National Punch a Slutt Day: A failure

May 1, 2010

A friend of mine recently made me aware of a Facebook event called “National Punch and Slutt Day” and I am appalled. There’s so much that is objectionable about this that I’m having trouble properly responding to it.

Let’s start with what a slut(t) is. It’s a woman who has too much sex with any number of men indiscriminately and is morally and ethically evil/bad. Slut(t) is a highly gendered term, and women attending this event are a part of the fucking problem. Slut(t) is a moral judgment, this fear of sex and objection to female sex(ulaity) comes from a highly religious culture and background. This is an ethical judgment, because even people who think they have escaped such a background still want to deem women as bad or wrong in the way they choose to be sexual.

It is not okay to pass moral or ethical judgement on an individual’s sexuality. Again, it is NOT okay. Leave your judgments out of my sex life. Do not attempt to paint yourself is somehow superior to me because you have been with one partner or have somehow escaped the label of “slut(t).” Do not wedge me into your narrow framework and then call me the one who is wrong.

I’m using the first person singular pronoun of “me.” I am not a slut(t). I refuse to label my sexual self as something so degrading. But I have been called a slut(t). I have had my behaviors judged in such a way. Most of us women have at some point, as even hinting at yourself being a sexual being is to become a slut(t) in this Madonna/whore world.

This is what my friend had to say

Second, this event is encouraging violence.
*1 in 3 females worldwide will be raped in their lifetime.
*1 in 4 females will be raped before they turn 18.

According to the National Dating Violence Hotline,

*1 in 3 teens report knowing a friend or peer who has been hit, punched, slapped, choked or physically hurt by his/her partner

*1 out of 3 women around the world has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused during her lifetime

*1 in 5 female high school students reports being physically and/or sexually abused by a dating partner. Abused girls are significantly more likely to get involved in other risky behaviors. They are 4 to 6 times more likely to get pregnant and 8 to 9 times more likely to have tried to commit suicide.

*74% of all murder-suicides involved an intimate partner (spouse, common-law spouse, ex-spouse, or boyfriend/girlfriend). Of these, 96% were females killed by their intimate partners.

*In 2004, 1,159 females were killed by an intimate partner.

You may say I am taking this event too seriously. You may say it is meant to be a joke. It is not funny. One person wrote on the wall that 33,000 people cannot be wrong. What about the Nazis? What about Rwanda? What about the systematic murder of Native Americans in our country? What about racism? Lynching?

I work with survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence every day. I have been called to the hospital to be with a 67 year old woman who had been brought in with deep gashed in her arms and bruises covering her body from the beatings she had sustained from her partner. I have also been called to the hospital to sit with a 14 year old who was gang raped while she was trying to have a fun night with people she thought were her friends. Are those two women sluts?

What if you have a friend who has been called a slut so many times she has started to believe. What if she believes that the abuse and rape from her partner is deserved because she’s a “slut?” What message does attending this event send her?

Violence has to stop. It has to stop with us.


One comment

  1. I cannot believe the ignorance of this entire thing, the lack of compassion, the lack of integrity, and lack of human substance whatsoever. If you married a person that you planned on spending the rest of your life with, just had a baby, and found yourself hanging off the side of a balcony 4 floors up in order to attempt to save your own life because your husband decided to put a cord around your neck one night when you had never grown up around domestic violence and had never experienced it before this time, maybe the view would be different. If it was your sister, your mother, your best friend, what would you do/say differently in the approach to “punching a slut?” As 85% of DV perpetrators are men, I would almost expect this to be said by a man as part of stupidity, immaturity, ignorance, and most likely raised in a home where he was abused as a child. Believe me, I love men obviously since I was married, but he who said this is no man, but a scared, insecure, prideful BOY… We already have too many boys in this country who are higher up in age numbers…Try again…

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