’s weekly prayers; against the use of ultra-thin models at Milan fashion week; and during Euro 2012, in Ukraine, they grabbed the championship trophy in protest against the sex industry. In London last summer, they smeared themselves in fake blood and accused the International Olympic Committee of supporting « bloody Islamist regimes »; at Davos, in January, they protested against male domination of the world economy. And in February, they provoked both raised eyebrows and a few sniggers by launching themselves topless at Silvio Berlusconi.

Their campaigning is unified by one central aim: to use their breasts to expose corruption and inequality wherever they see it. « One of the main goals, » says Inna, « is to take the masks off people who wear them, to show who they are, and the level of fucking patriarchy in this world, you know? » She says they also want to reclaim women’s bodies for women. « A woman’s naked body has always been the instrument of the patriarchy, » she says, « they use it in the sex industry, the fashion industry, advertising, always in men’s hands. We realised the key was to give the naked body back to its rightful owner, to women, and give a new interpretation of nudity … I’m proud of the fact that today naked women are not just posing on the cover of Playboy, but can be at an action, angry, and can irritate people. »

The group started in 2006, when founders Anna Hutsol, Oksana Shachko and Alexandra Shevchenko (no relation to Inna), became friends in their home town in Ukraine. It was not long after the orange revolution, in which Ukrainians had demonstrated for democracy, and Alexandra, 24, says they wanted to keep the revolutionary feeling going. They started a women’s group, and began organising against the sex industry. Sex tourism is a major problem in Ukraine, and every woman is victimised as a result, says Alexandra. « You’d walk down the street and foreigners, men, would come up to you, ask how much, touch you. »

Inna joined the group in 2009, after meeting the other women on social media. In those early days they were just developing their views. Feminism was unpopular in Ukraine; saying you were a feminist was « something similar to saying you’re an idiot, you’re crazy, » says Inna. Alexandra says she used to believe the « image created by patriarchy, where feminists are ugly women with moustaches who want to cut off men’s penises ». (They’ve played with this imagery themselves. Until recently, their website featured a picture of a woman holding an enormous scythe in one hand, a bloody scrotum in the other.)

They embarked on long, lively discussions about women’s rights. « We’re not based on 700 pages of doctrine, » says Inna, « instead we would come in and saying ‘can you believe that fucker? He just touched my arse and said he wants to fuck me, and he will pay me with a cocktail.’ The discussion was very primitive, and we became angry, and wanted to express it, so we started doing street performances. »

These were clothed at first. They would go out with price tags hanging off them to protest against the sex industry, for example; the group has long called for the Swedish approach to prostitution, in which clients rather than sex workers are criminalised. They always had an interest in branding, and initially wore all-pink outfits – some journalists called them the pink revolution. In 2010, in protest against the appointment of an all-male cabinet, they dressed up as men, then took off their suits to reveal women’s clothing. Inna was working in the press office of the Kiev mayor at the time. As a result of the protest she was fired.

That same year, they staged their first topless protest. Five activists at the polling station where presidential candidate Viktor Yanukovych was due to vote stripped in front of the media. The next day, the image went global. They weren’t immediately convinced they should protest topless all the time, but the response started « a huge, hot aggressive discussion, » says Inna. She was initially against the idea. She felt shy, uncomfortable with her body, and frustrated that as « a woman you have to take off your shirt to say something ». But they continued to protest – sometimes topless, sometimes clothed – for six months, and she « realised that sometimes when we were not topless, we were talking about much more important topics, but they were just ignored ». They decided to go for it, and grew wise to the tabloid tactic of cropping out their banners – they began scrawling slogans directly on their breasts. Inna says her naked body now feels like a uniform, while Alexandra describes it as, « my weapon, my gun ».

The group has been accused of deploying only young, slim, beautiful women. But a new book about Femen, just published in France, features photos of women of different shapes and sizes on demonstrations, pictures I’ve never seen elsewhere. The media, unsurprisingly, pick the most obviously attractive photos. Inna says they have never chosen women according to their looks, or weight; the only proviso is that they have to be well-prepared. « There are a lot of girls who are very strong physically, but they cannot show aggression, they cannot imagine how they will react if someone tries to grab them. » The movement is non-violent – Inna calls it « peaceful terrorism » – but she has been injured more than once, and was badly beaten during a recent action.

Their actions have sometimes been dismissed but there is no doubt the women of Femen take serious risks. In late 2011, for example, Inna and two other activists travelled to Minsk, in Belarus, to protest outside the KGB offices against Alexander Lukashenko, the man often called Europe’s last dictator. While they expected to spend New Year in a Belarus jail, they allege that they were, instead, abducted by secret service agents – a claim the Belarusian KGB denies.

