Monday, August 26, 2013

Slut Shaming, Miley Cyrus, Robin Thicke, And Your Mom

Yesterday, my friends and your mom attended the Seattle Slut Walk event to raise awareness of what consent truly means when it comes to sex. 

These are the news headlines this afternoon about the event:



Hello? Anyone? BUELLER? 

However, everyone is talking about how slutty it is that Miley Cyrus wore next to nothing and "twerked" up against Robin Thicke. Because, clearly Slut Walk and Slut Shaming are irrelevant. 


Meanwhile, these are some of the lyrics to Robin's song from last night's VMA performance.

"One thing I ask of you
Let me be the one you back that ass to
Go, from Malibu, to Paris, boo
Yeah, I had a bitch, but she ain't bad as you
So hit me up when you passing through
I'll give you something big enough to tear your ass in two
Swag on, even when you dress casual
I mean it's almost unbearable
In a hundred years not dare, would I
Pull a Pharside let you pass me by
Nothing like your last guy, he too square for you
He don't smack that ass and pull your hair like that
So I just watch and wait for you to salute
But you didn't pick
Not many women can refuse this pimpin'
I'm a nice guy, but don't get it if you get with me"

And here's a screen shot from his video for the song.



But Miley, even though her costume looks a lot like the ones these girls are wearing in Robin's rapey video, is the one getting ripped up as trashy.

Watching VMAs. Haven't been in a strip club in a while, but good to see nothing has changed - Bill Maher

"I was Hannah Montana's mother. I do not approve. Where did I go wrong? I just want to know who's advising her, and why it's necessary." - Brooke Shields

"Miley better get a ... pregnancy test after all of that grinding." - Kevin Hart

"(J)ust watched that Miley Cyrus / teddy bear performance and I think I'm now legally required to put myself on some kind of registry." - James Poniewozik.


We have a long way to go.

Photo
My dear friends, Dana and Crystina, at Slut Walk Seattle 2013

Slut Walk Seattle 2013, From Seattle PI
It is a woman's right to cover or uncover her body and not be shamed or violently abused for either one.


Now - some people have asked how a woman can dress slutty but get mad about being objectified. Here's how. there is a difference between sexual and exploitative. Slutty and sexy are not the problem. I've seen memes online complaining about how women say to end slut shaming but at the same time get upset about how women are drawn on comic books or about how Halloween costumes are always slutty. If a woman is sexual, uses her own body for whatever she wants, that's her right. Exploitation and sexualization reduce women to JUST their bodies, such as when comic artists draw women in positions that are almost impossible for human beings just to get that boob-ass shot, or when there is ONLY the slutty version of Freddy Krueger as an option for women's costumes, or when little girls are displayed in sexual positions to sell a product unrelated to sex. 

"Sexual empowerment is active. It’s ownership. Autonomous. Self-serving.
Objectification, on the other hand, is a passive relenting of control. It’s powerless. Self-sacrificial.
And while there is absolutely nothing wrong with power play and feeling objectified, it is another thing entirely to be actually thought of as a sexual object.
It’s the difference between the delicious hunger in my partner’s eyes when my bra comes off and the disgusted, dejected way that I feel when a construction worker tells me that he wants a piece.
The problem with the conflation of “owner” and “object” is that it perpetuates the idea that female sexuality is for everyone except the woman in question. It gives cadence to the bullsh*t social myth that powerful female sexuality equals pleasing partners, rather than knowing and pleasing oneself.

Lacking Liberation: On Conflating ‘Sexual Objectification’ with ‘Sexual Empowerment’


That is why people should be a lot more pissed about Robin Thicke's video than Miley Cyrus' performance. One is a man surrounded by women strictly for his pleasure, and his song is about convincing a good girl to give up her own decision to not be sexual because he's so hot she can't take it. 

It's a conversation we have to keep having. And keep having. And keep having. A woman who likes sex, consents to lots of it, and dresses sexy still does not deserve to be reduced to and used as a sex object. It is still about choice. Everyone knows the difference between erotica and porn. It's harder to explain, but we know it when we see it. There IS a difference. And people who fail to see the difference still blame women as "asking for it," still blames victims, and still tears apart a stage performer for her choice of choreography and acts shocked that entertainers are trying to be memorable. 

Rosey Posey's "Judgments"

1 comment:

  1. Laura Mulvey's 1975 essay "Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema" is ALL about this. http://terpconnect.umd.edu/~mquillig/20050131mulvey.pdf

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