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Slut V 2.0 - Opening Image

It’s Hard Not To Shout

by Linda Stupart / 19.01.2012

It’s hard not to shout when someone just isn’t listening to you. Unfortunately, though, if you’re a woman, and particularly if you’re a Feminist (GASP), shouting at men is exactly what’s expected of you: Illogical, emotional, cock-hating, weeping and so on (at this point I’d like to reiterate that I rather like men, and I definitely like cock, hey SOME OF MY BEST FRIENDS ARE BOYS).

So, calmly, I would like to say something to you (this ‘You’ includes women, men, myself as well as the particular man who is this story’s main protagonist, this is an inclusive you, not an othering one):

I said: We need to claim our voices, our streets, our bodies as our own.

So he patted me on the head and asked after my father.

(Do not think, little man, that because I do not possess the one-eyed upstanding middle leg that you choose to stand on, that I will not tear you to pieces with my brain, my boots, my flesh, my cunt, my pen-wielding fingertips, my greedy, generous, terrible and sharp-toothed lips.)

Last year I wrote an article about the potential effectiveness (and affect) of a Slutwalk in South Africa. I have not written anything on the subject since, as I felt that the thoughts expressed in the article remained the same post-event. However, of the Cape Town Slutwalk I remember:

A sense of unity, of carnival, of freedom, a real sense of women claiming their sexual freedom, and of Feminist men supporting us.

Dissatisfaction with the safe route we traversed, in a neat line (in Seapoint, an upmarket, queer-friendly and fairly slutty location), for which we had permission.

Frustration and anger that the male co-leader of Slutwalk Cape Town (with whom I have absolutely no qualms whatsoever) had a megaphone and was speaking to the crowds when we reached the end of the walk. Surely women should be speaking? Why didn’t I take up the loudhailer, the address? I stamped my feet and then walked back to the car.

So, when I saw Feminist author and filmmaker, Gillian Schutte’s, Facebook status stating:

“I have serious concerns about a male representing the Slutwalk and talking on behalf of women about issues that directly affect women. I have nothing against the actual man… but how did Slutwalk Johannesburg become an organisation represented and run by a man?”

I agreed. Of course it is ridiculous for a man to be the spokesperson for the Slutwalk, especially in South Africa where a woman is raped every 26 seconds, where advertising, government, law and ‘tradition’ are all against us. And internationally Slutwalk is a movement formed against victim blaming – that double negation where the raped woman is both victim (powerless, without speech) and to blame (aggressor, inciter, whore) as well as a specific reclamation of the word slut, of patriarchal language generally (that calls us sluts, or ‘unclean’, when we behave as they do or, worse, as we want) and also of our own self-defining sexuality – a sex that means wearing short skirts, or burkas, a sex that is written in a new language, a sex that is ours, to do with as we want, a sex that does not end when you are ‘finished’.

No, we need a nice white man to tell people that us girls should be able to dress how we like.

But, I thought, this man probably is well meaning. He is anti-abuse, he probably just hasn’t really thought this stuff through. So, when this man (who I do not wish to name, but I must), Walter Pike, posted a defensive, angry text on his Facebook page (POOR ME, I’M SUCH A VICTIM, A RADICAL FEMINIST ATTACKED ME WITH HER TEXT – go tell that to the millions of women who are raped every day and see how sorry they feel for you. A knife on my neck. Take her into a room and teach her a lesson) – I thought I would write a reasonable response. For the sake of brevity and word count, you can see our conversation below:

Slut V 2.0 - Screenshot

Since then I have been trying to remain calm. Unfortunately, though, since then Mr. Pike has been relishing his position as simultaneous chief whip of the anti-feminist backlash and the spokesperson (a spokesperson or spokesman or spokeswoman is someone engaged or elected to speak on behalf of others. We do not need to be standing beside you under your rib while you speak. We DON’T need another hero) for the Slutwalk – publishing accusatory, whiny texts and interviews on various media. Since then I have wondered why I am so fiercely defending a movement I am still not even sure of. Since then I am wondering if Slutwalk can work in a country where we are so incredibly unaware of international gender politics that maybe we need to start somewhere else, in a country where the word Feminist is dirty, other, exclusionary, attacked; in a country where (as I suggested before) maybe we do not deserve to be carnivalesque or celebratory, where maybe we have bigger problems when it comes to rape. In a country where we are so obsessed with equality, humanism and easy-to-say conservative-liberal catchphrases that we are not allowed to stand up and say: THIS IS A WOMAN’S PROBLEM.

Since then I have fantasised about taking You on in a public forum, a stage in South Africa, where I could really bite you, castrate you, as you do Us. Since then I have wept because I am so angry. Since then I have wished that I was there, I have wished to be home to fight you.

Slut V 2.0 - Your Comfort Is My Silence

So (I would say, before I got angry, before I shouted or wept, before a response) this is why, Mr. Pike, you are so infuriating:

You use the word “feminist” almost exclusively before the word “attacked”, as someone who is the spokesperson for a Feminist movement, encouraging anti-feminism is not ok.

