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? :)