Connect with us

Feminism

Amber Rose and the New Wave of Slut Walkery

ambermainimage

Last weekend, hip-hop artist and actress Amber Rose hosted a SlutWalk in Los Angeles.

The very first SlutWalk was held in Toronto in 2011 in response to ridiculous comments by a police official who claimed that “women should avoid dressing like sluts” to not be assaulted. Since then, SlutWalks have been held in many large cities throughout the world.

SlutWalks have often been criticized for excluding and ignoring women of color. This has sometimes been obvious, as in 2011 when one white female protestor held a sign saying “Woman is the N***er of the World.” This clearly sends the message that black women are neither welcome nor taken into consideration at SlutWalks. Overall, however, it has been a subtler problem.

In 2011 a group of black women wrote an open letter explaining their frustration with the movement, saying, “As Black women, we do not have the privilege or the space to call ourselves ‘slut’ without validating the already historically entrenched ideology and recurring messages about what and who the Black woman is.” This brings up a very good point. Unfortunately, reclaiming the word “slut” is much more difficult for women of color who have historically been hypersexualized and denied sexual agency more than white women have. In America, this is a tradition that goes all the way back to slavery and the sexual subjugation of indigenous women.

However, Amber Rose’s SlutWalk is of a different breed. The host of the event was not Rose but the black female singer Frenchie Davis. Furthermore, the team of speakers, panelists, and experts was nearly entirely made up of women of color. These include Lori Adelman, Juana Rosa Cavero, Kim Katrin Milan, and Dr. Napatia Tronshaw, all women of color in fields as diverse as media and psychiatry. The fact that the event was organized and hosted by women of color sends a huge message: SlutWalks aren’t just for white women anymore.

Additionally, the SlutWalk movement hasn’t been very vocal about how slut shaming affects sex workers. Sex workers have unique struggles with slut shaming because they are more likely than other women to be harassed, assaulted, and raped. Often the rape of a sex worker is framed more as a “stolen service” than, well, rape. Sex workers are also often unable to go to the police because of the criminalization of sex work in many countries. Additionally, police officers are sometimes the ones abusing sex workers by threatening to turn them in if they don’t have sex with them. These are all issues unique to sex work that are not often talked about, even at SlutWalks where the focus is supposed to be on challenging the slut shaming narrative.

However, Amber Rose herself is a former sex worker. At her SlutWalk on Saturday she held a sign that said “strippers have feelings too” and talked some about her own experiences with slut shaming. She clearly exhibited an intentional effort to focus some attention on sex workers that are new to the SlutWalk world.

SlutWalks have not been perfect by any means, but it seems that Amber Rose is improving the movement. With a more intersectional approach regarding women of color and sex workers, it looks like a new wave of the SlutWalk movement is upon us.


0
HeartHeart
0
HahaHaha
0
LoveLove
0
WowWow
0
YayYay
0
SadSad
0
PoopPoop
0
AngryAngry
Voted Thanks!
Sophia Cunningham
Written By

Sophia Cunningham is a queer feminist from Orange County, California. She studies politics and sociology at Mount Holyoke College. Her passions include reproductive justice, sexuality studies, criminal justice reform, and ice cream. Her mission in life is to make the world a more just and understanding place.

7 Comments

Most Popular

Mental Illness Isn’t a Costume

Mental Health

Your Western Privilege is Showing

Race

Advertisement https://pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js

Copyright © 2019 Affinity Magazine.

Connect