YES SLUTWALK IS A FEMINIST MOVEMENT. Or, at least, victim-blaming is a WOMEN’S ISSUE. It was a group of girls who a Canadian policeman told not to dress like sluts, it is women who are the ones constantly put on trial when they accuse men of rape (and while boys and men are tragically too victims of rape, men are almost always the aggressors).
It is we whose sexual history is used against us when we are raped, it is we who do not feel safe in public, we who are told we were ‘asking for it’ (They who are not listening). It is we who are called sluts, ‘unclean’, not you, Walter.

You constantly confuse speaking with speaking for. Your voice, as with all voices, should be heard. You claiming our voice, you silencing us, you ignoring us and accusing us, and you completely negating the violence and harm done unto women (YES WOMEN, SPECIFICALLY), that’s not ok.

You also purposefully ignore, disrespect and silence women who disagree with you. You chose to completely ignore my points on your commentary, purposefully goading me by asking after my father when I questioned patriarchal authority. You accuse Gillian Schutte but fail to address her points and you unfriended Charlene Smith on Facebook because she dared to suggest that the Slutwalk movement would be best led by a woman. This was her final comment, shared with a group of women who are discussing You, together, which she could not post on your wall as you ‘blocked’ her:

“Of course, as a woman and a rape survivor how would I know? C’mon Walter, you have more intelligence than that, constructively engage with an open mind … when I started out as a lefty journalist writing about how awful apartheid was I felt so smug in what a ‘good person’ I was so hurt when black people turned around & said, Charlene we can talk for ourselves. But they were right. It was a great and important lesson for me. I never stopped writing about the harm of racism, but my approach changed. And as such I became far more effective.”

“Woman must write her self: must write about women and bring women to writing, from which they have been driven away as violently as from their bodies.” – Cixous

Perhaps readers might say that arguing, in public, the position of this single man is unimportant, perhaps there is some Truth in that. That he seems to have legions of supporters, I think, makes this point more important. And that so many seem unable to see the insidious, sexist and harmful nature of This Man’s comments, even more so. (And I have intentionally written this in a forum that is not specifically Feminist. Dare I say, if anything, Mahala is the opposite).

I’d like to end with a wonderful quote from Pike’s own mouth, or public Facebook page at least. In responding to Jen Thorpe’s article in Feminists SA on Why Men Can’t Lead the Women’s Movement Pike wrote: “in my radio interview I asked whether the same argument applies to rhino – that only rhino can speak up against poaching. Lol.”

Of course, Walter, woman are EXACTLY like Rhinos, because clearly neither of us can speak. In fact It’s a wonder I can write this with my giant unwieldy rhino hands.

In 1913 British suffragette Rebecca West famously stated that “Feminism is the radical notion that women are people”.

(BUT HEY WE DON’T NEED FEMINISM AT ALL RIGHT, BECAUSE SO MUCH HAS CHANGED).

Slut V 2.0 - Rhinos

16   2
RESPONSES (46)
  1. Mesosoic Mard says:

    Castrate him? Why are you feminists always going after the balls? Nice article, otherwise.

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  2. Anonymous says:

    When you are writing in capital letters as often as this, it should probably be in your diary / personal blog.

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  3. getoffthelawn says:

    Every good story needs a villain. This prick’s perfect.

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  4. Tyrion Lannister says:

    Linda has been hitting the Kegels hard, the vagina is strong with this one. A couple of points to your words:

    1) You saying ‘i rather like men…i like cock and, hey, some of my best friends are boys’ is akin to that failed defense against accusations of racism: “Hey, I love chocolate and some of my best friends are black’.

    2) As to Walter Pike – sure his responses and reactions are, well, not particularly well thought out, BUT…

    I feel for the guy. He works like a mad fuck, organizing the Slutwalk, toiling for a cause that, in a way, is not his but he feels for. And what does he get in response? You don’t have a cunt, fuck you! I don’t know the inner workings of the Slutwalk, but I cant seem to understand how all the ravenous females, that were surely involved in organizing it, could over look such A TERRIBLE OFFENSE TO THE FEMALE GENDER as letting a man have the megaphone. Instead of turning the issue on its head and calling the guy an anti-feminist, why the fuck did none of you cunts hustle and make sure that a woman spoke, from the get go?

    Poor Walter, he must be feeling a little betrayed and, I do theorize here, herein lies the reason for his abruptness and ‘crassness’.

    Women are beautiful creatures, deserving love and respect, without them the world would be a terrible place. But cunts like you piss me off. I would love to see you ‘restructure the world in the feminist image’, because my money is on the fact that it will be just Matriarchy. The problem, to rework a saying, with Feminism is that it is full of cuntbag Feminists.

