Why calling a woman a “slut” is always wrong, and no, it doesn’t matter that you call men that way, too.

Posted: January 18, 2010 in atheism, feminism
Tags: , , , ,

Because if it’s men, it’s only going to be funny, like calling white people “whities”, heterosexual people “heteros”, and so on.

Meanwhile, the “slut”, or, to translate the patriarchal lingo to contemporary standard  English, “a woman who has and/or enjoys sex”  is  a word that exists in a certain historical, political and social context. The context should be rather easy to understand: a woman who has and/or enjoys sex is a slut. This means she should be punished, because she “doesn’t respect herself”. If something happens to her, she was asking for it. If a man hurt her, she provoked him. She’s worthless. She’s a homewrecker in the making. No man will ever want an easy woman.

And so on.

(Cut for triggering content, mentions of sexual assault, bullying, and suicide, and also LENGHT)

Historically speaking, we have very old quotations from the Bible, for some THE source of moral precepts. According to the Bible, though, it’s OK to get rid of your wife by telling that she wasn’t a virgin when you married her. If she can’t prove she was (ah, obviously all civil rights, such as “innocent until proven guilty” originate in the Bible, of course. NOT), she is to be stoned to death:

(Deuteronomium 22:13-21)

If any man take a wife, and go in unto her, and hate her, And give occasions of speech against her, and bring up an evil name upon her, and say, I took this woman, and when I came to her, I found her not a maid:

(SNAP)

But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel: Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die:because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father’s house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you.

Now, if we fast-forward a little bit, and get to the XVIII century, we will have Les Liaisons Dangereuses. Never mind the actual plot;  what’s important is, we have a pair of villains, male and female, who spend their time having sex.

(This is actually most likely one of the most boring books I’ve ever read)

After several hundred pages of tiresome waffling, whining, and emo stuff, the villains are properly punished, so that the vultures and hyaenas among the esteemed readership can have their Moral.

(What’s a story without a moral? Just ask any Amazon reviewer)

However, the male villain dies in an honourable duel, and before he dies he manages to exact his final revenge on the female villain whose reputation is consequently ruined, and who has to flee the country, and eventually is left permanently scarred by illness, and what could be a better punishment for a slut than “disfigurement”?

In Madame Bovary, Emma Bovary, who wants a  better life and a more interesting husband, is brought to ruin, and has to commit suicide.

In Anna Karenina, the protagonist trying to find happiness with another man ends up committing suicide. Anna’s story is juxtaposed with the story of a “moral” woman, Kitty, who is, by the way, the object of one of the most disgusting depictions  in the entire literature in one of the later parts, for which I won’t be looking at this time, because I just ate(1).

Meanwhile, about Anna:

We took away everything he could have used against himself. We lived on the ground-floor, but there was no reckoning on anything. You know, of course, that he had shot himself once already on her account,” she said, and the old lady’s eyelashes twitched at the recollection. “Yes, hers was the fitting end for such a woman. Even the death she chose was low and vulgar.”

Whatever happens, a slut (to be true, sometimes Satan helps her) is always to blame. In The Monk, a femme fatale named Matilda pretends to be the monk’s disciple, seduces him, and makes him rape and kill a woman who later turns out to be his sister.

(Well, a gothic novel, one can’t expect much moar. Think soap opera)

Salome in Salome demands John the Baptist’s head from her uncle.

Also, while Delilah has been continuous portrayed as a typically unfaithful woman, the ultimate temptress, the original source text indicates that Samson had it coming:

(Judges 14)

And Samson went down to Timnath, and saw a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines. Then his father and his mother said unto him, Is there never a woman among the daughters of thy brethren, or among all my people, that thou goest to take a wife of the uncircumcised Philistines? And Samson said unto his father, Get her for me; for she pleaseth me well.
And he came up, and told his father and his mother, and said, I have seen a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines: now therefore get her for me to wife.

Then,

And he went down, and talked with the woman; and she pleased Samson well. So his father went down unto the woman: and Samson made there a feast; for so used the young men to do.
And after a time he returned to take her, and he turned aside to see the carcase of the lion: and, behold, there was a swarm of bees and honey in the carcase of the lion. And he took thereof in his hands, and went on eating, and came to his father and mother, and he gave them, and they did eat: but he told not them that he had taken the honey out of the carcase of the lion.

