Monthly Archives: October 2012

My Response to Author Donald Miller on Gender Equality

Don Miller is a Christian author who wrote my favorite book on the faith: “Blue Like Jazz”. The honesty, poignancy, and recognition that it’s going to take a different approach to attract people to God is what has made me consider Mr. Miller to be one of the most important Christian figures, today. In his book, which is an account of his spiritual journey, much of which was spent at the not-so-Christian-friendly Reed College in Oregon, gives an eloquent call for reasoning among those Christians who seem to believe fear and fire and brimstone is going to save people.

It’s not, he argues; compassion, understanding, personal actions over public words, and the realization that issues of faith are not as black-and-white as many Christians would believe have made Mr. Miller popular among folks outside of the Christian world and–I would imagine–has played a significant role in many people accepting Christ as their Savior.

That being said, Mr. Miller recently wrote a blog asking the question: “Do women want to be treated like men, or do women want to be treated equally?”

I should note that Mr. Miller very much supports equal pay for women and the same opportunities for women, but he also seems to be under the impression that many women wish to be treated in exactly the same way their male counterparts are treated, and this puzzles him

Honestly, I can understand his point-of-view. I don’t agree with it, but I see where he’s coming from, which is far more than I can say for the Pat Robertsons of the world, and it’s why I like Don Miller so much: he’s a Christian commentator who is honest about his views yet invites discussions (not necessarily debates) about them.

Now, Mr. Miller posed this question to women, but I can’t help taking a stab at it. I feel like the more reasonable individuals are calmly discussing this, the more we’ll all come to understand each other.

First, let’s identify an important piece of Mr. Miller’s post that is either not realized or simply not acknowledged: there is a difference between personal relationships and professional (or public) relationships. With the vast majority of human beings, there is a difference between how they wish to be treated among friends and family and how they wish to be treated in professional or public settings.

Are you going to go up and a hug co-worker on a random work day? Probably not. Are you going to do the same to a random person in public? Not very likely.

But would you do the same to friends or family? Possibly.

Now, replace that behavior with gender-based etiquette, and for many men, there is no difference. They’ll hold doors, watch their language (or jokes), pull out chairs, and other chivalrous behavior for women in any setting. I’m not saying all men do this, but many men do this.

And among friends and family, this isn’t necessarily wrong, but in a professional setting, this kind of behavior draws a clear line between the men and women in your workplace, and it sends a message to many women that they are different and not in a good way. The whole point of chivalry is honoring women but, at the same time, protecting them because as the “weaker sex,” they supposedly need protection and constant honoring.

Again, I don’t think all women feel this way, but I believe many do. They notice men are more fraternal towards each other, and this leads to questions about office politics and whether or not Jack was promoted over Jane based on ability or the simple observation that Jack is far closer to their boss because there is no gender barrier between them.

Many women feel (and I agree with them) that sexism can be beneath the surface, significant but imperceptible to both men and women. There are men who believe in equal pay and equal opportunities for women, but subconsciously, still see women as inferior to men in competence, leadership skills, etc., and this is evident by the well-meaning but often insulting manner in which men treat men as opposed to how they treat women.

Think about this way: Most people treat kids differently than they do adults. We tend to be more accommodating and compassionate to children. We’ll often be physically affectionate to kids (a hug or a pat on the head) that we barely know. I think this is our way of expressing to children that we’re not a threat, that we’re trying to comfort them, that we recognize the power we have over them.

But would you trust a child over an adult to get something done? Almost never.

When men act chivalrous towards women, a similar message is conveyed: “I am not a threat to you, I see you as worthy of protecting, and when push comes to shove, I’m probably going to give that promotion to men, for whom I don’t need to open the door.”

Mr. Miller also asks, “As women, do you want for men to say you’re beautiful? Because if we treat you like men, we will never say you’re beautiful. We don’t really care. And we won’t make you feel small or special or precious, either. We won’t protect you because, quite frankly, you need to protect yourself or you’re a wimp. Do you really want us to treat you like men?”

