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Feb 06 2007

“Prosti-tots” invade America

I’m attempting DIY car repair this morning, and I don’t really know what the hell I’m doing so I expect it’ll take all day and about 17 trips to Pep Boys, so I don’t have time to elucidate wildly, but I just read in Broadsheet about some “hand-wringing” article (“hand-wringing” — that’s leftyblogulese for “stupid overwrought virgin-worship”) in Newsweek about how exposure to Paris Hilton turns America’s white girls into sluts, but black teens still model their behavior after their parents and friends, and that despite the proliferation of Girls Gone Wild, teen pregnancy rates are down like 35%. Down from what and since when I don’t remember, but you can read Newsweek and/or Broadsheet thine own self and find out and if you’re nice you’ll pass it along to me along with any other trenchant remarks you may have on the subject of Slutty Teens and whatnot. I mention all this a propos of the Girls Gone Wild discussion of last week.

I do note that the Newsweek link offers a photo gallery of Sluts Through The Ages, not to titillate, mind you, but just in case the pious reader is unfamiliar with the outward signs of fallen womanhood.

Gotta go!

38 comments

  1. Sylvanite

    The article in Newsweek wasn’t too bad. It did mange to point out the obvious – that if girls are “dressing like sluts” it’s with the complicity of their parents, since most kids don’t have that much disposable income. Of course, this seems to be part of the perennial concern about the morals of females, with no accompanying concern about what the boys are up to.

    I have to say, that was an interesting hat Jesus had on in that painting of him with Mary Magdalen. He looks like he was pimpin’! I know, I know, it’s an old painting, but it still looks like a pimp hat. I’m just sayin’.

    I hope this didn’t already post.

  2. kcb

    I didn’t read the article — no time yet — but I did take a stroll through the ho gallery. I love it that Wallis Simpson, Mary Magdalene and Anna Nicole Smith are all on the same plane here. But my favorite aspect is that they used the occasion to trot out the old canard about Catherine the Great and the horse. Because a salacious rumor about a powerful woman has a half-life longer than any nuclear waste. Grrr.

  3. Kaethe

    I had a really brilliant comment tying the “prosti-tots” usage to the sexual trafficking of children in cities such as Atlanta, that included a reference to Purity Balls, but something happened and it didn’t get through.

    I blame the patriarchy for that posting failure, too.

  4. cycles

    Do you ever wonder if journalists deliberately go out and craft entire news stories around “witty” phrases they come up with at newspaper parties, where everybody huffs nitrous and smokes dry schwag out of a gravity bong and listens to space rock while pretending not to be soulless cogs for a few hours?

    Yeah I miss Austin. So fuckin what?

  5. norbizness

    You’re not going to trick me into reading something out of the Newsweek anthropology compost heap that easily, my dear.

  6. cypress

    Darn that new spamulator.

    Take 2.

    There are two things about the Newsweek & Broadsheet pieces that irk me in addition to what Twisty’s pointed to above.

    1. Both pieces show an appalling failure of brains/politics in not noting that the fantasies of predators will be likely considerably more dangerous to little girls than the influence of paris and her ilk. the 8 year old i know who was fascinated by bratz dolls only last year has decided that they aren’t so interesting after all because they are pretending to be adults when they are girls, she said.

    2. Could we hear and now launch a campaign to get everyone to refer to women’s/girl’s/our body parts with the correct words. The flashed body part of brittany et al is the vulva, not the vagina. How did it happen that mothers started telling their little girls to refer to the vulva by the name vagina. Vulva is a perfectly wonderful word, let’s use it!

  7. cypress

    I cannot believe i typed “hear and now” instead of “here and now,” but I did. Sorry for startling your internal spell checkers.

  8. Twisty

    This vulva/vagina thing is on my last nerve, too. In fact, it’s one of the reasons I hated the Sarah Silverman show so much. She kept alluding to her sister’s hairy vagina. I lost all respect for her at that moment.