    Also, for some reason, it is only Feminists that have the balls to speak as ‘we’, speaking for ALL the women, as if all women share the same values, same beliefs and griefs. I don’t see any men speaking for the collective ‘Man’.

    Take the cucumber out of your cunt and stop inventing issues. Kisses.

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  5. Mc says:

    I can’t believe that Linda writes a serious, engaged criticism and gets twits like Lannister above slagging her off. Things is this, Linda. It’s mainly blacks, women, the disabled and gays who have felt the structural violence that dudes like Lannister don’t. Until him and his friends actually know what it’s like to feel violence that isn’t just explicit or obvious, they will struggle to understand your point of view. Don’t get me wrong: I’m happy to critique some of the more ridiculous strains of feminism (and those strains are everywhere, in postcolonialism, in gay activism, everywhere). But that people can’t see the liberatory potential of this project is rather disheartening.

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  6. John Mongrel says:

    Those comments would make more sense coming from Jamie Lannister. Considering the fact that Tyrion is a dwarf I’d think he’d be more sympathetic with the femists and blacks.

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  7. Tyrion Lannister says:

    @Mongrel, you clearly haven’t read far enough to see the evolution of Jamie.

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  8. Anonymous says:

    “You unfriended Charlene Smith on Facebook because she dared to suggest that the Slutwalk movement would be best led by a woman. This was her final comment, shared with a group of women who are discussing You, together, which she could not post on your wall as you ‘blocked’ her.” 1. Hahahaha! This is all getting a bit childish don’t you think? 2.Come on guys, are we forgetting what slut walk was all about? I think we’re attacking the wrong enemy here.

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  9. Ugubriat says:

    Linda,

    You are, I feel, completely and obviously in the right on this matter. Equally obviously, Walter Pike is a totally unsuitable leader for the Slutwalk movement in many ways that go beyond his maleness (which is itself obviously disqualifying). The article is very brave and its argument is totally correct.

    That said, your use of capitalisation and the emotive italic interludes in this piece are problematic. On the positive side, they render the article more authentically yours, more written in your own voice and with your own emotions, and that’s both very brave and it corresponds nicely with the content of your argument: this is my voice, hear it, I don’t apologise for its rawness.

    However (which I hope is a merely pragmatic “but”) it doesn’t distinguish you from the “crazy bra-burning lunatic” you correctly decry as implicitly read into the term “radical feminist”. It makes it very difficult for your readers to agree with you, unless they are extremely discerning readers and very emotionally mature — and, I think you’d agree, that’s not the norm.

    In short: as tasteless as it is, marketing is necessary. Even the most correct and morally admirable ideas don’t sell well if care is not taken over the way they’re packaged, presented and perceived. I find that just as nauseating as I suspect you do, but I think it is a fact.

    Also: Tyrion Lanister, you write like a twit.

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  10. Linda Stupart says:

    I usually don’t address Mahala comments, because, well there’s no point. But Ugubriat, I feel this is an important issue, and a reasonably articulated one, thank you.

    I thought very very hard about this. The last article I wrote about the Slutwalk was about as calm, reasonable, linear etc. as possible, and it still engendered hundreds of comments about the audacity of trying to claim sexual freedom and freedom from abuse, let alone women’s right to speech. The thing is, I think that it is really problematic to write something about women needing to write themselves, but then revert to logos (or logic, linearity, that which men have used to claim language for themselves, and exclude us) and completely leech the pathos (emotion, affect, real, lived, bodily experience, that which defines us as scary, leaking, bleeding and untrustworthy) from the text. I also really did want to try and bring this issue back to the body, and to emotion as well, to remind us that this is a bodily and cultural and also emotional issue, it is not about branding or selling, neatly, to an audience.

    Maybe the bra burning lunatic has something worthwhile to say? Maybe hysteria is a valid response to misogyny? And maybe, just maybe emotion, experience, testimony, ‘gut reaction’ are also worth listening to. I guess I’ve tried to do both here is to use a language that is clear, it even uses bullet points, but also not to deny my own subjectivity, my bodily response. For me this is just a tiny beginning of how I might honestly and ethically bring myself to writing, although I am also prepared to discuss whether this is the most ethical and convincing way of trying to protest something (if, as you suggest, the average reader will not listen) and even if I do get called a Feminist cuntbag before I’ve even had time to eat breakfast…

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  11. Dan says:

    @linda,

    You make some very good points and I agree with what you are saying but like Ugubriat points out why do you need to come across as so angry and condescending in your writing? Im not saying you don’t have a right to be angry (because you do) but in being so emotional and over the top in your argument makes it less likely that the people who need to hear and understand what you are saying will actually listen.

    I would like to put forward a thesis that one of the main reasons why some people have a problem with feminists is because those who count themselves as one or as a part of the feminist movement often don’t think about the way they are actually communicating their message to the wider world. Like I said I agree with what you are saying but I am truly less inclined to share this article with those who I think need to hear what you are saying because you end up coming across as angry, confrontational and condescending. You need to work towards opening up a proper well though out logical dialogue rather than encourage and engage in what comes across as a really childish shouting match.

