Sunday, 12 June 2011


On January 24, 2011 Constable Michael Sanguinetti from the Toronto Police 31st Division was speaking at a University safety forum. During this he commented that "women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized".
From this ill conceived, and hastily retracted remark was born the phenomena now referred to as the Slutwalk, during which women undertake peaceful protest on the streets whilst often clad in stockings, basques, and other provocative lingerie. The purpose of this is to raise awareness that a females choice of clothing, or lack thereof, in no way implies that men have the right to harass, fondle, or venture comments of a provocative nature.

There is of course a salient point tucked away amidst the hysteria, yet I wonder whether there is also the barest hint of a double standard simmering away under the surface? When I see an attractive female my attention is naturally drawn and there are good evolutionary reasons why this is no bad thing. I might just find you attractive, or sultry, or sexy, or whatever. Point is, I'm beholden to a nature not of my making. My ancestors were about the business of spreading their genes into the next generation, and believe me this rarely involved polite discussion and candlelight restaurants. Feel free to gasp as I venture the following, but not so long ago rape was route one to ensuring genetic code was passed on. It's almost certain that your female ancestors were forcefully coerced into reproduction.

Our brains have come a long way since then, of course, and we've several thousand years of cultural history behind us, during which we've gradually learned to tame the majority of our impulses. But don't think for a second that all the lights are out. Moreover, be grateful that a part of the human animal remains. Men shouldn't be too sanitized, and at risk of incurring a feminist backlash I don't think you want us to be? I don't even think you have a whole lot of interest in men that are too nice. They bore you and I doubt they offer much in the way of sexual magnetism. What I'm trying to say is that there's a balance to be struck. Granted, unwarranted sexual attention of any kind is unpleasant, but the day men are so cowed that we can't even spare a flirtatious glance in your direction will be the day when something really important about us has been lost.

Be careful what you wish for.

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