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Myth-Busting: Feminism created sluttiness

February 12, 2007

Sex-related anti-feminism generally falls in two categories: the argument that feminists are anti-sex (and by proxy anti-porn and anti-male) or, more recently, the idea that feminists are responsible for all the girls gone wild.

Much in the same way that the Independent Women’s Forum claims that raising money for anti-violence organizations through the Vagina Monologues promotes a “hook-up” culture, some folks are arguing (poorly) that feminism makes girls slutty.

Take this piece by Masha West, Radical Feminism: The Kiss of Death. (Yeah, someone’s a bit of a drama queen.)

Daughters and granddaughters of the women who started the sexual revolution of the 60s have tossed aside what remained of sexual taboos. Gloria Steinam [sic] must be tickled pink. Just check out what’s going on with the younger generation and you’ll get the picture. Only the picture is not a pretty one.

West goes on to talk about Britney Spears’ and Lindsay Lohan’s partying ways and pantyless pics, arguing that while feminists are pissed about the girls gone wild-ness, we’re the ones responsible for it.

Radical feminism…has given women the kiss of death.

Obviously something has gone terribly awry. Distinctions in masculine and feminine roles, ordained by God as part of the created order, have been blurred. Men have become un-masculine, thus unattractive to women; women have become un-feminine, thus unattractive to men. Granted, some women have a feminine appearance. But don’t let that fool you. In the blink of an eye, females spew obscenities that would make a bull rider blush.

And also, they dance!

Another trend among the younger generation is “freaking.” At student dances all across America (including middle schools) kids are dirty dancing. Teens are simulating sex to the beat of the music, usually with, but not limited to, a partner. Young people’s creative minds have come up with expressions like “dog dancing,” “lap dancing,” doing “the grind,” “the nasty,” and “the wax.” I won’t explain. Use your imagination.

Didn’t anyone tell West that imagining minors doing “the nasty” isn’t a very Christian thing to do?

So how is all of this related to feminism? I don’t know. West never really seems to make the connection. But it’s not just rambling anti-feminists who are talking about the feminist/slut relationship. Too often, I’m seeing third wave feminism conflated with vapid consumerist-types of sexuality, from the Pussycat Dolls to Girls Gone Wild—even by other feminists.

Yes, young feminists talk about sex. They write about it. They even have it from time to time. But let’s not confuse politically-informed and thought-out feminist perspectives on sex with drunken tit flashing. It’s insulting.

To read other blog entries by Jessica Valenti or others at GUERNICA click HERE

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