Slut-shaming and Sexuality Policing – what say you?

Check out this ad. Posted by Dr. Mindbeam on No Seriously, What about the Menz?

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4 responses

  1. I for one was a little frustrated by drmindbeam’s article. Calling them Dumbdad and Slut Daughter and Stepford mom is just leading the reader. I watched the ad after I read the article and I saw almost nothing of what he/she was referring to. I saw a harmless ad where a protective father wanted to trash a short skirt of his daughter’s and was thwarted by the women in his family.

    Honestly, I think sometimes people read way too much into these ads and articles just to pick them apart and start projecting onto them. How about letting us just be human?

    • @Kendra: The thing is, these ads aren’t just pure and saintly on their own. They are both reflections of cultural ideas and reinforcers and drivers of the same. It’s not “letting someone be human,” it’s “forcing them into a mold.” Additionally, the terms were leading for a reason — that’s how the characters are portrayed. The mother is vapid and enabling (she loves nothing better than to clean), the child is naïve and irresponsible, and the father is stupid. These are harmful media tropes.

  2. OMG – really! It’s these stereotypes that lead to gendered roles – like a father thinking that he has a right to “protect” a daughter’s sexuality! Her sexuality is her own to give as she pleases.

    Did you read what I said in response to this ad and the idea of slut-shaming and sexuality-policing. I said this:

    if we educate our children – genuinely educate them – about their bodies, sexuality, and the nature of our culture, then shouldn’t we trust them to make decisions about their clothing? I was listening to Gloria Steinem talk about the “slut walks” on WOW radio yesterday, and she was explaining the idea that these are amazing moments in activism because they genuinely point out that the clothes a woman wears should not play a role in the way a man acts towards her, and if they do play that role then the wrong action should fall to the man not the victim –

    Slut Walk Toronto explains on their website:

    “On January 24th, 2011, a representative of the Toronto Police gave shocking insight into the Force’s view of sexual assault by stating: ‘women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized.’ As the city’s major protective service, the Toronto Police have perpetuated the myth and stereotype of ‘the slut’, and in doing so have failed us. With sexual assault already a significantly under-reported crime, survivors have now been given even less of a reason to go to the Police, for fear that they could be blamed. Being assaulted isn’t about what you wear; it’s not even about sex; but using a pejorative term to rationalize inexcusable behavior creates an environment in which it’s okay to blame the victim. Historically, the term ‘slut’ has carried a predominantly negative connotation. Aimed at those who are sexually promiscuous, be it for work or pleasure, it has primarily been women who have suffered under the burden of this label. And whether dished out as a serious indictment of one’s character or merely as a flippant insult, the intent behind the word is always to wound, so we’re taking it back. “Slut” is being re-appropriated.
    We are tired of being oppressed by slut-shaming; of being judged by our sexuality and feeling unsafe as a result. Being in charge of our sexual lives should not mean that we are opening ourselves to an expectation of violence, regardless if we participate in sex for pleasure or work. No one should equate enjoying sex with attracting sexual assault.”

    I think as genuine humanists/feminist/masculinists – or whateverists – our job is to genuinely see agency in others and allow them the freedom to make their own decisions – and as parents our job is to educate of children with 100% honesty and frankness so that they are informed with more than enough information to make the choice that’s right for them – and then if their are choices/mistakes which result is ill effects, hurt, or something worse – our job is to support and nurture our children through their healing.

    You can’t police another person – and consider them free. That said – there is a pretty good argument for child safety – but I think once you’re dealing with a girl as old as the girl in this ad you have to inform and hope your informing enables the safest choices.

  3. I honestly don’t see the harm. Perhaps it’s because I’m looking at it as one ad and not in the context of the messages the ad helps enforce. I also see myself a little bit in the ad. I do the laundry in the house. I think that characterization of the mother is a little silly. Just because a woman does laundry and wants her child to appear clean doesn’t make her ‘vapid’. Again, I think that might be projecting.
    I had a protective father who might have tried to get away with something like that. But, I have never in my life, though, felt that I wasn’t educated about my body, that I couldn’t make my own decisions or that I need protection from anyone. I was taught to be strong and independent.
    I agree that her sexuality is her own. I don’t see the ad saying otherwise. Her father tried to ‘protect his little girl’, a natural and evolutionarily appropriate reaction and she took the power back.
    The situation above in Toronto is much more disturbing for me and I don’t think the ad is in anyway a symptom or related idea as that. But keep in mind that I don’t study this, I don’t think about this as much as you guys do. I’m just telling you what an average Jane probably sees.

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