The name is insulting to women – SLUT walk, besharmi, maal…




No. It is the attitude that is insulting to women. The name is just a word.

We have a lot of tongue wagging happened in our country about naari shakti and such nonsense. Truth is, it is a lot of fragrant air, but when you’re walking down the street, that isn’t who you are. You ARE “maal”, “item”, “sexy” (in a lusty, invasive way). No one is looking at you with respect. They are calculating your bra size. They are wondering how they can brush past you so that they can rub themselves against you. There are people scanning the street for eye candy and it isn’t about the girl being cheap – it is about entertainment. We women are entertainment for whoever wants to take a mental masturbation trip right there on the road. And the irony is that we are the ones labeled “cheap”, “whore”, “Besharam”, etc.

It is the dirt in the heads of the predators in the society that we are forced to carry. It has nothing to do with clothes. Your mother in her most ordinary clothes has people rubbing their bodies against her in a bus. There are small girls and boys raped. There are communities that will order women raped – for crimes they didn’t commit, but their “men” did. There are women who suffer acid attacks for being beautiful. There are women who get violently raped. There are 10 year old girls who get dragged under escaping cars of eve-teasers who get scarred for life. There are accusations that these people invited trouble on themselves.

You have policemen not taking complaints seriously. You have policemen blaming women for the clothes they wore if they get raped, when they know full well it is women in conservative clothes getting raped more. You have eve-teasers enjoying full freedom and the support of silence in a society and you have generations of women unsafe on the streets.

If you think this is naari shakti, you are out of your freaking mind. This is the women of the country being entertainment in a bloodsport. The name reflects that, not a fantasy of how this creep show should be called. And it seems it also makes people angry if this truth is called out. People think you are shameless for the choice of name of your protest. They want you to continue pretending some bullshit concepts that they will go “accha-accha theek hai” and on their way home, see if they are finally able to grab the butt of their neighbour’s daughter.

The names are correct because they reflect reality. They are ugly, because they reflect reality. That is our reality – we are ugly with our women, even though we have created some very nice sounding words to cover it up with.

The slutwalk is a protest, not a popularity contest. The idea is not that you like the name we choose, but that you understand why it is so. I hate the name too. Which is exactly why it must stay – the ugly truth slapping our face. If women were respected, the protest would be unnecessary. And so would an ugly name.

Here are some of the prevalent objections I came across about the slutwalk, since I started speaking up in support:

  1. Women parading naked on the streets is going to increase harassment. I have no clue why these depraved minds imagine only naked women, but whatever, that is their imagination, and it can only be countered by reality as it unfolds. However, I refuse to rule out nudity, unlikely as I think it will happen. Whoever thinks it will make things more dangerous needs to study the impact of the activists stripping naked in protest of rapes. It worked better than all previous protests combined. So yeah, they became safer.
  2. Why do you want the women to dress cheaply? I don’t want anyone to dress cheaply, but I refuse to label anyone’s choice of clothes as cheap.  This is exactly the thinking being questioned. What they wear is their right. I may or may not like their choices, and that is my business. They are not required to pander to my desires. Nor is my  choice somehow more respectable than another’s.
  3. Feminists and assorted bold women have made life unsafe for all women. Not true. They have protested what is happening, not created the incidents they protest. As for protesting increasing violence against women…. you’ll need to show me some statistics, because I think this is a load of bull shit.
  4. It is useless. Men will not change. This is self-defeating. And it is insulting to our men to call them incapable of doing the decent thing. Not to mention this is outright acceptance of victimization of women. Quoting slightly modified from another post, :”It is an age-old trick to prevent protest by brainwashing/dominating someone into believing it is futile. I hope you see through it… They have been intellectually and emotionally abandoned as animals and unquestioningly pampered for having dicks. No one expects better, so they have no need to think that any change is needed. It is different from not able to change.
  5. The slutwalk trivializes an important issue and damages the women’s cause. I am a scientist by nature. I work with observations, not imagination or assumptions. I see this protest already effective because of the amount of reactions it has caused in society. In support, in opposition, in being vocally neutral…. that only happens when a call for change creates turmoil in minds. If it was useless, futile, etc… it wouldn’t get so much attention. It would yawn and sink. Also, I fail to see the trivializing. It takes some of the ugliest attitudes of society and puts them on the table – how is that trivial? I think those calling it trivial need to think more about what is happening in the world around them.
  6. I don’t support all this victimization of women, I am not a woman. This is irrelevant to me. Dream on, unless you are saying that you don’t give a damn that your daughter, sister, wife, mother, girl friend, school teacher, etc are routinely harassed. If you don’t support these attitudes, all the more reason for you to walk in support and serve as a role model. Think beyond your couch for once.
  7. It will destroy our society if women start wearing whatever they want. Good morning. Women often wear whatever they want. The idea of the protest is to prevent their victimization for it. I don’t see how this will destroy society.
  8. If you think encouraging nudity is…. ever wonder why your mind shorts and is unable to progress beyond the nudity? THAT is what we are protesting. Get the fuck off your obsession with us nude. It is not your business. If it gives you an uncontrollable urge to start raping people, I suggest that you close your eyes tightly that day. Or walk in the protest and learn a more respectful way of being.
  9. I don’t think this is the best way… Every way doesn’t have to meet your approval. You really need to stop having such a high opinion of yourself that anyone thinking differently cannot be allowed.
  10. I am scared my daughter, wife, etc will suffer at the hands of lecherous spectators of the protest. All the more reason for you to walk along them and keep them safe and endorse their call for dignity.
  11. You call this Satyagraha? You must be joking. Actually, I am not. If the Satyagraha is about the right to insist peacefully and protest injustice, I see this as a far more fundamental satyagraha than a freedom struggle or fight against corruption. It is about the right of women to not be victimized. For children to not be used for sexual attacks. To not be objectified. To not be an entire country’s porn projection. It protests hate crimes pretending to be moral policing, repressing half the country’s population and spreading moral decay in the pretense of moral superiority.

