“Damned If You Do, Damned If You Don’t … If You’re a Girl,” or The PRUDE-WHORE dichotomy

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Pondering
“Damned If You Do, Damned If You Don’t … If You’re a Girl,” or The PRUDE-WHORE dichotomy

If flaunting our sexuality and celebrating our physical beauty is so empowering why is it so disrespected?

The virgin/whore dichotomy has been replaced by the prude/whore dichotomy. At least virgin was considered a good thing while being either a prude or a whore has no positive connotations at all.

This thread is replacing http://rabble.ca/babble/feminism/%E2%80%9Cdamned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don%E2%80%99t-%E2%80%A6-if-you%E2%80%99re-girl%E2%80%9D>  which for some odd reason is about the age of consent in Canada and the need to protect teens (mainly boys) from arrest.

Pondering

Rather than using an excerpt from an article this time I will present the study first to establish a factual basis  for the existence of this dichotomy. I have no objection at all to the participation of men in the discussion IF:

you are trying to be supportive rather than pushing a male perspective that prioritizes sexual access to women and continues to promote the idea that any attempt to reject male sexual expectations and desires is an indication of sexual repression and prudery.

I acknowledge that this is a small sample size but I do feel we have enough historical knowledge of attitudes towards women to suspect that this study is not an anomaly but rather fits a pattern and is a continuation of the double standards women face throughout life.

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/17482798.2014.923009

 

Participants

Participants were strategically recruited by a third-party firm to ensure an appropriate

balance of age, gender, race, socioeconomic status, and population density. Fifty-one

adolescents participated in these focus groups and therefore completed the questionnaire.

Participants ranged in age from 12 to 18 years (M ¼ 14.55, SD ¼ 1.83), with a good balance

of ages within this range (32 percent, 12 – 13 years; 37 percent, 14 –15 years; 32 percent,

16 –18 years). All questionnaires were completed between June and October of 2009.

DAMNED IF YOU DO 5

Downloaded by [70.53.193.239] at 15:59 19 June 2014 The sample offers an even gender ratio with twenty-six males and twenty-five females.

Twenty-two participants were from metropolitan Atlanta, fourteen were from metropolitan

Denver, and fifteen were from metropolitan New York City.

Measures

The questionnaire items used for this study include the following:

Q: Have you ever sent or received a picture or video on your phone that involves nudity,

also sometimes called “sexting”? Explain how often this happens and who sends these

kinds of images (without providing names).

Q: In these messages, who are the people being portrayed? Is it someone you know,

someone the sender is dating, or anonymous individuals? Again, please describe without

providing names.

Q: Did you think the image(s) or video(s) was/were “over the line,” or no big deal?

Q: Have you ever sent these types of pictures or video with your cell phone? If so, what

was the situation?

Q: More broadly, do you think it is very common for people in your school to do this?

Explain.

As noted earlier, these questions were part of a larger national Pew study (Lenhart

et al., 2010). In that sense, the present study is a secondary analysis of existing data.

Although the questions were not specifically crafted for this paper, they provide

opportunities to address our core research questions.

1

Categories and themes were analyzed using elements of Hammersley and Atkinson’s

(1995) framework for analyzing qualitative data. First, both authors carefully read and

re-read all the transcripts to become familiar with them. After reading the transcripts,

portions of the responses were reassembled and grouped according to two broad patterns

reflecting elements of RQ1 and RQ2 described above. Then each pattern was examined and

refined into tighter collections of consistencies. With these thematic categories in place, the

first author looked for anecdotes and quotations that best illustrate them. Finally, a validity

check was conducted by the second author, who examined the findings and offered a final

round of fine-tuning.

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Pondering wrote:

you are trying to be supportive rather than pushing a male perspective that prioritizes sexual access to women and continues to promote the idea that any attempt to reject male sexual expectations and desires is an indication of sexual repression and prudery.

If you are trying to tar me with that shit I object. If not then please post a quote so we can figure out who has been pushing that perespective.

6079_Smith_W

Do we even need studies to point this out?

I should think the fact that women are held responsible for others attacking them - presumably because of how they dress and not being careful - would be enough.