And it goes on in a similar vein in Judges 14:18, 15:1, 16:1.

So, now you might say that it’s all older than dirt, and some of it also older than feudalism, which certainly is true, but have we really progressed that far? The answer is, of course, a resounding “no”.

Exhibit 1:

We still think of the archetypal unwed mother as a Jamie Lynn Spears—a dopey teenager who dropped her panties and got in over her head.

Adorable, right?

It is also very telling that the author, to the internets known as Patriarchy’s Little Helper, calls single mothers “unwed”.

Exhibit 2:

They all gave me lecherous once-overs and as I passed by them, one of the guys yelled out loudly, “My friend hooked up with that girl in the blue dress!” and the other guys broke out into cat-calls while the Jock just looked at me. I felt so ashamed and shocked. Harlequin shouted at their retreating backs, “Yeah, well he had WHISKEY DICK!” but I’m not sure if they heard. I ran out of there as fast as I could, aware that everyone’s eyes were on me. I was shaking.

Exhibit 3:

At the end of the school year at Beth Shields Middle School, the taunting became so bad that Hope Witsell’s friends surrounded her between classes. They escorted her down hallways like human shields, fending off insults such as “whore” and “slut.” A few days before, Hope had forwarded a nude photo of herself to a boy she liked — a practice widely known as “sexting.” The image found its way to other students, who forwarded it to their friends. Soon the nude photo was circulating through cell phones at Shields Middle and Lennard High School, according to multiple students at both schools. …  School authorities learned of the nude photo around the end of the school year and suspended Hope for the first week of eighth grade, which started in August. About two weeks after she returned to school, a counselor observed cuts on Hope’s legs and had her sign a “no-harm” contract, in which Hope agreed to tell an adult if she felt inclined to hurt herself, her family says. The next day, Hope hanged herself in her bedroom. She was 13.

Yeah, ’cause apparently in modern society when you get a nude photo of your classmate the appropriate reaction isn’t 1) vague embarrassement at seeing a relative stranger naked, 2) shrug, but a corrective action that is mostly focused on 1) calling the classmate a “whore:, 2) forwarding the photo to everybody else.

Smooth, real smooth.

Exhibit 4:

A particular rape case has been making the rounds lately, for its especially ludicrous and misogynistic outcome. In short, a U.K. woman made allegations of a gang rape by five perpetrators. The case made it to court. And then, the judge ordered the jury to return a not guilty verdict when “evidence” was presented — not by the defense, butthe prosecution — showing that the alleged victim had made statements online about her fantasies involving group sex. The revelation that she had had group sex fantasies was, in fact, the entire reason presented for the dismissal of the case. Indeed, agreeing with the prosecutor, the judge remarked that with the admission of these fantasies, “her credibility was shot to pieces.”

Exhibit 5:

On the other occasion, at church of all places, one church member remarked jokingly called another member a “slut” because of the latter’s shoes (which had been part of a Halloween costume) with stiletto heels. It was a joke, of course, and the recipient took it that way, too, but the joke hints at the truth—the truth being that even if you are a “good Christian,” if you also happen to be wearing certain clothes, you will be stigmatized sexually if you are a woman.

And, finally, to the cherry on the top of my Failcake!

After teen ’sexting’ suicide, parents sue, well, everybody

What this article does wrong, in case you didn’t notice, is very easy: a high school student sent a nude photo to her boyfriend, whom she felt she could trust. Her boyfriend then, after she’d broken up with him, forwarded her nude photo to all his friends.

The obvious conclusion one should have at this point is:

1. Poor girl, it’s a pity her trust was misplaced.

2. Her boyfriend is such a dickwad, though; I hope nobody ever has sex with him, his penis rots and falls off, vibrators will start turning off in the 3-mile radius of his residence out of sheer disgust, and even goats will huffingly flee.

What we get in the article, though, is the ever-so-popular moral panic about “sexting”, and how the victim should have been moar cautious. I’m sorry WAT? Also,

The harassment increased. Her fellow students called her a “slut,” “whore” and “skank.”

