doin’ it wrong

Shitting on society’s “losers” is such a great national sport.

Posted in change the record, doin' it wrong, New Zealand on November 28th, 2011 by steph – 1 Comment

(Note: This post was actually written a week or so ago, before the election, and was motivated by the general nastiness towards people in “undesirable” jobs that seems to be picking up speed – or, perhaps, it may be the case I am just noticing it more. Anyway, given the election results, I don’t really imagine that this sniping at society’s “losers” – i.e. anyone who is perceived to be lower in status than the person who is doing the criticising- will ease up.)

 

Maybe I’ve just been naïve  not to notice it before, or maybe it really is getting much more prevalent, but the attitude towards people who are “unmotivated”, “lazy”, “moochers”, or have the “crap jobs” has made me extremely angry and upset lately. So many people seem to feel entitled to shit on people who are obviously less awesome then they are, and are exercising what they seem to think is their right to aggressively and nastily criticise anyone they think is in a bad situation, because apparently all it takes is hard work and enough desire for anyone to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and become a lawyer/doctor/millionaire entrepreneur/the Prime Minister. And usually this attitude also includes some obligatory criticism of the types of jobs that these non-awesome bottom feeders are doing (with apparently no motivation to ever better themselves, because if they had that then they would’ve swiftly risen through the ranks to become the manager/boss/own a whole damn franchise chain). Apparently these jobs – in fast food, cleaning, care work, factory work, etc – are piss easy jobs that are handed out to any warm body on the street, and why should someone in a job like that be paid more than five bucks an hour to mindlessly put things into boxes or mop the floors?

Well, I’m fed up with these arrogant, nasty, heartless jerks talking smack about how monkeys deserve their peanuts. These jobs are so easy and effortless, are they? Barely even count as real jobs? As someone who has worked in a few different “drone jobs”, I feel very strongly about this topic. As someone who worked as a supermarket checkout chick, I want to know this: if that kind of job is so easy and inconsequential, then I guess it wouldn’t matter if I had sat back and read a magazine and left my work to the manager of the store. No biggie- it’s not like my job was any real effort or work, right? And seeing as we had rows and rows of monkeys sticking things in bags- a job that a two year old could apparently do, by the way-, maybe we should just scrap all those jobs and the manager can do all of them- after all, people doing those jobs are really just being kept busy as box openers and being paid as little as the bosses can get away with. Oh, except that if you only think that the “important” jobs (switch important with prestigious, enjoyable, high-paying, desirable – they appear to be interchangeable) are worth decent compensation for doing, and that other jobs barely even count as jobs, then the people doing the “big” stuff wont be able to do their work because they’re be swamped with the work of a hundred other “monkeys”. And everything will be great when you walk into a supermarket where there’s no food on the shelves because none of the monkeys are there to stack it anymore, and no monkey working the register to ring up your groceries (although I guess you could just saunter behind the till and immediately know what to do because it’s such a low-level skill, like breathing). And who’s going to pack your groceries into bags- you? Come on, we all know that job is beneath you. And who are you going to subtly belittle for working such a low-paying , unskilled job if nobody’s doing those jobs anymore? (Yes, when I worked in a supermarket I had customers behave very condescendingly towards me). Some people are just rude and don’t know when to keep their stupid little stereotype-based opinions to themselves). It kind of takes the fun out of things when you can’t patronize the loser working the cash register as your checkout line treat.

 

So, we’re working with the idea that people should be smarter than to stick with crappy, low paying jobs, right? People who do those jobs lack ambition and don’t contribute anything of value to society. So from now on, there will be nobody to flip your burgers, nobody to pick those yummy cherries you want to eat with Christmas dinner, nobody to make sure that the bathroom at your office is clean when you arrive at work every morning. If these jobs are for barely functional losers and require no skills or effort, then why not just tack these jobs onto the jobs of other people? If they’re barely jobs at all, it won’t make a difference, right? I can see it now: you’re finally packing up after a stressful day at work, and as you make a move for the door your boss hands you a toilet brush. Have fun scrubbing your workmates’ shit stains every day on top of your actual work. Any loser could be an office cleaner, so who cares if you have to do a little industrial vacuuming before you head home to cook dinner? Any numbskull could pick fruit all day, so why don’t you go get that heavy ladder, lug it from tree to tree, and pick those delicious cherries in the burning sun. People who work at burger joints are just box-openers, and surely someone as smart and successful as you knows how to open a box, so it won’t be a big deal for you to take on that job too. Maybe that McDonalds manager should do the job of all of their monkey staff members if those jobs are so easy and worthless- one person staffing is probably all a place like that needs, anyway.

