On 27th April 1968, 46 years ago, the Abortion Act became law, and women in the UK – except in Northern Ireland – were entitled to get safe, legal abortions. That’s half a lifetime ago. There can be few doctors or nurses still practicing who have first-hand memories of the bad old prolife days.
Every year for the past few years, on the Saturday closest to that date, SPUC stand in a line down Lothian Road, on the Sheraton Hotel side, and express their sorrow and regret for 46 years of health and wellbeing for women.
Yesterday, Saturday 7th July, Edinburgh held its second Slutwalk.
The Slutwalk, if you didn’t know, was inspired by comments a Canadian policeman made to a group of college students last year, advising them to stop dressing like sluts in order to avoid being assaulted. I don’t like the word “slut”, and I’m distinctly unhappy about people who tell me I should “reclaim” words I don’t like, so in May last year I was initially unsure whether I’d go to Slutwalk 2011.
Then I read this article in Ekklesia, by Jill Segger, and I changed my mind. She wrote:
Walk the streets in a police uniform and people will take you for a constable. Go on the town on a Saturday night dressed provocatively and someone will be provoked. Given that men respond far more readily to visual stimuli than do women, it is likely to be a woman dressed in this manner who will be subject to the kind of attention which may later prove to have been unwanted.
There is a middle way between dressing like a ‘slut’ and being enveloped in a burqua. Modesty is the guide to that choice. Most women want to ‘look nice’ and to attract the admiration of a possible partner and there is nothing to object to in that. But the very concept of ‘sluttishness’ is an indication of how far off beam this argument has gone.
Here are the exhibitionists of Slutwalk 2012, gathering in Parliament Square, just after half past one on a very rainy Saturday. Continue reading
Arthur’s Seat, looking like a sleeping elephant, from Bruntsfield Links.
Then I turned round and took a photo of Barclay Viewforth Church.
Sometimes Edinburgh is just pretty.