And I think I can answer this one fairly confidently. The vast majority of women I’ve seen discuss this (and I read up on this quite a bit) say they DO NOT want to be protected or become the object of physical discussion in the workplace.

I’m sure there are women who love compliments like this when they’re working, but most women see it this way: The only reason they’re wearing makeup, nice hair, and good clothes is that they’re expected to do so, that a woman who neglects these things or doesn’t use them isn’t respected in the workplace.

That kind of sucks, huh? If they act feminine in the workplace, they’re not respected like their male colleagues. If they don’t act feminine, they’re not respected like their male colleagues.

I think most women want to be treated like men in the sense that they don’t want the fact they’re women to get in the way of their job and recognition for their efforts. They’re tired of having to put on makeup to get respect, and when they’re deciding what to wear to work, they have to straddle this fine, ridiculous line between being perceived as a “shrew” and being perceived as a “slut.”

And I can hear it, now: “But women are promoted because they look sexy!”

People, I’m sure that happens, but compared to instances in which appearance works against them (in either direction), those situations are insignificant.

I should also mention that some women are uncomfortable when men do chivalrous things for them in the workplace. Even if it’s not at all intended, in some instances, the behavior comes across as predatory.

Now, that’s the workplace. Personal life is a different ballgame. I personally try to treat women equally in both professional or personal settings with some exceptions (for example, I’ll compliment male and female friends if I like their fashion, and I open doors for people outside of professional settings, regardless of gender).

But some women do prefer for the men in their personal lives to treat them chivalrously, and hey, that’s their prerogative.

Finally, although this is probably a blog post by itself, I should mention that the concept of spiritual leadership as defined by gender tends to permeate the workplace, as well. Many Christian men (and women) believe that men have a higher spiritual authority, that men are natural leaders and therefore, should always take the helm. Though I believe in many situations when this is not intended, men may favor other men over women for jobs because it’s been ingrained in their minds that men make for better leaders.

Some folks will point out that it’s clear to observe men are stronger leaders than women, and they believe this is natural.

Let me ask you this question: If you threw an average 8 year-old into a high school environment, wouldn’t you say it’s likely they’re going to have far greater difficulty building and maintaining equal relationships and becoming leaders in that setting?

Most women are conditioned to be followers in our society. They’re showed Disney films with princesses being saved, taught that fashion and makeup are more fun than Tonka trucks and toy soldiers and sports, and they’re pushed to believe that men are the stronger sex by these examples. And most men, of course, are pushed to become the stronger sex.

So, we arrive in high school when a woman decides she wants to be the CEO of a major company, someday or perhaps, an Army officer, or president. Not only is she already years behind in developing leadership skills, but she’s dealing with the fact that all those environments require some understanding of male culture to get ahead, AND she has to overcome her own sexuality.

Talk about getting dealt a shitty hand.

So, she has to work extremely hard, harder than the men competing for the same spots, and there’s no guarantee she’s going to get there because even if she works harder than anyone else, she’s still a woman and will be saddled with this belief that men are better leaders than women.

No, this isn’t a “natural thing.” This is society self-reinforcing ridiculous stereotypes made up by society.

So, this is why many women would like to be a man. It would be difficult, but they wouldn’t have to deal with all this bullshit that comes simply for having different genitalia. They would actually get a fair shot from a gender standpoint.

I leave you with this quotation by Rebecca West: “I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat or a prostitute.”

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A Story About a “House”

Ashley is a 27 year-old woman who inherited several acres of land around 11 years-old when her parents tragically died in a car crash.

Her grandparents lovingly raised her but didn’t have much in the way of wealth. This land is all her family was able to give her. They showed her how to care for it, how to safely use it, and rightly taught her that this is hers and hers, alone, but expressed hope that she would have the opportunity to share it with someone she really loved and build a house on it, someday.

