Feminist Bullies

One thing I’ve learned since joining Twitter is that feminism isn’t dead. It’s alive and really irritable.

A post at frockwriter about American Apparel seemed perfectly reasonable to me, but caused quite a commotion among super-sensitive feminist tweeters. Frockwriter author Patty Huntington decried American Apparel‘s use of mannequins posed bent over, or spreadeagled in slutty positions.   But the word “slutty” caused offense.

I watched Ms. Huntington patiently reply to the outraged tweets. Someone demanded that she retract the word slutty, arguing that it’s part of a larger offensive social dynamic called “slut-shaming.”

The angry word-prohibitionist got her friends involved. I discovered that many of the angered women were self-described fat women, and presumably they are more sensitized to name-calling.

But the preachy comments triggered by Huntington’s post were so annoying that I jumped in and called one of the prohibitionists “an ignorant slut.” GET IT?!? I thought it was funny, and figured everyone knew the reference to be a catchphrase from Saturday Night Live.

Well, all the irritable feminists went nuts. They got together to slam Huntington, over at a boring blog by Dr. Samantha Thomas, who refused to publish my very calm comment in defense of Patty Huntington. Read the comments though if you enjoy womyn congratulating each other for being mad.

Today, feminist’s launched a twitter attack on Michael Moore after a comment he made about rape victims was repeated out of context. Michael Moore is a tireless liberal activist who deserves better. I will let him speak for himself.

Finally, a miniwar broke out over a pillow needlepointed with the words of Kate Moss: Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels. Feminist tweeters flipped out. Those pillows were “pro-ana!”

Here’s what I think.   The December issue of Bazaar has an article about a woman getting a facial for her vulva. She goes into great detail but I couldn’t take it. It’s so stupid and depressing. It’s bullshit. It’s anti-pussy and it’s anti-woman.   It’s a million times worse than the word slut or a fucking pillow.


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65 Responses to Feminist Bullies

  1. Nikki says:

    Make Do… No one knows me here, I’m fairly new. Not sure of the age of your son, but, I’d most certainly not say such words to a boy & am unsure how you extrapolated that from my post? I made no reference to verbally assaulting children… wouldn’t think of it. Sorry I didn’t convey my words clearly. I would hope you wouldn’t call me any names at all… I don’t. My apologies.

    SW… I was joking, which obviously was lost somewhere along the way. Sorry.

  2. Sister Wolf says:

    Nikki – OHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. Haha, okay, good! No need to be sorry. Me and my kids once discussed the need for a font that indicates “SARCASM!” or “JUST KIDDING!” Wouldn’t that be awesome??

  3. Nikki says:

    SW… Well, I did previously state, “I may not apologize, but I’ll still take my flogging for my chosen words.”

    I don’t like to hurt anyone, so I did apologize & that’s cool… & as a strong Aries woman will still take a flogging for my chosen words. Words read dryly & intent isn’t always known (I haven’t been around these parts long, so I understand that full well). Perhaps, the same applies to some of the misunderstanding regarding your A. Apparel post? Not surmising, simply asking.

    I try to avoid 😉 & LOL & hahaha in emails/posts… perhaps I shouldn’t with those who don’t know me well. I’m regularly tongue-in-cheek, sarcastic. As an aside, awhile ago, I read an article by a psychologist who said sarcasm (my staple humor) is a mild form of mental illness… yes, mental illness. I can’t find it now, but will do more searching. I’m not schooled in the realm of psychology, but it made me laugh, so perhaps I do have mild mental illness because I can only think of sarcastic retorts with sporadic laughing to that concept. I’m doomed.

    Seriously, I never mean to offend in any of my posts (although I like to tease… it comes with the territory of growing up with 7 siblings, 4 of them older brothers), as my words will surely outlive any fleeting distressed feeling I may have, have impact on others & I do my best to understand whether I agree with another or not. Should anyone take offense, I’m glad they speak out about it… I will listen.

    P.S. Yes, font is fine… or maybe sarcastic (mild mental illness) comments aka s/jk (sarcasm/just kidding) can be highlighted in pink?

  4. Nikki – hi I wasn’t being cross with you nor was I offended – just puzzled because you’d used that expression a lot! And I didn’t think you meant ref children. I was thinking metaphorically of grown or older guys. Thank you for taking time to explain. It is an annoyance when sarcasm or dry wit gets lost in translation especially when there is the US v UK use of the English language.

