A new protest movement sparked by a policeman’s ill-judged advice to women students to “avoid dressing like sluts” has taken root in the US and Canada.
Police Constable Michael Sanguinetti had been giving a talk on health and safety to a group of students at Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto when he made the now infamous remarks.
“You know, I think we’re beating around the bush here,” he reportedly told them. “I’ve been told I’m not supposed to say this – however, women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimised.“
He has since apologised for his remarks and has been disciplined by the Toronto police, but remains on duty.
How a woman is dressed or didn’t, should NOT be of any concern to a Police officer, unless the dress or the state of undress of a female is the subject of the Penal Laws of the place where he is executing the powers as a police officer. Michael Sanguinetti was addressing a group of students on HEALTH and SAFETY. Sanguinetti is no advisor, he was a police officer who had been given the opportunity to talk on HEALTH and SAFETY measures for, probably women students. Yet he went beyond his brief and let loose an ‘advisory’ which was uncalled for and aggravated his statement with the use of a word which , i think is , quite incompatible with the audience he was addressing.
Now that his “advisory” had snowballed into a global issue, it is hardly human not to voice my opinion in a private domain like this blog.
Now how RAPE has been brought into these discussions is still a mystery. Sanguinetti is not specifically quoted as saying that women should avoid dressing like sluts to avoid RAPE. But most of the local papers have been saying that TO AVOID BEING RAPED WOMEN SHOULD NOT DRESS UP LIKE SLUTS. I personally think, WOMEN cannot be sluts by their DRESS but by their BEHAVIOUR.
I have seen the way some women to get their way, would use their feminine charm in an overt physical sense, with men. It is not the “smile”, but the “way a woman smiles”: it is not the way a woman is dressed, but the way she chooses to use her dress, which defines a SLUT. To rechristen the word “SLUT” with a more positive meaning may be the goal of some women’s organizations. But the word SLUT did not come into usage, just because MEN invented a word to demean women. The word “SLUT” means something which could be sensed. For example WHORISHNESS exhibited by a woman does not necessarily make her a WHORE. But it is the body language exhibited, by a woman at a particular point bartering a sexual favour for something, which is WHORISH! So generations of people using the English language have noticed SLUTTISH behaviour and smirked on the sidelines. So when the word SLUT is used to signify a particular behaviour, it is APT.
Probably WOMEN’s organization want to “include” such sluttish behavior under the normal behaviour head. SO be it. Let them try…. after all i too believe in the FREEDOM OF SPEECH and EXPRESSION.
But to posit a positive meaning to the word SLUT, is just going to drive the word into usage between close friends and groups. In which case, SANGUINETTI’s use was more an INAPPROPRIATE use of the word SLUT before a group, which sympathized with WOMEN who had no other skill other than this GENDER SPECIFIC SKILL!
But if Sanguinetti had prescribed a prophylaxis to the women to be MODESTLY dressed to AVOID BEING RAPED, then i put him the class of St. Paul, who made his own little concoctions and prescribed them as GOD GIVEN PRINCIPLES to WOMAN. The church is still reeling under St. Paul’s prescriptions like I DO NOT GIVE ANY WOMAN THE AUTHORITY TO SPEAK IN THE CHURCH; SUBMIT YOURSELVES TO YOUR ‘OWN’ HUSBANDS; WIDOWS DO NOT REMARRY BUT SPEND YOUR TIME IN SOBRIETY AND PRAYER etc. etc..
Now that Sanguinetti has apologized, let us be gracious and let go of him. Maybe, he still holds the same opinion, but let him not voice it in inappropriate fora.
I AM SANGUINE that IT IS BETTER NOT TO EXCEED ONE’S BRIEF!