Green Room

Stripping Down for Feminism? There’s Nothing Feminist About Being A Slut

posted at 9:36 am on May 19, 2011 by

Originally posted at David Horowitz’s Newsreal:

What’s the newest trend in feminism today? SlutWalks are all the rage, where women dress like sluts and proudly embrace their sluthood. This will apparently have the double effect of fighting back against blaming the victim for being raped, as well as being empowering for women — because being a slut in modern feminism is supposedly empowering. Of course, all that these SlutWalks are really doing is proving that the death knell for femisogynists is continuing to ring.

Pseudo-feminists advocating for sluthood is nothing new. Instead of being looked down upon, sleeping around is considered to be embracing sexuality. It’s healthy, empowering, and anyone who thinks otherwise is a misogynistic anti-feminist prude (and probably a right-winger to boot!) So the comment made by a Toronto policeman that “women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized” naturally meant that femisogynists should revel in sluthood! And while the Toronto cop’s comment may have been what kicked the event off, fighting back against victim-blaming is nowhere near the only goal of these SlutWalks. Unsurprisingly, organizers want women to be proud of their sexuality and to reclaim the word slut.

Historically, the term ‘slut’ has carried a predominantly negative connotation. Aimed at those who are sexually promiscuous, be it for work or pleasure, it has primarily been women who have suffered under the burden of this label. And whether dished out as a serious indictment of one’s character or merely as a flippant insult, the intent behind the word is always to wound, so we’re taking it back. “Slut” is being re-appropriated.

We are tired of being oppressed by slut-shaming; of being judged by our sexuality and feeling unsafe as a result.

Ah, yes, the ever-present threat of slut-shaming. Why can’t more people be supportive of sleeping around with a different random guy every night? Clearly, if more people were supportive of being a slut, there would be less rape. Or something.

So far, there have been SlutWalks in Toronto, Dallas, London, Ottawa, and Boston. There are many, many more planned, all around the world, in cities like Montreal, Orlando, Tucson, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Philadelphia. This is all to the liking of many noted femisogynist leaders. Jaclyn Friedman appeared at the Boston SlutWalk as a featured speaker. Feministing has multiple posts glowing with approval of the SlutWalk. Jill Filipovic said she was with the walkers in spirit. And Amanda Marcotte offers up the most common defense of the SlutWalks: it’s, like, supposed to be funny, you humorless prudes:

I’ve been broadly supportive of this, because it brings together two of my favorite things in the world, feminism and humor.

… Of course, since Slutwalk is built around humor, it baffles the humorless. And so defenders of Slutwalk have entered into this maddening space that is the equivalent of trying to explain a joke to the humorless, and if you’ve ever tried to do that, believe me, it may be the biggest waste of time on the planet.

Oh, I get it! Debasement of women as humor! Hilarious! And it’s progress, too. It’s just what the original feminist leaders envisioned when they were fighting for equality: the right for women to be called sluts and be proud.

In reality, there is nothing feminist about being a slut. While fighting back against the vile act of blaming the victim for being raped is certainly admirable, acting as if sluthood is something to be proud of is ludicrous. There’s nothing empowering about sleeping around or being called a slut, any more than an African-American being called the n-word could be called empowering.

And while the emotional consequences of sluthood could be debated — many women end up feeling used and depressed while others don’t — the potential for physical harm can’t be debated. Consider the facts. 1 in 5 women have herpes, and the rates of most STDs have climbed since 1997. For young girls, it’s even worse — 1 in 4 teenage girls currently have an STD. Teenage girls who have sex are also more likely to be suicidal or depressed. Clearly, being a slut is not something to be encouraged — if for no other reason than to safeguard one’s own health. But that matters not to the femisogynists — in their minds, men sleep around freely, so women should, too.

Holding SlutWalks is not empowering, and there’s nothing feminist about being a slut or being proud to be called one. The modern feminist movement keeps getting more and more out of touch. The goal now is to take a term used to dehumanize and debase women and turn it into a badge of pride, so that women can embrace their sluthood? This isn’t empowerment or liberating or feminist. It’s ridiculous and an embarrassment. If femisogynists want to know why they are becoming more and more irrelevant, these SlutWalks are a shining example.

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Follow Cassy on Twitter and read more of her work at CassyFiano.com and Hard Corps Wife.

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Comments

When they take their Slutwalks to Cairo and Karachi, I’ll listen to them and admire their courage. As they are now, though, the Slutwalks are just a pathetic attempt to grab some publicity and stay relevant.

jwolf on May 19, 2011 at 10:02 AM

I’ve been broadly supportive of this, because it brings together two of my favorite things in the world, feminism and humor.

Amanda Marcotte cops to a sense of humor?

No, there isn’t enough evidence to convict her of that, even under a plea bargain.

DRPrice on May 19, 2011 at 10:10 AM

Yeah, yeah, it’s all supposed to be “transgressive” and “liberated” and yada yada yada. Fortunately, many women grow up.

J.E. Dyer on May 19, 2011 at 8:03 PM

These girls are a scene from South Park. Hang in there, Wendy.

Feedie on May 20, 2011 at 3:33 AM

feminism

humor

Pick one.

ZK on May 20, 2011 at 8:31 AM