    I honestly didn’t understand the point you were making and now it all cleared up.

  5. Jaimi says:

    Ughhhh. Thank you for this. I am so sick of the word censorship, this whole bullshit trend of “checking your privilege” and basically having to walk on eggshells — people are so quick to be enraged and show off their superior learned opinions it seems. It’s oppressive, self-victimizing, and I’m tired of it. It gets in the way of freedom of expression and derails a lot of conversations.

  6. Jenny says:

    I see what you’re saying and I see what everyone’s saying re: GET OVER IT STOP BEING SO HYPER SENSITIVE THERE’S MORE IMPORTANT SHIT TO GET WORKED UP OVER but I also hate the word ‘offended’ and how warped and meaningless and stupid it’s become. Basically it’s just a way to make fun of how petty and trivial someone’s concerns are, or how someone can’t taking a fucking joke, and a lot of times it’s to protect ourselves because I’ve yet to find someone who thinks of themselves as a racist-sexist-homophobic-bigoted piece of shit, and yet everywhere I go I’m exposed to racist, sexist, homophobic, bigoted shit, and it’s a way of protecting yourself, of saying, ‘But I’m a good person and it’s this person who was offended by me or things that I don’t think are bad or things that I could see myself doing, it’s the person who was offended who’s stupid,’ rather than even acknowledging the possibility that even if you think of yourself as a good person and intend to do good thing, that your words or beliefs or awesome and sarcastic and irreverent and subversive and whatever sense of humor could impact someone negatively.

    As for some feminist taking Michael Moore’s words out of context, I would seriously recommend reading this article:

    Because it’s not really about Michael Moore’s comment on Assange, but rather his silence and Olbermann’s silence and their hate trolling supporters who are doing everything they can to shame women about rape and sexual assault and going even as far as to identify the names of the accusers who are now getting murder and rape threats and it’s also really about how some of really want to live in a world where we can be pro transparency, pro government accountability, pro freedom pro progress, pro making the world a better place, and also pro stop fucking shaming women and making them feel like a worthless, disgusting piece of shit because they dare to speak out about rape and because they clearly don’t understand what is sacred (the holy godhead of Assange and all that Wikileaks is trying to do) and what is trivial (rape!)

    It’s asking for a lot, isn’t it, but it’s also not petty and I wish that people would see it’s not just some prissy, humorless bitch angry that someone used the word ‘slut’ or someone made a joke about rape, but it’s about a hell of a lot more than that.

  7. Tricia says:

    How else is one supposed to refer to one’s “less discretionary” years? See, “slutty” would have been so much better there.

  8. Pearl says:

    You should have thrown in the word ‘cunt’ a few times that always seem to get a good reaction.
    Re American Apparel their adverts freak me out, they seem to have girls who look a bit too young to be sticking their g-string clad asses in my face. Fortunately I am yet to be confronted by one of their mannequins!

  9. RLC says:

    I don’t have time to read all the comments, just to say that I think slut is an awful word and that slut-shaming is indeed rampant – as someone who refuses to feign chastity just because she’s a woman, I experience this almost daily. All the little (and big) references to ‘easy’ women, the idea that how we dress and what goes on in our bedrooms determines our worth as people, etc etc.

    And as for Michael Moore, well I think this quote sums it up:
    “If you don’t stand against rape, and make that stand a crucial and central part of your platform, we do not accept you either as a real “progressive” or as someone who is in any way qualified for authority or a leadership position…Because a progressive movement that doesn’t stand against rape isn’t a progressive movement. It’s just The Man, it’s just the oppressor, it’s just oppression, in a baseball hat, holding a camcorder.”

    Give Tiger Beatdown a read. Sady is great.


  10. RLC says:

    Sorry for such a poorly worded and hastily-written response; I’m not even sure it quite makes sense.

  11. Sister Wolf says:

    Jenny – Okay. First, I see what you’re talking about, and I agree that it’s hostile and patronizing to accuse a group of people of being “offended” by something one insists is just harmless fun. Got it.

    However! The “slut” shaming shit is absurd, to me. Maybe because I am a grown up age 57. I would never ever be shamed by being called slut, whore, cunt, any of those words. I own my sexuality and I embrace those words rather than cower at their intent to shame. It is the only way! You cannot force the world to ban these terms so you must just embrace them.

