Sunday Roast: A Slut Manifesto

(Mother Jones)

Dear Reader, if you are a woman, do you think you could never be branded a “slut?”  You dress in a manner society has deemed proper, your hair properly lovely, your language is appropriate, you aren’t sleeping around (or at least you’re not talking about it).  Do you think all of that will prevent you from being christened with the “slut” label?

Well, dream on!  Look at Sandra Fluke:  She’s a third year law student at Georgetown University, looks pretty “normal,” and she was well-spoken in her testimony before a Democratic committee hearing (since she wasn’t allowed to testify in Darrell Issa’s hearing).  But she put a toe over an invisible line, in that she pissed off the head of the Republican party, namely, Rush Limbaugh.  It wasn’t that she really said anything outrageous; the problem was that she forgot her place.  Don’t ever think something like this can’t happen to you.  You’re a woman, aren’t you?

If you’re a “good” woman, don’t kid yourself. It means you’ve spent your life and will continue to spend your life calibrating your appearance, speech and behaviour so that you are not a slut. By not acknowledging how the word is used you are embracing its power over you and other girls and women. And you will pass that corrupt and misguided abuse of power on to your daughters and mine. That’s because you know, deep down, that at any point that word can be used against you. Every woman is a slut waiting to happen. Women who abhor the word, find it vulgar, and fear it, the ones who slut-shame others, gain a little bit of power by participating in a system that denigrates them.

No, Rush Limbaugh, you will not succeed in “slut-shaming” us back into your framework of what it means to be a woman.  The time is past for that sort of behavior by women, no matter what our political persuasion, thank you very much.  You’ve blathered on quite enough, and now the power of social media will take you down several notches, if not make you completely disappear from the public airwaves.

Here’s Soraya Chemaly’s “Slut Manifesto”:

BECAUSE we know what’s best for us and yes, we do “deserve better”
BECAUSE we know that we are more than our wombs
BECAUSE we believe no double standards, including sexual ones, should exist
BECAUSE we believe we have the right to control our own reproduction
BECAUSE we will not be complicit in our own oppression by conforming to perversely-constructed rules about how women and men should behave
BECAUSE we understand basic science, embrace diversity, and are part of the modern world
BECAUSE we believe that how we dress does not give a man the right to rape a woman, spit on a female child or publicly strip another human being to humiliate them
BECAUSE we will not be silenced by bullies and thugs and will speak openly, politically and with conviction about important issues that affect us in the public space
BECAUSE we are justifiably angry
BECAUSE we, and the men who think as we do, are the future and will transform this planet

We will speak, write, march, run for office and vote.

That about covers the situation.

In the words of the great author, Rebecca West:

I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat.

This is our daily open thread — If we don’t buy into their bullshit, they can’t continue to spread it around.

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117 thoughts on “Sunday Roast: A Slut Manifesto

  1. The republican party is a double standard by its very definition.

    Had this been one of Newt’s tryst’s sitting there saying those things Rush would say she is a woman with a healthy sex drive freely expressing herself.

    I guess a woman is only a slut when she isn’t doing Rush or members of republican party.

  2. BECAUSE we, and the men who think as we do, are the future and will transform this planet

    BECAUSE I think as the author does, I guess that makes me a Man-Slut!
    :D

  3. I have been having Twitter arguments with idiots who equate, on every single level, the few times Bill Maher used offensive language about certain, particular political women to the daily misogyny about women in general expressed by Rush Limbaugh. And while I may not agree with Maher’s choice of words, at least he had some kind of factual basis for calling those particular women names. Rush denigrates ALL women, not just the few he named over the past two weeks, ALL the time, and for reasons that have nothing whatsoever to do with reality. A man working on his fourth failed marriage should not presume to understand the first thing about women.

      • According to Rush, any woman who isn’t pretty has no place in society and that is why feminism was “created.”

    • Bill Maher is a comedian. Rush is a big fat idiot.

      Everyone knows that if “the left” does something now and then, it’s WAY worse than when “the right” does it all the time.

    • The article begins with the line about Limbaugh,

      He has made a living from speaking his mind.

      Explains quite succinctly why Limbaugh never has anything to say that’s worth listening to.

