Hi NYC Slutwalk! How are you? I bet you’re cranky. You certainly have sounded cranky lately. That’s unfortunate, because you really have no excuse to be cranky at all. On the contrary, you should feel ashamed.
No really, you should!
Slutwalk, I want to support you, and in theory, I think you’re great. But this racism and racism apologizing bullshit is giving me a rage.
Slutwalk organizers, you were never going to erase the damage that was done by the racist fuck who made this sign, but you had an opportunity to say “no, this is wrong, we’re against this,” to show your solidarity with non-racist-fucks, to condemn anyone who didn’t stand in solidarity. And you blew it.
There is nothing that excuses the sign, ok? Nothing. John Lennon doesn’t mitigate a damn thing, and it’s frankly hilarious, where hilarious = goddamn depressing, that anyone would think it could. “But guys, a white man came up with that saying first!” is an absurd defense. It always has been. And “Yoko Ono told him it was ok!” is absurd too. One woman of color does not equal all women of color, and while I’ve no doubt that Yoko Ono has heard a lot of racist bullshit in her time, I somehow doubt the N-word is included in that.
Slutwalk, you didn’t just create an environment where a woman thought it was ok to hold a sign with the n-word; you created an environment where it was ok. She held her sign, and only one woman of color asked her to take it down, and she didn’t do it. She didn’t need to do it, because she knew she could get away with walking around with her racism prominently displayed on a huge goddamn sign.
And she held it up, and posed for the picture, and basically became the face of exactly the kind of feminism I can’t get behind.
And this is why I roll my eyes when white women bitch about WOC who don’t identify as feminist. Yeah, I wish more WOC would identify as feminist, but I see that as a failure of feminism, not WOC. Because why the hell would a person of color—whatever their gender—want to stand with a movement that has such a history of epic race fails? I can’t imagine I would.
When this shit happens, I usually just say, well, that’s not my feminism. But that’s easy for me to do, because feminism is all about young, white, cis, het, college women. Feminism is a pretty safe space for me. I get angry when things like this happen, and disgusted, and ashamed; but that’s it. I’m not threatened by it. I’m not marginalized. I’m just pissed.
This—this, right here—is why feminism has such a piss-power track record when it comes to racial issues.
So, dear Slutwalk organizers whose first response to get all defensive and whatnot, y’all need to sit the fuck down and think for a minute. Ok, so maybe you personally didn’t see the sign. Fine. It was a big crowd, you can’t see everything. But now that you’ve seen it, condemn it. Don’t bring up John Lennon. (Really, don’t. Every time I read the name John Lennon, Imagine starts playing in my head and I hate that song.) Don’t try to invoke the power of Yoko. Don’t take the criticisms personally. Don’t think about yourself at all, because it’s not about you.
And don’t, for fuck’s sake, try to argue that the N-word is only offensive in certain contexts. If you aren’t black, you can’t use it. Ok? That’s the rule. Your whole protest is about reclaiming the word “slut”; would you be ok with a bunch of men saying “uhhhh, you guys are using it, which means we can use it too, in whatever context we want”? Of course not. Logic, people. (And let’s be honest here—slut does not have nearly the sordid history that the N-word does.)
Oh, Slutwalk. You had a chance to make…not good, exactly, but better. You could have made better. And you chose to be racist, privilege-denying douchecanoes instead. If you don’t get your act together, I’m gonna have to let you go.