  9. Garden Gnome

    What I found the most frustrating about this “hand-wringing” article is its total lack of concern about the self-objectification these girls are engaging in. The discourse was “they’re being crude and crass” not “these girls are objectifying themselves (and they don’t even know it) with the approval of their parents”.

    I also want to echo other posters’ complaints about the lack of concern for boys’ behavior and appearance.

  10. roamaround

    I get Newsweek for free because, patsy that I am, I pledged to my local NPR station. Usually I take it to school for my students to leaf through, but there have been several covers I don’t want to impose on impressionable young eyes:

    1) The one of Iraqi Shia cleric al-Sadr looking like the devil—and not just because I have Shia students, but it is just the height of islamophobic, well, demonization. I’m no fan of fundamentalism, but let’s be fair and put the popes on there too.
    2) The one about menopause because the cover looks too much like me and I don’t want to deal with it.
    3) This latest “Girls Gone Wild” issue because AAACK!!! What about a context including the porn explosion that young men (mostly) consume and young women have to deal with?

    Surprisingly, the articles themselves are often more balanced and thoughtful than you might guess from the covers. The “Girls Gone Wild” article actually refers all the way back to Sumerian tablets and paints much of women’s sexual liberation sympathetically. I have to reiterate though: what about violence and porn in American culture?? That’s causing a lot more harm in the world than our brazen young beauties.

  11. Spit The Dummy

    First time blamer here and nervous as hell.

    Dunno about y’all but I thought that the Newsweek article had the female blaming down pretty well, what with slinging about such charming epithets as “prosti-tots”. To me this read pretty much like your standard mixture of salacious images of innocent virgins/sluts, portrayed pseudo-historically and in a pseudo-feminist/liberal friendly fashion, in order to hide its real, conservative blame-the-slutty-women agenda.

    Here’s where I think the article shows its true colours

    “Are we raising a generation of what one L.A. mom calls “prosti-tots,” young girls who dress like tarts, live for Dolce & “Gabbana purses and can neither spell nor define such words as “adequate”? Or does the rise of the bad girl signal something more profound, a coarsening of the culture and a devaluation of sex, love and lasting commitment?”

    Whenever I see phrases like “love and lasting commitment” I automatically check my wallet, the current state of my civil liberties, and look around for the religious nutters. “Dress like tarts” and “bad girls” is also pretty much a give away of where the writer of this article is coming from, and it ain’t any liberal or feminist perspective I want to be associated with. It goes on significantly

    “Many conservative thinkers view our sex-drenched culture as dangerous; liberals are more prone to wave off fears about the chastity of our daughters as reactionary. One thing is not in doubt: a lot of parents are wondering about the effect our racy popular culture may have on their kids and the women they would like their girls to become. The answers are likely to lie in yet another question: where do our children learn values?”

    So the savvy conservatives are the ones who are concerned about the poor innocent girls being led astray while the liberals will sell your daughter down the river, eh? And who do we really blame for our children’s “values”, or lack thereof? The Parents (read Mother). Colour me shocked to learn that nowhere in all this talk of “bright, innocent girls” who are “likely to stray” by wearing “short skirts or midriff shirts” is there any talk of any sort of male responsibility for the current state of women as sexbots in our society. This article even goes so far as to say that the girls don’t dress in this revealing sexy way for men. Oh no! They do it to fit in with other girls, so it’s all the fault of those other slutty women, like Paris and Lindsey and Britney et al. But don’t despair

    “Even if your daughter does dress like Paris or behave like Lindsay, that doesn’t mean she’s doomed to a life on the pole. Plenty of high-school bad girls (us, for instance!) grow up to be successful professionals with happy home lives.”

    Isn’t that just great?