  4. Weak-minded and insufficient males are ALWAYS put off by women who are strong-willed, ambitious, bright, and successful. Weak-minded males NEED “wimmin” that do nothing more than the bidding of the insufficient male, who are willing to, in effect, lie down in front of the train(ed fool). Perfect examples of such males are Limbaugh, Hannity, Santorum, Gingrich, O’reilly, my cousin, and probably at least half the males anyone knows or has run across. Au contraire are men such as Barack Obama (to the fool the most scary-scary of all), JFK, RFK, Martin Luther King, Jr., and my late father, to name but a few prime examples. Women, too, of course, show up in extremes such as Sarah Palin/Michele Bachmann and, in absolute contrast, Sandra Fluke, Michelle Obama, and my personal favorite, Deb (to name just three of millions).

    Fascinating how the insufficient male is so easy to spot, to pick out of a crowd. Mention Fluke or M. Obama to any of them and watch them freak out; watch them run off to hide while they change their diaper.

  5. In the late 70′s I was one of IBM’s first female field engineers, at least in the defense sector of their business. The men who had a problem with that fact were invariably the ones who had no hope of competing with me, even on the less than level playing field of the time. The fierce women of that era fought discrimination at every turn and I can’t believe a one of us would sit still now while a bunch of little boys who see themselves as patriarchs try to take away our rights. Rush, Rick, and their ilk have picked a fight they cannot win.

    • I lived in that same world back in the mid-sixties when I got my first job after college. I went to work for the R/D Department of a Defense contractor, and it was mostly guys but with one notable exception, a chemist named Maureen. She was fantastic. Talented, brilliant, and totally respected by all of her male colleagues with the exception of the small handful who were scared shitless by her talent. Suffice to say, that particular employ was a good place for a kid like me to begin — I learned a lot there, including plenty about M/F intellectual equality.

      Some years later, after a couple of stints in aerospace I returned to Arizona and went to work for a small agricultural company, one that specialized in conditioning of soils. We needed a chemist and I contacted Maureen who was still with the Defense R/D lab; she agreed to join us. Wow! The talent she brought to bear was amazing and surprised everyone but me! During the same few years we also hired an English woman, a chemist whose (British) husband was working on a doctorate at Arizona State U. Jane, too, was an amazing mind and person; scared the shit out of some of the Mormon dudes that worked there, but taught me tons in the process. Jane and Maureen were, in fact, the best ‘team’ I ever worked with, bar none. What a grand world I discovered (and still inhabit), thanks in no small part to them.

        • Arizona has a large Mormon population.
          This is often overlooked and kept under the radar.
          As a male I ran up against that crap when I was in college in Arizona, so ladies, you are not alone. I can only imagine it being worse.
          One of the earliest lessons of colllege was to figure out which professors and administrators were religous messengers and which ones were scientists and whom to avoid.
          Mormon faculty were to be avoided.

          • Amen. AZ remains loaded with Mormons, and that factoid continues to explain a LOT about AZ politics. During my forty years in AZ I worked with (and unfortunately for) tons of Mormons. During that span I met exactly two that I considered to be friends … two who were human first and Mormon second, rather than the other way around which defines damn near all of them.

            Of course, places loaded with people who see the world through Rantorum’s lens are equally fucked up. What I can’t figure out is that here I am, perfectly willing to not worry a whit about what anyone else believes even as so many of them seem to want to force me to believe as they do. Why is that? Whatever happened to tolerance?

            Maybe Limbaugh knows.

          • There isn’t much of a Mormon presence in Pennsylvania so I haven’t had much interaction with Mormons. It’s mostly Lutherans, Quakers (I like them), and Catholics in southeastern PA.

      • Outstanding! In the late 70s, I had a girlfriend who was in the first graduating class at Case to admit women. She went to work for Bell as an engineer and encountered a huge amount of resistance. One of the things I loved about her was her willingness (joy?) to turn around and tear them a new one one the spot. And she got away with that because she was so convincing as a pit bull and because she was extremely good at her work. On the other hand, she put soy beans in her morning oatmeal, which I never adjusted to.

