Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Are you a Toxic Slut-Shamer?

Pop Quiz: Are you a toxic slut-shamer or not?

You walk into a restaurant and you notice a slender woman in a super low cut top, short skirt and smooth legs up to her armpits. Do you think:

a)   Woah, she’s hot!
b)   Woah, she’s brave!
c)   Woah, wish I had those… (whatever)
d)   Eeeew, put it away love!
e)   I wonder what the specials are today?

I will confess. Up until not long ago, I would have probably thought a combination of  a) c) and…. shamefully… d). Yes I would have been a bit grossed out by all the sexiness on display. I was definitely a toxic slut-shamer. I quite clearly remember expressing disgust at picture of Jane Goldman at some awards thing and the words “cow’s udders” being muttered (from my own lips…). I’m hugely embarrassed by this now though. I suck. But I’m woke!


My only defence is that there is a deeply ingrained whore-hatred in our society. We are taught either directly (by religion) or indirectly (the media) to believe that women wearing skimpy clothes equals “ho” behaviour. It’s a dusty old hangover from previous historical and heavily religious periods where chastity is seen as pure. But, of course, only for WOMEN! The fetishization of the “virgin” is well known….again just those lady virgin types though please! Not interested in the men ones!

Can we just point out here, that there wouldn’t be any virgins TO sacrifice if it hadn’t been for the woman happy to be defiled (after marriage of course!)? I mean, ok at least some of those chaste virgins would have been conceived through consensual sex that the woman enjoyed just as much as the men, right?!

The weird hypocrisy of it all!

It’s hard to extricate yourself from the mind-set of a society whose foundations were built on strict Christian, white male beliefs. Where they decided what was and wasn’t “appropriate” for a women’s behaviour, desires and dress code. And even though, as a whole, people are much more liberal than their stricter predecessors, there are definitely still varying levels of what people will feel comfortable with in terms of what women should wear in public.

But the reality is, in 2017…it’s abhorrent for any person to judge another person on what they are wearing. WHATEVER they are wearing. If you are a lady person and want to walk around in a bikini, Stetson and wellies….go for it! You should have the choice to wear what you want! And don’t even get me started on whether or not that person is within her “healthy weight range”.

Also I can see that there could be a perception that the male gaze is a problem here. We don’t live in a vacuum where the only people viewing our bodies are the same like-minded, liberal, cisgendered women (i.e. people with female sex organs who identify as women as opposed to transgendered). We are being viewed by all….men, women and children. So by dressing like a *ho are we not just sustaining the ideology of woman as object for man to “gaze” (or wank) over? Well…yes kind of but also no. The difference here is CHOOSING what we want to wear. There is CHOICE. We are actively deciding to wear skimpy clothes so we are transformed from passive object to autonomous subject…"I want to get my wabs out today and no one is going to stop me. They’re great and I need to share them with the world!”

Society been led to believe that certain things are “sexy”…. Big perky boobs, full lips, slim long legs, bouncing bum etc. You can’t escape that. But does that mean that you can never enjoy sex or enjoy your own sexuality? You must remain a repressed, chaste lady for fear of being called a slag? Hell to the NO!

You have to reclaim your body. Just as some of us have reclaimed the terms “bitches” and “hos” from being slurs to being our own terms of playful affection; just as gay guys reclaimed the word queer for themselves; just as some people of African descent reclaimed the n word. We (cis gendered women) can reclaim our bodies too. Meaning that if we chose to dress like what society deems as “whore-pie” ….then that’s up to us and no judgement should be forthcoming. We should even free the nip without fear of reprisal. WE didn’t sexualise our own nips! Men did!

Another more serious note here. Slut-shamers are to blame for keeping rape culture alive. People who judge women on their clothing choices are sending a message that women who dress a certain way are “asking for the wrong kind of attention”. Let me just shut down that shower of shit right now. No. However a woman / girl / lady dresses is NOT ONE BIT RELEVANT to whether or not she should be heckled, touched, abused or raped.

There was a link about drunken people at a horseracing event from some red top on Facebook not long ago and the comment thread was shocking. Almost ALL of the comments were about the gratuitous up-skirt shots of drunken girls. From people who I’d previously thought as open-minded. These girls apparently “shouldn’t get that drunk in public”…. “Weren’t they ashamed having their knickers on display???” Nothing about the men lying in heaps with puke down their shirts….nothing about the fact that most of the women seemed to be having a right laugh. The comments made me feel truly sad.

The world is full of judgemental imbeciles….and I was very much one of those. I’m grossed out by own judgeyness but even more so because (fess up number 2)…. it was so unbelievably hypocritical ….in my youth and slimmer days, I would quite often wear extremely low cut tops and push up bras…. I loved getting my “girls” out. Was I insecure? Or did I just love showing off? Or was I just expressing my total and utter right to do so? What do YOU think?

Lots of love, the reformed, hypocritical slut-shamer.























*it’s ok…I’ve reclaimed this word. 😉 
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