Yo, guessing by your flurry of activity on FB and this shit, then I'm guessing your exams and dissertation worries are over? Haha! Hope they went well! Was strange not seeing you at multiple numbers and nights out! Haha! You going to the wee chill for HUD Mo and Jack? X
Well I have one more exam on the 17th and then I’m all done! I handed in my dissertation in December though, I’m so glad I opted to do it in first term rather than second. Yeah, back on facebook - I got my dad to change my password so I wouldn’t go on it during exam time. I managed five weeks without it, which I think is a pretty good run for an internet junkie, no? I have missed out on A LOT of good clubnights, I know, but I’ll be out in force again for Shackleton and so on. I am thinking of going to The Wee Chill, especially for Moodymann. He’s so dope. But Hud Mo and Jack will be great too no doubt. Just tasting freedom on the tip of my tongue, and it’s really, really sweet.
Ahh, the SlutWalk! I’m a big fan of what the SlutWalk in Toronto started, I posted a video not long ago about it on this, and I think the style of the walk and the message that was put across by emphasising the use of the word ‘slut’ was apt to the situation at hand over there at the time.
I did wonder to myself if anything remotely like it would happen in Glasgow and I saw the facebook invite of one being arranged here. As much as I totally support the cause, I think the motives for doing a SlutWalk in Glasgow cannot be completely aligned with the motives for a SlutWalk in Toronto. The group posted that it was to ‘show solidarity with the Toronto SlutWalk’ and to ‘reclaim the word slut’. This is a bit misguided perhaps. It’s great the there’s vocal groups out there supporting the women and men who marched in Toronto, but that was sparked by a single incident.
(As a recap, a senior Toronto police officer said at a public meeting that women could stop themselves being sexually assaulted and raped if they ‘stopped dressing like sluts’, so a march happened where men and women dressed like ‘sluts’ to emphasise the point that clothing has absolutely nothing to do with sexual assault, the misconception that a certain way of dressing is an invitation to assault and rape, to highlight sexual discrimination and prejudices surrounding rape and sexual assault within the police force and their subsequent dealings with rape survivors.)
Whilst it’s great that there’s international support for the SlutWalk, I think a Glasgow walk should be focused much more on the issues of sexual assault and rape in Glasgow, as well as our own prevailing discrimination and stereotypes surrounding women who are raped.
This year, the Conservative MP Bill Aitken was forced to resign after insinuating that a woman who was raped in Glasgow city centre was a prostitute because she was in a certain area late at night.
Then of course there’s the completely nauseating William O’Rourke, a Glasgow Labour Councillor who insinuated during a rape trial that the nine year old rape survivor (NINE YEARS OLD) was possibly a prostitute, ‘mature for her age’ sexually and could have encouraged the rapist to assault her. He also suggested that her own mother was a prostitute, and due to the sexualisation of young girls in popular culture, the age of consent should be lowered to reflect this.
ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?
These to me are the reasons that Glasgow needs a march of this kind, not just as a show of solidarity with the message put across in Toronto. The march should, in my view, be through areas in which women have been statistically proven to be at risk in recent months, and as its usually in very busy areas like the city centre, it’ll only make people realise all the more that rape and sexual assault happens every day right under our noses, yet the convinction rate is dreadful in Scotland and these stereotypes are still perpetuated by even government officials.
Also, I think there’s a problem with trying to ‘reclaim’ the word ‘slut’ through the march. Like I’ve previously said about ‘bitch’, I think simply using a word over and over in different, unexpected contexts doesn’t necessarily counteract the negative force of the word. I struggle to see how ‘slut’ can be reclaimed. It’s poisonous. I think it’s the relationship between female clothing and being called a slut that’s important, but to tackle the word as a whole is really problematic. The message that the Toronto SlutWalk put across was to confront those who stereotype and victimise rape survivors and women in general in terms of clothing and attitude with their own vile terminology, and confront them with the very word that they use so freely in order for them to re-think why they use the word and in what ways. ‘Re-claim’ implies it was somehow inherent to women ‘before’ sexual discrimination (I really fail to see how that would work), that it was mis-used and distorted by men and women alike, and now it’s no longer what it originally meant. To me, slut cannot have positive connotations and cannot be re-claimed because it has never had a positive, original meaning in our culture. But that’s just my personal opinion.
I think that the march overall is an amazing idea, and will hopefully put the issues that are important and at the heart of the march in the news and into discussion again. But it would be more apt if we focused less on simply showing support for another city and concentrate more on the problems here in Glasgow.
Hey, we went to primary school together? Show yourself!
