Posts Tagged ‘gender-bending’

Two feminist events on one day! Wonders — will they never cease.

SlutWalk Vancouver is a sister event to SlutWalk Toronto, which was organized in response to a Toronto police officer’s victim-blaming comments about how women could avoid rape if they didn’t dress so slutty. (Really? Wow, thanks for the advice. If only I’d known that when I was 10 years old! I could have worn a less-slutty night-gown and avoided all that inconvenience.)

gmail [dot] com.”]”][On a dark purple background is a white crown which contains the words “Slut Walk Vancouver” in a stylized font.Bitter, angry sarcasm aside, I think it’s probably pretty obvious how busted these comments are. Unfortunately they’re not uncommon from law enforcement here in Canada (and other places as well). Hells, they’re not uncommon on the news or from the mouths of most people I know. SlutWalk is about challenging those assumptions, the ones that say “sluts deserve it”.

I’m not going to write too much on SlutWalk, because a lot has been said already. Check out Taylor Lewis’ blogpost on SlutWalk and male privilege, the Feministing interview with the organizers of Toronto SlutWalk, and the Vancouver Observer article by Jarrah Hodge.

(One thing I will point out, as a First Nations Studies student and an American Indian woman, is that in a very high number of sexual assault, kidnapping, and murder cases in Canada the victims are First Nations women. And those cases are largely ignored by law enforcement. This is another example of how colonialism is a feminist issue.)

*”][On a white background are a picture of a man wearing a dress and holding his arms up in a Herculean fashion and black text. 

Top text reads "International Men Can Wear Dresses, Too! day!" To the left of the man reads the text "May 15th: Be a man, wear a dress." To the right reads the text "Girls can wear jeans and cut their hair short, cause its OK to be a boy. But for a boy to look like a girl is degrading, cause you think that being a girl is degrading."

Now, on the same day (I don’t think it was intentional) someone organized the Men Can Wear Dresses Too! event. This event is best summed up by the quote on the poster: “Girls can wear jeans and cut their hair short, ’cause it’s OK to be a boy. But for a boy to look like a girl is degrading, ’cause you think that being a girl is degrading.”

I have convinced my boyfriend to join in on this event, and I swear it’s not just because I like seeing men in women’s clothing. (And vice versa — actually, just gender-bending in general is pretty hot to me.) He doesn’t fit my dresses, so my best friend and I have vowed to find one to fit his glorious manbear frame by May 15th. (That, or we’ll put him in a skirt.) He’ll also be at Slutwalk Vancouver with me, so it should be an interesting day.

Speaking to the men here: I feel that if you feel comfortable doing something like this, you absolutely should. I understand that a lot of men won’t feel comfortable wearing women’s clothing, and that’s ok. You can support the event without participating. Spread the word, open dialogue with people, inform!

If you don’t want to participate because you DO think that wearing a dress is degrading, then I think you should probably examine yourself and where that opinion is coming from.

I hear a lot of men complain about how sexism is “aimed at them” because we women can wear men’s clothing and they aren’t allowed to by society. I have to explain to them that while that is an example of how sexism hurts men, it’s also an example of misogyny. It kind of boggles their minds when (if) they understand that feminism is actually trying to help them, too.

I have hope that someday there won’t be any such thing as women’s or men’s clothing — there will just be clothing. And that no matter what gender-neutral clothes you choose to wear, your voice is always respected and you are never accused of giving implicit consent to anything.

But, you know, that sort of future won’t ever be possible unless we talk about this stuff — and events like the two I’ve briefly mentioned here are good ways to start that conversation. Whether you’re writing a blog entry (hell0), talking on Facebook, or with random strangers on the bus, a conversation has the potential to change someone’s point of view. One changed point of view is one step towards a glorious sex-positive future.

(It doesn’t say it in my bio, but I’m a hopeless dreamer. Sorry.)

*This is my first time writing out descriptive text for an image. I hope I did alright. Also, I had a devil of a time with the formatting, because apparently WordPress does not like very long captions. Curses.

-The Fierce Femme