Slut Walk talk

Re: “Trent Feminist Society hosts on campus Slutwalk” (feature, issue 10, November 18)

Dear Editors,

This afternoon, I was having a calming tea at the Seasoned Spoon and perusing issue 10 of Arthur.

I had it open to the page with pictures from the Trent Feminist Society’s Slut Walk earlier this month, when an older white man came up to me and decided to engage me in conversation over the photos. He pointed to one of a person holding a bright pink sign saying “YES MEANS FUCK ME NO MEANS FUCK YOU.”

Old white dude [voce disappointamento]: That is just some really ugly language.

Me: I think it’s great. In fact, I think it’s perfect. Also, I don’t want to talk to you about it.

Old white dude [voce defensive]: I just, you know, I just think that it’s very ugly language and…

Me: You know what’s ugly? Rape.

Old white dude: [silence]

I then went back to sipping my tea and reading my paper.

Now, apart from being offended by this man’s strange sense of entitlement to disturb me from my reading and engage me in debate when I clearly was not into it, I was disheartened by his sentiments.

For ever and ever, women have been taught to sit down, shut up, and look pretty (but not too pretty, because if you’re too pretty men won’t be able to keep their boners in their pants). I am “unladylike” if I curse, but if men use misogynist, demeaning language, it’s all “boys will be boys!” and “take it as a compliment!”

Personally, I don’t consider the word “cumbucket” a compliment (and yes, I have been called that before). So why can’t I yell “fuck off, cuntdryer!” back? Why do I have to watch my language when I get bombarded with horrible language most days I walk down George Street?

If you benefit or are otherwise mostly shielded from rape culture, the only way you are even going to begin to understand how it affects people (and I mean all people: men, women, cis, trans, queer, straight, racialized or not— anyone whose body is targeted by assholes yelling from their car windows or creepers walking by them on the street) every day, in every way, is to have that language mirrored right back at you.

A sign that says “PRETTY PLEASE WOULD YOU DIRECT YOUR ATTENTION SOMEWHERE OTHER THAN MY BODY BECAUSE IT’S NOT NICE OKAY THANK YOU HAVE A NICE DAY” is not going to stop rape culture. I don’t know if “NO MEANS FUCK YOU” will necessarily change anything either, but hopefully it will help people (who are a little brighter and a little less set in their ways than the old white dude who just had to give his opinion on the Slut Walkers’ “ugly” signs) understand just how hurtful their language can be.

Sincerely,

CM, who is only using her initials because if future employers Google her name and see she used the word “cuntdryer” they won’t hire her because THE PATRIARCHY!

Payback time

Dear Editors,

When Janet McCue received the YMCA Peace Medallion last Friday Councillor Keith Knott (former Chief of Curve Lake First Nation)  spoke with pride of her accomplishments in peace making, social justice and empowering those living in poverty.

He also reminded the audience that when the settlers arrived they were welcomed by the First Peoples of this country who helped them  deal with the harsh climate and freely shared their land, resources and medicines.

It is well past time to repay some of this phenomenal generosity which literally helped our ancestors survive. Sadly, due to our heedless destruction of the forests , wildlife and wild rice crops,  many Native communities— particularly those in the far north—are now struggling to survive.

Janet McCue regularly visits one such community on James Bay. Foods for a nutritious balanced diet are totally cost-prohibitive for most residents (seven bruised apples cost $15) and many people subsist on an insufficient diet.

On her last visit Janet took two bushel baskets of apples which were received with joyful enthusiasm by the children of the community. Janet will be making a trip in December.
If your group is interested in contributing items or funding that would brighten the holiday season for these marginalized First Peoples please contact Janet at 745-8144.

Thank you,

carol winter.