Over the years, Ashley made sure to care for the land, learned about land regulations and taxes, built a fence, but also took time to enjoy the property. Every now and then, she would invite someone she was dating to have a picnic with her. Sometimes, she would drive out to her property and gaze at the stars. Life was good.

One day, a friend asked if he could drive her out there, so they could have a picnic. She usually saved something like this for men she knew well, but he came off as trustworthy and both were adults (and therefore, supposedly knew how to treat each other with respect), so she thought it would be fun.

The two friends hopped in a car and drove out there. They pulled into the driveway up to the gate to the property. Ashley got out of the car, walked over, took her keys out, and was about to unlock it when she started having second thoughts. For whatever reason, she wasn’t sure she wanted to have a picnic.

She walked back over to the car.

“Listen, I’m really sorry to do this to you, but I don’t feel good about having a picnic, today. It just doesn’t feel right.”

“Well, we drove all the way out here,” he responded, angrily. “You can’t have me drive this long and then decide you don’t want a picnic, after all.”

“Look, I understand you’re angry, but this *is* my property, and I’d rather you just take me home.”

Her friend fumed as he sat behind the steering wheel. After a few moments of silence, he pulled out a gun and ordered her out of the car.

“Stop! Please don’t shoot me!” she pleaded.

“Do exactly as I say, and you’ll live,” he replied.

He made her unlock the gate and then, get in the driver’s seat, keeping the gun aimed at her the whole time.

“Drive us into the property, and don’t say another word.”

Slowly, she drove down the gravel path about an acre into her property before he made her stop.

He had her get out and tied her to a nearby tree. He also decided that he wanted to do more than just have a picnic. He was going to build a house. It was an absolutely insane thought, but he wanted to make sure he left his mark and demonstrated the power he had over her.

But he also knew the people who knew her were going to wonder where she was, and he didn’t want to invite scrutiny. He figured he had only a day or so to do what he wanted before her friends filed a missing person’s report.

Inviting several of his friends over, they spent the next 24 hours working on this house: they laid the foundation, put up a frame, and started working on fleshing it out. Periodically, she would grow desperate in her binds and scream for help, and he or one of his friends would respond by smacking her across the face and telling her to be quiet, or they’d kill her.

They worked as fast they could and were enjoying themselves but came to the obvious realization that there was only so much they could do in 24 hours. The small, one-room house only had the concrete foundation and a scant frame in place.

He and his buddies said goodbye to each other, and he drove back to the town after forcing her into the trunk. Pulling up to her apartment, he opened up the trunk, and looked down at her.

“If you say anything about what happened, I’ll kill you. Besides, no one is going to believe I took you hostage and tried to build that house. My reputation is too good.”

He drove off into the night, leaving her soul crushed and dignity shattered. However, she pulled herself together enough and told a close friend what had happened. Her friend convinced her to report it to the police, and overcoming a great deal of obstacles in the justice system, she bravely managed to have him arrested and charged with kidnapping and invasion of property.

Because of the man’s reputation, no one outside the police believed her. The evidence was abundant, but it took a while for others to come to the conclusion that she was telling the truth.

Meanwhile, there was still that “house” on her property. She simply couldn’t keep it there because of the memory associated with it, and having it finished was just too costly and risky to her quality of life and health.

So, she decided to have it torn down. She couldn’t afford to do so, but fortunately, there was an organization dedicated to helping people who are taken advantage of and volunteered to help her in this hour of need by removing the entire “house” themselves.

However, before the organization could do this, a group of men heard about what was planned and drove over to her apartment to dissuade her from having this done: a politician, a pastor, and an “average joe type” who was respected in the community.

After she offered them coffee, the four sat around the coffee table in her living room, and the politician quickly cut to the chase.

“Look, Ashley, we’ve been getting a lot of complaints about you tearing down this house. Some have even called for me to get a law passed that would prevent this sort of thing from happening.”