Our eight-year-old has already been shamed enough at school that she feels pressured to wear a training bra - not because there is any need for it at all, but just because that's what girls are expected to do. And she's the furthest thing from a girly girl in the world, which makes it doubly frustrating for her.

Boys and men simply do not get the kind of pressure about dress and behaviour that women face all the time.

When they are athletes with a promising career they sometimes even wind up as the victims when they rape.

 

fortunate

While this is the topic of sexting, etc, i found I had a similar response to a blog post holding up someone as an epitiome of all things feminist, while not seeming to recognize that what this icon (bell hooks) was doing was tearing down another woman (Beyonce).  A woman who is far more well known to many young women and girls than she is.    Because this woman was posed on a magazine cover, therefore she was a slutty woman not the advocate of girl empowerment the way she claimed to be within the article (which was about powerful women that have influence over in this case girls and young women).   

 

Captain Obvious

Pondering wrote:

If flaunting our sexuality and celebrating our physical beauty is so empowering why is it so disrespected?

I posted this in your other thread too, so maybe I am not supposed to post it here. But I will take a chance:

----

Because a significant percentage* of men are terrified by female sexuality. And a significant percentage (I'm not sure if the two percentages are congruent) has deep insecurities about their own performance. To allow women to be sexual beings is to allow them to engage in the act as equals, rather than the male participant being "active," and the female "receptive." It casts doubt not only their sense of self and their gender role, but on the nature of the act itself. Who is it FOR? Men with the attitude you describe think sex is for them; it would upset a great deal of their world view to admit otherwise.

Consider: it is a widely held truism that a given sexual encounter is over once the man climaxes. It's hard to see this as other than patriarchal. If the woman has not climaxed yet (or wants to again)...well, what of it? Best case scenario, that gets saved until "next time," or the woman can be characterized as frigid, or her needs simply ignored. To my mind, a given consensual sexual encounter should be over when both parties are happy with how it's turned out. Or they both give up I guess (I'm leaving out cases here where someone changes their mind in the middle of said encounter; then we no longer have consent). But if a man isn't "up" for anything further, and their partner still is, than do something else to make sure your partner is happy.

To admit that women can be equally or more sexual than men is to call these gender roles into question, and for many men, this is emasculating. So, in effect, you have already answered your own question. Female sexuality is disrespected because it is empowering, and many men can't handle that.

*Disclaimer-- I'm framing this in heterosexual terms because of the original question. Also, I don't have any hard figures on how many men hold this views referenced under "significant percentage." I like to think that many have moved on past this double-standard, but it certainly still exists, as does the widespread belief of when sex is "over."

Pondering

fortunate wrote:
While this is the topic of sexting, etc, i found I had a similar response to a blog post holding up someone as an epitiome of all things feminist, while not seeming to recognize that what this icon (bell hooks) was doing was tearing down another woman (Beyonce).  A woman who is far more well known to many young women and girls than she is.    Because this woman was posed on a magazine cover, therefore she was a slutty woman not the advocate of girl empowerment the way she claimed to be within the article (which was about powerful women that have influence over in this case girls and young women).  

Thanks for the support on both threads fortunate.  

I just checked out the Bell Hooks thing and you were right. She was completely out of line to attack Beyonce. We women all live in this world not some idealized version of it and Beyonce is not unusually sexual for a female pop star. If she didn't use her sexuality she wouldn't be a star and somebody else would be "Beyonce".  

In a sense Beyonce is a victim because she had to construct a sexually powerful which Bell Hooks says to some extent. 

http://www.bet.com/news/celebrities/2014/05/07/bell-hooks-calls-beyonc-a...

 "Let's take the image of this super rich, very powerful Black female and let's use it in the service of imperialist, white supremacist capitalist patriarchy because she probably had very little control over that cover — that image," said hooks. 

Janet Mock,: "I would argue she chose this image, so I don't want to strip Beyoncé of choosing this image — of being her own manager." 

Countered bell, "Then you are saying, from my deconstructive point of view, that she is colluding in the construction of herself as a slave."

