Sunday, January 20, 2013

Doesn't it take Two to Tango?

Something's been bothering me, and my wife finally put her finger on it.  Lately, there's been a lot of, to be blunt about it, "slut shaming" going on.

This trend is bothersome.  I've been over this subject, and the reasons why I think it is so, in a number of posts before.  That is for those other posts.

But, this is about just being people, having friends, knowing others and understanding that women are people too.  This is about our building a society where everybody, both men and women, are treated like people - people with the same rights, responsibilities and duties to society.

Slut shaming is taking women and making them adhere to a higher standard than men.  Allowing men to do things women are denigrated and shamed for doing, even while a man is shamelessly participating in the same activity, and often even praised for that participation!

Let's look at the dictionary definition of a slut:
slut  (slʌt)

— n
1. derogatory  a dirty slatternly woman
2. derogatory  an immoral woman
3. archaic  a female dog
Now.  Most people today seem to equate that "immoral" part with sex.  Being promiscuous, having multiple sex partners, either in series or simultaneously.

Why don't we have a similar word for men?  Men can be as promiscuous as women, even worse in many cases, especially given the little biological fact that men can't get pregnant, so they can just walk away and forget the whole thing.  We even have a quaint little saying for it, "sowing your wild oats", with the clear understanding in-between the lines that there could well be some sprouting going on behind the scenes!  Maybe not so much today, since we do have various methods of birth control, but to make matters worse, that is seen as the woman's job to look after, not the man's!  Or how about the term "scoring"?  The idea that somehow, women are targets, to be counted and discarded upon the scoring of the "point".

Interesting how both "slut" and "bitch" used to be terms (and at least one is still today) for female dogs, and both have devolved into denigrating and humiliating terms for women who fail to meet the so-called "higher" standards of our patriarchal culture.  Hmm, that's another post, maybe!

But back to the word.


Such a nasty sounding word, with a nasty connotation.  The fact is, more and more people today are dealing with sex differently.  With the advent of contraceptives, women can now control their own family planning, and can participate in the same pre-marriage goings on that men have traditionally done, with the same care-free results.

Maybe that's what is bothering these guys.  The fact that women can now be as care-free as the guys, and can have the one night stands and walk away with the same nonchalance that the guys used to.  Maybe that's why we've seen this shaming get worse in recent years, and why we have seen the recent attempts to remove contraceptives as an available family planning tool.

I think that's a terrible thing.  I think that women should be able to be as care-free as the guys, and be able to kick up their heels before settling down to that nice suburban life of boring corporate sameness.

Or, just keep on being as promiscuous as they wish - I mean if James Bond can do it as an adult, why can't the ladies - and where is the female equivalent to James?

The issues of morality have been in so much flux in recent years, both here in the US and in Europe.  What we think of as normal, our grand parents would never have tolerated.  Many of our parents would have been unsettled by some of it too.  Point is, societies change, morals change.  Now that almost a third of Americans no longer identify with any particular religious group, people are on the search for a different moral compass.

I think it'll take a while to settle down, but in the meantime, we have some things between us guys and the ladies we need to work on.

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