The Lady Garden

Tea and Strumpets

The Backlash

Of course. Here it is. There was bound to be one, I suppose.

Take back the night” for everyone, in other words – and yes, take it back regardless of how they are dressed.

The media was pretty restrained on Saturday. Yes, we had a few “skimpily dressed” mentions, and the like, but they did seem to focus on the point of it all.

Which is why it is lucky we have Dita De Boni to remind us all that while we have the “right” to dress how we like, we probably shouldn’t. (As usual, don’t read the comments,unless your knuckles are so pristine you feel the need to punch something.) I would blog this at length, but it feels like BoobQuake all over again, and I don’t have the energy, so I am just going to list the points that come to my mind as I read the column. And if you’ve been reading here for a while, you’ll recognise all of them, because I have said them all before.

As a typical lefty liberal, I defend the right of any woman to walk anywhere in life at any time of night and be completely unmolested – and would like to see rapists rot in jail. In reality, I don’t think it’s that simple – especially when considering your own daughters (nieces, grand-daughters, etc).

Actually, it really, really is that simple. Don’t be disingenuous.

Call me a prude, but I would be devastated if [my daughter] chose to dress like a pole dancer.

You’re a prude. And a judgemental one at that.

In the same way as I don’t see anything particularly liberating about stripping and prostitution as a career option, I can’t see the value in putting yourself out there to complete strangers as a sexual object – especially in social situations where alcohol blurs the ability of people to moderate their behaviour.

I am not going to educate you on the “liberation of strippers”, but I did a google for you. But the value of putting myself out there as a “sexual object”? Well, I am one. In that I am a person who likes sex. Maybe baring my legs makes me feel good about myself. Maybe my spectacular cleavage might do that, and it might make someone I fancy sleeping with notice me in a positive way. And I would expect that person to moderate their behaviour by NOT RAPING ME, regardless of how many gin and tonics they’ve had.

I don’t think it’s far from the truth to suggest that many men view women differently – and not really positively – if they present themselves in this way – and that as a general rule, a woman is doing herself no favours by doing so. Even if it is her ‘right’.

I could not give less of a crap if men, or in fact women, (those pesky lesbians, always getting away with this stuff) view me differently based on how I dress. The people I care about, the people I choose to associate with, the people of Quality don’t, and anyone else can Fuck Off. I dress for ME. Attention is a nice side effect, but my outfit today (purple dress – hello, Emma – belt under my boobs pushing them up, heels) was chosen for the express purpose of making me smile. And if a person views me as “available” or “willing to be attacked” because of it? That says significantly more about me than about them.

What a shame we’ve been side-tracked onto this issue when there are so many more important ones awaiting our attention.

Because we can’t do more than one thing at once? Seriously? If I care about slutwalk, I can’t care about female representation in politics? If I care about Alasdair Thompson’s idiocy, I don’t care about human trafficking? Is it because us sex-pos, third wave feminists aren’t serious? We’re ‘lifestyle’ or ‘lipstick’ feminists? Because I would argue that caring about, and fighting against, rape culture is a Pretty Fucking Important feminist principle.

And the biggie.

Instead of a march to defend how sluttily we should be allowed to be dressed, what about a march to demand safe towns that women and men, old and young, can walk through at night without being set upon?

Because, Yes, that is what SlutWalk was ACTUALLY FUCKING ABOUT. So, in your immense concern trolling, you managed to miss the entire point of a global phenomenon, that you could have found out about simply by googling. But, no no, you carry on telling us we’re misguided and frivolous and you get on and do the important work. Which is what, exactly?

13 responses to “The Backlash

  1. dimsie June 28, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    That last one was the utter facepalmiest of the facepalms, wasn’t it? Comprehension: she does not haz.

  2. Tamara June 28, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    Aargh, I am speechless!

    But also, there’s that whole thing about it being more likely I’ll be set upon in town at night when the reality is it’s at home etc where it’s more likely.

    So not completely speechless but really annoyed.

  3. Polly June 28, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    My 1000+ character reply to this article seems to have been lost to the interwebz – either that or the moderators at NZHerald didn’t consider it worthy πŸ˜›
    A pity that NZ Herald allows these ridiculous and obviously grossly under-researched pieces to be published.

    Just disgusting, my stomach is churning at some of the comments on there.

    • tallulahspankhead June 28, 2011 at 5:32 pm

      Hey, polly, if you email it to me at tallulah at, I will put it up as a guest post.

      • Polly June 28, 2011 at 9:53 pm

        Alas, I did not copy and paste it so is lost forever in the doldrums of the NZ Herald moderators den. Thanks for the opportunity to say my piece here though πŸ™‚

  4. nikkitheknitter June 28, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    Hey Gorgeous Tallulah, forgive me if I read this wrong but did you mean to write “That says significantly more about them than about me.”? (Instead of other way around)

    • tallulahspankhead June 28, 2011 at 5:20 pm

      Why yes, I did. This is why you shouldn’t blog angry.

      • Msfitt June 28, 2011 at 7:11 pm

        But, but, but, when you blog angry, you sound just like the ranty voice in my head (but more eloquent…) – and I love knowing that shit like this makes other people as ENRAGED as it does me. So. Don’t stop blogging angry. Please?

  5. Psycho Milt June 28, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    I don’t think it’s far from the truth to suggest that many men view women differently – and not really positively – if they present themselves in this way…

    Not far from the truth at all. Indistinguishable from the truth, even. But it’s merely another way of saying that many men are fuckwits. Surely it’s a good thing to try and reduce the fuckwit proportion of the population, rather than just give up and accept fuckwittery as the norm?

    • Moz June 29, 2011 at 12:07 pm

      Surely it’s a good thing to try and reduce the fuckwit proportion of the population

      So you’re suggesting some kind of megaslutwalk to make their minds explode? I could get into that.

  6. Deborah June 28, 2011 at 11:49 pm

    I’m sitting in a friend’s house in London, catching up on the news and views from NZ and feeling all ranty and sweary about the di Boni piece… Tallulah, can I just say how much I love you.

    • tallulahspankhead June 29, 2011 at 8:08 am

      I love you too. πŸ™‚ but remember how I told you to relax? Reading Herald columnists is Not It.

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