The thoughtful and respectful conversation continued with Shola Lynch discussing her daughter being inspired by Angela Davis.  Mock added she felt inspired by much of Beyoncé's work, like the song "Partition." Mock explained, "Having 'Partition' come out a couple months before my book came out — when I am writing about sex work and sexual abuse and issues with my body, my sexuality — it was freeing to have Beyoncé owning her body and claiming that space." 

Still, hooks held her ground, responding, "I see a part of Beyoncé that is in fact anti-feminist — that is a terrorist, especially in terms of the impact on young girls."

 

As to the bolded part, I suppose that she is but it is to the extent that most of us are colluding with the partriarchy because we live in it. It's a catch 22. If Beyonce were not the powerful sex symbol that she is she wouldn't be successful and she has used that success to support women. 

We are either attacked for not being sexual enough or for being too sexual. She is slut shaming Beyonce. 

Pondering

6079_Smith_W wrote:
Do we even need studies to point this out?  

Apparently to some we need more studies. 

6079_Smith_W wrote:
Our eight-year-old has already been shamed enough at school that she feels pressured to wear a training bra - not because there is any need for it at all, but just because that's what girls are expected to do. And she's the furthest thing from a girly girl in the world, which makes it doubly frustrating for her  

How awful for her, and she will probably get teased for wearing it as well. Eight years old. <sigh> You might criticized for letting her have one because you pay for it so you are sexualizing her, but if you don't, you are repressing her. 

6079_Smith_W wrote:
When they are athletes with a promising career they sometimes even wind up as the victims when they rape.

Exactly, the raped girl gets slut shamed while the atheletes get sympathy because it was just boyish hijinks and the girl was drunk after all. 

It drives me nuts that it is always considered an isolated incident that has nothing to do with our culture and society. Men do this shit in groups which illustrates that they don't think it is a big deal. 

In the other thread Aristotle got it, that we have to teach more than the nuts and bolts of sex, that we also have to teach girls to resist coercion and teach boys not to use it. 

Pondering

Captain Obvious wrote:

To admit that women can be equally or more sexual than men is to call these gender roles into question, and for many men, this is emasculating. So, in effect, you have already answered your own question. Female sexuality is disrespected because it is empowering, and many men can't handle that.

*Disclaimer-- I'm framing this in heterosexual terms because of the original question. Also, I don't have any hard figures on how many men hold this views referenced under "significant percentage." I like to think that many have moved on past this double-standard, but it certainly still exists, as does the widespread belief of when sex is "over."

Thank-you Captain Obvious, I didn't think you had it in you. I had not looked at it from that perspective. A woman who resists becomes a prude protecting the male ego from rejection, one who is sexually "aggressive" has to be disempowered. 

I think it's extremely difficult for both men and women to free ourselves from culturally ingrained sexual identities. We need men to be our partners and support us in trying to free ourselves from the destructive impact hyper-sexualization is having.

In a TED talk on objectification the speaker talked about hyper body awareness and how it ruins sex for women. We are busy worrying about how we look instead of being fully involved. How many men complain that their wives/lovers avoid being seen naked or are insecure about it?

Supporting our sexuality has got to mean also understanding that the hyper-sexualization we face is oppressive. 

6079_Smith_W

Pondering wrote:

How awful for her, and she will probably get teased for wearing it as well. Eight years old. <sigh> You might criticized for letting her have one because you pay for it so you are sexualizing her, but if you don't, you are repressing her.

That wasn't such a big deal, as there was one lying around amongst hand-me-downs. And we weren't going to tell her she couldn't as it is ultimately her choice. I don't like it, but I'm not going to make her go to school feeling ashamed just to prove a point. But we certainly had the talk with her about peer pressure. It's just such a drag that even at that age kids are made to be ashamed of their bodies - from other kids, and in her case, exclusively from other girls.

And one can only assume that is going to get worse as they get older.

Pondering

Just wanted to bring this over because I feel it is key to the discussion. 