Inna says a group of men caught up with them at the bus station, and they were driven for five hours into a forest. There, she claims, they were covered in oil, threatened with lighters and knives, and ordered to strip completely. She assumed they were going to be raped. « They put handcuffs on us, and we were sitting like this, » she leans forward with her hands behind her back, « for six or seven hours, not allowed to move or talk. One guy kept repeating that we were going to be killed, but before that they were going to have fun.

« They said, breathe, enjoy the air, because there is only one hour left of your life. Imagine the smile of your mother, and now imagine her face when she gets your dead body. » Inna felt sure they would be killed, and started analysing her years with Femen. « I knew this was the best part of my life, and something I would never feel sorry about, even in a situation when I could be killed, and it was the greatest answer for me. It was one of the worst days of my life, but also the best, because I understood myself. » The three women were eventually dumped in the snow, and she says the incident made her more determined than ever. « I suddenly saw the huge potential of this. Maybe it’s strange to say this – I know some people already think we’re kamikaze – but that’s why I now say I’m more of an activist than a person, because I know that tomorrow I could be killed. »

Alexandra says there is a criminal case against her at the moment in Ukraine, where she has been imprisoned a few times for her protests, but she is living in Berlin, organising the activists of Femen Germany. The group wants the movement to spread globally, and they try to support women who start offshoots in their own countries. They now have about 200 activists worldwide – a small number, but able to make a major impact – with branches in Switzerland, Poland, Holland, Sweden, Brazil, USA, Canada and Italy. An activist in Tunisia recently posted a topless image of herself online, and two days ago it was reported that a fatwa had been issued, calling for her to be stoned to death.

Apparently there are a few UK activists, and one British woman, Pippa, 25, who lives in Berlin, has been protesting with the German group. She says she appreciates how active they are. She was involved in student feminism in the UK, but found it grindingly difficult to get people interested in protests. When they started Femen, says Alexandra, they felt they needed to change the way feminism was communicated to young women. « They don’t want to read huge texts, » she says, so the key was to create something visual. « We understood that people have a lot of information coming at them through mass media, and we needed something that could shock people, shake them, grab their attention.

Pippa likes the fact they don’t spend hours debating actions; they just get out and do them. But this approach might cause them trouble in future. In Germany, for instance, they’ve been criticised for comparing the sex industry to fascism, using Nazi imagery to underline this comparison. There seems little doubt they hate fascism – they protest regularly against extreme rightwing groups, who on one occasion knocked Inna’s teeth out – but Alexandra is determined they should continue to use this loaded metaphor, despite protests from Femen Germany activists. « I understand that they feel this pain, » she says, « but we want to make this connection between prostitution and fascism, because people know that fascism is a fucking bad thing. » Inna uses the comparison in the context of religion too. « I strongly believe that one day religion has to be forbidden, » she says, « the same way fascism was forbidden. »

Femen aren’t subtle, they aren’t inoffensive, and they certainly aren’t sorry. « We’re provocateurs, » says Inna, « and the reaction depends on those who are provoked. » With members having faced loss of livelihood, alleged abduction, arrest, jail, death threats and ridicule, it seems they are in it for keeps. « One of our slogans is: ‘Fight until the last drop of blood,' » says Alexandra, while Inna notes that every morning she wakes up to death threats, sent via text message, that simply say « die », or « burn ». When she sees them she thinks: « Good morning! » she says, laughing long and hard.

17 Responses to Marches des salopes: A quand une Marche des violeurs? (Slut Walks: As slutty as we want to be)

  1. En durbanie dit :

    La Lorraine a longtemps généré des positions extrêmes… mais ici et maintenant, pour l’instant il n’y a que les cathos qui s’offusquent de l’introduction des théories du genre dans les livres scolaires de Sciences et Vie de la Terre des collégiens (ados donc)…

    J'aime

  2. kobus van cleef dit :

    moi c’est le nom de la rédactreuse de mode qui me fait pouffer
    cécile -jusque là tout va bien – sépulchre !
    sépulchre !
    le nom funèbre par excellence !
    devrait en changer , la mignone , pour quéque chose de plus rieur , printanier , voyez ?
    tiens , je connais des gens , pas forcemment défavorisés par l’état civil , qui ont renié le patronyme transmis
    sophie marceau , par exemple
    bon , c’est vrai qu’elle se nommait « maupu » ( et on pourrait ajouter « du cul »)
    ou laurent joffrin ( pareil pour lui , le gusse se nommait « mouchard » on aurait pu dire , à la lecture de ses éditos « le bien nommé »)

    J'aime

  3. un observateur dit :

    observateur . Pourvu que quand les femmes ou les filles s’habille très sexi quelle n’aillent pas allumer un pédophile qui passeras a l’acte sur une gaminne

    J'aime

  4. jcdurbant dit :

    I am preparing an article, in French, for the blog http://www.Le-mot-juste-en-anglais.com about « slut walks », with the emphasis on the interface between the social and linguistic aspects. I make the point, for example, that supporters of this movement would like to elevate the word « slut » to the status of « stud » and give it the same positive connotation.

