Peak Libfem: How to Slut Shame a Kindergartener


A few years ago, I had a conversation that I will never forget, and I don’t mean that in a good way. Originally, the topic was about giving unsolicited fashion advice, and someone mentioned that they did not approve of certain fashions on young children because they attract unwanted sexual attention from pedophiles. To me, that is a standard parental concern and not something that warrants a smack-down, but apparently, the lib femmesphere begs to differ. More specifically, I made a comment questioning the necessity of children’s fashions mimicking adult fashions, about the pressure at younger and younger ages to perform sexualized feminimity, and I became a target of SJWs (what else is new?) I was accused of slut-shaming five-year-olds for criticizing their clothing choices and victim-blaming child survivors of sexual abuse for talking about any connection between clothing and abuse.

Can I just say how “over it” I am when it comes to improper words, thoughts and being too strong causing people to be victimized in some way? In true narcissist, transactivist fashion, liberals everywhere are shutting down discussions under the guise of protecting minorities on the basis that making offhand comments leads a slippery slope to murder. Or some such thing.

I have a special contempt for the line of thinking that spawned, and is reinforced, by this graphic. This is more or less shorthand for “Don’t talk about things that I don’t agree with!”

If you disagree with gay marriage for whatever reason, you are causing gay people to commit suicide. If you use the wrong pronouns, it is literal violence against transpeople. Well, I certainly am not one to ally with right wingers, but I find it to be absurd and unethical to accuse people of “causing” others to be violent towards themselves or others. Routinely using aggressive rhetoric regarding gays/lesbians, abortion providers, etc. can certainly inflame people to action who were already inclined to express their views violently. If we want to address violence in our communities, analyzing cultural attitudes, looking at support for vulnerable populations like gay youths, and such are critical to creating a better world over time. I’m not saying we should never criticize thoughts or words and see where they might hurt others, but boy, these people take it to a whole new level. Casually expressing the sentiment that abortion is murder, or that gay marriage is against God, etc. does not cause anyone to do anything. Those sentiments may or may not be prejudiced, silly, ignorant, or wrong, but ultimately, violence, harassment, murder, and suicide are choices. They may be coerced, tragic choices in some circumstances, but they are choices nonetheless. People who choose to take their own lives or to commit murder made a choice that they are primarily responsible for. I am responsible for what I say, and that includes making reasonable efforts to respect my audience, but in the end, I can ONLY be responsible for what I say…not how others react to it (as my famous auntie Glo has told me repeatedly, and which I have seen in every self-help book  and therapy setting everywhere).

In other words, specific to this post, I am responsible for adopting sensitive tone and sensitive language when expressing my opinion that it is destructive to young girls to encourage sexualized dressing. However, I am NOT responsible for some twisted person’s decision to see girls in a sexualized way and act on those deviant urges. For lib fems to insinuate that I am even indirectly responsible for pedophiles sexually abusing girls and blaming child victims of sexual abuse by comment on young children’s fashions? Beyond the pale and I am simply not taking it anymore. Go ahead and report me to police if you think I am that much of a threat to anyone. If you aren’t willing to to take that step, then you obviously don’t see me as a real danger and you need to either put your money where your mouth is or stuff it. Thank you.

For the less enlightened readers that happen on this blog, victims are not responsible for the actions of their abusers. It doesn’t matter if you are a Muslima wearing hijab, a prostitute dressed for street walking, an athlete with headphones and yoga pants. It doesn’t matter if you are dressed for BDSM and agreeing to submit to being chained to a bed. It doesn’t matter if you left the door to your apartment or your car unlocked or you didn’t carry your mace. None of that matters. People, mostly men, are responsible for not abusing you. No one is blaming anyone for their abuse here.