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Sex isn't the only issue at play here. Nobody suggested that we should deny or repress teen sexuality. Consent and power dynamics are at play here. Just as teens need information about mechanics such as birth control and preventing STIs, they also need information about things like consent, and they also need to be armed with how to recognise and respond to being coerced. A teenager wanting to have sex is one thing, but (s)he has no right to impose that decision on someone else, and the sexist aspect is also applicable, given the double standard girls face that was used to open this thread. And after cases like Amanda Todd and Reteah Parsons, I wouldn't be so cavalier in shrugging off the devastating impact of widely circulated pictures.

 

Captain Obvious

Pondering wrote:

In a TED talk on objectification the speaker talked about hyper body awareness and how it ruins sex for women. We are busy worrying about how we look instead of being fully involved. How many men complain that their wives/lovers avoid being seen naked or are insecure about it?

Supporting our sexuality has got to mean also understanding that the hyper-sexualization we face is oppressive. 

Yes, I agree entirely.

Pondering

The most striking finding with regard to gender was the extent to which girls, but not boys, were judged for their sexting practices. 

According to these accounts, then, girls who send sexts are—to use some of our male participants’ words—crazy, insecure, attention-seeking sluts with poor judgment. 

Girls’ accounts of their own motives for sexting painted a different picture, suggesting that in some cases, they felt pressure from boys to send sexts and believed that sending them was the undesirable price they had to pay for a desirable relationship. 

These girls’ accounts suggest that it is not sluttiness or attention seeking that leads them to sext, but a desire for approval and social acceptance. However, the boys’ responses indicate that sending sexts is not likely to help girls reach these desired ends—even though the boys might be communicating that it will.

 Given these judgments of female sexters, it would seem a girl’s best option might be to opt out. However, girls who did not sext were not immune from criticism. When asked if it was common for people at their schools to sext, one participant wrote, “yes, but not a lot because most girls are like goody girls” (M13); one answered “not really because most of the girls at my school are stuck up” (M16); and one responded, “yes, because my school isn’t very prude like other schools” (M15). In other words, these participants—all of whom were male—either believed sexting was not common because girls were “goody” or “stuck up” or that it was common because girls were not “prude.”

s. We found that although boys were virtually immune from criticism for their sexting practices, girls faced intense scrutiny for theirs.  Although our study and others indicate that adolescent sexting is not, in actuality, a highly prevalent practice, our findings suggest that youth perceive it as fairly common. This apparent gap between the descriptive norm for sexting and the actual frequency of this behavior may help explain why some adolescents engage in it. It may be that a false consensus effect—which describes people’s tendency to “see their own behavioral choices and judgments as relatively common . . . while viewing alternative responses as uncommon” (Ross, Greene, & House, 1977, p. 280)—may account for at least some of the variance in this behavior.

... That is, some girls feel pressure to sext because they perceive it as something they should do if they want to please, or capture the attention of, boys. In some cases, this pressure even overrides awareness of and concern over potential consequences for sexting.…….

On a related note, participants’ responses indicated that a sexual double standard informs their opinions of fellow adolescents who sext. Boys in our study described girls who did send sexts as “sluts” or “insecure,” whereas they characterized girls who did not send sexts as “prude” or “stuck up.” This indicates that sexting is a lose –lose proposition for girls; regardless of whether or not they sext, their behavior is evaluated in harsh—and often sexist—terms. 

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/17482798.2014.923009

edited down for readability

 

fortunate

She is not just slut shaming, she is denying her influence over the young girls and women who are now feeling more powerful due to the words in Beyonce songs and/or what she says about girl power, or do what you want to do, and so on.     In other words, if feminist speakers, and organizations, want to access hundreds of thousands of young minds, does it make sense to trash talk the one person who reaches them every day, rather than become her ally.    

Aristotleded24

6079_Smith_W wrote:
I should think the fact that women are held responsible for others attacking them - presumably because of how they dress and not being careful - would be enough.

Our eight-year-old has already been shamed enough at school that she feels pressured to wear a training bra - not because there is any need for it at all, but just because that's what girls are expected to do. And she's the furthest thing from a girly girl in the world, which makes it doubly frustrating for her.

Boys and men simply do not get the kind of pressure about dress and behaviour that women face all the time.

