Hello fellow activists! I have had SUCH a busy semester, and unfortunately have not devoted enough time to this blog and to this cause. I suppose there's only so much that one person can do! Anyways, within the last week, this blog has received almost 200 views...yay! This is mostly because I have embarked on a wild and unrelenting photo campaign against Rush Limbaugh's attack of Sandra Fluke. I have posted a picture of myself ALL over the internet, and am happy to report that it's been shared by hundreds of people, and viewed by thousands. I've received a ton of support from men and women who applaud my statement, but have also been the target of many hateful comments. This is to be expected, and I am not surprised. My concern is that many people seem to be missing the point of my photo. I am not directly addressing the birth control argument, but am addressing Limbaugh's slut-shaming attitudes.
Let me break it down folks- Feminism101 defines "slut-shaming" as "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).
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" http://finallyfeminism101.wordpress.com/2010/04/04/what-is-slut-shaming/
Ok, so now we know what slut-shaming means. Are you still with me? Ok, good. My next point is that slut-shaming contributes to rape myths, and to rape culture. Rape myths are stereotypical, false, and untrue beliefs about rape, victims, and perpetrators. Here are a few examples of rape myths:
"She's a slut so she was asking for it. Did you see how short her skirt was?"
"Well, he's her husband so it wasn't rape. I mean, c'mon, it's impossible to rape someone that you're married to"
"She was raped, but she works as a stripper, so she deserved it."
"She's a prostitute, how could she be raped? Isn't that her job?"
Ok, starting to get the idea? Good. When society views women as "slutty," they see them as more deserving of rape. This all contributes to a rape culture, in which rape is common and even condoned. Don't think rape it common? Well, a rape happens every two minutes in the USA (RAINN). Common enough for ya?
My research focuses on women who work in the sex industry, and who face this sort of stigma as part of their choice of career. These women face rape myths, and are perceived as less credible when they try to report a rape. This is a HUGE problem in our society, and something that I am always trying to raise awareness about. I am not making this stuff up, there's plenty of empirical evidence to support my point. Time and time again, participants in research studies engage in victim-blaming, when the victim happens to be a woman who steps outside of traditional gender roles. When a sex worker gets raped, do you think the cops believe her? Do you think they even care? No, and this is a fucking problem. NO ONE deserve to be raped, whether you are a stripper, porn star, nun, college student, homeless woman, lawyer, doctor, etc. NO ONE "asks" to be raped. It frightens me that there are still so many people in our society who don't understand this simple point.