Listening to the radio

There I was in bed this morning, while listening to the radio and contemplating starting my day, when a piece came on Metro Morning about Sean Avery — a professional NHL Hockey player — “coming out” in support of Gay Marriage. Instantly something didn’t sit right with me. Wasn’t this the same clown who, a couple years back, made some borderline misogynistic remarks concerning his “sloppy seconds” and a fellow player?

Now he’s supporting, publicly no less, Gay Marriage? Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good thing he’s stepping up to lend his support for such a cause, but remember who it’s coming from. Where sexism resides it’s hard to believe homophobia isn’t a close neighbour, if not a completely welcomed room mate.

I’ll take that for what it’s worth, which isn’t much, thanks…

Which brings me to a directly related matter — in as much as sexism is still quite a pervasive issue in our society. Back in January a representative of the Toronto Police Service gave his, and an all too familiar (read: deplorable), comment towards sexual assault: “women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized”. To be fair, he apologized for saying it, as did Mr. Avery, if I’m not mistaken. But my point is, they both thought about each of their comments long enough, not only not to choke while letting those ugly words out of those shit hole’s in the middle of their faces, but they thought it! Apologies only go so far. And chances are pretty fucking good they still think it.

Anyway I’ve heard a lot of debate in my travels recently, on the radio specifically, regarding something resulting from a Cop’s stupid remarks. The SlutWalk.

Yesterdays episode of Q — though I can’t think why I would have heard it, I’m not usually near a radio by 10 in the morning, nor am I a fan of Jian’s — instantly springs to mind. They, being Q, held a debate, “Can the word slut be empowering?” “Where SlutWalk co-founder Heather Jarvis and Pornland author Gail Dines” argue the issues at hand.

Now, whatever I was doing, I wasn’t concentrating that intently on what was being said. But from what I did catch, I will say, I come down somewhere in between what the two guests think. While thinking a third, and in my mind, a more important option.

On the one hand, I appreciate Ms. Jarvis’ stance on being “empowered”, given all the word “slut” represents and, most importantly, being in direct opposition to everything that word implies. But I also understand Ms. Dines’ reservations. Associating with such a “derogatory” — not necessarily my characterization or feeling — label has it’s consequences. Not least of which are the thoughts I know some men — I’ve known a few of these idiots in the past — are thinking hearing “sluts” will be out in force. I let you fill in the rest.

However I do think there is another seldom cited, at least from what I’ve heard, aspect to all this. The fact that violence against women rarely has anything to do with sex. Yes even when “sex” is is involved. I’d be willing to bet displaying power and control over a victim excites certain men — men who could rape a person, say — much more than any sexual impulses ever could.

Frankly, sex and how a person chooses to behave or dress are secondary and irrelevant, to any violence any woman may experience in these circumstances…