“She also received phone calls, text messages, and internet messages while at school from defendants Ramsey, A.R., Stachler, Richardson and students unknown to her, using similar slurs and epithets. Some peers went beyond the verbal torment and threw things at Jessica while she was at school and at school-sponsored events. This severe and pervasive harassment continued when Jessica would leave the school building, allowing her no reprieve from her tormentors. This continued through the end of the school year,” according to the complaint.

Yeah, awesome. A bunch of real great people, they are. I mean, so much concern! SO THAT ALL THE WHORES EVER WILL KNOW WHO THEY REALLY ARE!1111!!!!!111!

In conclusion, this is why calling a woman “slut” makes you a bad person.

(1) Coffee. Good one, too.


Comments
  1. Veln says:

    2. Her boyfriend is such a dickwad, though; I hope nobody ever has sex with him, his penis rots and falls off, vibrators will start turning off in the 3-mile radius of his residence out of sheer disgust, and even goats will huffingly flee.

    +1000

    Should be used by girls on douchebags instead of feeling guilty about being called a slut. God smites a kitten and I post a trollface everytime they feel ashamed instead of ashaming fuckwits.

  2. Veln says:

    Spamołap?

  3. Veln says:

    Or my shitty computer -_-? Duh.

  4. The Vicar says:

    I’d say that the conclusion about “she should have been more careful” is pretty spot-on, myself, with the possible addition that her parents should have had A Talk with her when they got her a camera phone. It should have gone like this:

    “Listen, don’t take pictures with this thing that you would not want everyone to be able to see. There might be an authority figure who takes the thing away from you, like a nosy school administrator, or you might lose it and the person who finds it might be someone you don’t like.

    “Oh, and if you’re going to ignore what I just said, then please don’t be a colossal moron and send your private pictures to other people. You have no control over them, and even if they are trustworthy they might have a nosy younger brother or something, and once the picture gets leaked, there’s no way to undo that.”

    (And yes, the boyfriend is scum who deserves a lot worse punishment than he’s likely to ever get for this, and the girl was a victim. That still doesn’t mean she acted wisely in taking the picture or sending it to him.)

    • Yeah, only you know. What she did is, all in all, a minor indiscretion. The consequences she faced was bullying that lead to her commiting suicide.

      (I actually don’t know which girl you’re talking about, so:)

      If you’re talking about the 13-year-old, well, I strongly believe children shouldn’t take naked photos of themselves, least of all send them to other people.

      But the other girl was 18 years old. This is a completely different thing.

      I strongly believe that not taking that photo wouldn’t really help the older girl. The problem is not “sexting”, but the attitudes of people who feel they have a right to police every woman’s sexuality, so much so that they “considerately” make the effort to call her and tell her she’s a whore. Part of the problem is also a bloody dickwad of a boyfriend who believes he owns “his” woman, so obviously he is entitled to revenge when she leaves him. Just think about it; if she hadn’t taken the photo, her ex-boyfriend would have just made something up, most likely some sort of gossip about her being a whore, too. The thing about slut-shaming is that you *don’t* even have to be an actual “slut” to be bullied.

      (Would you say a woman shouldn’t go out at night lest she gets raped? Would you say she shouldn’t wear revealing clothes lest she gets ogled? Let’s not blame the victim here)

      So, the problem is patriarchy, not sexting.

  5. Amaterasu says:

    Thank you, this is a very good article. Some people NEVER grow out of this school yard behavior. Shame on THEM. People are hung up about the naked human body, jealous, vindictive, worse than SCUM.

  6. Amaterasu says:

    I mean, shame on the mockers, teasers, abusers of people who are freely sexual.

  7. miskidomleka says:

    @the Bible & being a virgin

    How can a guy find out that his just married wife is not a virgin? Well, I assume he tries an intercourse, and kind of finds out there, or he says he found out. Like, no resistance, no blood, whatever those fascinated with virgins like to find. Now, how at this stage, after an intercourse, can she have any channce of proving that she was a virgin? I’d say that the Bible says: woman, thy are a slut anyway!

    • Yes, well, I agree with you on the Biblical Message To Women, but the “proof” that would be demanded in a case like that would be the blood-stained bedsheets from their wedding night, a practice well-attested in the OT.

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