Oh, and before you go to work in the morning you’ll also have to deal with your garbage. I mean, rubbish collectors just hang off the back of a truck all day and intermittently throw rubbish bags into the truck- that doesn’t involve any actual skills, so why the hell are we paying those mooching losers?! Nobody should be rewarded TOO well for such a low-level job or you’re basically rewarding them for doing nothing. And if it’s a job that barely even qualifies as a job, maybe you can just do that yourself, too. I’m sure you can’t wait to get up close and personal with big piles of stinking rubbish, because I know you love that so much. And it’s no big deal, right? Any chump could do that job, so you should manage just fine because you have mad skills, and it’s obviously within your capabilities.

 

I’ve worked on the checkout at a supermarket (and for more than minimum wage, which I was very grateful for when I was a struggling student making JUST enough to get by each week). I’ve also done a few summers of various orchard work- picking, packing, grading, and there’s no feeling like the back-breaking physical effort of lugging huge crates of fruit to be exported and sold at astronomical prices for the grand reward of very little money and pain in your whole body. Without people doing these jobs, all the people with their big important jobs who love to complain about the deadbeats working at McDonalds would probably fail to function. Sorry to insult any of you who have big important jobs and actually understand this – you aren’t the people I mean when I say this. It’s the horrible, nasty jerks who don’t even think about who makes their coffee, cleans their office, pumps their petrol, picks up their recycling, rings up their purchases, picks their fruit, babysits their kids, or fries their fish and chips. You jerks: if those jobs are for stupid, hopeless losers with no skills, then why don’t you go out and just do all that stuff for yourself, given that you are so skilled and awesome at life. If a monkey could do those jobs, then why pay a person; lets get some actually monkeys in here and see how long it takes one of them to learn how to bag up the new clothes you’ve just purchased. I feel that if we test this by using actual monkeys, your perspective that any monkey could do such a job might be disproven, and my perspective that these jobs involve actual WORK might be validated. And hey, if I’m wrong and a monkey really could collect your garbage and take it to the dump for you, then it’s a huge win because we’ll be able to scrap the minimum wage altogether and just pay monkeys for doing those shitty jobs in food. Think of all the money we’ll save!

 

Oh, you were just using monkey as a perjorative term! Silly me. (Does that make me some sort of stupid sub-human for failing to grasp your oh-so-intelligent derogatory point? Probably). Well, if some half-asleep 8 year old could do those jobs, then we should just give them those jobs. Kids will be occupied outside of school hours (and thus unable to sneak around getting stoned in their school playground at 9pm at night, which will alleviate Peter Dunne’s fears), and they’ll also learn the value of hard work from a young age! Or, as I said earlier, if these jobs are so piss-easy, then maybe we should just add them on to the jobs of everyone else, and eliminate the low-status jobs by amalgamating them into the jobs of the awesome regular people with awesome jobs that require awesome skills. After all, if they require so little effort –no special skills, no energy, no time- then this should have absolutely no effect on the work of people who now have to do them. So, there’s no downside to this at all: minimum wage monkey jobs are taken care of by other people, and the regular work of those people is obviously not affected in any way by having to do one or two tasks that require no more effort than scratching one’s arse. Perfectly realistic, and problems with those pesky losers and their scabby little excuses for ‘jobs’ are all solved – no lazy bum will be getting paid for a job that basically amounts to just standing around doing nothing all day!

 

People who do these jobs – the kind that sneering idiots like to look down on as being jobs for thick people – are important. These jobs are important. Not everyone can be a doctor or a lawyer or the Prime Minister, and not everyone wants to. And unless we can get hold of some robots to do all of those “little” jobs for us, we will still need people to do them. People who act like chucking a 10 cent coin at someone doing one of those jobs would be more than enough compensation for that work should probably think about whether they would be happy to take on that work or not, and how they would feel doing a job and being told that it doesn’t count as work and how they, as an employee,  are essentially expendable. And they should think about who would do those jobs if the people doing them now didn’t, and imagine how much it would affect them. But, naturally, people who are smug, entitled jerks probably don’t care about any of this, because really their perspective boils down to “I have a good job, and I am a good person with good skills and lots of ambition, therefore people who do the jobs I consider to be bad must therefore be bad people with no skills and no ambition”. Either that or they are just egocentric assholes who don’t see these people as actual human beings that even belong in the same category as them, and thus are fair game for criticism and derision.