Yikes. At the daycare where I currently spend time, there was one instance where we had to find a replacement shirt for a 2-year-old boy. He didn't want to wear it and was crying because "that's a girl's shirt." I thought, "really, 2 years old seems to be a bit young to have taken on ideas of what genders should do and not do."

Speaking of children, am I the only one around here who is bothered by the constant emphasis on children (mainly girls) being cute or adorable or whatever? When people openly daydream about having a daughter to dress her up to look pretty? The way I hear some people talk about little girls to say, "oh you're so pretty," "you're adorable," "so-and-so's granddaughter is so cute" and so on, sometimes I wonder, "do these kids have any intrinsic value or is their main role in life to give you something cute to look at?"

Pondering

Actually, I changed my mind. hooks was not slut shaming. Beyonce is implicated in creating the prude/whore dicotomy. She is a woman in a position of great power and she is complicit. Being female doesn't make us feminist. Preaching feminist ideals does't make us feminst if we don't walk the talk or don't explain why we are not walking the talk. hooks wasn't slut shaming Beyonce. She was calling her out as a feminist who is promoting a very unfeminist portrayal of women. 

Perhaps Beyoncé’s feminist credentials have helped protect her from much criticism up to now. But how seriously should we take Beyoncé’s feminism anyway? Every other famous person wants to be a feminist, among them Miley Cyrus, David Cameron and Joan Collins. Who will be next to declare their feminist credentials? Chris Brown? Roman Polanski? Nigel Farage?'

hooks made the terrorist remark during a discussion entitled “Are You Still A Slave?” (Liberating the Black Female Body)

This is very specifically about black women although it certainly applies to all women. Black women have the added burden of their sexuality being evaluated through the lens of race. 

Here is a more complete explanation of what it was all about:

http://www.newstatesman.com/culture/2014/05/bell-hooks-right-call-beyonc...

 

If Queen Bey, or Yonce - or whatever her latest nickname is - wants to whip off the vast majority of her clothes, fondle her breasts, slap her behind, shake her bottom cheeks at high speed, who is to stop her? If she feels happiest rolling around in waves in a teensy weensy bikini or writhing on a bed in her undies, let her. She is a woman empowered. And she is in full control of her bootiliciousness, thank you very much.

But what’s so empowering for most of us about popping into a local take-away or mobile phone shop and witnessing Beyoncé pouting and groping on a huge public screen? Sure, Beyoncé is a fine singer and a talented dancer, and she has a lovely bottom too, but the images can and do feel like an assault......

Beyoncé didn’t fondle herself very much during her Destiny’s Child days. The group formed 16 years ago, produced female-friendly anthems such as ‘Independent Women’ and ‘Survivor’. The lyrics often promoted ideas of female strength and power. The videos didn’t scream look-at-my-sexy-body. But now perhaps in a bid to stay ahead of Miley Cyrus, Rihanna et al, Beyonce appears to reference porn culture at almost every turn. The porn influence is apparent in her dreamy gaze to camera and open mouth, and her use of poles, cages and beds as props. When men are present in her videos, they appear mostly fully-dressed as passive spectators and Queen Bey’s role is invariably to perform and please.

Beyoncé’s ‘Partition’ video, released earlier this year, shows her dressed in a variety of raunchy costumes in a bid to turn on husband Jay-Z who appears passive while she writhes around singing: “I do this all for you, baby, just take aim/ And tell me how it’s looking, babe (how it’s looking)/And tell me how I’m looking, babe (looking, babe)."

Her previous single, ‘Drunk in Love’, was heavily criticised as a result of the dodgy rap line sung by Jay-Z, which references a scene of abuse from the Tina Turner biopic What’s Love Got to Do With It. But the video itself doesn’t undermine the abuse theme either. Beyoncé pouts and wriggles adoringly around her husband who appears drink in hand, unmoved to the point of uncaring.

Even the recent video for ‘Pretty Hurts’ sees Beyoncé reflecting on the injustice of women judged on the basis of their looks as she relaxes at home in sexy underwear, opening her legs and clutching her crotch. 

