Sunday, 5th June 2011

Sign me up for 'reclaiming the street' but I think you’ve articulated a troubling vein of appearance/lifestyle critique that only further serves to reinforce narrow, patriarchal ideas about women. It shouldn’t matter what other women look like–this obsession with appearance is yet another part of the tyranny to be overthrown. We should be more concerned with each others’ opinions, and not reduce ourselves to visual caricatures. This tyrannical ‘freedom of the individual’ argument fails to acknowledge not only the manifold obvious and invisible ways we are all connected, but the very material fact of a human as a socially constructed being.

Rather than exerting so much energy defending some people’s nebulous ‘right’ to call themselves what they want, to find what they find sexy sexy, we should be questioning and deconstructing our socially-defined concepts of sexiness within the lived and undeniable framework of patriarchal rule and cultural misogyny. Reclaiming or re appropriating the term 'slut' does not make their patriarchal origins or history of female objectification go poof! If anything, reinforcing sexist imagery won't.

And so I regurgitate the same - why would any sane woman want to claim such a weapon word as slut to describe any part of who they are? I am NOT a slut if I choose to have sex with whom I want. I am NOT a slut if I choose to wear what I want. I am NOT a slut if I wear high heels or shave. I am NOT a slut if I say NO to unwanted advances.
Considering how even women in burqas get raped in this country... 'nuff said.

— Priyanka Rajan's reaction on the use of the word "slut" by Slut Walk Delhi (