 

 

 

Men are not wild beasts

Posted in doin' it wrong, rape, rape culture on May 27th, 2011 by steph – 3 Comments

All this talk of ladies in short skirts driving men wild, and what do women think a man thinks about when he sees a woman’s cleavage? has made me realize something: collectively, we view men as uncontrollable, untamed animals, incapable of higher-level thought processes and incapable of stopping themselves from making sexual advances when they see a miniskirt. Men are Pavlov’s dogs: miniskirts = sex, and they’ll get some by whatever means necessary. Because sure, woman aren’t to blame if they were wearing a short skirt or drinking or out late at night, but what did they really expect to happen wearing an outfit designed to turn men on? Obviously it will turn a man on, 100% guaranteed, and he will now have to have sex with her or he will die or his dick will explode or something. Target acquired, mission set, autopilot on, failure is not an option. What can we expect ladies- we don’t want to be responsible for a man’s wang exploding, do we?

 

So to sum up: not the fault of the ladies, but also actually their fault for doing something or wearing something that is 100% guaranteed to program a man on a mission to have intercourse or die trying. Men: cannot control their animal instincts in the face of a halterneck top. Men: must rape every woman who has had more than zero drinks. Men: unstoppable machines programmed for sex, and a “vulnerable” woman out on the streets at 3am is their trigger. It’s funny how all these dudez who perpetuate this myth of the magical sex-inducing miniskirt  don’t actually realize that this view – the one they so strongly believe and espouse – is actually a more man-hating worldview than any man-hating they have ever accused any feminist of. These men have such a rock-bottom expectation of men; they think men are so weak and uncontrollable that they can’t not have sex with someone in a short skirt: the short skirt is a sign of being up for it, and even though she says no the power of the miniskirt is still so strong that a man couldn’t control himself and make a choice. His animal urges override any rational thinking he is normally capable of and he must have sex NOW. Basically people who hold this view seem to have such rock-bottom expectations of men that it takes my breath away. Guess what, jerks? I actually believe most men to be good and rational, and have too much respect for them to buy into the myth that their behaviour is completely under the control of the up-for-it miniskirt. You can continue to collectively insult every man on the planet, and I will continue to hold men to the same standards I do everyone else. So who’s the man-hater here?

 

And if you still want to believe that women “aren’t to blame, BUT…” and that men are driven solely by their sex-lust and skirt-lust, then here are some tips you should be passing on to all your male friends to help them stop being led around by their dicks and sometimes raping someone along the way. I think we should pay special attention to tip 7- if guys can’t stop themselves at the sight of a short skirt, maybe we need to have a rape-prevention buddy with them at all times.

 

Sexual Assault Prevention Tips Guaranteed to Work!

1.   Don’t put drugs in people’s drinks in order to control their behavior.

2.   When you see someone walking by themselves, leave them alone!

3.   If you pull over to help someone with car problems, remember not to assault them!

4.   NEVER open an unlocked door or window uninvited.

5.   If you are in an elevator and someone else gets in, DON’T ASSAULT THEM!

6.   Remember, people go to laundry to do their laundry, do not attempt to molest someone who is alone in a laundry room.

7.   USE THE BUDDY SYSTEM! If you are not able to stop yourself from assaulting people, ask a friend to stay with you while you are in public.

8.   Always be honest with people! Don’t pretend to be a caring friend in order to gain the trust of someone you want to assault. Consider telling them you plan to assault them. If you don’t communicate your intentions, the other person may take that as a sign that you do not plan to rape them.

9.   Don’t forget: you can’t have sex with someone unless they are awake!

10. Carry a whistle! If you are worried you might assault someone “on accident” you can hand it to the person you are with, so they can blow it if you do.

(tips via No, Not You)

 

 

And some more tips here, if you are really having trouble not raping somebody.

 

Please Sir, May We Have Some More Rights?

Posted in Abortion, doin' it wrong, New Zealand on March 22nd, 2011 by steph – 19 Comments

QoT hit it out of the park once again in an excellent post about abortion law reform over at The Standard (also published on her own blog here). But how great a point she made is irrelevant; her shrill, angry, demanding, enraged tone and style has completely ruined any chances of anyone wanting to side with her or give her what she’s asking for. Like a child who demands their parent buy them an ice cream, she’s blown it by not asking nicely.

