Slut-Shaming as Critique of Character & Why that Sucks

Hello, My Beauties,

I have some thoughts on slut-shaming inspired, in an unexpected turn of events, by Melania Trump.

It’s the holiday season and Ms. Trump is up to her decorating shenanigans yet again. The White House looks like a set that featured in a deleted scene from The Shining. I’m convinced that when it’s dark, eat-your-spleen-mad fairies pop out of those trees and prowl the halls in search of souls for their midnight snack. It explains so many things, including Melania’s dead-eyed stare and Jared Kushner.

In all the criticism of Melania that I’ve seen today, which seems like a distraction in and of itself (really, the great orange nightmare is gassing babies at the border), I’ve been disturbed by the common theme of slut-shaming. Among the commentary about her ridiculous decorating and her complicity in Trump’s fuckery are the words “slut”, “whore,” “bitch,” and “harlot.”

Why do we continue to base our criticism of women on the concept that a woman’s character is tied to how she uses her pussy?

First, not all women were born with a vagina and/or a uterus. When we base a woman’s worth on her vagina, we’re de facto excluding the narrative of transgender women, intersex women, and/or women who were born without a vagina or a uterus

If you’re interested in following the thread of thought about transgender rights and the importance of intersectional feminism, click here for a pretty groovy essay on subject. It was written by yours truly, under my given name, Jennifer K. Kowalski.*

Women aren’t used cars. Our value isn’t measured by our demonstrations of sexual expression, ticking each incident off like miles on an odometer. Those judgement errors spring from millennia-old myths about virginity and women’s corrupting nature. That thinking is bullshit. There’s no shame in sexual expression in all its amazing iterations or sex work, as long as it’s done between consenting adults.

Don’t mistake me. Melania is horrendous. She stumped for and supports Trump, promotes the GOP platform of hate, is socially tone-deaf, and completely uncaring. She’s awful. Full stop. But when we call her a “whore” or a “slut,” it makes us complicit in propagating the idea that a used cunt makes a woman worthless.

The other consequence of slut-shaming Melania Trump is that it distracts from and relieves her of her complicity in Trump’s fuckery. Those are the actions that make her horrible. The fact that she’s posed nude or married a rich, old, white guy, or decorated the White House like Rob Zombie’s House of 1000 Corpses has nothing to do with her awful character.

My point, my beauties, is to say: let’s not allow the patriarchy and outdated sexual mores to continue dividing us. Empowering women means empowering them to be accountable for their shitty choices, as well as their good ones. Melania Trump’s foulness has nothing to do with her pussy. It’s her political allegiance to a dictator and his cadre of vipers (of which she is one), that makes her a horrible person.

Call her out on that.

Be well and be wonderful,

Anne.

 

 

 

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