Glendale, umm, haha, sending Danny a valentines card anonymously…. then him tripping me up the same week on the way home from school, which meant I got the biggest lump on my head ever and had to get a big fringe cut for school photo day that week to cover it up, all the girls just hanging about in the goal posts on the football pitch in a row (because we didn’t want to play football but didn’t want to be left out), the Eid parties we had that I came covered home in henna drawings from, hanging out with Nico because our little brothers were friends and we became pals anyway haha, dancing to Prince in Rachel Annis’ living room, the nurse handing out sweets on the sly out the back window behind the canteen, the ‘janny’ being this fabled weirdo who lived in a wee house at the edge of the playground with an overgrown gardenm lots of dogs and a wife we NEVER saw…
I see you've posted OFWGKTA and some Tyler, The Creator solo stuff. I find this a bit odd given their constant lyrics about punching woman, slapping them and even raping them. Seems someone is putting their supposed feminist beliefs on the back burner in order to like the new cool thing. Shame.
I’ve got a feeling this will be a long response already, ha. Well, despite the obviously sneering sentiment in this (and patronising – ‘shame’? What are you, my moral judge and jury, hoping I’d worked a little harder to meet your esteemed standards?) you’ve kind of approached a question that comes up quite often for me. Not in the sense that I’m asked it, but that I ask it of myself. I do feel that there are quite clear tensions between listening to hip hop and rap and being feminist. Odd Future don’t exactly help this either. I have given Odd Future’s music some thought over the past few months, particularly when the hype surrounding them blew up.
To be quite frank, I wouldn’t call myself a fan. I do think that their appearance on Jimmy Fallon as a visual performance was inspired (gnomes and ski masks and zombies and Questlove on drums, fuck) and that they are running an all-round impressive show in terms of promoting themselves and hooking up with brands like Supreme and publications like Fader, but I’ve recently become a little bored with the Odd Future hype machine that’s in play right now.
You’re clearly working under the false assumption that because I have listened to Odd Future, I’ve somehow thrown all caution to the wind, eschewed my feminist beliefs and aligned my sense of worth as a woman with a fucking rap group. YES TYLER, YOU’RE RIGHT, YOU SHOULD CHAIN ME UP IN THE BASEMENT AND RAPE ME, WHAT THE HELL WAS I THINKING? FUCK BELL HOOKS, THAT BITCH WAS WAY OFF. Come on. I am not a willing and conscious cultural sponge for everything I see and hear. Listening to one black metal record doesn’t necessarily make you run out your house screaming, covered in pigs blood, and burn down a church.
At the heart of it, I do feel that although there’s an element of over-stylised parody and black humour in their music, which is often used as a justification for their lyrics as like a “chill out BITCH, he’s not ACTUALLY gonna rape you, no biggie” kinda male comeback, and their rape-centric lyrics could even be a response (conscious or not) to the racist myth of the black sexual predator/rapist, I do absolutely feel that the promotion of violence against women in mainstream patriarchal society is hideous and repressive, and is further by such lyrical content, particularly because Odd Future’s press has blown the fuck up in recent weeks. The fact that they’re generally pushing hard for mainstream success proves that this message is not a marginal one – it’s extreme and bleak and shocking, but it’s generated enough of a positive public response to be considered acceptable and even funny. If anything, Odd Future’s lyrics speak not just of Odd Future as a music group in themselves but of the wider culture that accepts their music. It’s not Odd Future, or me, that’s the problem here – its the ingrained sexist culture of male dominance and female oppression (and importantly, NOT of black men only – sexism is not a black issue, this particular example just happens to be focused on rap music) that allows it and exacerbates it all.
But then, if you want to attack Odd Future and their fans - and whether there’s a disparity or not in listening to them and being a violent homophobe and misogynist - in the same breath you’d better hurl everything you’ve got at Lil B, The Pack, Rick Ross, Lil Wayne…… I mean, fuck, if I were to compile a list of rappers who use misogynistic and derogatory language in their lyrics (and even more vivid imagery of such messages in their music videos) then you’d be scrolling for days.
If anything, I see Nicki Minaj as a far greater threat to female sexual expression and relations with men than Odd Future are. She doesn’t highlight these things that are in play, she just completely absorbs and perpetuates them. If you’re one of the most successful female artists around right now, then why the fuck are your lap-dancing some anonymous guy in your video, taking your shit off at every opportunity and rapping about beating up other women? And her beef with Lil Kim – where is your fucking sense of sisterhood? Little girls LOVE her. Fuck, no, WOMEN love her. THAT worries me much, much more.
Ultimately though, I do feel that attempts of justifying Odd Future’s blatantly homophobic and violently sexist lyrical content in some kind of white, middle-class, pseudo-intellectual hipster way is completely counterproductive. I don’t think calling women ‘bitches’ as an affectionate term counterbalances the sexist connotations of it. Violent misogyny is not ‘re-claimed’ or lessened in impact by its constant reiteration. So, we cool on that one? Trust me, I’m a feminist.