 

Or, at least that’s what the commentariat over at The Standard have led me to believe. Yeah, they brought the tone argument with them, and liberally sprayed it about. Swearing is so crude, anger gets you nowhere, maybe if you weren’t so confrontational you might get what you want, and so on.

 

This is such a classic bullshit derail trotted out every time a feminist displays even a tiny bit of displeasure or anger. Don’t blow your chance honey, you’re only hurting yourself and your cause. Women getting angry? Not on my watch.

 

Personally, I think the anger and passion and outrage is what best motivates me, so I can’t see those things as anything other than valuable. When something is outrageous and unacceptable, I will get angry about it and refuse to soften my point because other people don’t want to hear about how something is making me angry.

 

And too many of the comments on QoT’s post on The Standard made me angry. Shit is wrong in the world, and in our society, and I refuse to grovel on my hands and knees, cap in hand, politely asking (but not asking for to much in case I seem demanding, or too often lest it be seen as begging) for just a few more rights please sir. No fucking way. I don’t care if my anger or my confrontational style is perceived as unacceptable: dancing around the issues isn’t going to get anything done, and ‘nice-ing” myself down to appease others is an insult to all the people before me who let their outrage feed their power and motivate their actions.

 

But if you do want to listen to those helpful people telling you that your anger is hurting the cause and alienating people from it, and you want to know the proper polite way to ask, Boganette has got you covered.

“Just don’t have kids” is not the answer.

Posted in doin' it wrong, New Zealand on February 1st, 2011 by steph – 8 Comments

This morning I read the news that further cuts to Early Childhood Education haven’t been ruled out yet. While many people are horrified by the idea of even more possible slashing, an unnervingly common response has been to say that if people can’t afford to have children, they shouldn’t have them. That’s right; stop bitching about the price of a service, just blame the people complaining for getting themselves into the situation where they need it. And people who aren’t already in that situation; if you can’t afford to raise a kid, you should probably never have kids. Never mind that the price is problematic; don’t resolve that issue, just don’t ever get to a place where it’s an issue for you personally. Never mind the fact that it will still be a problem for other people. And never mind the fact that if we really only limited parenting to people who could “afford” the ever-rising price of it we would probably end up heading down a road where half the country couldn’t afford kids and suddenly there would be a mass panic about population levels.

People who say “if you can afford it, don’t have kids” make me incredibly angry, because they have obviously never, ever, ever, for even one single second, thought about even one single issue relating to privilege or discrimination. Let’s think for a second: we’re working from the “no cash, no kids” viewpoint. So a couple decide no kids for them: too pricey, whatever. So they take some sort of contraceptive precaution; BUT! As anyone who has ever thought for one second about this issue could tell you, contraception can fail. People who never think about these issues hear about “undesirable” women (young, or single, or <cough>financially unstable <cough>)getting preggo and they think “what an irresponsible slapper, not even trying to stop herself getting pregnant”. Guess what? Contraception is not foolproof. The assumption that every accidental pregnancy is a result of some sort of sexual Russian Roulette is incorrect.

But, I hear you say, getting pregnant doesn’t mean having kids. And you are correct. However, if you said to the ignorant thickos that a possible way to deal with an accidental pregnancy you can’t afford is to have an abortion, I imagine plenty would say that abortion is not ok, and only for slutty ho bags who weren’t careful enough. Sorry, did I say abortion? I meant shooting a spear gun through your fully-grown in-utero baby who screams “Mama, why are you killing me??”. Abortion is not a palatable option for a lot of people who believe they get to tell women how to make their reproductive choices.

But! Say these people, how about adoption? That way even if all your baby-thwarting attempts were in vain but you know you can’t afford a kid, you won’t actually have to be the one raising it and paying for it. Perfect solution! Except: the situation isn’t like a piece of paper with conception written on one end and birth one the other where you can just concertina it in the middle and have this unaffordable kid appear immediately and then find someone to adpot it. Stuff happens in between. Stuff that some people have never even thought to consider. While you’re growing this future Prime Minister of New Zealand inside you you’ve got to keep yourself in good condition. Doctor visits, ultrasounds, healthy eating, all of that Elevit you need to make sure you aren’t one of those disgusting mothers who harms her unborn child through her own neglectful actions. As well as that, being pregnant can affect the earning potential of that woman: maybe she has to work less, or can’t work at all. Maybe she’s lucky enough to continue with her pre-pregnant life, but maybe her life has to adapt a little because her needs and limits are different – and rightly so, because pregnancy is an awesome but complex thing. But all this adds up to one thing: being pregnant isn’t free. So adoption as an “affordable” option for someone who can’t afford kids is not exactly the magic bullet that some people might think. And this woman shouldn’t be allowed to have this child because she can’t afford to raise it! Can’t afford ridiculous, exorbitant costs, and can’t afford to cope with any possible price rises that could happen at any time in the future life of that child while they’re financially responsible (18 years or so). Fix the broken system? Apparently that’s not an option. Just don’t have kids. And tell your friends too, because having kids is only for the rich, and are they really rich enough?

