Slut Shaming — From a Man’s Perspective

I’ve been noticing a lot of articles, podcasts, tweets, and other coverage lately about slut shaming and rape culture. Maybe it’s that I have decidedly feminist  sexual politics and my friends and news feeds tend to reflect and amplify those topics, or maybe (I can hope) it’s because our society is starting to realize that feminism and (more basically) respecting women is an issue that men have a serious stake in.

When I hear on the news that people are sympathising with rapists who’s “futures have been ruined”, I assume that the part of the population that thinks that way must be incredibly small, uneducated and dim witted. When I read the dozens of brave letters  from women (some in their middle years, some in high school) who have been sexually bullied, slut shamed, and raped I would love to believe that they represented 100% of the population that has been saddled with such a burden.

I know this isn’t true but I try to believe because the truth just doesn’t make any sense to me. I think about the kind of world that any rational human being would want to live in; a world where love was abundant, and personal safety was a certainty; a world where my daughter will grow up to be a mature version of the confident, competent, and powerful girl that she is today;  a world where any woman walking down the street, or sitting at a bar stool can look a man straight in the eye and smile without a thought for her safety.

The thing about this ideal world is that it isn’t pure fantasy. It’s not like we need to solve world hunger or balance the economy. We just need to take a moment and internalize the obvious truth. When we stand by and allow a human being to sexually degrade another human being, WE ALL LOSE. Let’s leave aside the (hopefully better understood) effects of rape trauma, and just look at what it does to men.

Naomi Wolfe (in her book “Vagina“) says:

To my surprise, many heterosexual men who were willing to talk to me about how they really felt expressed a kind of holistic (that is, not merely sexual) gratitude for the vagina, and they did not stress aspects of pleasure in isolation from what they often characterised as a sense of relief and joy at being so completely ‘accepted’ and so fully ‘welcomed.’ Indeed, acceptance and welcome were two words that came up again and again in men’s discussions with me.

If you’re a hetrosexual dude, and this resonates with you as it does with me, throw a comment below.  If this is indeed a core aspect of the healthy male heterosexual experience, then it follows that by hurting any woman (physically, mentally, or emotionally) or even allowing a woman to be hurt, we are desecrating or condoning the desecration of the trust that acceptance is founded upon. Not just for that one woman, but for ALL women.

And for anyone who might think I’m pandering, or a wuss, or whatever emasculating adjective you care to ensconce me with, I have these words from a real man.

 

 

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One thought on “Slut Shaming — From a Man’s Perspective”

  1. Not sure why this post was invisible at first, but very happy to get a chance to read it now. Way to stand up Tucker! My hope is that the tide IS turning and the dimwits are being Darwined out. And I just can’t express how much love I have for that video clip. That’s a real man right there!

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