    I think I need to scrub out my brain after this load of women-hating bull dust masquerading as a serious article about/for women. Nothing makes me madder than this sneaky under the radar stuff that treats you like you’re so stupid you can’t see what they’re doing. I suppose I should be used to it, it IS the backbone of the patriarchy’s ever-present sotto-voiced misogynistic mindrape.

  12. roamaround

    “the patriarchy’s ever-present sotto-voiced misogynistic mindrape.”

    Well put, Spit The Dummy, and an engaging analysis of the article. I guess I’m just amazed when Newsweek or any mainstream American media includes even pseudo-historical or pseudo-feminist arguments. It attempts little balance on other complex issues such as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan or the Israel-Palestine conflict. The voice of patriarchy yes, and also of empire, but it could have been worse in its treatment of women’s sexual liberation. You’re right not to get used to it, though. Call it out loud.

    Now I’m waiting to read about how our male children have learned the pornographic and violent “values” of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. Next issue perhaps?

  13. kate

    Ok, this is my third try, since I can no longer just hit the blame button and viola! my blurb magically appears. I must now, stop – think and go to the full log-in first. Of course, by the time I remember that, the poor writing I have struggled over, my feminist voice, however weak it may be, is gone and I have to struggle all over again.

    So, here I go again, 3rd draft.

    I didn’t find the Newsweek article all that offensive. Considering the constant cacophony of slut shaming and mommy damning, the writer resisted and took a new road. I commend the writer for such daring. I will even forgive them the transgression they committed by inventing a slide show of past ‘bad girls’ complete with captions of recycled rumors and pop history. Of course, I posit two scenarios; 1) that they hoped readers would see that Paris Hilton and Brittany aren’t engaging in anything new 2) or that they had to appease the other demographic in order to be able to print the damn article.

    ? 1)This I hope was not their intention as it fails to draw attention to the fact that even today, sex sells and sexy women really sells. They point out that Mae West and Marilyn Monroe, although excoriated as ‘sluts’, made a good career. Framing that though as if they pondered between say, law school or the burlesque show, leaves out a big piece of the picture they only touch on later.

    But I imagine that opening up that Pandora’s box laying in the middle of the room, with a big sign, “Thesis here”, may have scared off important subscribers, you know the hairy ones. Lest they be bombarded with emails threatening cancellations, they possibly decided to appease that demographic with pictures, whilst the rest read the article. If that’s the case, fine by me. Let the dopes lurk while the girls work.

    Inside the article, the writers point up ‘experts’ and the ever famous ‘studies’ (CDC) that show that teen pregnancy rates have fallen by 35% (from when?) and that drug and alcohol use has also declined among high school girls. Thankfully though, they sensed that godbags countrywide love to grab such facts and run with them straight to the Purity Ball and they tempered those facts with some truths, such as saying, “Girls born after 1990 live in a world where they have ready access to organized sports, safe contraception and Ivy League colleges.”

    Although again, I have to ignore the classist remark about Ivy League colleges in order to recognize that they actually mention girls of color about once or twice (they exist!), they actually did mention people of color and not as gangsters or welfare queens either. Amazing Grace!

    Well let me cut to the bone. The article points up that young women today have choices, more choices than any women in our western history. That said choices may have the consequence of some young women making choices some people don’t like. Like one child psych was quoted as saying, women are now acting out because they choose to and have the freedom to, men have been acting just as badly and worse, so what’s the deal?

    The deal is that freedom means learning responsible behavior, learning to make choices, which of course, means getting enough information to make good choices. The writers squarely place the blame for the behavior of girls onto the parents. They rightfully gently remind the reader that when girls are given information and empowered with self esteem to see opportunities and make good choices, that they usually will. That said, it also very carefully points out that given such newfound ability of critical thinking, whether club hopping pantyless all night or studying cellular structure all night, young women have the ability to make their own choices and act in ways that please themselves. A radical thought indeed.