These are the most common ones picked from tweets, comments, emails and other conversations. If you find more, let’s use the comments to get talking about this. The more important ones, I’ll add to the post as updates, so people find them easily.

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About the Author

Vidyut
Vidyut is a blogger on issues of National interest. Staunch advocate of rights, learning and freedoms. @Vidyut

14 Comments on "The name is insulting to women – SLUT walk, besharmi, maal…"

  1. And this is a worldwide problem, which is why Slutwalk is such an amazing thing.  Here in New Zealand, when someone is attacked or raped (whether it is man or woman, whether trans* or cis-gendered, whether gay or heterosexual)  they are often questioned about:

    Being drunk;
    Being in a certain part of town at a certain time of night;
    How sexually active they are;
    What they were wearing;
    How provocative they were.

    There seems to be an immediate assumption that victims of crime must have done something to bring it on themselves. It seems so much easier for people that asking “Why did the offender choose to do it?”

    Despite the cross-cultural and linguistic difficulties with its worldwide spread, I still see Slutwalk as the start of a revolution. It really has sparked something special.  People are now talking about things that were taboo.  It is even good that the ignorant, offensive people are talking about it.  Because it means that they are actually receiving the message, even if they haven’t understood it yet.

    In “western” society, I am at the peak of privilege – a white, heterosexual, cis-genered middle-class male.  I see it as my personal responsibility to at least make others of privilege aware of it. To change the way privileged people see others.

    I do struggle a little with the issue of imposing my belief system on other cultures.  But the general human rights issues of treating people with dignity and respect outweighs any cultural sensitivity.

    And again I am rambling, sorry.

    • I hear you. And it is an important point you brought up. The attitude is worldwide, the need is worldwide. And doubters of the movement need only to look at how it spread, like wildfire. This doesn’t happen with bad ideas.

      Really appreciate that a “white, heterosexual, cis-genered middle-class male” is sensitive to the issue and vocal in support. I appreciate that you are taking the time to raise your voice in support for people not directly related to you or even geographically close, because you believe you have a message worth spreading. Thank you!

      About the rambling… don’t worry about it. Look at the length of my posts, and for further reassurance, look at the length of Ketan Panchal’s comments if you encounter them – proper articles in themselves in terms of length. This blog is verbose friendly 😉 It is what you are saying that counts, not the number of words you use to say it in. Those who have a problem know where the scroll button is 😀 So far, no one has had a problem with long comments, though some have called my articles too long 😛

      It is conversation, it is precious.

    • I hear you. And it is an important point you brought up. The attitude is worldwide, the need is worldwide. And doubters of the movement need only to look at how it spread, like wildfire. This doesn’t happen with bad ideas.

      Really appreciate that a “white, heterosexual, cis-genered middle-class male” is sensitive to the issue and vocal in support. I appreciate that you are taking the time to raise your voice in support for people not directly related to you or even geographically close, because you believe you have a message worth spreading. Thank you!