...So what about issues of equality in her own music videos? Will she ask her husband to take off his clothes, shaking his behind, and gazing suggestively into the camera lens anytime soon?

fortunate

Still slut shaming tho.  If hooks wanted to really make a difference, she'd be alignined with entertainment icons who do identify themselves as such (and why is someone labeling or pretending that they get to determine who is or is not feminist? )   

hooks spends a LOT of time writing about writhing around, which seems irrelevant, not to mention petty.   She takes one thing and throws out anything else, in other words, none of that matters because bell hooks says so, because bell is offended by music video content lol.

anyways i am not a big fan of beyonce anyway, (preferring Shakira if i am going to listen to someone sing who can also dance).   

But i would never lump anyone in with Miley Cyrus who has actually done very bizarre things, including on stage allowing audience members to touch her and performing fellatio on a blow up male sex doll.   

Now if bell hooks has a problem with MC proclaiming herself as a good influence on preteen girls I don't have a problem with that so much (which, btw, afaik, beyonce doesn't proclaim herself to be a role model does she?  or is she just being slammed and we are being told she sees herself that way?)    

So in other words, maybe bell hooks needs to think first, do some proper research (because a lot of times I read these articles etc by some of these 'spokespeople for feminism' but it is very very clear they walk in with a big bias, and nothing especially the truth will shake them from parroting out the stock words, phrases and standard lines, just so we know that they know that we know what we are supposed to think after we've read their article.    Some do, in fact, write for a specific audience and play up to that audience, for what purpose I am not sure.    

One audience they don't seem to feel they need is the girls and young women, and those are the ones they are not reaching, and to some extent, don't seem that interested in reaching.  And by sideways comments, will attack the people who do encourage them to think for themselves, girl power, do what you want to do, don't be limited by others, etc etc.  Instead we see them try to tell those young girls that the person telling them that is broken, and shouldn't be listened to., which only tells them to start to question themselves.    

 

I think this must be the article I remember reading a couple of years ago:   http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kate-fridkis/why-i-dont-call-myself-a_b_659496.html

And I'm thankful for feminism's critical role in flinging open the door on endless complexity and possibility. Those things should never be kept in the closet. I'm thankful that, as a young woman, I have a lot of options, not only in terms of what I can do with my life, but how I can think about what I do. I have a lot of different ways to be proud of myself for my accomplishments.

So it isn't that women shouldn't be able to call themselves feminists and get pedicures and get offended by whatever offends them. Women should be able to fit the stereotype or not at their discretion. And it isn't that my generation doesn't need feminism anymore. It's that we more acutely need people who will care less about the definition of a particular word, and more about the experiences that people are having. Less about body hair, and more about opportunity. Less about women being one thing or another, and more about everyone sharing the same set of responsibilities towards caring for a world we all participate in and are affected by.

 

Pondering

Great link fortunate, I will save it for the liberation feminism thread. 

This is bell hooks:

Gloria Jean Watkins (born September 25, 1952), better known by her pen name bell hooks,[1][2] is an American author, feminist, and social activist. She took her nom de plume from her maternal great-grandmother Bell Blair Hooks.[3]

Her writing has focused on the interconnectivity of racecapitalism, and gender and what she describes as their ability to produce and perpetuate systems of oppression and class domination. She has published over thirty books and numerous scholarly and mainstream articles, appeared in several documentary films and participated in various public lectures. Primarily through a postmodern perspective, hooks has addressed race, class, and gender in education, art, history, sexuality, mass media and feminism.

She knows her stuff....

Ain't I a Woman?: Black women and feminism is a 1981 book by bell hooks titled after Sojourner Truth's "Ain't I a Woman?" speech. hooks examines the effect of racism and sexism on black women, the civil rights movement, and feminist movements from suffrage to the 1970s. She argues that the convergence of sexism and racism during slavery contributed to black women having the lowest status and worst conditions of any group in American society. White female abolitionists and suffragists were often more comfortable with black male abolitionists such asFrederick Douglass, while southern segregationalists and stereotypes of black female promiscuity and immorality caused protests whenever black women spoke. hooks points out that these white female reformers were more concerned with white morality than the conditions these morals caused black Americans.[1]

http://finallyfeminism101.wordpress.com/2010/04/04/what-is-slut-shaming/

Slut-shaming, also known as slut-bashing, is 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, Slut Shaming). 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.

bell hooks isn't criticizing Beyonce for expressing her own sexuality, she is criticizing her for hyper-sexualizing her videos to the point that they are reminicent of porn which is not an expression of female sexuality. Beyonce isn't just anyone. She is a rich, powerful, well-educated and highly admired black woman with a heavy influence on young black girls.

