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Friday, October 28, 2011


why are people so keen to believe shakespeare didn't write shakespeare's plays?

note: posts will be sporadic and succinct till my arm is better. which could be a while.

Seriously, who'd rather believe in a nasty conspiracy than the possibility that an ordinary person could be very talented?

It strikes me as Tall Poppyish - he's so good, there must be some trickery somewhere!

That's my theory. What's yours?

Friday, October 21, 2011


broken arm...

...so will be silent here for a while. do talk among yourselves.

Monday, October 10, 2011


Listening is a good idea

To summarise: the 'Slutwalk', for those of you who aren't familiar with the phenomenon, is a series of rallies and protest marches that began earlier this year in response to a Toronto policemen stating that to avoid being raped, women should avoid 'dressing like sluts'. The founders decided to redeem the term, and women have been marching en masse, dressed 'sluttily', or dressed in the perfectly ordinary outfits they were wearing when someone raped them, asserting their right to be free from victim-blaming.

Great idea, no? It's been a big, successful publicity stunt that's raised awareness on an important issue.

... Except that the terms it uses have, it appears, been making many African American women feel uncomfortable about joining.

I can't put it better than the open letter does, so it really ought to be read. The crux of their discomfort seems to be the very reasonable assertion that, given how many negative stereotypes about sexuality black* women are particularly vulnerable to, they feel they can't publicly proclaim themselves 'sluts' without some serious negative consequences that don't threaten white women in the same way. It would seem that calling it 'Slutwalk' was, at least for the women who wrote and signed and endorsed the letter, not unlike a group of men organising a shirtless parade to support Peron's descamisados without realising that women might not feel quite as free to walk down the street bare-chested as they did.

I haven't participated in Slutwalk; at the time it kicked off, I was just struggling out of the haze of postnatal depression and not following the news; the first time I became aware of it was when I passed a group of (white, young) women dressed a la burlesque heading for the march. Consequently, I have pretty much no influence.

However, if anyone reading this is a participant and hasn't seen the letter, I'd like to call it to your attention. And also to ask that we please don't respond by getting all huffy the way an Internet White Guy does whenever a woman tells him he's mansplaining. The basic principles seem to be this:

- Slutwalk is opposed to rape and victim-blaming.
- Rape and victim-blaming happen to women of all races.
- With no racist intentions, the founders created a brand that felt uncomfortable to many women of colour, hence accidentally excluding some of the people it campaigns for.
- Some people of colour stepped up as spokesmen and wrote an extremely civil and useful letter giving good advice on how to make the movement more effective at enacting its ideals.

Consequently, the writers of the letter were doing Slutwalk a big favour, and I hope its members will see this for the good deed it was. If people could use the big publicity of Slutwalk and take the opportunity to create a proper, egalitarian alliance between women of different races to oppose rape ...

Well, wouldn't that be truly something?

*I'm aware that in America, many people prefer the term 'African American'. However, I'm using the term 'black' because Slutwalk is an international movement, so is racism, and hence more countries than America are involved. If this bothers anyone, let me know and I'll try to improve my understanding.


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