  14. mearl

    Look. I don’t know what this blog is doing wasting time blaming about silly fluff pieces like this Newsweek article when there are more complex issues at hand. Issues like how I can’t open a copy of Hello! magazine without seeing yet ANOTHER paparazzi photo of Brad Pitt getting out of a limo, balls and all in full view, in those skanky hot pants he is always decked out in. Fully waxed! Shameful, that’s what that is. Can’t that guy cover at least 12 % of his body when he goes out clubbing?

    If that weren’t bad enough, can we (can we?) bridge the subject of Jude Law and his sex addiction? A fallen man if I ever saw one. He must have low self-esteem. Someone send that guy to rehab: last I read he had fallen down a set of stairs wearing nothing but a tie and a cigar. The photos were featured all over Entertainment Tonight, at 7 pm central time, no less. And I have had it up to here with the amount of money being made off of “singers” like Justin Timberlake and Nick Lachey: their managers are clearly exploiting these semi-talents in those videos when they make them wear see-through bodysuits and grind around like that. It’s just a marketing ploy, really, and I think it’s affecting prepubescent boys all over America in terms of how they view themselves. I’m concerned. I am.

    But not to worry, I suppose…boys these days have access to condomns and sex ed at school, if the state of Kansas doesn’t get ahold of them all. They can identify themselves as athletes or intellectuals, not just sluts and party boys. Plenty of boys go on to higher education: did you know that 47% of undergraduate degrees are awarded to men each year?

    P.S. I would like to know what a Purity Ball is. I picture it as a giant lead ball that rolls over you and kills you if you look even remotely like a slut.

  15. Spit The Dummy

    “I guess I’m just amazed when Newsweek or any mainstream American media includes even pseudo-historical or pseudo-feminist arguments. It attempts little balance on other complex issues such as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan or the Israel-Palestine conflict. The voice of patriarchy yes, and also of empire, but it could have been worse in its treatment of women’s sexual liberation.”

    I agree, roamaround, that it could have been worse – but only if they were prepared to be more upfront about their misogyny. This sort of article, by its very nature, depends on its ability to make its prose indistinguishable from its antithesis. That’s why this sort of thing makes me crankier than the more up-front stuff. It’s pretending to be pro-woman when the bottom line is that it’s saying that women are so lucky these days they have enough freedom and self-empowerment that they can sure as hell choose not to be slutty bad girls and go down the gurgler like Britney and co. And then they illustrate it with some nifty historical and pictorial titilation for the Male Gaze while it admonishes it’s female audience to be “the women they would like their girls to become.” Gah!

    Now I’m waiting to read about how our male children have learned the pornographic and violent “values” of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. Next issue perhaps?

    I’m not holding my breath, are you? Guess who I blame?

  16. Spit The Dummy

    Okay, so it’s early in the morning for most of you lot in the northern hemisphere but for me it’s still a very reasonable 10pm the following day, so I’m spamming you with comments.

    Kate says:

    The writers squarely place the blame for the behavior of girls onto the parents. They rightfully gently remind the reader that when girls are given information and empowered with self esteem to see opportunities and make good choices, that they usually will. That said, it also very carefully points out that given such newfound ability of critical thinking, whether club hopping pantyless all night or studying cellular structure all night, young women have the ability to make their own choices and act in ways that please themselves. A radical thought indeed.

    Sounds like Utopia – until you realise we don’t live in a world like that, we live in a patriarchal society that bombards women with images and information that reinforce exactly the opposite messages: the unimportance of women and their choices in the grand scheme of What Men Want. How on earth does a woman develop self-esteem in this sort of environment without a great deal of luck?

    No mention of the choices males make that affect the choices females can/will make.

    No mention of the larger social/economic/political issues that impinge on women’s daily lives and affect our ability to make decisions.

    No mention of the systemic violence in our culture against women that implicitly grinds us down daily.

    No mention of the sexbot role into which women have been shoehorned by the patriarchy in the first place, that whole madonna/whore thing this article is just the latest to jump on, albeit in a very flabby, nominally politically correct sorta way.

