Today’s F’in Topic: Slut-Shaming

Friday is a special day for me–let’s call it Fucking Friday. Because it’s the freakin weekend, baby–and i’m not having fun.

I couldn’t sleep last night (surprise) so I trolled the internet because that’s one of the things I do best. At the 5am golden hour, I received a text message from the guy I was supposed to be going on a date with tonight. He informed me that he had some bad allergic reaction and could not make the date. My gut reaction was to attempt a joke at my being allergic to bullshit, but I held my tongue.

He and I spent the better part of this week furiously messaging each other with “let’s get to know each other” questions, comments and jokes. We got along famously. I actually found myself excited, particularly after I re-read the article Fuck Yes or No by Mark Manson. Was my would-be date a fuck yes? Not exactly. But my willingness and desire to get to know him fell under that category for sure.

So he backs out of the date. Red flag. After this occurs, we begin to talk in depth about random things, one of them being former dating partners. This may seem too soon to some, but keep in mind he and I had talked non-stop for a week. He told his parents about me. He “showed off” my picture to co-workers and friends. We exchanged vulnerabilities in order to move the process along–at least, I did. Something clicked, though, 10 minutes into this early-morning chat. I all of a sudden began to get really honest about my past. About recovery. About where I’ve been and how I was. About my proclivity for fucking. This did not go over well. In fact, my honesty caused him to take a “pause.” He explains–over text–that I should feel “sympathy” for him to “process” this information. My exact words he processed: “The number of men I’ve had sex with would make you gasp, but I still don’t know shit about men. I said it because I have a considerably dark past and I am not ashamed of that. I did things drunk that I would never in my right mind do sober. <<silence>> I would understand if this gives you pause.” His response: “It does. I won’t pretend I’m not upset by this verbiage. I’m processing. I am more upset that you won’t let me process this.” The exchange continues with more awkward silences and gaps in conversation. He then asks if he can call me. When he does, he says that he is “Still willing to work on things–‘on us'”–that he’s “Conservative, you know. Catholic. I was raised with a certain set of principles…” I didn’t have the heart to tell him I’ve bedded plenty of Catholics who would readily disagree.

To that end, it got uglier. I did not say anything mean, but I picked up what he was putting down. He did not like my sordid past. This made me furious. Then I paused (ok, I cried a little) because I felt shame. I felt ashamed that this person who thought I was “amazing” and “perfect” and “gorgeous” for my tattoos and foul mouth–this person who put me on a pedestal–did not hesitate to knock me down.

My fall from Madonna grace to low-level Whore was a quick one. It appears this man had no issue with my hotness-via-intelligence: “Good. you’re a writer, that means you’re smart.” He fell especially hard for the tattoos: “When [anonymous friend] told me you had tattoos, I said, ‘go on…'” He loved that I was in recovery, that I could be so honest. It seems he had no problem fetishizing my bad-girl-goes-good rap–that is, until it got too real.

I’m upset by this because I feel like I got trapped in a classic Fuck-22. I’m an interesting person with a past, which is what makes me that much cooler now. At the same time, I have been on the wrong side of the tracks, after all. I should be ashamed of myself. Who do I think I am? And then it hit me–this kind of shame is the biggest reason I drank.

The subtext of his responses was clear: I am a red flag. I am in recovery, so I should be recovered, right? How dare I have so many partners. I couldn’t possibly be relationship material.

The anger I feel is not directed toward him. I am the one who is the slut-shamer here. Why am I apologizing–albeit, indirectly–for my former predilections for casual sex? What do I have to be ashamed of? Even if I hadn’t been in a blackout for most of those encounters, would I still have a reason to regret any of it? Didn’t I kind of like it some of the time? Yes. Yes I did. Sure, there are some amends that will rightfully be made to those I have hurt, even in recovery. Sexual liberation does not mean I get a pass to harm anyone. Sex comes with responsibility. Responsibility, not validation.

This is a sensitive topic. I get that. But I don’t care. The media coverage for women musicians compared to men, for example, shows the parity in biased coverage. Women fall from grace; men are the martyrs.