Ashley was stunned.

“But this is my property! Shouldn’t I decide what to do with it?”

“We don’t believe you should have control over this house. It’s already been started and should be completed. To do otherwise would be a waste.”

“I didn’t even build it! I was kidnapped by these men and forced to watch while they did it. How is this fair?” Ashley cried.

“Hey, we know it’s not fair,” replied the pastor, “but this is your chance to turn something negative into a positive. To us, this seems to be God’s will.”

“It was God’s will that I was kidnapped and tied to a tree while these horrible men built this so-called “house” on my property?” she asked, incredulously.

“And we’re sorry about that,” the pastor replied, “but every house is precious to God.”

“This isn’t even a house; it’s one bedroom,” she said.

“A house is a house, no matter how small,” the pastor shot back.

The two glared at each other while the politician stepped in to calm everyone down.

“Relax, everybody. I’m sure there’s a way we can convince Ashley to keep the house,” he said.

“It’s not even a house! It has a rickety frame and a foundation!” she yelled.

“Houses begin at the foundation!” yelled the pastor.

“Oh, yeah? How old is your house?” she inquired.

“Well, it was completed in July of 2000, so we’ve had it for 12 years,” he said, calming down.

“You mean 13 years. It took you nine months to build it. I remember,” she said.

“We don’t count the time it takes to build the house,” he asserted.

“Why? Is that because it’s not a house at the time?” she asked, derisively.

The pastor sat there, pissed. The average joe jumped into the conversation.

“Ashley, you’re a good girl. Don’t you think—” he began

“I’m a woman, not a girl, and even if I was a girl and not good, it would still be my property and my choice to decide what to do with this house,” she said.

“It’s not the house’s fault, you know! If you hadn’t been wearing summery clothes, that guy would never have wanted to picnic with you,” said average joe.

“So, what then? Are you saying I deserve this because of what I was wearing?” she asked.

“You’re damn right you deserve it!” joe shouted. “If you’re not selling, then don’t advertise.”

The politician sought once again to calm everyone down.

“Ashley, we’re not even still sure someone can build a house on property that isn’t theirs,” said the politician.

“What the hell does that mean?” she asked.

“Well,” the politician said confidently, “land has a way of shutting down houses before they can be built in the case it’s someone who shouldn’t be building.”

“That makes absolutely no scientific sense,” she retorted.

“I disagree. After all, I am on the town’s science board,” he replied.

“I can’t even afford this house,” she said, emphatically.

“We’ll help you pay to complete the house,” said the politician, “but after that, you’re on your own. We’re only pro-house while it’s being built.”

Ashley rubbed her face in her hands, rubbing her forehead in frustration.

“I’m going to tear down the house, and you can’t force me to do otherwise,” she stated.

“Ashley, there are a lot of angry people who don’t want this to happen,” said the politician.

“Why do they care? Do they live in the area? It’ll be done in a few hours. There won’t be that much noise,” she said.

“Well, actually, no,” said the politican,”they don’t live in the area. They don’t even own land.”

“So, they have no idea what I’m going through?” she asked.

“Well, technically, you’re right, but–” he replied.

“But nothing. This is my land and my choice, and I’ll tell you something else: Even if I built the house and decided not to see it through completion, it would still be my choice because it’s my land. Not yours.”

Ashley, with a few friends who were there for emotional support, brought the helpful organization to her land to have the house torn down. Near the entrance were dozens of protesters, all of whom were holding signs and/or shouting insults.

She got out of the car and led the organization to the gate.

“House destroyer! Bitch!” cried the protesters as they held up signs with pictures of houses that had been destroyed.

“This is America,” said one of her friends as they walked to the gate. “How can they be okay with individual liberty and freedom from government intervention except when it comes to having personal autonomy over one’s land?”

“I don’t know,” replied Ashley. “I just don’t know.”