    So I will repeat what Ugubriat said above as I think its a brilliant bit of advice for the feminist movement as a whole – “Even the most correct and morally admirable ideas don’t sell well if care is not taken over the way they’re packaged, presented and perceived” – in other words you are not actually going to change anything unless you start to rework the way to communicate your message.

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  12. Runette Kruger says:

    If Stupart’s article does not let you see the light about why it IS important that a woman speak for a women’s movement, you never will – the answer is right there in front of you. Then the CAPS issue again: I was similarly castigated on a similar forum for using CAPS, because it showed that I am raving on like a mad feminist (oh dear, I am so hurt by this accusation). Responses such as these completely disregard the issue at hand, and at the same time act as perfect examples of what we are saying, whether in CAPS or not in CAPS: it proves that women are denigrated whenever they don’t say Ja Baas, Nee Baas. Get it? And then, again, women are blamed for not speaking for women, example: “why the fuck did none of you cunts hustle and make sure that a woman spoke, from the get go?”. This is a perfect example of laying the blame at the feet of the wronged. Thank you for your graphic illustration of the point we are making, Tyrion. You make our point clearer. And yes, I agree with Mc, until You yourself (Tyrion, Walter etc) have felt the structural violence leveled at women, you will not have the foggiest idea of what is going on, and You will smugly continue to call all women who don’t agree with You, sluts, lunatics, cunts, etc etc etc. The list is endless. Like your obtuseness, bolstered bravely by your arrogance. And, until You have experienced the structural (and actual) violence leveled at women, it won’t be Your cause (as pointed out by Tyrion). Find you own cause, will you? You are defiling ours. Your cronies, supporters and patriarchal sheeple defenders are only too glad to follow your lead in demonising Feminism. Wow. Demonising the movement you claim to represent? That is AWESOME. Not.

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  13. Anonymous says:

    Feminism is not a fucking brand!

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  14. Runette Kruger says:

    Ugubriat, thank you for your constructive input, but the problem with marketing is that it targets the mainstream, and in order to appeal to the mainstream it often twists the plot, as is happening here. Feminism is demonised here (by Pike and his supporters), it is not marketed. The original point of SlutWalk is now buried under defensive anti-feminist reactionism. What is it that Pike IS marketing? The point of protest and radicalism is to change mainstream perception. The goal of marketing is to feed into mainstream perception.

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  15. Margot says:

    Stunned at the FB exchange. Jesus Christ. It is so loaded and vicious, coming from someone who is a “feminist”? Or does Pike not call himself that? Especially that he was comfortable doing so in a public forum. I would have thought that such contempt would be a source of shame for someone in his position? It is chilling, and I can’t believe that people don’t seem see that.

    There is nothing more pathetic than a bully who turns around all injured and aggrieved looking for sympathy when they called to defend their position. Big scary feminists, oh my!

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  16. Ugubriat says:

    Runette,

    Thanks. My comment about marketing should definitely not be interpreted as in any way supportive of Pike. As I said, I think he’s obviously the wrong person to be leading the movement. My comment was just about Linda’s presentation of this article — and I appreciate that that issue, too, is a complex one.

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  17. Margot says:

    Also, Tyrion or whatever, your first point: that’s the joke she is making, foolio.

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  18. US of Arseholes says:

    Men are the more unenlightened of the species. Then again there are as many poppies and Sea Point princesses who don’t have a clue either and are quite happy with their “place”.
    I’d love to see the world run by women…I’ve always felt it would be a far better place, with less aggro and the dick-swinging we see today.
    And remember, you’re fighting your battle in a place where the men braai and the chicks make the salad.
    Good luck.

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  19. Ugubriat says:

    > Men are the more unenlightened of the species

    That’s the kind of popular claptrap we also don’t need.

    There is a joke I quite liked: If women ran the world there would be no wars, no mass killings of civilians — just a bunch of jealous countries not talking to each other.

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  20. zero says:

    Um, look Im not trying to be a troll, but isnt feminism less about being pro-woman as pro-equality, there being no difference between the sexes etc? In which case, why is there a problem with a man leading a feminist march? Arent you applying your own sexism to him?

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  21. sarah says:

    no, a) that’s not what feminism is about, b) did you actually read the article? and c) no, she clearly isn’t.

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  22. dogcalledroofie says:

    also Linda please clear up whether or not you were on your period when you wrote this. shot.

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  23. noonoo says:

    This article had some good points but was difficult to read

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  24. Nero says:

    I’m confused. If this guy has been chosen by the women who support the cause to be a spokesperson, then who are we to question their free choice? And if he doesn’t have the support of those women then he should have no credibility, end of story.

