11 August 2011
Slutwalks everywhere; here in Boston there was one back in May, and on August 13, with typical German thoroughness, they’re occurring all over the Federal Republic in Hamburg, Cologne, Hannover, Berlin, Leipzig, Frankfurt, Freiburg, Munich, Passau und in the Ruhr region. More information here. And in greater detail here for all the Slutwalks in Germany on August 13.
I am thrilled that we women are once again “in movement,” that we’re getting out in the fresh air and making lots of vitamin D for the winter – all the more of it the less we have on! Terrific that we’re finally marching again, in droves, for something that is fundamentally our own: Slutwalks protest against intolerable male sexual terror and violence. The fact that we’ve found a way to bring out all the more media the more we take off – I find that brilliant. We’re beating them at their own game, catching them in their own nets.
I’m all for the Slutwalks, even though I’m not going on them, since I’m in Boston now, and when the Slutwalk took place here I was in Hannover and had never heard of a Slutwalk.
But a nice Slutwalk is just the thing in the summer. Joey and I used to go for our daily power walk in the Eilenriede (Hannover) or Franklin Park (Boston). Now we prefer to call it our Slutwalk. It’s shorter and more up-to-date and suits our age better (power walking is too strenuous), as well as our casual, if not sloppy, attire. “Come on, Sluttie, let’s go,” Joey said yesterday, and I, once a proud prude, just laughed and “bin mitgewalkt” (went walking with her.)
This hybrid expression brings me to my actual topic – this is a language blog, after all. True, the word Schlampenmarsch (march of the slobs) is a false translation, but an effective one. Slut would be better translated as Fotze; Schlampe (slob, slovenly person, loose woman) is much less aggressive than slut. Slut sounds like slit (“pussy,” “cunt”). Hence the aversion of many US feminists to “putting on” this hateful label.
And a walk in German is really not a march, but a “Gang”. But the German word Gang is very limited in its usage. Sure, we have the Fußgängerin (pedestrian, f.) and Fußgänger (pedestrian, m.), but no Fußgang (foot walk?!?) The Slut Walk was presumably modeled on perp walk, like the one Strauss-Kahn recently underwent, a sort of gauntlet-run for a perpetrator. But Schlampenlauf (“slob run”) wouldn’t work either, since nobody’s running, just walking. But they’re also not strolling (spazierengehen), so we can’t say Spaziergang for walk. It would be much too long anyway.
Now let’s turn to the advantages of this false translation: the combination of the sloppy Schlampe with the military Marsch is as striking as it is attractive: the Schlampe becomes more orderly and the Marsch less so – to the advantage of both.
Most likely the German walkers too will use the word Slutwalk, while the Schlampenmarsch will eke out a secondary existence in its shadow.
But if the original Slutwalk calls forth more and more variants, they’ll certainly also return to the Schlampen. For example, I can well imagine a Schlampenprozession in honor of the Urschlampe (original loose woman) Mary Magdalene. Or a BlumenSchlampenKorso (flower slut-parade) – what is more slutty than a flower, after all, boldly displaying its genitalia to all viewers?
Men would be allowed to participate as Schlampi (plural of Schlampus). Not to forget the Schampus (champagne) for all the thirsty Schlampen – so that everyone can schlampampen (pig out) together.
And Schlumpi (Lumpi is a common German dog’s name), with its slutty, sloppy sexual and excretory behavior, can also come along. Then we wouldn’t have to go out at night any more to slutwalk the dog.
Thanks to Helke Sander for recalling FEMEN, the mother of all slutwalks, to my attention. I had forgotten all about the feminist organization from Ukraine. As long as three years ago the courageous women from Kiev were convinced that feminist demands only gained attention when proclaimed by women with bosoms bared. Unfortunately, it seems they were right. Here is a video about their activism.
(Trans. Joey Horsley)
Luise F. Pusch on 11 August 2011 at 10:57 PM