Wasting our lives and glorifying God

Wasting our lives and glorifying God
Notice God's unutterable waste of saints, according to the judgment of the world. God plants His saints in the most useless places. We say - God intends me to be here because I am so useful. Jesus never estimated His life along the line of the greatest use. God puts His saints where they will glorify Him, and we are no judges at all of where that is. ~Oswald Chambers, My Utmost For His Highest, August 10

Monday, May 30, 2011

Common Senseless

In January a Toronto Police Officer was giving a talk at the Osgoode Hall Law School about campus safety.  He recommended that women help themselves to stay safe by dressing appropriately.  His exact words were: "Don't dress like a slut."

Feminist everywhere got up in arms!  How dare he blame the victim!

I don't see it at all as blaming the victim.  It's just common sense and sounds like a fatherly piece of advice to me.

Now, of course, no one deserves to be a victim of sexual violence, regardless of what they are wearing.  But is it not just common sense to not put oneself in a vulnerable position?  Apparently not.

The feminist reaction to all this?  Organize a "Slut Walk."  This is a protest in which Toronto activists marched to the police department and "reclaimed the word slut."  (I'm really puzzled about the whole "reclaiming" part.  Did it belong to women to begin with that we have to own it and get it back?  No thanks.)

Inspired by the SlutWalk in Toronto, which was held in April, now Western Washingtonians have organized their own SlutWalk to be held in Seattle in June.  According their Facebook page, "...this event isn't just for women, and isn't just for women dressed as sluts. We want all Sluts AND Allies there-- dress as you please, whether it's a corset and fishnets or sweatpants and a t-shirt. Because victim-blaming affects people of all genders, and no matter what you're wearing, you don't deserve to be targeted for it." 

(People of "all genders"? How many genders are there?)

At best this is misdirected rage.  At worst it continues the objectification of women by encouraging women to treat their bodies disrespectfully and then expect others to respect it.

Yes, misdirected.  I think we should all protest car stereo theft by leaving our cars in bad neighborhoods, with the doors unlocked and our valuables in plain sight.  In fact, lets leave the keys in the ignition, too.  Remember, no one deserves to have their stuff robbed.  Right?  In a perfect world we could all leave our doors unlocked and never use caution.  But, this isn't a perfect world.  And not everyone has good intentions.  It only makes sense to protect what is valuable from those with the worst intentions.  And what could be more valuable than a woman's virtue?

Instead of raging against the police officer who recommended we all cover up our boobies and backsides, why aren't we getting angrier at a culture and society that objectifies women?  Shall we not get mad at the porn industry and those that protect it, knowing full well, that the unending stream of "adult media" contributes to the problem?  Shall we not get mad at advertisers who digitally enhance women in order to arouse the viewers?  Get mad.  But, get mad at the right thing(s).

However, I fear these SlutWalk protests do a lot more than just misdirect our rage.  They perpetuate the perception that women's bodies are made for viewing, for lusting after, and that women can use their bodies to whatever advantages or disadvantages they want without consequence.  It's freedom of expression and she has full right to it.  But, the police officer's freedom of expression in expressing the view that women should be careful is out of place.  Apparently, some freedom of expression is to be protected and lauded and some expressions are not.

The answer to sexual violence is not for women to show more skin and for men to just get over it.  How naive is that?  You don't increase the value and protection of something by making it readily available and cheap.  You increase the value and protection of something by making it a hidden treasure, a rarity, special and expensive.  Think about it......what would people be more in a rage over: graffiti and the defacement of a billboard off the 405 freeway or graffiti and the defacement of the Mona Lisa?  Both are private property and neither deserve the vandalism.  However, The answer is obvious.  The first is cheap and common and easy to come by and you see it everyday on your commute.  The second is precious, one-of-a-kind, and greatly protected and secure.

In teaching my daughter to stick up for herself, to speak up for herself, to protect herself and to value herself--knowing who she is and what she's about--I'm also teaching her to not leave the house without some decorum.  I want her to dress as if she knows that her body is the precious container of her precious soul. 

Can we not be feminists WITH common sense?  To be one do we have to take a complete leave of the other?


6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good post. That policeman said that because he is a man and understands how some men think, their minds inflamed into lust by women flaunting their bodies. The women come across as teases and this angers criminals and gives them an excuse in their sick minds to rape. This is not a perfect world. Your analogy of leaving valuables in your car and the keys too is a good one. We should be able to do that and not have our stuff stolen. I'm not blaming victims either, or saying they are asking for it -- just that sometimes women are naive and don't realize the attention they are attracting (we have criminals roaming around looking for victims and we should not attract their eye. Scanty clothing marks us as naive and careless to such a criminal, and thereby an easy target, not to mention the lust factor). Anyway, good post, Daja. Feminists are not helping women. They're setting them up to be abused.

Happy Elf Mom said...

I think saying "Don't dress like a slut," is fine for Dad giving advice at the dinner table but not something I want my police officers saying in public forums. It DOES place the blame the victim for the attack and enough statements/ a culture like this makes ladies afraid to report. I have a feeling that even if most ladies dressed more modestly, that rapes would still occur. Would they happen to the least modestly dressed modest woman? I don't know.

Though... this idea of a slutwalk is absolutely beyond silly. I do see the point that they're trying to make about the humanity of "sluts." Good grief but both sides aren't quite saying what needs to be said, and that is that there is no excuse, ever. And can we show young ladies ways to be "powerful" without using their bodies as leverage to manipulate men and make other ladies jealous? You know what I am saying. :)

Gombojav Tribe said...

Yes, "Don't dress like a slut" was probably not the best way to say what needed to be said. At the same time, there's no way that's a reason to protest! Just makes no sense.

So many feminists are so two-faced about the word "slut." When the police officer said it everyone is up in arms. When Ed Shultz called Laura Ingraham a slut I didn't hear one feminist make any fuss. The only fuss came from right-wing talk radio.

*shaking head*

Double standard.

Happy Elf Mom said...

Oh, I agree, Daja. I just wanted to make the point that when officers say things like that, that it produces a chilling effect for victims. I think we're both on the same page in terms of the humanity of women and the fact that a "slut walk" is not going to have the desired effect. PS Belgee is the cutest. He should write a book! :)

Sarah said...

I agree with what you've written. No-one deserves to be sexually assaulted, but women should respect themselves as well.

A slut walk?!? Oh my goodness!

Anonymous said...

No, there is never a reason to rape, but these rapists have sick minds and are criminals and you don't need to attract their attention, and scanty clothing attracts their attention. At least it is one of those things. I'm all for victim awareness. There is never a reason to rape, but criminals are not reasonable. Many times, modest dress can be a protection.

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