I’ve always supported the aims of the Slutwalk movement: sticking two fingers up at rape apologism.
The thing is, the London Slutwalk Twitter account has gone miles off message. Their anti-rape campaigning, it seems, only extends to clothing. If you happened to have been raped by a powerful man, on the other hand, they don’t give a shit.
Yesterday they tweeted a statement about Julian Assange. It featured the standard foil-hattery about the extradition to the US, and ended with a suggestion that he should stand trial–but in the UK.
Now, this is all well and good if you don’t care much for rape survivors. Imagine if you have been raped, and your rapist skips the country. You are told you can only get justice if you go to a country far away, and face a legal system with which you are not familiar, with a trial in a language you don’t speak (but your rapist does).
How is this in any way standing up for people who have experienced rape?
I can’t support Slutwalk London when they continue to engage in coded rape apologism. Rather than destroying rape culture, they are actively contributing to it. They’ve made it clear their support does not extend to all women, all survivors. And I will never support movements which stand for this.
ETA: Slutwalk Britain have disowned Slutwalk London. This is a positive step; I’m glad to see these views aren’t thoroughly entrenched across the whole Slutwalk movement.
Update 28/9/12: Slutwalk Toronto–who started the Slutwalk movement–have responded to Slutwalk London’s comments, finding them unacceptable.
No matter who Assange is, his political involvement and status should never be used to discredit or cast doubt upon his victims or protect him from being accountable. Suggesting otherwise goes against what we believe SlutWalk is.
Update 30/09/12: One of Slutwalk London has taken responsibility for the comment, saying:
The recent views expressed regarding the extradition of Julian Assange were my own rather than those of SlutWalk London. I apologise for using this platform to express these views and hope they do not deter from the purpose of SlutWalk, which is to send the message that there is never any excuse for rape and to demand protection and justice for all rape survivors. – Anastasia Richardson
This late in the game, it smacks of desperate backpedalling to save face. I’ve asked Anastasia if she sees how she (probably unwittingly) perpetuated rape culture. I’ll let you know if I get a reply.