Beyonce is immune to slut shaming and she drives her own image. Just because she is a woman doesn't mean she can't be held to account for perpetuating harmful stereotypes of black women. bell hooks isn't saying she can't be sexy. She is objecting to the pornification of her later videos and the cognitive dissonance between her visual message and the lyrics to her songs making the hypersexualization gratuitous. 

I also feel that we should temper our criticism of bell hooks because she is a revered black feminist. It doesn't make her immune to criticism but to attack her too vigorously could alienate posters who admire her long history. Even in disagreement she deserves our respect.

P.S. I didn't quote you AT ALL. I am very proud of myself. 

fortunate

I think before women's lib, and white women deciding to get some progress, black women were amongst the first women to figure out that black rights didn't mean empowerment or rights for black women, just black men.    

 

The problem with being older is that you remember this stuff.  :)

 

I couldn't find the reference, but regarding a recent video of beyonce and husband, it was criticized on an escort/client forum, and these are folks that have few hangups in general.    

Pondering

fortunate wrote:

I think before women's lib, and white women deciding to get some progress, black women were amongst the first women to figure out that black rights didn't mean empowerment or rights for black women, just black men.    

The problem with being older is that you remember this stuff.  :)

Yup. women's liberation is a messy journey full of contradictions. 

Pondering

Assuming heterosexuality in this post:

No men seemed to realize in the sexting study that the boys are telling the girls that sex is slutty and girls shouldn't want sex. 

I expect men just out of self interest, to react with,  " Boys are stopping girls from expressing their sexuality?" That's fucked.

Boys are conning girls into sending them sexts, then shaming them.  Very few girls actually fall for it. The girls that don't fall for it are prudes, but they are girlfriend material. The girls who sext are "crazy, insecure, attention-seeking sluts with poor judgment. " Not dating material.

It's like the 1950s only even more extreme.

Girls have now learned that boys will try to lure them into compromising themselves then slut shame them.  So, what should girls say when boys want to get sexual? A big fat NO.

The girl's job is to dress very provocatively, the goal is to get the boys to want them but to say no. That is woman's power, the power to manipulate men through their sexuality but not give it up. Sex is slutty. Girls shouldn't want sex.

The boys job is to trick or lure a girl into giving it up.  There is nothing wrong with that because the only girls that will give in are sluts.

This is the kind of issue I would want the MRAs to pick up.  I would want them to discourage boys from pornifying girls and dividing them into sluts and prudes because pushing girls into those categories is dumb if you actually want to have sex with girls that you like. Teach boys that girls want sex too and that doesn't make them sluts it makes them wonderful, and when they don't want sex it doesn't mean they are prudes it just means it's not the right time for them and that it's important to respect a girl's sexuality so that it will always be a positive experience for her and her eventual partners. Tell them it makes for a better world for men too.

Teach boys that if they don't push and judge girls making them feel insecure and as though sex is something that is taken away from them….then sex is going to be a whole lot more fun for everyone. Teach them that if they are so honored as to get a sext from a girl they should value it and the trust that the girl has put in them.  Teach them that it is a matter of honor to respect that trust. Teach them the difference between seduction and coercion.

I assume that is all a given for those of you who are fathers but there are a whole lot of boys not getting the message. This repression of women's actual sexuality combined with hyper-sexualized objectification is toxic.

It's not always about legal remedies. The culture has to be changed and men have to drive that.  Men have to tell boys that porn can mess with their sexuality making actual sex less enjoyable.  They should know that they are imprinting their sexual turn-ons. Now that boys have access to pretty extreme stuff they need to know what it can do to them.

As often happens with feminist goals,  the world will be a better place for men too when we get our way.