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  25. Margot says:

    Guys! Guys! Listen to this! You want to know something you can say ANY TIME you want to be HILARIOUS? Win the approval of your pals for not only being a searing wit but also au fait with the Ways of the World? Here’s how it goes, ready? Okay:
    “Are you having your period?” That’s it. That’s all you have to say. It’s brilliant. (Obviously it has to be a chick you’re saying it to.) It works every time i’m serious, guys! Try it! Looooollllll.

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  26. Anonymous says:

    ever heard of constructive criticism? i consider myself a feminist, but attacking (lets not deny the tone is aggressive on facebook and in this article) someone who is trying to support your cause is likely to be counter-productive.
    and don’t expect anyone to hand over their power – it never works that way. women who want to have their voices heard need to bring along loudhailers!

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  27. dogcalledroofie says:

    Margot I am pretty sure you are on your period

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  28. Dan says:

    @Runette Kruger – I think you are missing the point here in the caps issue.

    You say: ” I was similarly castigated on a similar forum for using CAPS, because it showed that I am raving on like a mad feminist (oh dear, I am so hurt by this accusation) Responses such as these completely disregard the issue at hand, and at the same time act as perfect examples of what we are saying, whether in CAPS or not in CAPS: it proves that women are denigrated whenever they don’t say Ja Baas, Nee Baas. Get it?”

    That is not what is being said at all when you are criticised for using caps – we are merely pointing out that the use of caps (especially on the internet) indicates someone shouting – people don’t react well to being shouted at especially when its on a topic that is tough (for many reasons) to engage with to start with. All it will do is make them defensive, some of the comments on here are clear evidence of this. So by using caps you are infact reducing the chance that people who need to hear and understand what you are saying will listen to you to in the first place because your argument, however valid it may be, comes across in the wrong way – thus your message will fall on deaf ears or will only reach those who are already aligned with your position.

    Look if you are ok with being labelled as a ‘ mad feminist’ for using caps, which you clearly are, then fine. Just don’t get surprised, irritated or angry when people get defensive – you are shouting at them after all and like I said a persons first reaction be being shouted at is to become defensive. If you want people to engage with what you are saying (which surely is what you want) then you need to understand that how you package and deliver your message is going to have a huge affect on how it is received by the public. We are not denigrated you, infact we are actually trying to help you get your message across to more people – as that is clearly what needs to happen.

    Im also not sure you understand what marketing is.. you say “The goal of marketing is to feed into mainstream perception.”

    Incorrect – Good marketing (especially in the brand sense) is about effectively communicating a message in a way that influences perceptions and thus works towards altering a perviously set pattern of behaviour or encouraging a new set of behaviour amongst a specific group of people. Is this not what you are trying to do?

    In my opinion the feminist movement at large has not very good at effectively communicating a message which is why you run into so much defensiveness and general backlash…. typing in caps lock (shouting) has never been and never will be a good way of communicating – this is all that is being pointed out. nothing more, nothing less…

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  29. Ugubriat says:

    Margot,

    If it’s named like a troll, and trolls like a troll, well… dogcalledroofie is a troll.

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  30. dogcalledroofie says:

    dan i have to admit that you are missing this whole feminism jol by like so far.
    i wont explain because linda has done a rad job already but i think apparently its all about like how chicks want to be able to say whatever they want about important issues and not have men be dicks about it. and i think like attacking her grammar and shit is kinda doing the whole male dick disempowering thing that they keep going on about. especially your tone which is like so radly empowered and informative.(you are totes teh god of how information should be presented thanks for keeping us all in line by teh way)
    as my granpa used to say “when i see a period infused feminist with capslock on i just leave them alone because those bitches be crazy”.

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  31. Dan says:

    @

    “when i see a period infused feminist with capslock on i just leave them alone because those bitches be crazy”.

    And you are ok this with? Because im not – just trying to explain one of the ways you can change this. If you don’t want to take the advice then its cool with me… merely trying to point out why you get reactions like the one from your granpa.

    I never said that chicks cant “say whatever they want about important issues ” just trying to point out that if you want more people to actually listen, understand and internalise what you are saying perhaps you need to think about the way you are delivering your message…. I have no problem with the message itself (infact i agree with it) but I do have an issue with the way it is communicated because in its current form it is evidently not making a big enough impact.

    By the way this is a bit of advice I would give to anyone who is trying to get a very important and valid argument across but is failing to do so….

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  32. A Slutwalk Organiser says:

    I’m not going to fully engage with this debate because, Linda, I think that you have a right to express your anger. I do believe that your anger is misdirected, unfairly, at Walter, instead of at true patriarchy, though.

    I will say this, though: I am a woman. I am a victim of childhood sexual abuse. I am bisexual, and I love sex. I have had the word “slut” thrown in my face more times than I care to remember. I have experienced someone dragging up my sexual choices to blame me for being date raped. I have seen the ugly face of patriarchy. I can tell you that it is not the face of all men, and especially not men like Walter.