    For me, this is why this sort of article is intrinsically dishonest. It pretends to be pro-woman but all it does is ignore the darker misogynist reality we live in, talk brightly about all the choices women have these days, while simultaneously dunning women for failing to live up to some virginal stereotype of sexual/moral purity, and failing in any way at all to blame men for ANYTHING.

    IBTP.

  17. ChapstickAddict

    Amen to the vulva vs. vagina issue. It’s not surprising, though, that we are not taught to look in depth at the female anatomy. To the patriarchy, the vagina is the most important part, serving as the passage from the womb (where the fetus keeps the mother prisoner) and the passage into dude-hood. What good is learning the names for the rest of the stuff when the hole is all that matters?

    And to the folks at Newsweak: Oh no, panty-less women! How will we ever teach our daughters to hide their shame! (Until they become empowered and pose for Playboy, at least.) Someone, call the morality police!

  18. ChapstickAddict

    Spit the Dummy: Thank you. Sometimes when I’m regurgitating an idea from my head, it doesn’t turn out that well, so I’ve had the hardest time explaining to people why when women “choose” to conform to patriarchal values, it’s not actually a choice.

    A woman who goes without panties and has wanton sex with many different men? Empowered!

    A woman who doesn’t shave her legs or doesn’t support GGW? Man-hating she-feminazi!

  19. kcb

    Ah,”empowered.” A friend of mine used that word with me in all earnestness recently, and I got Shiner up my nose. Stinkin’ patriarchy.

  20. kate

    You know, I said the article was an improvement. I didn’t say that it is the highlight of latest feminist thought, its just a vast improvement for MSM, which frankly, usually cannot be bothered to look at the lives and/or progress of women at all in any sort of way beyond sex lives/social damage.

    The quote, ““Many conservative thinkers view our sex-drenched culture as dangerous; liberals are more prone to wave off fears about the chastity of our daughters as reactionary.” was a hook, contrived to pull the reader in with the question, “This is what people think, is it true?”

    and I believe they proved their point, that probably it isn’t.

    Expecting any kind of feminist analysis of The Patriarchy and its inherent oppressions, isn’t the kind of writing I’d expect from any writing outlet that depends on the mainstream public for its survival.

    Guess its just me, but after the Welfare Deform Debacle and the horrible way that even the far left press covered/ignored the issue, I’ve pretty much given up on the notion that MSM or any media of any kind is going to portray women as anything more than the within the confines whore/madonna dichotomy. If they reach even ever so slightly above that, I’m always surprised.

    “P.S. I would like to know what a Purity Ball is. I picture it as a giant lead ball that rolls over you and kills you if you look even remotely like a slut.”

    Google it. You’d do well to look it up, since its a good idea for a feminist, much less a mature one, to know what kind of forces are working against young women today. The concept just nearly sets my mind to bleeding just thinking about it.

  21. lightly

    In this passage

    “I do note that the Newsweek link offers a photo gallery of Sluts Through The Ages, not to titillate, mind you, but just in case the pious reader is unfamiliar with the outward signs of fallen womanhood.

    I do so appreciate your righteous mockery of the insufferable hypocrits who posted that photo spread.

    As a gesture of appreciation (only remotely relevant to the topic of your post) let me suggest that you find the marvelous post Suzi Bright made about Jeff Gannon. Gannon was the male prostitute who showed up among the White House press a year or two ago, presumably on behalf of something called Talon News.

    I cannot google this from work, so my apologies for not providing the link myself. If you can find Bright’s blog and find her analysis of Gannon in the archives, it is well worth the read. Someone very close indeed to the main potato-heads in the White House hired this guy. What compost for the un-beguilded spinster aunt’s imagination that is.