I get so mad at the “so just don’t have kids” attitude. People who say that have never thought about one single of the issues I’ve mentioned, or any of the other issues that are tangled up in this topic: access to contraception, knowledge of how to properly use contraception, the stigma of abortion, access to abortion, price of abortion services, the social and financial costs of being pregnant, workplace policies and attitudes that affect pregnant women, the effect of pregnancy on the body, and societal attitudes to women who choose to not have children.

These people who have never had to think about these things are so deep in their privilege it makes me angry. They’ve never had to think about these things, they don’t want to know about them, and they’ve never imagined a life where their own privilege was gone and they HAD to think about these issues. They don’t believe that these issues are even real issues, because that isn’t their own experience.

I don’t know how to convey these ideas to people who’s privilege prevents them from wanting to know about this stuff or from grasping the fact that all of these issues and more are very real and they have a huge effect on many people.

Seriously, if your response to increasing Early Childhood Costs is “just don’t have kids”, and not “what is wrong with our system and where our priorities lie?”, I don’t know how to change your mind.

Just a small comment about intent

Posted in controversy, doin' it wrong, New Zealand on December 2nd, 2010 by steph – 17 Comments

I,  like many people, am appalled and annoyed by the “I’ve got a lovely pair” fundraiser launched by NZGirl (it’s pretty easy to find if you want to find it). This is just one more brick in the wall that is the sexification of titty breast cancer. Better bloggers than I have already hit this one out of the park (yes, each of those is a different post!). But what I wanted to say concerned the idea that maybe NZGirl had good, honest intent. That they did this because they genuinely believed this is a good way to raise awareness and somehow help people with breast cancer or help people be more aware of how to get check and be proactive about their health. When I hear the word ‘intent’ thrown into the mix, I can’t help but think of this post over at Genderbitch: “Intent! It’s Fucking Magic!”. While the post is not about this topic specifically, I can’t help but think of this passge on the power of intent whenever someone says “I didn’t mean to offend!”

Because you see, Intent is the ultimate alchemy. It doesn’t change lead to gold, it changes harmful, negative or damaging actions into happy, fun, “everyone hugs and no one is oppressed”, magical unicorn actions. It dips its eerie powers into the pools of time and space and counters each and every ripple of fuckery and pain created by the actions of an unthinking douchebag who was too privileged or self absorbed to see that their actions were a problem.

So, I really don’t think that NZGirl having good intentions really makes this excusable. Maybe you don’t intend to be offensive but that certainly doesn’t mean that the thing you do isn’t offensive. And in that case, you shouldn’t get a free pass and an “oh, okay then, I see now”; you should get a chance to apologise for the inadvertant offense and a chance to understand the perspective of others and maybe learn something.

Haircut hate

Posted in doin' it wrong, stuff.co.nz on December 2nd, 2010 by steph – 2 Comments

Once again, good work Stuff.co.nz for their fine work. Stupid enough is that this story about Jo Nicholls-Parker changing her hair style was the featured article on the main page at all (when really it belongs in the Life and Style section at best). But to open comments on the article too? Yes, most of the articles under the Life and Style category are open for comments. But most of these are on new lipstick trends or how probiotics work, not the appearance of a public figure. Basically, having open comments on this is just a green light to critique this woman; and not just her hair, the topic of the article, but her makeup, skin, and gender. There are 315 comments on the article; many are saying “why is this news?” (some saying it is inappropriate because it is the day of the Pike River memorial; personally, I think it is never news), but an overwhelming number are critical comments on her looks, or are comments that use the quote

“He [husband Bob Parker] likes the new cut. It’s much more page boy and that’s what he likes,” she said.

to joke about how this must mean Bob Parker is a pedophile. Flawless logic by the commenters, really.