A License to Rape

In 2005, the last year for which I could find official statistics on this subject, 174,420 women were sexually assaulted or raped, and over 99% of those cases involved a male perpetrator.

Fortunately, this number actually points to a “per capita” decline, in which the rate has fallen from 2.4 victims per 1000 people in 1980 to 0.4 in the present day. This is obviously good news, but rape and sexual assault against women are still huge problems in America that have yet to be adequately addressed.

If you’re a rational human being, this statistic is of great concern, but fear not: prominent men (and some [very, very few] women) have spent a lot of time on this problem, and here is their suggestion:

Stop dressing so provocative, ladies.

Never mind that there is absolutely no credible scientific evidence to suggest a correlation between clothing and rape.

Never mind that sociologists and psychologists have identified, over and over, that the main motivation to rape is demonstrating power, not because of a clothing catalyst.

Never mind that women are raped when wearing sweatpants or military uniforms or baggy jeans and a t-shirt or even tattered, dirty clothing typically worn by the homeless.

Basically, this is yet another attempt to blame women for allowing themselves to be raped. If only they could dress modestly, this wouldn’t happen as often, amirite?!

Of course, that’s interesting because thousands of men are tragically raped and sexually assaulted, every year, and I never hear them being blamed for what they wore, probably because anyone with half a brain realizes that suggestion would be absolutely moronic. If a man wore only underwear in public and was tragically raped in a back alley, there would be no assertion that he deserved it due to his lack of attire. And yet, women are often blamed for the sexual violence they encounter because they wore a “slutty” outfit.

It reminds me of an article written by a Christian commentator, several years ago, on this subject. He wrote approvingly of his father having a saying on women in sexy clothing:

“If you’re not selling, don’t advertise.”

How cute.

Of course, this also pisses me off because the argument makes the claim that I, as a man, am unable to control my sexual appetite and urges, that men just can’t help themselves when they’re around short skirts and stilettos. It’s as if these folks are giving me a license to rape if I’m around women wearing sexy clothing.

You might be thinking that’s going too far, that’s it’s not fair to characterize this theory as promoting rape.

Well, what else is it? 170,000+ women are raped and sexually assaulted, each year, and apparently, it’s because they’re wearing erotic attire, not because the perpetrator is an asshole seeking to express power and increasingly encouraged by a society that treats women as second-class citizens.

So, here’s a question for you geniuses who believe in this shit:

What is appropriate clothing for women to wear outside the home?

What kind of outfit serves as rapist repellent?

Maybe we should cover a woman’s entire body so that only their eyes are visible. I hear that’s working really well in some Muslim countries where women are still raped (and later punished for it, but that’s a post for another day).

We need to get away from the absurd notion that women are in any way to blame for being raped or sexually assaulted. The victim is never at fault and suggesting otherwise on some bullshit theory that grown men just can’t control themselves because of clothing is childish at best and criminal at worst.

The Consequences of Being a “Male Feminist”

 

 

I feel like I should say a disclaimer before I begin this post:

I am in no way comparing any trouble I encounter with the enormous obstacles faced by women. I believe that although sexism exists for both men and women, an overwhelming majority of sexist trials are endured by women.

That being said, I hate the term “male feminist.” To me, anyone who believes that women are equal to men in every aspect of humanity in the general sense is a feminist. Period.

When the history books discuss slavery, most of the time, they don’t identify prominent white opponents of slavery as “white abolitionists.” Just as the term “abolitionist” describes a person who opposes slavery regardless of their skin color, “feminist” describes a person who supports true equality for women regardless of their gender.

I suppose my reasoning for writing this post goes beyond an informative mission. I feel the need to define myself to you, the readers, so that we’re all on the same page and lingering questions you may have about me in the back of your mind don’t prevent you from connecting with the philosophy I intend to convey.

Being a man and a feminist is no easy task. Being a woman is even harder, no doubt, but a guy who describes himself as a feminist seems to automatically open himself up to speculation.

