“We Are All Sluts” Response: If, By Sluts, We Mean Women
So maybe Sassmouth wasn’t writing directly in response to my post about sluts and female friendship, but it seems like she has a valid point when she says “we are all sluts,” which I take to mean that by being female, we get assigned the slut role to varying degrees by society:
Though, I actually don’t give a fuck what women wear, or what gets them off, and I think you shouldn’t either. We think we have a right to an opinion on female sexuality and expression, because we hoard the bodies and sexualities of women, and mark them as property of the commons. This public licence over women is at the root of so much other shit, and it plays out differently in contexts that have not experienced a sexual revolution. But here, now, we are frothing at the mouth, watching young women try to negotiate a world were every television show has an obligatory woman-on-pole (look for it, I ain’t kidding), and we reduct every public woman (regardless of her role) to her constituent biological parts and how she decorates them. This is the world we have bequeathed them. Yet we are all, slllluuuuutttty slut slut, when in this cultural context, young women start playing around with their sexual selves.
What I am advocating, is that we all get the fuck off this merry-go-round, and hand the license over. It’s been since literally all of human history, and I reckon it’s about fucking time. Sisters are going to figure it out, especially if we actually you know, give them a bit of credit – so back the fuck off. That’s all I’m saying.
I am not writing some ground breaking thesis here. Simon de Beauvoir was going on about it in the 40s, and as it remains so thoroughly unresolved, grappling with the attempt to restore women’s ownership of their bodies and sexualities has given rise to new feminist movements such as SlutWalk and FEMEN, and plenty of new feminist thinkers who have some pretty sharp riffage on this very issue.
But even among feminists these movements are controversial, and this resistance speaks to their importance. As one of my favorite feminists, Cynthia Enloe has argued, a feminist must always ask – why?
Why it is that for every woman that subverts these agreed upon values, we designate her slut? For every woman that tries and fails to live up to these values, that she too is a slut? Single mothers? Sluts. Using contraception? S.L.U.T. Short-shorts – slut. Over thirty? Old slut. Dark skinned? Black slut. Queer? Trans? Sluts. Any woman, anywhere inhabiting a public space? SLUUUUUTS!
Sluts sluts sluts sluts sluts sluts sluts sluts sluts sluts sluts sluts sluts sluts sluts sluts sluts sluts sluts sluts SLUTS!!!
Sure, we might all be sluts, but what makes a woman a slut? Multiple partners? Sexual acts? Clothing? And why the fascination? How is it that we can define something that lacks any specific definition by word choice? I am always surprised by the depth of curiosity about female sexuality, and the common element worldwide is that fear associated with human sexuality, and most likely female sexuality. Even in cultures that condone rape, people don’t have large public health campaigns about how to define rapists, nor do they publicly speak about the type of men who rape women, define them, out them, discuss them, but it’s perfectly acceptable, even in a religious space, or especially in a religious space, to discuss “sluts.” Oh the joy inherent in talking about sex in church, any kind of church, or religion, and notice how any discussion of sex in church, under the guise of defining these sluts so they may be appropriately ostracized still centers on female sexuality and the male beast stereotype. Why is female sexuality, and the universal and pervasive fear that surrounds it so intriguing? Why do people obsess? I just don’t get it.
I am just as interested in female sexuality, I think, as many people. For that matter, sex interests me, just like most people, but I still don’t understand the concept of sluts. Or, as in my previous post, why sluts are determined to have altered personality characteristics (link below: Sluts Make Better Friends and “Women are Horndogs,Too”).
Nonetheless, I am interested to find out why “sluts,” would make better or worse friends. Who can fill me in? I had no idea that sexual mores indicated friendship compatibility. If we are all sluts, as Sassmouth advocates, then how can we separate women into potentially good friendship groups? And if we are talking confessionals, then why not talk about guilt associated with sluttiness? Guilt that sluts are not good people, and do we have guilt for assigning women roles about their sexuality that determine our ability to befriend them? Personally, I love sluts. I don’t give a fuck how many partners a woman has had, what clothing she wears, how well she sucks dick or with whom, I just always want the woman to feel she has made the choice in those respects. After that, well, I love sluts, no matter how we define them, because life is too damn short not to, for real…