Slutwalk: A father’s response
Marlon Abrahams uses Slutwalk as a chance to discuss sexuality with his children.
I have always believed that a woman should have the right to walk naked down the street without fear of harassment. And I am a big supporter of the idea behind Slutwalk, the worldwide movement which protests explaining or excusing rape by referring to any aspect of a woman’s appearance.
For me, it’s the woman’s prerogative to make the first move: if I’m interested I accept, if not I politely decline. It’s a policy which has worked for me. Women should be whatever they want to be; trying to control them or make them dance to your tune will just lead to anger and frustration for both of you. It doesn’t matter to me if a woman wants to be a “slut” or a vestal virgin; my policy is just smile and wave.
As a father, I visualized my three little angels all grown up and strutting their stuff in support of an anti-rape campaign and I think I would actually join them, no matter what they chose to wear!
There are varying views on the crime of rape. Some say it’s violence personified, and does not have much to do with sex, but that it’s all about inflicting hurt, humiliation and pain. That should, in theory, negate the ‘dressing like a slut’ argument in the rape debate. It doesn’t: There are still the male Neanderthals who will make the kinds of comments which sparked this global campaign- they get so aroused by a sexy woman that they actually cannot control their balls long enough to wait for an invitation.
Having said all that, I also don’t think it’s right for a woman to flaunt her bits unnecessarily. Some men enjoy a “show”, others don’t.
I recently heard of a man who was repulsed at the sight of his wife’s vagina. This poor soul couldn’t cope with it. I don’t relate to that, but apparently there are those among us who suffer from this. We all need our own personal views respected. So if you can’t handle your hormones in the presence of women, go and become a monk!
As fathers to female children we have a responsibility to remain non-sexist and non-sexual to our daughters. We also have the responsibility of teaching them how their sexuality impacts on the psyche of a typical Neanderthal; that the female form holds immense power over the male brain and should be managed with control and discretion.
Rape and sexual abuse of females are hideous blights on the reputation of men, and we need to start by sharing our respect for women with our young boys and girls. Talks about sex with your kids, as well as explanations of how sex can be criminalized, will go a long way in demystifying those complex issues.
Disclaimer: The views of columnists published on Parent24 are their own and therefore do not necessarily represent the views of Parent24.
Read more by Marlon Abrahams