      • One of my former attorney bosses, Anne, told me that when she was in law school, several young men surrounded her in the law library. They decided that they needed to “counsel” her and asked her what she thought she was doing in the U of I law school. She was one of only a couple in her year. She said, “I want to be an attorney.” They said that there were men out there who needed law degrees to provide for their families, and she was taking up a spot that a man could have had — and why wasn’t she at home taking care of her family? She told them to piss off, as only a former English teacher could.

        This was in the early 80s; they were all young men; and they were all Mormon.

        On a side note, this is part of Mitten’s social cluelessness. It’s not so much that he’s rich and detached; he’s completely confident in his Mormon male superiority, and simply cannot manage to keep it under wraps. After all, why should he? He’s a fucking Mormon man! :D

        • Thanks for the explanation. Like I said, not too many Mormons in Pennsylvania. Seems like the more I learn about Mormonism, the more I dislike it. And now I can understand why the fundies don’t like Mitt.

  6. Gingrich courts the Paulites on Face the Nation:

    Schieffer: Is it time for us to leave Afghanistan, Mr, Speaker?

    Gingrich: I think it is. I think that we have to assess the entire region.

    • I cringe every time that I hear Gingrich referred to as “Mr. Speaker”. The proper term would be “Mr. Disgraced Former Speaker”. I find it strange that politician’s titles remain with them after they leave office as they are no longer employed in that position. As far as I’m concerned, when a politician leaves office, they leave their title to the next person to fill that office.

  7. On This Week, Lindsey Graham said Iran had enough low grade nuclear material to make a bomb. I thought highly enriched material was necessary for a bomb.

    Also on This Week, they played a clip from Game Change, where the Palin character is blowing up at the Nicole Wallace character after the Katie Couric interview. The real Wallace was asked how accurate was that scene. She said accurate enough to make her squirm.

    • Fantastic.

      How dare the religious attribute something as amazing as this planet, its people, and the universe to something as puny as a god?

    • This is a result of the all volunteer military that had to lower standards to accept the less educated/desirable elements in order to field a fighting force. We need to reinstate the draft so men and women from across society can interact.

      We also need to eliminate private contractors doing work the military should be doing for themselves.

    • This seems to be the start of a tit-for-tat situation perpetuated by demon rum. This may never stop. Revenge is what finally forced the USSR out of Afghanistan.

  8. Vladimir Putin, the rugged and steely former K.G.B. chief, on the night he grabbed a third term as president, his critics mocked him for crying in gratitude over an election they charged was stolen:

    “That wasn’t tears, that was Botox flowing out.” — Garry Kasparov, the Russian chess champion who is now a liberal politician.

  9. Stephanie Miller on Reliable Sources: “Rush has only called me a babe on the air. I don’t know if that’s a gateway word to slut, but so far we’re ok.” :D

  10. My first job out of college, I had the temerity to challenge my employers (two males) because they were hiring in a new employee (a male) that they were offering to pay a higher starting salary than me. Their excuse was that eventually, this man would be supporting a family (he was single). I said, what if I got pregnant right now and did not get married, would they then give me a raise, since then I would be supporting a family?
    I asked them, why they were discriminating against me, since neither he nor I were married and neither of us had a family yet. They had no answer for me. The assumption was that eventually, I would quit my job because eventually I would be getting married infuriated me. They hired the man at the higher rate, and they ended up giving me a small raise to shut me up.

    This was in the early 80′s. In Texas. It wasn’t that long ago.

    • I suspect the same crap happens with near equal frequency today. Attitudes like that are terribly difficult to get rid of and they always seem to resurface again and again, sometimes even where least expected. Male “superiority” seems to be a cultural thing, a remnant of pasture bull genetics imho, but one also fueled by biblical crapola. “The bible is an antique volume, Written by faded men” wrote Emily Dickinson. How right she was!

      • Yeah I suspect it does happen today or we wouldn’t have a need for a Lilly Ledbetter bill. But even that doesn’t stop the practice, it just drives it underground. Like racism, it just isn’t talked about out loud.

  11. A bit of a brag (sorry).

    I posted this on FB:
    http://www.democraticunderground.com/1002333467
    There was a comment and response that followed, which I would like to share.