Admittedly, few men call themselves a feminist. In part, this is because “feminist” has become something of a dirty word–or, at the very least, an insult–across much of the country. It has been hijacked by uneducated and/or manipulative political powers that do everything they can to discredit the movement for women’s rights.

But it goes deeper than that. Men who strongly support women’s rights (and are vocal about it) seem to invite criticism, derisiveness, and a questioning of their motives.

My favorite bogus explanation that some throw out there is that men who fight for women’s rights are doing so to get laid, the theory being that they appear sensitive, inviting, friendly, etc.

Now, I’m sure those kind of men exist, but to say all men who call themselves feminists are like that is incredibly biased and ignorant.

Friends, I’ve been doing this for a few years (as best as a novice activist can), and I can tell you two things:

1. I have never been approached by a woman or flirted with by one or done any type of sexual activity with one as a result of saying something along the lines of “Hey baby, I’m a feminist. Can I have your number?”

It just doesn’t work that way. Granted, I haven’t tried it because I don’t like using my sincere political beliefs for personal gain (also because it’s manipulative), but based on my interactions with women, saying you’re a feminist isn’t attractive. It’s odd, it’s strange, and it makes you look weak (even if you happen to be passionate).

I think the reason for this is that society doesn’t equate feminists with stereotypically strong types of men. Feminists are supposed to be women who hate men. Therefore, a man who is a feminist must hate himself or be doing so to get laid.

This is nonsense, of course, but I’ve found that when I’m vocal about women’s rights, even if they happen to agree with my views, some men and women draw conclusions about my strength as a human being.

I don’t like that, but I’ve come to accept it. It’s the price in the fight for equality and a price I think is worth paying.

What I can’t accept is speculation that I’m trying to lure women in by casting out my opinions on gender equality.

2. I really don’t need help in this department. I do fine on my own without needing to attempt subtly manipulating women with my beliefs. On my first several dates, I don’t bring up heavy political topics. It kinda takes away the fun, which is the point of the date. If she brings it up, I’ll share. If she doesn’t, we can leave that for later.

Some seem to react by psychologically analyzing the man. If he’s not trying to get laid, he either hates himself (as previously mentioned) or there must be some kind of psychological benefit.

This is also false.

Now, I admit, I was extensively abused by my mother as a child. Amateur psychologists might draw the conclusion that I’m seeking the female approval I never obtained from my mother, and that by being active in women’s rights, I feel I can finally fill that need.

Well, this is also wrong. As hard it is to believe, I am a proud feminist solely because it disgusts me that women are second-class citizens both in America and around the world.

I am a feminist because I want my women friends, my women colleagues, my future wife, and my potential future daughters, and every other woman in this world to have every right that the men and the potential future sons in my life do.

It ends there. I have no ulterior motive. I genuinely want equality because it’s the right to do.

I feel better having posted this because I feel it now gives me license to write whatever I wish without fear that I’m secretly or openly being judged as insincere in my beliefs.

Thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoy my future posts.

It May Not Be Codified, But in the United States, Women Are Still Second-Class Citizens

 

The truth hurts, but if we ever hope to achieve a society that recognizes all as equal, we have to acknowledge that women are still second-class citizens in the United States

It would seem as though the right to vote and having three women serve as Secretary of State in the last 15 years has somehow laid the issue of gender equality to rest for many people.

Well, that’s just plain wrong. Let’s look at some facts:

– Women compose only 17% of the U.S. Senate and 17.4% of the House of Representatives.

– Of our 50 states, only six are currently led by women.

– Of our nine Supreme Court justices, only three are women, and that’s the most to ever serve at one time.

– Of 23 presidential cabinet and cabinet-level positions, only 8 are women.

– There has never been a woman who has served as president or vice president.

– No woman has ever served on the Joint Chiefs of Staff. and only two have been promoted to four-star general rank.

– Women are still barred from direct-combat jobs in the military.

– Of the companies on the Fortune 500, only 18 are led by women.

