Don't Shame Me, Woman!

February 2, 2009

I’m going to talk about recovery in a broader way right now. All women’s recovery! We, women, cannot ever hope to gain equality if we keep tearing each other down. I think, sometimes, that we are our own worst enemy in keeping alive the harmful patriarchy.
I feel the need to write this after following a friend’s note on facebook. It started with him writing about an incident where a girl asked him a very racially ignorant question and he simply asked for our opinions. Mostly women responded and what began as good dialogue eventually turned into a rant by one woman about how a certain celebrity is a slut. What?!
Slut, to me, is one of the worst words out there. It’s a derogatory term for a woman who sleeps around. It pisses me off, because if a man sleeps around, well, he’s just a man-while we are sluts. Oh, sure, you could call him a bastard, but most people don’t. And a bastard is just another shot at a woman, as a bastard is someone who was born to an unmarried woman, you know, like a slut.
Being called a slut implies that there is something wrong with having casual sex and I don’t buy it. Or at least I don’t buy that it is wrong for one sex and not another. And another thing, calling women sluts only helps rape women. I will say it again: Calling Women Sluts Only Helps Rape Women! As long as a woman who has sex is afraid of being labeled a slut, a whore, a ho, promiscuous, a harlot, wanton, a hag, a bitch, a cunt, easy, a jezebel, or I’m sure any number of other hurtful names, then she will want to remain silent when she is raped or harassed.
What’s more, when sex is what it should be-when it is wonderful-we can’t talk about it; we can’t share our joy and delight. That is also wrong. For if sex is viewed as something that can be joyful and wonderful and yummy, even when not married, then women will demand to be in a position where they can receive joyful and wonderful and yummy sex. We will demand respect! And that will mean less rape and less abuse, but as long as we put down those who we do not even know personally, then womanhood will always be reduced to shame.

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