    I would be very happy if you or any of your readers would contribute to the blog on this subject. For that purpose I could send the draft of the article in French and possibly publish your reaction to it.

    Please feel free to write me at Le.mot.juste.en.anglais@gmail.com

    Thank you.

    Sincerely,

    Jonathan GOLDBERG

    http://www.Le-mot-juste-en-anglais.

    J'aime

  5. […] avec le reste d’un Occident où l’on manifeste ou scie des croix seins nus ou déguisées en “salopes” contre le patriarcat les questions que l’on croyait oubliées de loyauté religieuse, comme […]

    J'aime

  6. […] nos genoux, nos bas résilles et nos oripeaux polissons, car la révolution se fera en talons!  Yagg (collectif de […]

    J'aime

  7. […] nos genoux, nos bas résilles et nos oripeaux polissons, car la révolution se fera en talons!  Yagg (collectif de […]

    J'aime

  8. […] nos genoux, nos bas résilles et nos oripeaux polissons, car la révolution se fera en talons!  Yagg (collectif de […]

    J'aime

  9. […] nos genoux, nos bas résilles et nos oripeaux polissons, car la révolution se fera en talons!  Yagg (collectif de […]

    J'aime

  10. […] Depuis longtemps, les prostituées de rues se déguisent en pute pour bien expliquer: le rimmel, les bas-résilles, c’est moi qui vend la marchandise, j’annonce la couleur, laissez la petite secrétaire ou la mère de famille qui fait ses courses.  On savait à quoi s’en tenir.  Mais les marchands de fringues, de musique, de régimes et de cosmétiques ont su convaincre les femmes qu’être un objet était valorisant.  Et que montrer son piercing au nombril était chouette, que le string qui dépasse, la jarretière du bas auto-fixant, la bretelle de soutien-gorge était chouette et libérée.  Bref, la femme marchandise était conquérante, adulée, victorieuse. Et devenait l’étalon. Comme on imposait le voile dans d’autres pays et d’autres cultures, on imposait (moins brutalement mais plus sournoisement, certes) en modèle l’échancré, le transparent, le push-up, le moulant, le fendu, l’épilé, le siliconé. Ce sont ces fausses putes, les "salopes" médiatiques, de Madonna à Britney Spears en passant par Beyoncé qui, en vendant leur cul moulé et gigotant à longueur de vidéo clip ont promu la femme hypersexualisée, libertine et aguicheuse. Et fière de l’être.  "Dior j’adore" nous dit une bouche entr’ouverte et transpirante.  Le Perrier jaillit sur un corps bronzé, et la miss Wonderbra nous dit de la regarder dans les yeux.  La Saint Valentin, une débauche (sans jeu de mot) de peaux montrées pour vendre de la lingerie.  (…) Vous avez vu comment s’habillent les présentatrices télé?  Karine Lemarchand, Melissa Theuriau, Daphné Roulié, Anne-Sophie-Lapix, et des dizaines d’autres ont été choisie pour leur Q. S. (Quotient sexuel) AVANT leur QI.  Normal, sinon elles se feraient zapper entre les pubs qui montrent des filles sublimes.  Forum-doctissimo […]

    J'aime

  11. […] où, de Toronto, Boston à Melbourne et de Paris à Londres et Amsterdam, nos salopes bravent l’enfer de nos rues pour réhabiliter plus de 2 000 ans d’expériences […]

    J'aime

  12. […] où, de Toronto, Boston à Melbourne et de Paris à Londres et Amsterdam, nos salopes bravent l’enfer de nos rues pour réhabiliter plus de 2 000 ans d’expériences […]

    J'aime

  13. […] où, de Toronto, Boston à Melbourne et de Paris à Londres et Amsterdam, nos salopes bravent l’enfer de nos rues pour réhabiliter plus de 2 000 ans d’expérience […]

    J'aime

  14. […] où, de Toronto à Boston et Melbourne et de Paris à Londres et Amsterdam, nos salopes bravent l’enfer de nos rues pour réhabiliter plus de 2 000 ans d’expérience […]

    J'aime

  15. […] ces temps étranges, entre marche des salopes et bataille des toilettes, de mariage et de gestation assistée pour tous mais aussi […]

    J'aime

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