  22. teffie-phd

    Spit the dummy said: For me, this is why this sort of article is intrinsically dishonest. It pretends to be pro-woman but all it does is ignore the darker misogynist reality we live in, talk brightly about all the choices women have these days, while simultaneously dunning women for failing to live up to some virginal stereotype of sexual/moral purity, and failing in any way at all to blame men for ANYTHING.

    ***
    Yes!

    And it really gives mothers a bad rap. I have an 8 year old, who knows the difference between her vulva and her vagina, but who also really really *wants* to wear the slutty crap that’s marketed to her. She wants makeup and nail polish and low-waisted pants and strappy little tees. We do minimal commercial TV, but she sees it and knows it exists. It’s what she sees and it’s everywhere and it is marketed as fun and funky and what’s not to like?

    She doesn’t get them and I try to explain why, but sometimes all I have is: because I say so and it’s not appropriate. I hate myself for saying it because then I feel like we’ve moved into the other side of what’s appropriate for girls: some modest clothes and a modest attitude and shutting up and being docile.

    That’s the whole problem with the dichotomy that Newsweek sets up–patriarchy defines both spaces (madonna/whore) and therefore defines the menu of choices we have. So women can freely choose these things, but the number of choices is not limitless.

    And no one asks the bigger question of who defines the styles and mores that exist for girls? What about pulling this away from the personal and into the structural?

    You know who I blame for that.
    http://acunningplan.typepad.com/andsheknitstoo

  23. Christopher

    Something that fascinates me about the photo part of the article is that it leads with two women who were declared to “sluts” for reasons completely unconnected to their sexual behavior.

    It would be fascinating for Newsweek to explore that.

    Anyway, here’s where they lost me:

    “Girls, on the other hand, are their biggest fans. A recent NEWSWEEK Poll found that 77 percent of Americans believe that Britney, Paris and Lindsay have too much influence on young girls.”

    I don’t quite see the connection somehow.

    It reminds me a little too much of this dilbert strip.

    It’s almost like, “Parents think that Hilton et al have too much influence on young girls, and polls show it to be true… that they think that.”

  24. jezebella

    I googled Purity Ball, and I’m very, very sorry that I did. I’ve still got the heebie-frackin-jeebies. I don’t recommend it to the faint of heart or easily nauseated. Here’s a lovely sample: “The moment I put my hand in my father’s, I felt like a princess. In those six precious hours, I believe I grew in relationship with my father more than I ever have. I knew it was my night, and I treasured every minute of it,’ said eleven-year-old Anna Tullis of our Father Daughter Purity Ball.” Does daddy not pay attention to her unless she dresses like a beauty queen? It’s a sick sad world.

    Eleven? She’s ELEVEN and she’s promising her virginity to her daddy? I mean, uh, promising daddy she’ll be a virgin until he gives away his chattel property to another man, who will then be entitled to fuck her whenever he pleases, especially in Maryland?

    The first link that comes up on a Google search includes a picture of a very young girl in a wedding dress and veil. Also, of course, the fathers are calling themselves the “high priests in the home.”

  25. CM

    kate said: The article points up that young women today have choices, more choices than any women in our western history.

    This may be true, but the article doesn’t really seem to be pointing that up. Instead, it’s just reiterating that women have only one choice: be modest, or be a slut. With some good old-fashioned mother shaming along the way.

  26. thebewilderness

    I think these articles are designed to support the premis that it is women who do these things to women and so they must like it. So don’t blame the patriarchy.
    The same argument they use for FGM. The women do it to their daughters so there is no reason to blame the patriarchy.
    Women are meaner than men when other women don’t conform to patriarchal dictates. So don’t blame the patriarchy.
    Women enjoy attention so they must want to be objectified. So don’t blame the patriarchy.
    I do, I do blame the patriarchy every time they print one of these phony bait and switch everybody thinks it so it must be true propaganda pieces.

  27. octopod

    Hairy vagina? Wow, I don’t think I’d be able to listen to that without cringing, either. Sounds intensely uncomfortable. Hellooo, rug-burn.