It’s sexist and unrealistic. People are entitled to their opinions. I respect that. I also respect people like Lady Gaga who aren’t afraid to speak their minds. She doesn’t identify as a feminist, so to speak, but she is honest about sex and her own sexuality. She lets her music speak for itself. She says, “I’m not scared. I’ve got three number one records and I’ve sold almost four million records worldwide. You see, if I was a guy and I was sitting here with a cigarette in my hand grabbing my crotch and talking about how I make music because I like fast cars and fucking girls, you’d call me a rock star. But when I do it in my music and in my videos–because I’m a female, because I make pop music–you’re judgmental and you say that it is distracting. I’m just a rock star.”

There you have it, ladies and gentlemen. No apologies. No subtext. We all have opinions. And I don’t have to date opinions.

I’m just a rock star.

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Published by

InBowieWeTrust

I write about my womanly experiences in sobriety, most of which I'm glad I remember.

14 thoughts on “Today’s F’in Topic: Slut-Shaming”

  1. It’s all good until it gets real. Ask the people. Militancy in media when it comes to a case of sexual assault is one thing. Ask the same people if they’d accept that same person if they stepped out of the screen or popped out from the newspaper.
    Slut shaming. Because being totally honest about having no further intentions with a person and having sex solely for fun is wrong, right?
    We definitely should support those who make promises that they don’t intend to keep or those who pretend to have a deeper than skin connection just to get the partner into bed.
    Yeah, society! Let’s bring on the hypocrisy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This stuff makes my blood boil so I have to remind myself that progress takes awhile.

      The real coup to this whole experience is realizing I drank over shame and fear and all of that. I thought somehow that I deserved ridicule when really, it’s messed up that id have to explain myself in the first place. Slut shaming is an aggressive form of hatred and frankly I think it has to do with jealousy, which is not cute. When women enjoy casual sex then there must be something wrong with them. When men do it, they’re a badass or a ladies man. I’m just saying, the shame has to go and even the word slut, too. Men have no equivalent to that word to describe the same behavior.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Fuck that guy! It’s a shame you clicked so well only to have it flop but that doesn’t mean all of them are judgmental. Everyone has some kind of history and eventually you will meet someone who is willing to look past it because they truly care about getting to know you. As far as slut shaming, there is always a belief that women don’t like sex and just do it to please men and that if a woman has an active sex life particularly outside of a committed relationship she is a slut. There seems to be a gritty glamour about men who fuck around and abuse substances (hello Keith Richards!). Women behaving the same way are often shown in the media as weak and ill (Amy Winehouse). There’s just a very fine line it seems of what makes a woman a “whore”. Hopefully progress is being made so that eventually women can truly be in control of their own bodies and sexuality sans judgement. Cause ya know, the old thinkers die out eventually.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. This is so enlightened, Jessica! Fuck that noise–the only way to be authentic is to believe in what you’re doing…the rest doesn’t matter at that point. I kinda feel for the dude I clicked with because I think he felt really bad (he cried). While I don’t give two shits about his tears, I know that he will not have a great dating life if he continues to judge women in that way. Whatever works for him. Id rather be with someone who understands that someone with a past who learns from it is far more valuable than someone who doesn’t care to be honest or change in any way. Thank you for your responses, it’s so interesting to hear what you have to say. I think women slut shame each other too because we seek approval from men in the end. Fuck that, too. I’d rather we build each other up.

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  2. such an honest article, Lucy. And so good! I totally related to it, and it really reminds me of that book Bitch, by Elizabeth Wurtzel. A man like this guy would just make you miserable and you are way too good for this bozo.
    It’s interesting..there was that whole thing about Courtney Love actually killing Kurt Cobain, i actually met someone who was convinced that Courtney killed him..what if she was the main talent?
    Wurtzel writes how Cobain’s talent takes over his image, even though he overdosed (Unless Love killed him, lol) but women like Love have to deal with their images…she is looked at as a “soap opera” (rolling stone)…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can’t wait to read the book! I have a feeling I will be able to get a lot out of it. The media has a tendency to over-sexualize women then demean them for being sexual (or successful, for that matter). It’s way too easy to feel ashamed. It’s more about accepting where we are and not giving a fuck about who accepts us. The right people will.

