slut

Another form of slut shaming…

So — here we go again with the double-standards.. Rod Stewart has kids with lots of different women, Eric Clapton marries another sweet young thing as he grows older and older — but when Kate Winslet has different fathers for each kid, she’s an example of the downfall of modern society, morals as we know it and all that is good and wonderful.

The thing about feminism is that we want the same sets of standards for both genders.  We want all persons to be able to make their own choices about our own homes, sex lives, and children.  If a man is seen as virile, attractive or whatever when he has kids from several women, then why is it shameful when women act in the same way?

It all comes back to the need to control women’s sexuality — to make sure that she stays as an object for a particular man to have sex with.. because, if she doesn’t then he can’t get what he “needs”…

Here’s a thought for men, if you want to have sex be worthy of having sex with — be a decent guy who respects women.  Be someone who is willing to give as much or more than you get — how about that?  I’d never say that even MOST guys are like this, but — the patriarchy keeps reinforcing this idea that women are supposed to be the sole property of one man, while a man can sleep around and not be shamed.

I’ve also come to see recently that well-meaning men usually see that there are structural inequities that make things more difficult for women.. they object to unequal pay, expectations about body image, the norm that women must shave everything etc.. I applaud any person who recognizes these less subtle facts of life as a woman.. BUT — it takes a lot more thinking and observation to see the more subtle ways the patriarchy controls both women and men.  That’s when the real thinking like a feminist begins.

While I’m thinking about it — I was part of a good discussion last night about privilege.  The thing about privilege, we decided, was that it’s ubiquitous and usually invisible to the person who has it.  They just think that’s the way the world IS — for everyone.  The first step in recognizing privilege is realizing that the world washes across folks in different ways, depending on how the person is born.  I’m a white female. I didn’t ask to be either white or female– and I’m sure that I experience white privilege much more often than I realize.

The thing is, it would be somehow irrational for me to actively reject my privilege in many situations. When I’m given trust by another white person that wouldn’t be given to a non-white person, can I know that’s the case and if I do, should I reject that trust?  When I’m driving in a mostly “upscale” neighborhood and DON’T get stopped by the cops, should I stop by the police cruiser and tell them they really should have stopped me — because they’d have likely stopped me if I were black?  That sounds pretty odd, doncha think?

So — the feminist project as I see it now is to fight the forces of inequality — to encourage people of all sorts to live their lives in the way they see fit — and to object to the parts of society that seem to make divisions among people.  Sure, much of our focus is on women — because there are many ways in which all women are impacted by the patriarchy.  It’s my view that all people will be better off if our project is successful — men and women.

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June 7, 2013 · 1:12 pm

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