    And yeah, I like how all the onus is put on the mothers here, too. Like fathers never have any influence on how their daughters perceive important things in the relationship between the sexes? Yeah.

    But still, this article is better than I expected, just by the fact that it’s considering the reasons why children do things. Like, as if they think, or something. I’m setting the bar pretty low here, but at least they’re making it. I wish they’d gone a little more into the notion of the pornification of America, maybe looked into a few (gasp!) books on the subjects they were covering, but what can you expect? It’s Newsweek. Not too bad for Newsweek, really, considering that they aren’t exactly a bastion of reputable journalism and well-considered cultural criticism.

    The al-Sadr cover was, unfortunately, hilarious. Every time I looked at it, I heard someone in my head intoning ominously “Don Gio-VA-nni!” But the Pope’s creepy even when he’s not photographed so as to be creepy, so it seems fair really.

  28. Spit The Dummy

    Kate says:

    “You know, I said the article was an improvement. I didn’t say that it is the highlight of latest feminist thought, its just a vast improvement for MSM, which frankly, usually cannot be bothered to look at the lives and/or progress of women at all in any sort of way beyond sex lives/social damage.”

    True, you did say that, and that’s a perfectly valid point of view to hold, even though I disagree with it. You’re appreciating the gains the main stream media have main since the really bad old days, while I’m seething at how far they still have to go. The fact that the main stream media is still such a tool of the patriarchy is so appallingly frustrating, isn’t it, and I personally don’t think we should let the little fact that it’s attempting to sugar-coat it’s sexism prevent us from blaming it long and hard every time it offers up this sort of tepid, mealy-mouthed crap.

    I love I Blame The Patriarchy because it’s a place I feel comfortable bellyaching about just how shitty this situation is.

    Kate says:

    The quote, ““Many conservative thinkers view our sex-drenched culture as dangerous; liberals are more prone to wave off fears about the chastity of our daughters as reactionary.” was a hook, contrived to pull the reader in with the question, “This is what people think, is it true?”

    and I believe they proved their point, that probably it isn’t.”

    It’s interesting that we can read the same article and react to it in completely different ways, don’t you think? What you see as a hook I saw as a classic journalistic ploy of setting off the alarm bells over an issue in people’s minds (your daughter’s are all in danger of becoming disgusting slutty pole dancers!) and then pretending to calm them down with pseudo-historical analysis that shows how empowered women are and that they really aren’t in danger of becoming dsigusting slutty pole dancers if only the parents and the girls Do The Right Thing. Or in other words, they are Blaming The Slutty Women.

    “Expecting any kind of feminist analysis of The Patriarchy and its inherent oppressions, isn’t the kind of writing I’d expect from any writing outlet that depends on the mainstream public for its survival.”

    I guess it’s just me but this is what I see as the gaping maw of hypocrisy in our society. Witness this article: we are supposed to hold our young girls to a superior model of behaviour so that they are a credit to us and our society, but we have no right to expect other segments of our society to show similar standards of integrity towards ALL of its citizens? I have a problem with this sort of one-way obligation set-up where I have to meet all the obligations but nobody owes me a damn thing. Where I’m not even considered enough of a part of the mainstream public that the media need concern itself about my needs when framing its articles. Bah!

  29. Orange

    I love this thread. Yes, where are the paparazzi’s pantsless photos of Brad Pitt? And for a first-time blamer, this Spit the Dummy seems spot-on.

    As for the “hairy vagina” concept—when my son was 5 and he backed into me in the shower one day, he recoiled from being poked by hair. He exclaimed, “Mom! I hate the hair on your ha-ji-niss. It makes me throw up.” To this day, I don’t know where that came from—never heard anything like it before or since. It did provide a good laugh for the grown-ups, though, the “hairy ha-ji-niss.” (If he had a sister, I suppose he’d have learned the word “vulva.”)