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  3. she took forever to write it…heehee…she also wrote, More Now Again which is about her addiction to ritalin…Wurtzel is very quirky..but your article is awesome because that’s what she wrote about in her book, Bitch…why are strong women considered bitches or whores? its pretty sickening to me. I encountered that quite a bit in my own life, ugh..being labelled like that..Lucy, it hurts, and for me it took some time to realize that particular guy was trying to push a button in me, whether he knew it or not…like the guy you met. He sounds like he has some weird issues with women.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Well well well. First gut reaction: WHAT AN A-HOLE. But that is just anger, and that doesn’t get us anywhere. There is a lot going on here, and some of it is actually beautiful: you having the bravery and honesty to claim your past, instead of sweeping it under the carpet. And yes, some folks might say, “Why did you spill the beans so soon?” But let’s look at the flip side of that. Let’s imagine you wait a month–or three, or six–to get honest. Then you are looking at the “Why didn’t you tell me this before?” conversation. And the “You are a COMPLETELY different person than I thought you were.” So I think laying *some* cards on the table early on is actually reasonable, strategically, bc why bother getting in deep with someone who is totally wrong for you? You dodged a big ole bullet here, Lucy Beans.

    BUT–gigantic BUT–that in no way mitigates or condones or absolves this freak or his behavior. His sissy reaction and prude attitude are repressive and, worse, representative of SO MANY men AND women in our great nation. The double standard is not only alive and well: it appears to be thriving, doing better than ever before. And the consequences of that double standard are DIRE. Women are reluctant to identify as feminist (I do, and was recently shamed for it, told that I must be a “man-hater” if I really use that term). When it comes to sex, young girls can’t figure what the hell to do: they are damned if they do, and damned if they don’t. And don’t get me started on rape culture. We have one. Period. End of story.

    So what should we do? Well, you are doing it, my lovely lively friend. All we can do is keep talking about it. To each other, to men, to the whole damn world. Thank you for your beautiful, brave post. I love you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are ah-mazing. I keep thinking about the ignorance toward womanhood, the judgement from each other and from men. My friend who has recently transitioned from male to female told me she gets more call backs from interviews as a male than a female. That made me scratch my head. What the actual fuck is going on? I propose we talk to high school seniors about what they might come across as women coming of age: owning sexuality, being safe with their hearts and their bodies. The whole rape culture thing gets me the most. Let’s blame the victim, she’s asking for it. Let’s persecute the whore, she deserves it. Wait a minute here, you fundamental, repressed Judeo-Christian nut jobs: didn’t Jesus befriend Mary Magdalene? Wasn’t she canonized as a saint? Didn’t sex workers just get a resolution passed on an international level? Weren’t we born with anatomically correct sexual parts?

      So many questions. I’m so glad we can talk about it ❤️

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  5. My sponsor and I talked about this today. She told me that people like this dude come into the picture to teach us lessons we still need to learn. The lesson here is a clear one: I need to forgive myself for any perceived wrong doing–forgiveness, not shame.

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    1. Self-forgiveness was my theme in my lead this morning. It is my BIG issue right now in life and recovery. About one million times a day, I lay my hand on my heart and say, “I love you and I forgive you.” Still waiting to believe it.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow. I have so many thoughts. Nothing which no one hasn’t already covered in their comments. But, I’ll say this, I haven’t been dating in a long time – not even really interested in anyone in any context. Probably due to a string of bad relationships. Yeah, I’ve probably got some baggage and now I’m guarding my little heart of stone carefully. People treat me like I’m some sort of leper because I have no interest in men right now. There’s no pleasing people. Someone recently asked a friend if I’ve “ever even had a boyfriend?!” Others whisper, “Well, something must be wrong with her.” And others think I’m a lesbian (like it’s a bad thing). My mom always loves to tell me there’s someone for everyone. I’d like to believe her, and I’ll be waiting when I find someone worth my time. But in the meantime, I’m going to keep doing what makes me happy. Fuck everyone else’s standards.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Girl YES. I think this point in time is where there is a decision to be made, based on all the facts: you can’t please everyone and EVERYONE doesn’t know your life. What if there isn’t a “right” man or woman for everyone? Does this mean that if you are single, there must be something wrong? Truth be told, I’d rather be a self-possessed woman than one who acts upon the expectations of others. Build the life you want, not someone else’s. As women, I think shame has the potential to be a negative motivator–and fuck that shit. Shame doesn’t work anymore.

      Liked by 1 person

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