    I was one of the organisers of the Jozi Slutwalk. There were six of us involved, and we were all equal partners. Walter was definitely not our “leader” or “spokesperson”, but rather a dedicated partner who worked his friggen ass off to help us make this happen (as we all did), and raise awareness of these issues. Incidentally, we, the organisers, felt it was important that a man was involved, because societal change requires that we reach and change the hearts of men too, not just women. Walter’s dedication to the movement was always completely sincere. If you want to be angry at someone because this was allowed to happen, then please direct your anger at all five of us who invited him to join us.

    Or better yet, direct your anger at the true demon: sexual offenders and those in society who would excuse their actions.

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  33. Linda Stupart says:

    Dear organiser: I am not sure what you mean by ‘patriarchy’, but here’s a nice quick definition from Wikipedia, that may help you to understand your misuse of the word and also how Walter is pretty much exactly that face (although that is an over-simplification of society, it’s an easy and completely fair one, and not that that’s really the point either):

    “Patriarchy is a social system in which the male gender role as the primary authority figure is central to social organization, and where fathers hold authority over women, children, and property.”

    Also, did you actually READ the article? In which I by no means accuse ‘all men’ of anything. Or are you, like Walter, just responding defensively and fearfully. Can you honestly not see a problem in any of the above, including his specific statements (rhinos, asking after my father etc). I mean really? Also, he has defined himself more than once as spokesperson, and, I note, is also the contact person, the first port of call on the Slutwalk website. But, again, this isn’t really the point.

    Please actually just take a moment to really read what I have written, and maybe some other texts too (I would suggest not just those written about this issue but some key Feminist texts too, esp. Cixous and Irigaray), and THINK about it – far beyond this single person and whatever personal and professional relationship you may have to him, far beyond how nice and liberal and concerned he is, please can you just try and understand the harm he, and you in your blanket, uncritical support, are doing to this movement and to women generally.

    And no, of course this is not the same level of harm as a rapist, as a victim blamer as a violent sexual attack, but that in no way makes it benevolent.

    (And, in keeping with the style of the article, I will also say what I am actually thinking: Why don’t you actually engage then, please, and dear Walter? Why won’t ANY OF YOU actually engage in the points laid out before you instead of your patronising ” you have a right to your anger” so I won’t respond, patting me on the head bullshit.)

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  34. Thixo says:

    How fucken great is it that Walter and your father go way back! I mean seriously!-what a fucken coincidence!

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  35. Anonymous says:

    While you make some good points, (A feminist movement should probably be run by women) I do think that this article creates a heavy and unwelcome binary. While, it’s probably not your intention, the article comes across in a way that places men on one side of a battle and women on the other. In my opinion, the Feminist movement can only succeed if the binary is destroyed and we all just become “People”. Gender equality can only flourish if it’s not about women’s rights or men’s rights, but rather, just plain rights.

    I just think that it’s not “men” or “women” who do evil, or good, for that matter, but rather, “people”.

    And in Pike’s defence, he was there doing something. It would have been preferable if he had been a women, but he wasn’t, he is a man and it seems better to be doing something, than to stand by and not do anything because you’re not being the one victimized.

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  36. Onan the ambidextrous says:

    I often wish that I had a cunt of my own so that I could experience what it’s like having a cock thrust into me, or what it’s like to come down on a rigid dick and to go to work on it. I’d also really like to know what it’s like being fucked to the full satisfaction of my partner but way short of my own gratification.

    I like the poster “Patriarchy se poes,” and I’m already fantasizing about the sexy chick behind it. She might even want to fuck me.

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  37. Margot says:

    Yes! This is exactly what I’m talking about! A dogcalledroofie has mastered it, so let that be a lesson to you all. It really is so easy. Let’s practice:

    What is the perfect retort to this image?

    http://www.v1.sahistory.org.za/pages/governence-projects/womens-struggle/graphics/Black-Sash-.jpg

    “That’s an ad for Tampax, right?”

    And this one:

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/5f/British_suffragette_clipped.jpg/220px-British_suffragette_clipped.jpg

    “She was having her period!”

    And and and this:

    http://www.bartcop.com/beaten-wife-vol2001.jpg

    Yep, on her rag, that bitch was.

    LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL OMG DOGCALLEDROOFIE STOP! I CAN’T TAKE IT! It’s like being tickled but much worse! Toooo funny, china. Sjoe! It is really no wonder that guys won’t let it go as an all-purpose response to anything. I hope my little sixteen-year-old sister meets a guy like you one day.

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  38. Max says:

    I wandered into a conclave of D&D enthusiasts the other day – they were arguing violently about which is better: acid damage or fire damage. It got ugly, some of them called the others out as fake-fantasy lovers, because, as all real-fantasy geeks know, acid always trumps fire.

    This is very similar.

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  39. The Dude says:

    Some of my best friends are sluts.