  30. mearl

    If and when I ever meet the pope, I will be sure to call him “Your Ha-Ji-Niss!”

  31. mearl

    P.P.S. I also wanted to say, as I do actually make note of my spelling and grammar mistakes, that I am aware there is no “n” at the end of the word condom. My apologies for making Twisty & Co. cringe in horror at the atrocity of my lazy editing habits, in this thread as in previous ones.

  32. Spit The Dummy

    Orange says:

    “I love this thread. Yes, where are the paparazzi’s pantsless photos of Brad Pitt? And for a first-time blamer, this Spit the Dummy seems spot-on.”

    Thanks, Orange – and to everybody who said such nice things about my posts on this thread. I’ve been an avid reader of Twisty’s blog for a while now and hopefully I’ve learned something from you master blamers. Reading was sublime but posting fucking rocks! I only wish I’d mustered the nerve to do it earlier.

  33. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    The whole purity ball thing totally skeeves me out. A healthy adolescence is all about readying one’s bad self for leaving the nest, not singing some sick, stunted rendition of “My Whatever Belongs to Daddy”. Regardless of gender, it’s a good thing to be on one’s own at some time during young adulthood.

  34. Roov

    I heartily agree with the irritation at people who don’t know the difference between ‘vulva’ and ‘vagina.’ I would also like to express annoyance with people who mispronounce ‘clitoris,’ which happens all the time, including in a safe sex workshop in college. Check your dictionary, please!

    I think people are afraid to actually know anything about women’s scary genitals, because that’s totally sick and gross and stuff, and a sign that you’re a weirdo pervert and/or radical feminist.
    As a complementary blameworthy angle, I guess they also can’t really be bothered to use correct terminology, because even if it weren’t sick and gross and stuff, it’s not as if it’s in any way important.

    Grrr.

  35. mearl

    Googled “Purity Ball.” Ahhhhh! Ahhhhhh! Scary! Scaaaarrryyyyyy!

  36. Jezebella

    mearl, you were warned! Told ya!

  37. roamaround

    Hey, Spit the Dummy, also appreciating your words from whereever (your name links me to a bunch of question marks for some reason). You replied to kate:

    “You’re appreciating the gains the main stream media have main since the really bad old days, while I’m seething at how far they still have to go. The fact that the main stream media is still such a tool of the patriarchy is so appallingly frustrating, isn’t it, and I personally don’t think we should let the little fact that it’s attempting to sugar-coat it’s sexism prevent us from blaming it long and hard every time it offers up this sort of tepid, mealy-mouthed crap.”

    This reminds me of the reform versus revolution debates I’ve engaged in on the far left. Personally I think reform is good. So far, I haven’t been burned at the stake or been forced to go around with an A on my clothes which is progress. I can also drive, vote and own property which many women even today can’t do. Reform improves lives and is nothing to sneeze at. But is it enough? No, I agree. This mealy-mouthed crap can and should get called out. Long live the revolution.

  38. Spit The Dummy

    roamaround says:

    “Hey, Spit the Dummy, also appreciating your words from whereever (your name links me to a bunch of question marks for some reason).”

    Sorry about that! The answer to the challenge accidentally found its way into the website box and so the link goes nowhere. Hopefully this current post will fix it, if not – HELP!

    roamaround says:

    “This reminds me of the reform versus revolution debates I’ve engaged in on the far left.

    Yeah, I agree that this whole issue of reform v. revolution is a thorny one at times. I find to my surprise that I’m getting more radical as I get older, not less. Sometimes I think it might be of more political or practical long or short term value to soft-pedal my radical feminism opinions somewhat but what I love about this forum is the chance to ‘spit the dummy’ over any old thing that’s been bugging me, even if the main stream would consider it ‘minor’. There’s not many places I’ve found to do that, so I value IBTP even more now that I’ve crossed the posting barrier. Enjoying your words, too, roamaround.

    And that Purity Ball thing? Gross.

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