Sunday, December 4, 2011

Slutwalk police permission revoked.

I'm copy-pasting the most important bitsfrom Dhillan Mowli's note below, but you should click the link above to read the whole thing.

I’m home today after a very long and very hard day. Amongst the many emotions that the events of today rile up, a sense of victory stands tall. Today was a day of victory. I met with the Additional Commissioner of Police (Law and Order), Mr. Suneel Kumar, at 3:00 P.M. in the afternoon; he was warm and receptive to the cause and only asked me to ensure that no “untowardly incidents” happen at the march. I gave him my guarantee (obviously enough) and walked out with a sense of nervous anticipation. 

 At 8:15 P.M. we get a call from the Police Commissioner’s office saying that our permission has been revoked. Why? Because of “security concerns” they said. Mr. Suneel Kumar, informed my mum (who has also been helping with organizing) that the BJP, RSS, Ram Sene and other organizations had aggressively protested against the march happening. Many of them had apparently even communicated in the tone of threatening violence if the march went on. And hence, just as we were at the printers getting the last of the banners printed out, SlutWalk Bengaluru was brought to a crude halt.

 Now let’s visit the issue that SlutWalk actually tackles – Victim Blaming. We were made an example of the very issue we sought to fight. Instead of providing us with the security we needed, the police decided to put the onus on us as the “ones who are attracting trouble”. True there may be “undesirable” elements, true there may be people wanting to cause trouble and true the risks may be many more. But the solution is not to shut down a perfectly legitimate movement that addresses an issue that has landed our country’s reputation at the bottom of the global barrel. The solution is to beef up measures and ensure that such “undesirable elements” do not obstruct a peaceful protest. Don’t punish the victim, punish the criminal. Don’t brand those protesting against Victim Blaming as a “Law & Order threat”. Blame those who think it’s NOT ok to protest against victim blaming.

And for an upcoming superpower” such as ourselves, it is truly pathetic that all we look for is the smuggled tantalism of skimpy clothing in a movement whose true aim is to protest the act of blaming a victim of sexual assault. Burqa, salwar, sari, jeans, shorts, hot pants or a skirt; it doesn’t matter. It never did. The word “Slut” was simply a play on irony, something that is clearly lost on many of our extremists. We had 22,172 reported cases of rape in 2010. That amounts roughly to 1 rape every 34 minutes and 1 case of molestation every 26 minutes. 571 reported rapes of children under the age of 10. The conviction rate is 26.6 %. And this is just for rape, not any other form of sexual abuse. In the face of figures like that, it’s appalling that these “upholders of Indian culture” think they can tell me how to dress and how to behave, when i choose to protest for my right not to be blamed for a sexual crime committed against me. What they have done is not sent us back with our tails between our legs, but instead taken on an underdog that will chew their rancid mentality and spit it out for good.

You know, I went to the first Slutwalk meeting and then decided that I wasn't going to be able to work with them - the people in charge had styles that put my back up. SR went along a little longer, but stopped for much the same reasons - well, worse, because they'd had time to pile up.

Some of us dislike the Slutwalk campaigns because it's sensationalising, because reclamation is never an entirely successful project, and often not at all, because being sex positive needn't mean being publicity positive, because the Slutwalk campaign as it is a structured does not lend itself with ease to class/caste/race solidarity,

But one of the essential principles from the outside remains worth while - we can wear what we like on the streets and still have the right to not be raped. Our clothing is not someone's excuse to hurt us. We don't rape ourselves. Someone else does that, and then pretends that we deserved it, the way someone is sent to jail after being convicted in court for murder/robbery - and yes, rape.

People looked at the methodology of the march, and proved the Slutwalk point - they will blame us, shut us down, pull out the time-exploited phrase "Indian culture", threaten us with physical harm - all to stop us from openly, collectively, powerfully taking responsibility for ourselves, and denying responsibility for the actions of others.

We've just come out of Pride Week - which went off very nearly without a hitch. The police walked with us, talked with us, did crowd and traffic control with us. We spoke to reporters and were on tv, and in the print media. I was speaking to AC about this and she said"it's safer to be gay in this city than a slut" - which basically means it's not safe to be a woman, at all.

Well fuck them. Fuck them all. I'm out tomorrow in high heels and low necklines, 'cos I wanna, and they can't stop me. And if they try, it's on them, and not on me.

<looks for pepper spray and camera>

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