    Brother in Law:

    End the war on babies first.

    Gary Herstein:

    The war on babies?

    Would that be the one waged by the GOP to strip basic health care from poor women and children? Or the one to eliminate basic food and nutritional supports from poor children? Or the one waged by the GOP to eviscerate basic educational opportunities from the poor? Or would that be the actual wars of choice fabricated out of whole cloth by the GOP to send other people’s babies to get slaughtered while slaughtering still other people’s babies so that oil companies can strip foreign lands of their fossil fuel resources? Or is it just the war to send babies to adult prisons, and advocating the death peanalty, which has been such a popular war with the GOP? Or is it the war on the environment and science the GOP has been waging, so as to leave poor people’s babies living in an open cesspool while the corporatists who finance the GOP get even shockingly richer than they are already? Any one of those wars?

    Because in case you hadn’t noticed, they are all part and parcel with the war on women.

    By the bye, correct me on this if I’m mistaken, but you’re a lifetime Republican, aren’t you?

  12. I think I know where we can get some new waiters for our next cesspool party

    • Is that favorable ratings among Republican voters or among all Americans? I find it hard to believe that it’s the latter. Being the most popular Not-Romney candidate these days, I find it easy to believe it’s the former.

      • Mom is back home and out of the Rehab Hospital. I go back tomorrow and stay for a few more days.. Then she should be alright to be on her own for awhile. She is up and around and even driving! And she is back to criticizing my every decision, so she’s back to pretty much normal. It’s been a long haul, but she is out of the woods for now.

        Thanks for asking.

    • That’s quite disturbing.
      It’s unfortunate that projects which sound beneficent on the surface can be deeply flawed backed by bigots, homophobes, misogynists..
      one must really do homework before donating to causes.

    • This was medical malpractice. Legacy is going to pay for their botched attempts. Good.

      • Will Legacy pay or find a conniving way to string it out for decades without owning up to its responsibility?

      • My thoughts run along those lines. The couple made it absolutely clear that they didn’t want, or weren’t prepared or able to care for, a disabled child. Down Syndrome isn’t that big of a challenge to prenatally detect these days, so it seems that someone behind the scenes made a decision for the couple that, yes, as a matter of fact, you will be forced to raise a child you do not want.

        Unthinkable.

        • And in that scenario, religion imposing itself on the decision in a way not everyone would expect…

    • You know that there are 9 states that have enacted laws that allow doctors protection for lying to a patient if he thinks that the parents might decide to terminate the pregnancy. Including the latest state, Arizona, just passed a bill in the senate to protect the doctor.

      How can anyone make an informed decision if you don’t have all of the information that you need to make a decision?

  13. nwog, thanks for post Seven and Seven Is..on yesterdays Watering Hole! That snapped the synapses into memory mode!

    • my pleasure Ebb. Btw, snapping synapses, sounds like a good name for a rock n’ roll band. ;)

  14. What’s everyone up to this fine Sunday?

    I’ve gotten my ‘woman’s work’ done, and just finished cutting out a new bag.

    • I was a leather craftsman for over a year making purses, skirts, pants, belts, etc. I never considered that man’s work. But today, here at the Zoo, on this thread, I was ordained by BnF as a male-slut. It has taken me all day to even begin to understand the awesomeness of such worthiness. That’s what I been up to.

    • Full Sunday, SammytheTurtle played indoor soccer this AM, then the Usual Suspects and I took the pup to a dog park and picked up some bits and pieces at the pet shop and the homebrew shop ( ingredientsl for a Kolsch German ale ), now TommytheTurtle and I are going bowling….

    • I’ve discovered that my computer’s blue screen error problem occurs when I’m watching video primarily though it has crashed when running system check programs. Updates for my Office package also fail to load. Opera will not download either.

      Thus I’m surfing the web and watching movies from my VHS collection of 3000 +. I’m in my Gene Wilder section this evening. Just finished “The Woman in Red” and currently watching “Blazing Saddles”.

    • Morning news shows, SEC basketball championship (Kentucky lost! Take that Jim Bunning!), Nascar race (Danica’s team owner for Cup races, Tony Stewart won!), NCAA Tournament selection show, 60 Minutes, and a trip to the store so the cat could eat. Now I’m watching Male War Bride with Ann Sheridan and Cary Grant.

