Where have all the good men gone?

Winnipeg SlutWalk puts the onus on men

Aranda Adams

Many will have heard that a group of women are organizing an event known colloquially as SlutWalk; the event is in celebration of their bodies, in protest of an outrageous comment made by an official of the justice system, and in support of all those affected by horrifying acts of rape and sexual assault.

Let’s help them break this cycle of inter-gender abuse by embracing our duty as men and supporting this group of proud women.

Please consider the following:

1. This social phenomenon is part of the feminist revolution. That does not mean it is only for women, but if you’re going to show up simply to enjoy some “eye candy,” please do not attend.

Rather than politicizing the issue by making one of you “the eye” and the other “the candy,” just keep your distance for now and talk to a like-minded friend. You might inadvertently learn to appreciate another human being, or maybe you’ll just get drunk and watch Jersey Shore.

Wherever we go, sex will always be “in the air,” largely because we wear clothes

2. Wherever we go, sex will always be “in the air,” largely because we wear clothes. As sexual beings living in a hyper-sexualized culture, many of us see specific areas of women’s bodies exposed and consider the strong possibility that the person is putting “the goods” out there for us to see.

Don’t worry, thinking this way is not creative psychosis - it’s assumption based on historical data. Any American Apparel ad or trip to your local club will demonstrate that it is common practice for both sexes to engage in a variety of acts meant to stimulate the areas of the brain associated with sexual arousal, and dressing in a certain manner is one of them.

However, it’s not always about sex.

People wear clothes of all shapes and sizes for all sorts of fun reasons. Clothes allow us to style our personality.

So, if you’d like to “dress up” and participate in the event… do it.

Having throngs of people with proudly exposed body parts will give us all reason to appreciate that this occasion is truly about liberation - especially from the objectifying nature we all share as sex symbols.

It’s true… you’re a big deal. Congratulations.

3. Probably the most damaging thing that could result from this is a perpetuation of pre-existing divisions between the genders.

So even if you don’t want to attend because you can’t stand this kind of display, please consider the current status of our social environment.

In the same way that we men should challenge ourselves with taking responsibility for our chosen behaviours and how they affect other men, we should challenge the women of Winnipeg to recognize that we are all human beings, culturally conditioned to encourage ourselves, as well as our brothers and sisters, to respond to symbols in our environment based on our understood social expectations.

The last thing we need is for one side to feel that the other side is wrong, or that men are only responsible to other men and women are only responsible to other women.

This is a chance to grow as a society, instead of as two individualized sexes, battling it out for no apparent reason other than to figure out what it was that he said/she said in the first place.

Thank you for your cooperation and interest in participating in this social exercise. All abuses are a part of the same cycle; be a hero, break it.

Sean Perkins is a Winnipeg musician and man about town.

Published in Volume 66, Number 7 of The Uniter (October 12, 2011)

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