Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Misogyny and Feminism

I’ve seen quite a few women in my Twitter feed (and in real life) refer to another woman as a slut or a whore for any number of reasons.  While it may be true in certain (even most) circumstances, it makes me a little angry.  (And far be it for me, a male, to opine on feminism and misogyny, but hell, here we go.)
I don’t subscribe to the notion that dressing in revealing clothing is an indictment against a particular woman, or that having multiple sexual partners is a bad thing.  Again, there are certain circumstances in which it can be bad, but not in and of itself.  In fact, when I see other women criticizing a particular woman for these things, I have a hard time not seeing misogyny.  The whole point of feminism and women’s liberation is exactly that, liberation.  It’s not exchanging one overseer (men) for another (other women).  Or as I described it on Twitter:

“Men should stop telling women what to do!  Women, stop dressing and acting like this!” – Modern feminism.

We have a strange relationship with sex.  We love it, and yet we hate any representation of it.  Any girl that shows too much cleavage is a slut.  Another that speaks frankly about her sexual encounters is a whore.  I think we get too caught up in our own definitions of what is and isn’t acceptable and falsely apply them to other people.

A lot of us are still uncomfortable with seeing a woman wear her sexuality on her sleeve because we still hold that patriarchal view of women as a submissive sex with inherently pure characteristics that need to be protected.  It’s unnerving to see a woman (safely) sleep around because we reserve these activities for men, and their equality frightens us.  I also think that we too often forget how hurtful terms like 'slut' and 'whore' really are because they've worked their way so prevalently into our daily speech.

Although I am a man, so what do I know? :)

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