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  40. hofmeyrLanga says:

    Pike you’re a poes. Dan you’re a dick. Of course the Slutwalk should be lead by women. Men should follow. Aluta Continua

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  41. Anonymous says:

    Linda, what I’m uncertain about is on which points one *can* engage constructively in this debate. A number of people have pointed to the tone and style of your writing as being potentially inflammatory and counterproductive, albeit that there’s a personal and political logic behind it. I would think it simplistic to label emotive language as intrinsically feminine while maintaining that ‘normative’ linear language structures are patriarchal and oppressive. Yes language, in particular (but not exclusively) English, has been used to colonise, control and subjugate uncountable others and ‘others’ in uncountable instances, but to make explicit that binary in a field where people have a command of the language is disingenuous. Any writer uses a range of techniques to make their point. Feminist writers may well use a normative linear style because they feel it serves their purposes better. Or perhaps they might just might write with more fluidity (Virginia Woolf, or Jeanette Winterson or Margaret Atwood). What I question is whether subjective rage is in fact a bodily emanation or even symbolic of a bodily emanation, and not just really subjective rage. Its fine if it is, but then see it for what it is and be more aware of what it means to express it and how others might experience it. It is hard not to shout, but does it always help?

    This is the issue that I’ve been pondering the last few days. Sometimes people have to make radical gestures because things don’t happen otherwise. Sometimes they have to chain themselves to fences, take up arms, self-immolate etc. (not to put too fine a point on it). But in this instance there seems to be an issue with language and it seems to be a persistent one. (Who says what and how loudly they say it). In this instance, you are informed, you have patently read dozens of feminist texts and you are empowered through them, in your knowledge and in how you express it. Walter Pike it seems has not, but then perhaps neither I, nor countless men and women (who are feminists, who are outspoken, who believe in gender equality, who are appalled by the statistics of rape and violent crime against women, who are the victims of these crimes) are as equally well-informed as you. Does this mean that their opinion and experience are invalidated? Yes, I know you don’t say this directly, but there are aspects of your writing that imply it.

    I don’t know Walter Pike, have never met him or heard him speak. I cant say I like him nor that I particularly care about his well-being. I did look at his FB page though, and he comes across as a fairly typical white middle-class man of a particular age and background. Well meaning, possibly un-self aware and pompous for all I know. Yes, he is *that* man and often well-meaning liberals are problematic. What is apparent though is that Pike is not an academic, and he’s probably a bit of an idiot in certain respects. He uses rhino’s as an analogy for god’s sake. Rhinos. Its utterly ridiculous. But reading his comments I find it hard to see him as bigoted and callous as you portray him to be, as opposed to being just ridiculous and embarrassing. Patriarchy is insidious, but is that absolutely the case in this instance? Is this one of the points that should be addressed? How do we recognize patriarchy? (By dictionary definition?) Who has the right to point the finger? Only women because its a women’s movement? (Which women?)This is not mere rhetorical device. I feel they are important questions.

    Without a doubt I think that a women’s movement should have a woman as their primary spokesperson. But I’m confused by the claims of a number of the organizers of Slutwalk JHB that Pike is not their only spokesperson. Its hard not to see your argument as being at least a little counterproductive if you did not consult with them and hear their opinions. Do they think that he is totally unsuitable? What were the decisions to include him based on other than wanting to be representative. Did he wrest power from them? Without consulting them what you effectively do is discredit the validity of their organizational structure, and the integrity of the decisions these women have made, which extends to the movement as a whole. Is this what you aimed to achieve? I guess it depends on the extent to which you support Slutwalk, a point that you seem a little ambivalent about. What I mean to assert is that these people, (the co-organisers) must have some right to make decisions based on their knowledge and experience, regardless of whether they have read Helen Cixious and Luce Irigaray.

    Do I intend by this to imply that education and awareness don’t matter? Certainly not. Education is everything. But if education is the issue then do you teach students by telling them they are blatantly ignorant or do you expose them to what they still need to learn?

    This is far more than I intended to write so I’ll make a few closing points .Yes, the issue of awareness around gender equality, rape and abuse in SA is absolutely women’s responsibility, but with the aim of making it men’s problem and men’s issue. If you don’t respect me, if you abuse and rape me I will speak out and I will make it a problem for you. Your attitude is your problem and not mine. Slutwalk is significant in this respect because it creates visibility and promotes advocacy. Even if its problematic its a useful platform for numerous important issues to be addressed. It encourages women to ‘stand up and be heard’. If Pike is genuinely the problem, then so be it, but if you want to engage constructively with the movement then there are possibly better ways of going about it.

