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Reactions to SlutWalk Singapore

This post is part of our special coverage SlutWalks 2011.

Hundreds gathered in support of SlutWalk Singapore on 4 December, 2011, and it generated a lively response in the cyberspace. The organizers issued this invitation to the public

One does not need to identify as ‘slut’ to be a part of SlutWalk. We are asking you to join us for SlutWalk, to make a unified statement about sexual assault and victims’ rights and to demand respect for all. You do not have to wear your sexuality on your sleeve, we just ask that you come gather with us. We are not asking for you to “vamp it up” either, as that would be falling into the traditional stereotype that we are working hard to break. SlutWalk Singapore is asking you to COME AS YOU ARE — whether in t-shirt and jeans, in fishnets, in a sari, in a jacket, or in a tudung. No matter how you visually identify, we are welcoming ALL those who feel that prevailing attitudes as to why sexual assault happens need to change.

A Wolf's Tale saw more than 600 people in the park:

The organizers actually planned for 300, but 600 turned up, many with their spouses or partners with them. In a way, I am glad to see allies supporting the event. The rain didn’t dampen spirits, but it did drive away some of the participants. I love the energy though – we had music, Muay Thai, talks and yummy drinks. Meeting new people and talking to them. I love it!

Slutwalk Singapore. Photo from Irene Ma

Slutwalk Singapore. Photo from Irene Ma

Curious to know what the SlutWalk movement is, Shawn Bryon Danker participated in the event:

I, as a man who is both appalled by the lack of progressive thinking within our society and the overall callous attitudes of the trolls against this movement, went to see for myself on Sunday what the Slut Walk movement was all about. I wanted to lend my support for what I saw as a continuation of the old civil rights movement, a call or a gentle reminder if you will, for the renewal of tolerance and acceptance within our society – something I think many of us have forgotten about in these modern times.

rrrett explains her reasons for joining the cause:

I believe it now, and here's where the shame stops. With SlutWalk in mind, I'm going to stop being ashamed a little more every day. And if that means speaking up about issues I've never told anyone, then let's do it. Because if I believed when I was 16 what I believe now, I would have spent a lot less time out of the past 8 years being ashamed, and a lot more time being outraged and working towards a solution.

For me, for us, for every girl who has had it far worse and lives with painful secrets, this is the plan and it begins with SlutWalk Singapore: More Talk, Less Shame.

But there are bloggers who raised several questions and issues about the SlutWalk. The Lycan Times cites the weakness of the activity:

…no one asked how is Slutwalk going to prevent more women from coming to harm from sexual predators. Sure, it maybe helpful to the victims by not accusing them of having brought misfortune upon themselves, but is Slutwalk teaching women how to protect themselves at all? It would appear to me that it had completely ignored the risks of behaving or dressing in a certain way. That is utterly irresponsible. Are the organisers of Slutwalk even aware of the undesirable impression that they now appeared to be nothing more than just a bunch of people who simply refused to act responsibly, even to themselves?

LCC cautions women to be more prudent about their clothing:

And indeed, perhaps we should educate men to treat women with proper respect, regardless of how they are dressed and we should focus our effort on trying to come up with permanent structural solutions that will eliminate sexual crimes once and for all. Yet, such an approach will not be realised anytime soon in the foreseeable future. Hence, meanwhile, it will perhaps be prudent for women to be wise about their choice of clothing to guard against unwanted male attention and if they have to don attire that may attract sexual criminals, it will be prudent for them to adopt other precautionary measures, for example: be vigilant, carry around a defensive tool which can scare away criminals and et cetera.

Musings from the Lion City thinks the organizers shouldn’t use the name ‘SlutWalk’:

Now I have no problem with having a “SlutWalk” in Singapore but the “SlutWalk” over the weekend isn’t really a “SlutWalk”. From the picture I saw in the papers, women arrived at the “SlutWalk” in long-sleeve T-shirts and jeans. Yes, I know the organizers said that the idea was not to be provocative or “vamp it up” but to protest against violence against women. If that’s the case, then they shouldn’t use the name “SlutWalk”.

Kirsten is disappointed with the uninformed objections to SlutWalk:

As to be expected, SlutWalk has generated rather heated debate in Singapore, and there are many, many people who object to it for various reasons. I respect that some people have their personal reasons for not wishing to support SlutWalk, and that’s fine. No one is saying that everyone in Singapore has to participate in this event, or start promoting the message if you don’t wish to.

However, it just gets annoying when people’s opposition to SlutWalk stem from ignorance or close-mindedness, or when these people resort to hurling abuse at the organisers and supporters of SlutWalk.

MsDemeanour Singapore writes about the success of SlutWalk Singapore:

SlutWalk faced up to their critics and sceptics, and triumphed. Those who did not think sexual violence was an issue in Singapore and that SlutWalk Singapore was purely jumping on the bandwagon. Those are the usual people who do not seem to recognise or want to recognise problems in their own back yard. But even if this was not an issue in Singapore, since when should we stop empathizing with serious issues happening in the rest of the world, just because we perceive it to be not happening on our doorstep?

Twitter hashtag #slutwalksg was used to document the event.

This post is part of our special coverage SlutWalks 2011.

3 comments

  • getreal

    Do you think by having this slutwalk, the acts of sexual violence will disappear? Get real and stop being ignorant fools. Don’t follow others and ape other people’s callous lifestyle in the name of open mindedness. Sure sexual violence pepetrator would be glad and open minded if you revealed yourselves in sensual clothings and continue to encourage them to feed on their sexual desires. You have forgotten men are different from women and they have different attitudes towards sex.

    • Naru

      Of course Slutwalk won’t make sexual violence disappear, that’s not the point of the protests. Sexual violence is a convoluted complicated problem that is ingrained in our culture, and it’ll take a multifaceted approach to do away with.

      What Slutwalk does is increase the amount of people discussing the issue. The more people are talking about rape and victim blaming, the more victims are able to come out with their stories without fear of being labelled ‘whore’ or ‘slut’. It increases awareness, and that’s the first step towards making a difference.

  • […] Reactions to Slutwalk Singapore Hundreds gathered in support of Slutwalk Singapore and it generated a lively response in the cyberspace. The organizers issued this invitation to the public One does not need to identify as ‘slut’ to be a part of SlutWalk. Source: globalvoicesonline.org […]

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