      • I enjoyed it. I like the “behind-the-scenes” looks at campaigns and how the process works (or doesn’t work in this case). (Reminds me of the thrill when I used to work on campaigns; strictly at the volunteer level, but it was still exciting.)

        The treatment of McCain and Palin was relatively kind imo.

        I like Ed Harris, but he didn’t thoroughly convince me in his performance. Julianne Moore did a great job as Sarah Palin. I also think Woody Harrelson did a fine job as campaign director Steve Schmidt.

        The movie was also as much a commentary of how campaigns are managed in the viral video era.

    • Yeah, it was good. I was on the edge of my seat wondering who would win the election.

  15. QOTD:

    “The situation in this country is like a dog with worms. You bring the dog to the vet to be dewormed, but the vet is Dr. Obama, and he says you can’t get the dog dewormed because the worms have a vote. And that’s the problem, folks: the worms have a vote,” – Neal Boortz.

  16. Think Progress:

    An Ohio State Senator is turning the tables on men seeking to regualate women’s access to reproductive health. Sen. Nina Turner (D-Cleveland) has introduced legislation regulating men’s access to erectile dysfunction drugs. The Dayton Daily News has the details:

    Before getting a prescription for Viagra or other erectile dysfunction drugs, men would have to see a sex therapist, receive a cardiac stress test and get a notarized affidavit signed by a sexual partner affirming impotency, if state Sen. Nina Turner has her way.

    SNAP

    • ..get a notarized affidavit signed by a sexual partner affirming impotency…

      Sen. Turner this is genius!

      • She was on the Ed Show a few days ago. She has such a dead pan delivery style, and Ed could barely keep himself from giggling.

    • excellent choice. saw some of her work at the musee rodin. did i already tell you that? doesn’t matter, hope you enjoy, and give us a review.

  17. DUH:

    “You know, the economy may be getting better and Republicans may lose their edge on that issue,” – Rick Santorum.

  18. Hi, gang. It’s been a long and busy weekend. I got in three flights with my new model airplane and discovered just how rusty I am! No major damage but I’m not going to be able to just pick it up easily again. Hmmm, I wonder if I can still ride a bike?

    In other news; my pet geese are back in the neighborhood and have been “courting” on the roof. They disappeared when I went out with the camera but I’ll get them eventually.

    • Oops! I almost forgot. During last night’s jam session we got onto the subject of politics and none of us were able to recall anyone in the MSM mentioning the small turnout for the GOP primaries. Damned “librul media”!

      Also, what’s so effing hard about apologizing? I always thought it was pretty simple. If one does another a, hopefully unintentional, disservice one simply says “I’m sorry” and then shuts the fuck up. Reichwhiners have either forgotten or never learned that lesson.

    • Was adrenaline running those three trials, pete? I’m sure the rhythm of flight will kick in! Good to read the wind died down enough for you to venture forth!

      Exciting about the geese!

      • Yes, Ebb. “White knuckles” and “pucker factor” are the common terms in the hobby. When one becomes aware that one is in over his/her head it makes time slow down and get blurry. The good news is that these new foam planes are hard to wreck. One can just turn the motor off and let the plane hit the earth and it’s so light that there’s no structural damage. I’ll get better soon. Still, I find myself thinking that I would have been better served getting a glider. They are much easier to fly.

    • Pete, They went off to get a camera of their own – Just keep the windows shut and the blinds drawn. Also tape over the video camera on your personal computer! :roll:

  19. Going with the Watering Hole theme:

    Shipping Out: The Story of America’s Seafaring Women on PBS World

    Meet women who hold jobs in commercial shipping, working on container ships, bulk cargo carriers and tankers, as well as coastal tugs, barges, and ferry boats, all on America’s waterways.

    • Do not forget about the women who served as navigators on USN ships during WWII. I have yet to see an example – my aunt was one and went on to become a celebrated astronomer.

      • Walt, that sounds like a wonderful story waiting to be told. Can you give me/us more details of your knowledge about your Aunt as a navigator during WWII?

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