With that said, every feminist knows that abuse is a cultural phenomenon as much as it is personal or public health related. Abuse is hidden, excused, and normalized in our language, our attitudes, our behaviors, our social systems, and woven into our social fabric in ways we probably didn’t even think of. This includes how the chosen victim class “chooses” to act, or has been forced/coerced to act. Victim classes adopt a certain posture and way of existing in the world because they are socialized from a young age to do so. It’s not their fault, but it is something that, at least on the surface, they have chosen for themselves and abusers in our culture use that as their leverage…she wanted it. Look at how she acted! Look at how she is dressed! The whole purpose of the prostitute’s “uniform,” the purpose of many if not most practices of BDSM, is to expose yourself to men and to allure yourself to them so they will use you. We are taught that that is what it means to be a woman and there is no other way to be a woman. If you reject these practices, you are just as likely to be a target of violence for refusing to submit and refusing to service men, even symbolically. There is truly no way for a woman to win, which again, only reinforces the truth that the victim is not to blame. Abusers will abuse and will find any excuse to do so. But why must we pretend that common fashions and customs are not influenced or designed by patriarchal forces, and mean nothing to said forces, especially when the contrary is so plainly obvious?

When I criticized sexualized women’s clothing, and in particular, sexualized girls’ clothing, when that concerned mother stated she didn’t like leggings for her child because they were too revealing for her liking, what were we saying? What were we trying to say? We were saying that we recognize how certain clothing choices in our culture serve to reinforce the exploited victim status of women, and how we want girls to know they can reject those choices. We certainly will not be choosing those options FOR our children, knowing what those clothes are really intended for in the cultural sense. If women want to reclaim certain fashion choices, use them for satirical or artistic purposes, or use them however they want, that is their choice to make as adults, and hopefully, it will be an informed choice that challenges patriarchy. Children, however, cannot make those choices and it is our job as the guardians of children to preserve their boundaries and their bodily integrity, and that very much starts with the little things, starting as children, including what clothes our children have available to them to express themselves, to reveal or conceal whatever they please, to send the message that I am discreet entity, a temple with doors, and not something that people, namely men, can just gaze upon and project fantasies onto.  I suppose it was too subtle for my libfem readers and for that, I am now a child rape apologist. Guilty as charged.

Talking about other people’s children is always a touchy topic, but surely I have the right to talk about scientific research? Or my own personal experience? Apparently, I am not. I have brought up a number of times something that is well-known in the social sciences…that girls who are sexually abused very frequently act out sexually as children and even more so as young adults. This includes wearing sexualized clothing, being overly friendly towards male strangers at an age where most girls think boys have “cooties”, having an age-inappropriate interest in, or knowledge of, sex, engaging in pornography or prostitution in some way, etc. It spurs early puberty in many girls (though tends to delay puberty in sexually abused boys) and leads to the development of paraphilias such as sadism and masochism. And anyone with two brain cells, an ounce of common sense, and the ability to read at the high school level can see why. Girls who are sexually abused are taught that love, acceptance, power, control, their lives and their futures revolve around performing and being available for men’s use. This includes wearing clothes that signify sexual availability to men, a willingness to experiment with dangerous or degrading sexual practices (that men rarely are encouraged to engage in), a general lack of willingness to establish boundaries or stipulations not approved by patriarchy or the abuser, etc. This is elementary. This is not new.

You know what is new? The libfem insistence that we sweep this crucial knowledge under the rug. We use the language of the gay/lesbian movement, that we are born this way, that we are who we are, to legitimize these phenomena. If we all have different sexual interests and levels of sex drive, then this obviously includes children having high sex drives and paraphilic sexual interests. This led to the rise of BDSM. pansexuality, and polyamory being recognized in the queerverse as sexual orientations like being gay or lesbian. This is when it became taboo to make connections to early sexual behavior and sexual development to sexual abuse because in doing so, we are shaming the natural drives of young children, we are blaming children when their cultivated openness to exploitation is, well, exploited by predators, and most importantly, I suppose, we are shaming adults who freely made these choices that abused children everywhere are unable to make. By insinuating that certain sexual behaviors are unhealthy and warning signs in young children, we are shaming women that choose prostitution, that choose a sexy wardrobe, that choose to engage in paraphilic sex. We are accused of “slut shaming” girls who enter early puberty, even though clear distinctions are, and always have been made, between early puberty and *precocious puberty,* a recognized medical anomaly that requires treatment and again, tends to be connected with abuse.