– Only 8% of all Nobel Prizes have been awarded to women.

– Women still earn less than men for the same work in every industry, across all levels of education and experience.

And I could go on and on and on…

Now, admittedly, some of these obviously have international factors at play, but the United States has more Fortune 500 CEOs and Nobel Prize Winners than any other country, and if we were to break down the totals of these two areas by gender, the number of women in either would be even more troubling.

This doesn’t even include the sociocultural challenges faced by women such as reproductive rights.

If this doesn’t trouble you, it may be time to check your pulse.

How “Slut” Reveals Our Sexism

Yesterday, I celebrated my 26th birthday. My friends and I threw a wonderful party, and as we sat around discussing different topics, the conversation eventually moved to talking about women in “slutty” Halloween costumes.

There were six of us talking about this: four women, two men (myself included), all college-educated adults, all endowed with a decent sense of humor, and all Christians who usually shy away from casting judgment on others.

(For my non-Christian friends reading this, don’t worry; this is not about to launch into a Christian post.)

The gist of our discussion was how Halloween isn’t an excuse for women to dress like “sluts.” My five friends were in agreement on this, and I couldn’t disagree more, but that’s not the point of this post.

When I voiced my disagreement I said, “I don’t think dressing that way makes you ‘slutty.’”

As soon as the statement left my mouth, I immediately regretted it. I felt like I had been punched in the stomach. It wasn’t that I disagreed with the opinion I was trying to get across but that I had indirectly validated using the word “slut.”

“Slut” is not a term of universal characterization. On its own, it’s almost always used to describe women who sleep around or, at the very least, are perceived to sleep around.

The word represents a double standard that has gone dramatically unchecked by both men and women: that uncommitted men who sleep around face little societal backlash but uncommitted women who sleep around are seen as immoral and/or unclean and unworthy of respect.

In fact, men who sleep around are almost always publicly accepted and even admired by both sexes. It’s seen as a sign that the man in question is attractive and charming.

Case in point: Joey from “Friends” has a running gag on the show of having multiple sexual partners over time, and it’s nearly always portrayed as an admirable quality. Can you imagine the three main women in the show (Rachel, Monica, and Phoebe) getting the same response? Not likely.

Quick note: There’s a difference between “sleeping around” and “womanizing.” For simplicity’s sake, “sleeping around” is having multiple sexual partners in a short period of time but under equal expectations between the partners in terms of relationship status. “Womanizing” is sleeping with women and effectively using their emotional vulnerability for sexual purposes.

The conversation among my friends and I, as previously stated, was launched over our opinions on women dressing “slutty” for Halloween. My friends felt that women who dress provocatively or erotically for this holiday are in the wrong.

This made me take pause, though. If men dressed for Halloween in only a Speedo, it would certainly get attention and commentary, but it’s doubtful it would be seen as morally wrong. It would probably be mocked for revealing far too much but not because it expressed an inappropriate sexuality.

And more often than not, the response would be one of humor, not offense.

But a woman dressing in a short skirt and high heels for her costume is seen as “slutty,” even though that would be revealing far less skin than the man in the Speedo.

Some readers may point out that men can be called a “man slut” or “horndog.” Well, let’s look at those.

“Man slut” is a modified term, and it’s implications are just as hurtful to women’s sexuality as the word “slut.” When you say “man slut,” you’re saying the man in question is acting like a “slut,” or a woman that sleeps around. But much of the time, “man slut” is used in a humorous manner. It’s not often used to deride a man for their sexual habits. On the other hand, calling a woman a “slut” is almost always seen as derogatory.

“Horndog” is the same way. It’s used to describe a sexually promiscuous man but is, more often than not, meant to be humorous. It’s used to describe men who are less than suave.

James Bond would never be described as a “horn dog,” but a woman sleeping around as much as 007 would definitely be called a “slut.”

Why are we so afraid of women’s sexuality?

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