Monica Dux

SlutWalk Melbourne 2011: Monica Dux

Monica DuxMonica Dux is an opinion writer, essayist and co-author of The Great Feminist Denial, published by Melbourne University Press.

Transcript of SlutWalk Melbourne Speech (28 May 2011):

Like every woman here today, at one time or another, I’ve been told I’m a slut.

So, what does it take to be a slut? It’s not how short your skirt is, or how you behave, or who you sleep with. You just need to have a vagina to qualify as a slut.

Today we are saying, enough of the slut-shaming; enough of the judgments about our sexualities; enough of living in a world where we do not feel safe.

There is something very powerful when so many women come together, tens of thousands more in cities across the globe, and say in one mighty, collective voice: enough of your slurs, and your insults and your lousy excuses for committing sexual assault; for victim-blaming and for slut-shaming, and for claiming our sexualities as yours to define.

In walking together today we are saying that who we choose hang out with, who we choose to sleep with, where we walk at night, what we choose to wear is nobody’s business.

Do we ever subject men to the same scrutiny? “Your jocks are too tight mate, better be careful!” “Mate, you were asking for it, showing all that macho.” It’s nonsensical! Yet we live in world where we are all meant to be equal, don’t we?

So today, we are saying, that word SLUT, it’s ours now. We refuse to accept the meaning you give to it, the judgment, the spite, the victim-blaming, the attempts to control us with it.

And in reclaiming the word SLUT we are saying we defy its logic. The logic that has been used to humiliate us; the logic that has been used to terrify us; and the logic that has been used to invalidate those of us who have been victims of sexual assault.

No woman is ever responsible for being raped, or sexually assaulted. EVER.

And we have to keep saying this, and saying it until everyone stops and listens. Until we finally live in a world where those stupid, stupid words that a cop in Toronto spoke earlier this year – words full of vicious judgment, words that have been used against us for far too long – are no longer used as a weapon to keep women down.

If one ignorant, bigoted aside from a cop on the other side of the world is enough to bring us all together today, to unleash a global movement, just imagine how much more we can achieve. Today is just the beginning.

– Monica Dux, 2011