Shame is dead. Young women are the collateral damage.
On Sunday, Amber Rose, the former stripper most famous for her couplings with Wiz Khalifa and Kanye West, held a “SlutWalk” in Los Angeles to promote…well, something. Presumably, Rose wanted to end the stigma associated with female promiscuity. That stigma exists largely because female promiscuity is highly associated with depression, loneliness, and higher rates of sexually transmitted disease (much of this also applies to male promiscuity). Female promiscuity also carries with it the risk of pregnancy; that risk, in turn, carries with it the risk of abortion or single motherhood, given that women who are promiscuous typically do not end up marrying the fathers of their out-of-wedlock children.
But promoting the lie that promiscuity and non-promiscuity are equally wonderful and healthy for young women, Rose decided a SlutWalk must be held.
“My P***y, My Choice,” read one sign at the rally. That’s undeniably true. So is “My Wallet, My Choice.” But your risk of being harmed does change based on where you choose to display either one.
Rose’s SlutWalk in Los Angeles was supposedly slated to draw a thousand people. Instead, it drew 250. But more importantly, it used Pershing Park to create a “completely inclusive space.” According to Rose’s SlutWalk website:
This event will have a zero tolerance policy on all hateful language, racism, sexism, ableism, fat-shaming, transphobia, or any other kind of bigotry. Further, we recognize that shaming, oppression, assault and violence have disproportionately impacted marginalized groups including women of color, transgender people and sex workers, and thus we are actively working to center these groups in this event. We deeply value the voices of marginalized groups and have a strong desire to find common ground among all of our intersections.
So, inclusivity includes only those who agree with Rose’s specific take on sexuality, discrimination, and the definition of sex itself. Which doesn’t seem all that inclusive. In fact, the event was so non-inclusive that Breitbart News’ merrily gay commentator Milo Yiannopoulos found himself ejected by police for asking simple questions to attendees – questions like whether “rape culture” exists.
Now, the SlutWalk did not openly make the case for promiscuity, because that case would be idiotic. It did, however, set up a strawman: SlutWalk advocates said they were fighting against a culture that says that women who are promiscuous are responsible for others raping them. According to BuzzFeed, the SlutWalk fought the notion that “women who dress a certain way are somehow inviting someone to take advantage of their body [sic].”
Nobody thinks this. Nobody is invited to rape a woman. Nobody.
But to fight against so-called “rape culture,” the social justice warriors of SlutWalk say that women should put themselves in risky situations. SlutWalk promotes the idea that young women should act dangerously – having sex with men you do not know well, which typically underlies promiscuity, is unsafe. Feminists want it both ways: they want to argue that all men are primitive pigs, but then assume a reality in which no men are primitive pigs. SlutWalk suggests that society faces a choice: either we say that all activity is equally safe, or we are victim-blaming. This is ridiculous nonsense. If I walk through a high-crime area at night waving my wallet in the air, the criminal who punches me and grabs the wallet is 100 percent responsible for his crime. Not 99 percent. 100 percent.
But that doesn’t mean I made a wise decision going Richie Rich in a dark alley. The criminal is still 100 percent guilty, but I am also 100 percent stupid. These two truths can exist simultaneously.
SlutWalk promotes women walking into dark alleys with strange men. “My P***y, My Choice,” read one sign at the rally. That’s undeniably true. So is “My Wallet, My Choice.” But your risk of being harmed does change based on where you choose to display either one.
Promiscuity is obviously an exercise of freedom – nobody’s arguing that promiscuity should be illegal. But it isn’t freedom wisely exercised. Social stigmas against promiscuity have a well-founded purpose: they protect women. But SlutWalk isn’t about protecting women. It’s about making promiscuous women feel better about themselves by lying to young women about the risks and damage promiscuity carries.