      About the rambling… don’t worry about it. Look at the length of my posts, and for further reassurance, look at the length of Ketan Panchal’s comments if you encounter them – proper articles in themselves in terms of length. This blog is verbose friendly 😉 It is what you are saying that counts, not the number of words you use to say it in. Those who have a problem know where the scroll button is 😀 So far, no one has had a problem with long comments, though some have called my articles too long 😛

      It is conversation, it is precious.

  2. And this is a worldwide problem, which is why Slutwalk is such an amazing thing.  Here in New Zealand, when someone is attacked or raped (whether it is man or woman, whether trans* or cis-gendered, whether gay or heterosexual)  they are often questioned about:

    Being drunk;
    Being in a certain part of town at a certain time of night;
    How sexually active they are;
    What they were wearing;
    How provocative they were.

    There seems to be an immediate assumption that victims of crime must have done something to bring it on themselves. It seems so much easier for people that asking “Why did the offender choose to do it?”

    Despite the cross-cultural and linguistic difficulties with its worldwide spread, I still see Slutwalk as the start of a revolution. It really has sparked something special.  People are now talking about things that were taboo.  It is even good that the ignorant, offensive people are talking about it.  Because it means that they are actually receiving the message, even if they haven’t understood it yet.

    In “western” society, I am at the peak of privilege – a white, heterosexual, cis-genered middle-class male.  I see it as my personal responsibility to at least make others of privilege aware of it. To change the way privileged people see others.

    I do struggle a little with the issue of imposing my belief system on other cultures.  But the general human rights issues of treating people with dignity and respect outweighs any cultural sensitivity.

    And again I am rambling, sorry.

    • I hear you. And it is an important point you brought up. The attitude is worldwide, the need is worldwide. And doubters of the movement need only to look at how it spread, like wildfire. This doesn’t happen with bad ideas.

      Really appreciate that a “white, heterosexual, cis-genered middle-class male” is sensitive to the issue and vocal in support. I appreciate that you are taking the time to raise your voice in support for people not directly related to you or even geographically close, because you believe you have a message worth spreading. Thank you!

      About the rambling… don’t worry about it. Look at the length of my posts, and for further reassurance, look at the length of Ketan Panchal’s comments if you encounter them – proper articles in themselves in terms of length. This blog is verbose friendly 😉 It is what you are saying that counts, not the number of words you use to say it in. Those who have a problem know where the scroll button is 😀 So far, no one has had a problem with long comments, though some have called my articles too long 😛

      It is conversation, it is precious.

    • I hear you. And it is an important point you brought up. The attitude is worldwide, the need is worldwide. And doubters of the movement need only to look at how it spread, like wildfire. This doesn’t happen with bad ideas.

      Really appreciate that a “white, heterosexual, cis-genered middle-class male” is sensitive to the issue and vocal in support. I appreciate that you are taking the time to raise your voice in support for people not directly related to you or even geographically close, because you believe you have a message worth spreading. Thank you!

      About the rambling… don’t worry about it. Look at the length of my posts, and for further reassurance, look at the length of Ketan Panchal’s comments if you encounter them – proper articles in themselves in terms of length. This blog is verbose friendly 😉 It is what you are saying that counts, not the number of words you use to say it in. Those who have a problem know where the scroll button is 😀 So far, no one has had a problem with long comments, though some have called my articles too long 😛

      It is conversation, it is precious.

  3. Can you give the link for the blog post from which you’ve quoted for the point no. 4.

  4. Can you give the link for the blog post from which you’ve quoted for the point no. 4.

  5. Can you give the link for the blog post from which you’ve quoted for the point no. 4.

  6. Can you give the link for the blog post from which you’ve quoted for the point no. 4.

  7. Ya. You are right. Women need to teach their boys how to treat women right from the birth.I have seen mothers who let their son beat up their sisters and treat them badly. And I have talked to those little girls.. they very much accept their fate and start believing that its their own fault that they were beaten up and Men have “right” to do so  because thats what their mothers say. There needs to be some awareness program for mother when they are pregnant so that they know how to treat their children right.

  8. Ya. You are right. Women need to teach their boys how to treat women right from the birth.I have seen mothers who let their son beat up their sisters and treat them badly. And I have talked to those little girls.. they very much accept their fate and start believing that its their own fault that they were beaten up and Men have “right” to do so  because thats what their mothers say. There needs to be some awareness program for mother when they are pregnant so that they know how to treat their children right.

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