SlutWalk In Philly And WorldWide: Long Overdue Focus On The Blame

By

SlutWalk In Philly And WorldWide: Long Overdue Focus On The Blame
SlutWalk is an international movement placing blame for rape where it belongs - with the perpetrator

As one who has worked for over thirty years with those who have been sexually and physically abused, I can testify first hand that the sexual predations of Arnold Schwarzenegger and those alleged by Dominique Strauss-Kahn are merely the visible tip of the iceberg. Myriad forms of sexual abuse are prevalent in all cultures, the privileged as well as the poor. Yet women all over the world know the risks of daring to speak out -- risks which range from being ostracized and rejected by family and colleagues, to death.

Recently, CBS reporter Lara Logan bravely defied this code of fear induced silence shared by women worldwide by describing her February ordeal in Cairo's Tahrir Square. Similarly, the Peace Corps has finally been pressured into releasing a report of sexual assaults over the past decade, including 221 rapes or attempted rapes and murder. Experts say such numbers are conservative, as most sexual assaults are never reported (in any setting). Peace Corps members say that more traumatic than the violence itself has been the reaction of officials, who respond by blaming the women, saying in effect: "It's your word against his. He said you asked for sex by the way you looked and acted, and we believe him."

 

By and large, SlutWalk has been a movement of young, educated, middle class women determined at long last to eradicate this pervasive shame and blame mentality. However, describing sex as "a force of nature," social critic Camile Paglia and others believe that "too many overprotected middle-class girls have a dangerously naïve view of the world." Paglia warns that "protests and parades cannot create honor." (The Philadelphia Daily News, August 6, p. 9, article by Morgan Zalot).

Yet, it is the young who have the faith and energy to change the world. Without risk, there cannot be life: the risk to try, to work hard, to love, to begin a family. And without risk there cannot be the dramatic shifts in attitude and perception necessary for a complex society to grow and survive.

After reading my published article, "Male Sex Abuse and the Silence of Women", Philadelphia Daily News writer Morgan Zalot told me that the messages of SlutWalk were "strikingly similar" to points I have raised. Yes, they are. But these young people have found a way to join together and force a new generation to begin to listen in necessary new ways. 

Follow SaraKay Smullens on Twitter at SaraKay1710

This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission.
Article contributed by
Advanced Member

SaraKay Smullens

Author

I look forward to your thoughts and sharing with you.

To be continued,

SaraKay Smullens, MSW, BCD, LCSW, ACSW, CFLE, CGP 

Location: Philadelphia, PA
Credentials: BCD, MSW
Other Articles/News by SaraKay Smullens:

The Decline Of Robin Williams And The Dangers Of Burnout

By

"(Comedy is) a brutal field, man. They burn out. It takes its toll." —Robin Williams Prior to his suicide it had been reported that Robin Williams had begun sleeping in his darkened bedroom for up to 18 hours. Those who love Robin Williams have suggested that his withdrawal from family and friends and his untimely, horrific death can be used ... Read more

Understanding Three Types of Marital Relationships

By

In the years that I have been working with couples, I have seen that there are three basic kinds of marriages.  There can be some overlap in the types; but it helps to understand all three, and their uniqueness.  I share this categorization because it can help individuals to understand some of the reasons why they may not be fulfilled in their ... Read more

Why Some People Are Cruel And How To Deal With Them

By

Here are a few examples of the different kinds of cruel people that exist in our world and a solution on how to deal with them.  The Supposed Friend & The Cheating Boyfriend My 20-year-old client, a college senior, was both sobbing with pain and shaking with rage. She had learned just a few hours before she called for an emergency appointment ... Read more

See More

 
PARTNER POSTS
My Videos
ASK YOURTANGO MORE QUESTIONS
Must-see Videos
SEE MORE VIDEOS
Most Popular