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  42. Lillith says:

    Well Linda, your work has been marked. I wonder what symbol you would have been given for your ‘inflammatory” , “counterproductive” piece. Anonymous says that ‘he’ cannot find anything bigoted and callous on Pikes FB page. Clearly this is because he has not read the misogynistic comments that accompanied the inflammatory posts that Pike pasted when telling his followers that he was viciously attacked by a feminist. Clearly also, Anonymous has not read your article properly and understood that the juxtaposition of attacked and feminist is bigotry in itself, Clearly Anon feels that he too, needs to teach you how to speak for women since you have clearly got it all so wrong. Just because, Anon, your response is couched in restrained academic know-how, this does not make it any less patronising. Anon is still dealing with Daddy issues. He needs to go and suck Freud’s dick. Oh and clearly the slutwalk organisers are a group of women who condone a middle class/aged white men who uses the Rhino analogy to justify his postion in a women’s movement. It seems to me they are events organisers rather than feminists, who see no problem with Pike’s name being the person to contact on the SW page. Where are they when the radio calls? Their absence and Walter’s presence should tell you plenty. He has become the Kingpin because they have allowed him to. That some are self-proclaimed survivors makes little difference here because they are not actively campaigning against ongoing violence towards women in SA. It is Pike passing useless platitudes around issues that recieve media attention. Pffffff!

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  43. GILLIAN SCHUTTE says:

    The fact is dear old Walter has decided to watch over his flock of ‘liberal-post-feminists because, as he says, the mainstream will find him so much more “acceptable.” Acceptable as opposed to what? Intelligent, capable, sexual, outspoken feminists, that’s what. I mean … If he can speak for the Rhino then what is to stop him speaking for women? This fucked up logic defies intelligence … and the fact that he does indeed have a flock of liberal-post-feminists, all bleating his praises, defies the holistic feminine. So ‘slut’ is now acceptable but ‘radical feminist’ is not? The fact that he can even espouse such an example (along with the Rhino example) speaks volumes about his insidious bigotry, patriarchal attitudes and liberal what what. The Slutwalk is premised on a more radical phenomenon than this paternal non-reflexive authoritarianism. He blocks those who do not agree with him and speaks to feminists such as Jen Thorpe using terms such as “silly” “nonsense” “absurd” when he is not accusing them of being “vicious” and “attacking him”. It is simply pathetic and sad – and the organisers are part of the feminist backlash since they seem totally incapable of unpacking the simple fact that Walter is entirely the wrong face and voice to attach to any women’s movement… not only because women do not need men to speak for them but also because he has proved himself to be deeply conservative and yes deeply patriarchal … and bytheway … SlutWalk is a feminist movement everywhere except South Africa. Aluta Continua.

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  44. Gillian Schutte says:

    The fact is, dear old Walter has decided to watch over his flock of ‘liberal-post-feminists because, as he says, the mainstream will find him so much more “acceptable.” Acceptable as opposed to what? Intelligent, capable, sexual, outspoken feminists, that’s what. I mean … If he can speak for the Rhino then what is to stop him speaking for women? This fucked up logic defies intelligence … and the fact that he does indeed have a flock of liberal-post-feminists, all bleating his praises, defies the holistic feminine. So ‘slut’ is now acceptable but ‘radical feminist’ is not? The fact that he can even espouse such an example (along with the Rhino example) speaks volumes about his insidious bigotry, patriarchal attitudes and liberal what what. The Slutwalk is premised on a more radical phenomenon than this paternal non-reflexive authoritarianism. He blocks those who do not agree with him and speaks to feminists such as Jen Thorpe using terms such as “silly” “nonsense” “absurd” when he is not accusing them of being “vicious” and “attacking him”. It is simply pathetic and sad – and the organisers are part of the feminist backlash since they seem totally incapable of unpacking the simple fact that Walter is entirely the wrong face and voice to attach to any women’s movement… not only because women do not need men to speak for them but also because he has proved himself to be deeply conservative and yes deeply patriarchal … and bytheway … SlutWalk is a feminist movement everywhere except South Africa. Aluta Continua.

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  45. Gillian Schutte says:

    Linda there is a lot of Gaslighting going on here. It seems very few of the commentators are comfortable with the feminist narrative and will find any excuse to derail it. If you are not too emotional then you are too academic. If you are not too angry then your are too childish … and so it goes on. This is why women need their own counter narrative that exists outside of the patriarchal hold over language and linear logic. This seems very threatening to both patriarchal men, and women… even those who claim to be on your side but continue to caution your use of non-linear language. They go as far as to discredit it completely. Yet, the fact that they put so much more energy into discrediting your beautiful piece of writing whilst ignoring the absolute abusive phallocentric, misogynistic lexis being hurled at you, says a lot about their own inablity to recognise their complicity in this patriarchy. Hence I say, the liberal post-feminist discourse is the most dangerous. Anonymous is a great example of the pompous certainty that he/she is not patriarchal whilst bestowing such liberal paternal academically sound platitudes and advice upon your ‘misguided’ being. This is the worst type of pat on the head.

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  46. True says:

    Feminism causes rape. If we refuse to obey God, we bring evil upon ourselves. My story: http://truefeminismnaphtali.blogspot.com/2013/01/feminism-causes-rape.html

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