It’s a beautiful day for a walk in Minneapolis. My kiddo is at Grandma’s for the day, so I indulged in a leisurely walk to my local library, where I had several books waiting for me. One of them happened to be Yes Means Yes!: Visions of Female Sexual Power in a World Without Rape. I’d put it on hold weeks ago (around the time I wrote this post about feminism), and I thought it an amusing coincidence to pick it up today of all days. Today is Slut Walk Minneapolis. It’s happening as I type, actually, in Hennepin Island Park.
To be honest, I’ve never been certain how I’ve felt about Slut Walks. There are so many great points about them. Reclaiming female sexuality and bodily autonomy. Changing the connotations of the word “slut.” These are things that I love. Yet, I’m not completely comfortable with it.
I’ve only read a bit of the book so far, and it has already made me think more deeply about the issues involved. There are no easy answers. The editors of Yes Means Yes! write in the introduction:
“. . . we don’t believe that empowering female sexuality is the answer to dismantling rape culture, or that it will stop all rape, nor is sexual freedom the only cost of rape. But until we start shining a light on all the dark corners of sexual shame and blame projected onto us by American culture, we’re going to keep spinning our wheels.”
Thank you to the editors and contributors to Yes Means Yes! for helping me to shine more light on my ambivalence about the Slut Walk. However I end up feeling about it, I must say that I applaud the women walking today for standing up for change. I ask blog readers to withhold judgment until you read the mission statement and the blog. They have some important things to say there.