    We must teach our daughters to laugh in the face of anyone who tries to control her via those words! The word “prude” or “frigid” were once used to intimidate women into having sex. Those words should be laughed at as well. Women must not be controlled by words INTENDED to control their behavior.

    And I believe that groups who scream OW! at a tiny infraction like the word slut, will lose their command of the higher ground! In fighting for justice, one should not object to such petty issues. They are just distractions. Equal rights mean taking it like a man if someone says a word you don’t like. I mean this seriously.

    I just read the Tiger Beat thing, and my heart goes out to that writer. Here is what I wish she would know: The internet attracts nutcases, and really nasty ones at that.

    I was FLOODED with trolls and hate-mail for mocking a girl’s necklace. It went on and on and on. The meanest, most malevolvent and hateful shit you can imagine. This writer at Tiger Beat needs to protect herself emotionally from the savages out there. She is trying to stand against rape but she is allowing herself to be RAPED EMOTIONALLY as she puts herself out there as a target.

    Believe me, I have been there. She is starting to lose it, I can hear it in her writing on Saturday.

    Michael Moore and Assange are not the enemy. The legal system is!!!!!!!!! Demonizing these two men, or 3 if you count Olberman, is not the way to change.

    I speak as one who has been date-raped and raped-raped. I m not one to trivialize the experience.

    RLC – I’m sorry the word slut causes you such misery. I wish you could respond with a pleasant “Kiss my ass!”

  12. RLC says:

    Oh it’s not so much the word, Sister, just the culture of “slut-shaming” on general (however stupid that term is). And it depends on who’s using it as well. Eg, I can safely assume you’re not being a misogynistic prick when you use it.

    Agree re: legal system being the enemy.

  13. kate says:

    i’m late to the convo, and my point is a little off track, but what the hell.
    when i read the frockwriter article my take was that “slutty” was meant in a slightly different way than most people understood it. and i feel that way about american apparel ads in general: the “sluts” aren’t really there for themselves, if you get my meaning. in fact, the term that pops into my head when i see the worst of the ads is “child porn.” i kind of felt that huntington was seeing the message: “the american apparel girl is a slut who loves to bend over, spread-eagle and objectify herself for a skeevy photographer in a basement, and who are we to judge?” and she says, to that, “yeah. right.” i could be entirely wrong and off base, but i’d like to posit that perhaps her detractors were also slightly wrong and off base.

  14. Alice says:

    I actually unsubscribed from some “feminist” publications, mailing lists, etc, because of the bizarre and totally fucked up sense of what feminism is to this batch of loud and proud womyn. I understand that this era of enlightened sexism and increasingly misogynist media culture has feminists looking for any allies they can find but holy shit.

    The nail in the coffin for me was their confusion of “Riots Not Diets” body acceptance of healthy women (ie. too fat to model; discrimination against women of a healthy size) and the use of ‘healthy at any size’ being extended to the morbidly obese. This unholy marriage of fat activism and whatever wave of feminism we’re on now just has me completely turned off and no longer publically self-identfying as a feminist for fear of being confused with a fat advocate.

    Publications like Bust tout themselves as sex positive and do so by marketing plus-sized porn stars as ‘real’ sized women, and go above and beyond in using language that is best left to misleading personal ads, just to sound as anti-mainstream about body image as possible. The pouty, immature contrariety would be funny if it wasn’t so fucking sad. It’s okay for these pseudo-feminists to use degrading, misogynistic terms for women who are not fat, but when the non-Real Women stand up for themselves against these bullies they get called pro-ana and are told to shut up about being non-fat as if the degree of discrimination they face is insultingly irrelevant to the hypersensitive fat-martyrs and their stage time.

    I hate the sense that as a non-obese but fat-by-merit-of-double-digit-dress-size feminist I am seen as a sex/gender-traitor for feeling that eating disorders of any kind should be addressed as a symptom of a woman’s self-loathing and lack of control over her body/image, be it through under- or over-eating. Fat is a feminist issue, but morbid obesity is a public health issue, and co-opting fat advocacy just to gain more volume for arguing feminist issues is counterproductive and just does more to discredit feminism in the minds of mainstream audiences who see through hysterical, absurd bullshit.

  15. I agree! And I could not have said it any better! Keep up the good work my friend.

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