THE BLOG
10/07/2011 03:49 pm ET | Updated Dec 07, 2011

Getting Past The Word 'Slut'

I am a black woman and I support Slut Walk.

I feel the need to say this because, as has happened many times before, the voices of a few from the "community" so easily get taken for the voices of all. For all the time black people spend trying to convince everyone else that we are not a monolith, we need to remind ourselves of that as well.

I get why some black women have spoken out and voiced their concerns about Slut Walk. Their critiques have echoed the many previous issues that black women, and women of color in general, have had with the feminist movement at large since its inception. The concerns raised around privilege, narrowness of vision and exclusion are more than valid.

I don't think that's what we have here, however.

This is not about black women but about women in general. And speaking only for myself, my blackness has never trumped my woman-ness. I am a woman first. Black second. And as such I can only feel pride when women of all colors and backgrounds come together and take a stand against violence. Because sexual violence is one issue that affects us all. It strikes freely and willingly. It cuts across every boundary you can imagine. It pays no mind whatsoever to race, age, or class.

Get past the word "slut."

This is not, nor has it ever been, about a proposed reappropriation of the word 'slut'. It's about putting the spotlight on a culture that makes acts of sexual violence against women not only commonplace but actually accepted.

Yes, "slut" is an emotionally charged word.

No, it's not a word I particularly like or would elect to be called either.

But this is the precise reason Slut Walk has been so effective. The word makes you pay attention. The word makes you get angry. The word gets you to actually do something.

I'm not saying that this is a perfect movement. I'm not saying there aren't some inherent problems or faulty logic within it. But I don't think that's a reason to sit this one out.

Flawed as these women, and indeed any human being, may be, at least they're doing something.