Here's a link to the interview and a small transcript regarding James' thoughts on Slutwalk.
AMY GOODMAN: Selma James, you wrote recently about SlutWalk.
SELMA JAMES: Yes.
AMY GOODMAN: Slut is a big conversation in the United States now, because Rush Limbaugh, one of the right-wing radio talk show hosts, who plays such a major role in the Republican Party, called a young law student who was calling for health insurance coverage of contraceptives, he called her a "slut" and a "whore," a "prostitute" who should have sex videos. She should have to put—post sex videos of herself online. And it has caused many, even of his past supporters, to stop supporting him for saying this. Why do you talk about SlutWalk?
SELMA JAMES: Well, you know—you know the long—you know "Death, where is thy sting?" You know, what the SlutWalk women did was to make it impossible to use those words in a way that is hurtful and insulting. I was astonished by the march. I went on the SlutWalk march. First of all, it was started by a 16-year-old who had had enough of women being raped and the police not paying attention, and who had refused, like women everywhere, to accept that if we dress a particular way or if we speak a particular way or if we do a particular thing, we can be accused. She said, "Accuse us as you like. We accept it all, and we then refuse everything that you accuse us of." So, they were very anti-racist. They were very pro-prostitute. They were very anti-rape. They were very diverse. And they were the new women’s movement. They were very young.
And I didn’t feel, walking with them, that I was surrounded by women who were ambitious. I think that’s really crucial in the women’s movement today, because a lot of feminism has gone into individual careers and into ambition, and there’s some evidence that the class line between women is much greater now with feminism, because a whole set of women have gone into the part of the elite. They get pay equity. They get a lot of kudos, a lot of—they are very accepted in the society. And the rest of us are getting screwed. I mean, our pay is not going up. The child care doesn’t exist or is very bad. Welfare has been abolished. And we really need to have another reason to be together, which is the real conditions of our lives, rather than an individual ambition. And I felt that the SlutWalk was part of that new movement, which says it’s not ambition we want. We want to have the freedom to live the lives as we like them, and we are together for that.
AMY GOODMAN: Selma James, activist, political thinker, writer, the founder of International Wages for Housework Campaign, she helped launch the Global Women’s Strike. She is the author of numerous publications, including, most recently, Sex, Race and Class—The Perspective of Winning: A Selection of Writings 1952-2011. She was married for years to the West Indian political philosopher, activist and writer, C.L.R. James. And that does it for our show. For the full interview with Selma James, you can go to our website at democracynow.org.