So yeah, once again Stuff has given me evidence that they are utterly tactless jerks when it comes to which articles they open comments on; not only are they cool with having this woman’s appearance ripped to shreds, but if they ever have an article discussing anything race-related, you can bet money on the fact that comments will be open for people to spew “I’m not a racist, but…!” bile all over the place.

Who’s a slut? Probably you.

Posted in doin' it wrong, slut-shaming, sluts on November 15th, 2010 by steph – 11 Comments

So there has been a lot of heated debate lately about looking like a slut, dressing like a slut, acting like a slut, and being a slut. And all of it got me thinking about the word slut, and why it’s such a nasty word to use against a woman. Part of it is just that: it’s being used against a woman. Slut is a gendered insult; oh sure, people might say “oh, I know a guy who sleep around and he’s a total man-slut!” and think that this somehow makes an acceptable, gender-neutral term. It doesn’t, because “man-slut” being used to describe male behaviour reinforces the idea that slut without a qualifier means a woman by default. And, aside from that, male and female sexual behaviour is viewed very differently by society, and so a man who has a lot of sexual partners is never going to be treated the way a women with lots of partners is: men don’t tend to be slut-shamed, while it seems to be a socially acceptable hobby to slut shame women.

Slut-shaming, also known as slut-bashing, is the idea of shaming and/or attacking a woman or a girl for being sexual, having one or more sexual partners, acknowledging sexual feelings, and/or acting on sexual feelings. Furthermore, it’s “about the implication that if a woman has sex that traditional society disapproves of, she should feel guilty and inferior” (Alon Levy, Slut Shaming). It is damaging not only to the girls and women targeted, but to women in general an society as a whole. It should be noted that slut-shaming can occur even if the term “slut” itself is not used.”

It bears repeating: you don’t have to say “she is a slut and a bad person because she’s a slut” for it to be slut-shaming. Slut-shaming can occur without the word slut ever being mentioned (as in this letter to the Dom Post), or it can be even more indirect.

This aside, I thought about why I loathe slut being thrown about as an insult so much. And it’s this: slut is this vague, ill-defined concept that can be applicable to anything or anyone. People say in blog comments ‘oh, but just google the word ‘slut’ and it’ll be pretty clear what   slut is”, or “I know one when I see one”. But in reality, every person who uses this word as a derogatory term has their own idea of what a slut is and where the line is. Some people think you’re a slut if you fuck on the first date; some if you have sex before you’re married. Some people think you’re a slut based on the number of sexual partners; others think it isn’t the number but whether the partners were casual or you were in serious monogamous relationships. Other people base it on clothing, with certain items acting as ‘slut signifiers’: Miniskirt? Slut. Miniskirt and low-cut top? Double slut. Miniskirt, low cut top and stilettos? Double slut burger with cheese. But for some people the “slutty clothing line” is crossed if you wear anything vaguely form-fitting, or bare your shoulders in public, or things like that. Basically, everyone who uses slut as an insult and who thinks that you can tell a slut by her behaviour or appearance has a different idea of what constitutes “sluttiness”. A women could walk down the street in a knee-length skirt and have one person think “slut” but the next person think that the skirt is perfectly fine. And this means that women can’t win. Because no matter what they do, even if they think they’re being modest or doing what’s acceptable, there’s going to be someone who judges them.

Slut is  an always-applicable word based on an ill-defined concept that people can dish out whenever the hell they feel like it, whenever a women does something that you personally feel is contrary to your own standards of acceptability. Slut is a word you can throw out there at any occasion and for any poorly conceived reason or with very little basis just to put this naughty, deviant woman in her place. Because that’s what the word slut is intended to do: it’s intended to put a women in her place, and shame her for something she’s done in the hopes that she will stop it and conform, or at least know she is a horrible person who deserves all the judgment you’re handing out or whatever horrible thing she has coming to her.

So that’s why “slut” (as it is commonly used; reclaiming the word, on the other hand, is a whole other post) is a word that I passionately hate. It’s always hanging there on the tips of people’s tongues, ready to be dished out when you do something they don’t like. There is no single defined indicator of being a slut in the eyes of every single person, and this is handily used against women because it means that at any time the s-bomb can be dropped in response to something they do that might be displeasing to you. Bust out the word slut when any women does something that you feel goes against what acceptable sexuality, and put that woman in her place.

So yeah, once again the message seems to be “Women: you can never win this one”. That’s why the word slut is so nasty and insidious. It’s a word used to judge and shame women, and one we can’t escape no matter what we do.