|She was classy and articulate, one of the "nice girls", |
but that didn't stop her from having sex.
She was classy and articulate, one of the "nice girls", but that didn't stop her from having sex.
And we all teased her. We slut shamed her.
I slut shamed her.
And she called me on it. The conversation went:
Me: "Ha ha. I hear you got up to things at the weekend. Fnar fnar."I think I apologised. I hope I did. And though we were never quite friends, I think we got along fine from then on.
Her (brightly): "Yes I had sex at a party. It was fun."
Me: "Oh... OK."
Looking back I feel both shame and confusion.
The shame part is obvious. Even back then I was "anti-sexist", but here was a young woman starting to explore her sexuality and I was one of the baying idiots fucking it up for her. Thank god she (seemed) to have a thick skin. My excuse is that it was the 1980s, sex education was poor, and I was insecure enough to succumb to pack behaviour - she'd also have been teased if she had accidentally set light to her bedroom or had some other non-sexual mishap. Even so, I still feel ashamed.
|Slut shaming is hardly in |
the interest of straight males!
For a start, slut shaming is hardly in the interest of straight males!
Surely, men want to encourage women to embrace their sexuality. And, wouldn't individual men gain a dating advantage by appearing to offer a safe space for exploration?
Also, it can't be about morality.
Even if you are on the conservative end of the moral spectrum, surely there are far more pressing issues in the world than whether an academic shops at Victoria's Secret!
So to me, the misogyny behind slut shaming looks very much like gynophobia - some men are afraid of the power of female sexuality.
I'm certainly one of those, so much so that I have fetishized fear itself. I've always been attracted to sexual women, and always been afraid of them. But what was I afraid of?
What are men afraid of? What is this mysterious power female sexuality is supposed to confer? How can dressing in stockings and a basque, for example, possibly be "empowering"?
|Some men faced by sexual women |
feel a submissive undertow...
I suspect that just as homophobia often hides homosexual desires, gynophobia must often - not always - hide strong submissive drives.
I don't mean that all gynophobes have detailed, torrid Femdom fantasies churning below the surface. I think it's more primal and disturbing for them than that.
I think Femdom is part of the range of natural human sexual relationships, one of the sweet spots that's evolved over the millennia. It's there in some of us whether we like it or not.
Some men faced by sexual women feel a submissive undertow. They can't articulate it, but it threatens to rob them of their autonomy and destroy the story they tell themselves about their masculinity.
So they push back, deny loudly, and thus they slut shame.
I don't think repressed submissive urges are the only reason why men slut shame. However, I would hope that as society becomes less kink phobic, men with submissive urges will understand and accept their drives and stop behaving like dicks.
Wouldn't it be nice if we saw more Femdom and less slut shaming?
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