Why You Should Take Your Teenager on a SlutWalk

Posted on October 4, 2011


I really appreciated this article.  Who knew traditional media could cover something this grassroots and progressive in an appropriate way? I certainly didn’t! Soraya Chemaly: Why You Should Take Your Teenager on a SlutWalk.

In her Pulitzer Prize winning book, Backlash, Faludi described the conservative response of a society reeling from changes brought on by feminism. A response that created the hyper-gendered reality of four billion dollar a year Disney princesses and their muscular Hollywood super heroes counterparts. A response that shaped a generation whose idea of women’s liberation, inaccurately conflated with sexual liberation, is “girls gone wild.” A generation, woefully uneducated, that’s doesn’t give feminism an overt second thought.

Any serious review of facts, however, shows that despite some gains, the work of feminism is still vital. Female pay equity at 78 cents to the male dollar and the percentage of women in Congress has dropped from a one time high of 21 percent to today’s 17 percent. Women’s representation in senior, management positions in every sector of our economy stagnates in the 7-16 percent range.

We rate 9th in the world for number of rapes per capita, and that with an antiquated definition of “forcible” assault. According to the 2010 World Economic Forum’s Gender Index Report, which demonstrates the strong correlation between the status of women and a country’s prosperity and competitiveness, the U.S. ranks 19th for overall equity, 40th for political empowerment.

Yet, our kids are essentially taught that women here have nothing to complain about. With the exception of the condescending lessons of “Women’s History Month” that focuses on how women were “given the vote,” they learn virtually nothing about women’s substantive contributions to our culture.

Our historical heroes, public statuary, currency, visible power brokers and sports arenas are dominated by men. Despite the Women’s World Cup (which we watch in reruns), the only industries where women are prominent are those requiring them to be beautiful, thin and frequently half-naked. The only sectors where they dominate in the workforce, the lowest paid. We do little as a society to educate our children in a way that offsets a culture in which women are allowed to be visible and powerful only when they are commoditized

I appreciate the way Soraya confronts head-on this notion that women are equal.  Yes, i appreciate this very much. Rock on, sister.

Posted in: activism