This is the hideous result of the pornifying and choice-based commodifying of feminism, and the queerifying of the gay/lesbian movement…a movement where sex has no boundaries, where it is a predator’s playground, and the victims, if they are lucky, can pick their poison. If we ever wanted to give ammunition to the right wing that feminists, gays, and lesbians are depraved sex addicts, this is it.

And who benefits? Predators benefit. Right wingers with conspiracy theories benefit. But forgive me for thinking that feminism is supposed to benefit women, and that the gay/lesbian movement should assist gays and lesbians. Forgive me for expecting social movements to deliver on their promises to the groups they are named after.

 

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8 comments

  1. Saye Bennett · June 23

    I totally agree that there is, in fact, a very alarming tendency now for many people to assume that any disagreement (or even just questioning or critically thinking) about certain topics-du-jour is automatically “hate speech” or “bullying” and therefore must be silenced by (ironically!!) “bullying” the person who dared to question. Shutting down free speech is scary on many levels, and it is happening at an ever-increasing & alarming rate.

    • joannadeadwinter · June 23

      What’s especially pitiful is when a feminist raises concerns about the safety of our women/girls at the hands of (mostly) men and she is the one that gets the wrath of SJWs. Feminism is about the rights, opportunity and safety for women and girls, and as a movement by women, for women, it will ultimately be up to us to make those changes happen. I raise concerns, provide an analysis and suggest a solution and I become a target, because my thoughts are victim-blaming, shaming, or whatever middle school taunt is popular in “safe spaces” these days. Apparently, lib fems think that if they whine loud enough and act indignant enough, men will just roll over and give us what we want…like we live in a damn sitcom or something. The idea that women are adults and can, and should, take some responsibility for protecting themselves and other women, making sacrifices, taking stands, making some kind of actual change, seems to be highly unpopular these days. They seem to think that they can continue to have sex with men, ingratiate themselves with men, cater to their demands, and benefit from their male privilege by partnering with them…and somehow, men are going to get the message and things are gonna change. Come on, this is the same cache of people that criticize well-known, highly respected advocate organizations like RAINN for giving victims information and means to protect themselves, because giving victims an opportunity to take charge and feel safe is totally the same as blaming them for their assault. We apparently are supposed to leave them vulnerable and apparently, throwing a pity party (with trigger warnings) after the assault happens constitutes “supporting” victims. If saying I don’t want my child adopting mannerisms culturally coded for adult, illegal, and exploitative activities (gang banging, prostitution) makes me a victim blamer, then fuck, so be it. My ideas are working for me, now when your ideas start working for you, then we can talk.

      A little off topic, but…I wonder what would happen if women en masse started acting like men and stockpiling assault weapons and learned how to use them to defend themselves. See how fast things fucking change. Ring-wingers are no friends to women, but if I took a handgun course so I could defend myself against a stalker, chances are, the person teaching me would be a conservative “gun-toter,” possibly a man himself, who actually knows the danger men pose to women and support women being able to protect themselves. Liberals will just stand around like dopes and start whining. It’s sad.

      • Saye Bennett · June 23

        It seems the huge distinction between self-responsibility and victim blaming is often confused. Of course, nobody ever deserves to be attacked, raped, etc….EVER. But as I wrote about in my piece about my would-be attacker who I was lucky enough to escape from, every shred of intuition I had was screaming at me to go back home, to cross the street, etc., but I shoved all of those feelings down and continued walking toward a man on a sidewalk who I was instinctively afraid of, because that’s the kind of thing that women are too often expected to do (to ignore our intuition, to avoid possibly offending someone, to “be nice”, etc.). Of course, I did not deserve to be attacked, but after I got away (thank goodness!) and did some serious self-reflection and reading, I realized that I am responsible for controlling whatever factors I can regarding my own safety. We can’t control everything, but we can control listening to our intuition and getting away ASAP if a person or situation feels dangerous. That in no way “blames” anybody who cannot get away. IMHO, it only makes sense for women to do whatever we can to empower ourselves.

      • joannadeadwinter · June 23

        Exactly! It’s no different, in my opinion, from locking your car, wearing a money belt, or not wearing flashy jewelry or certain colors/clothes in certain neighborhoods. If I am wearing Crip colors and am about to walk into Blood territory, I would hope someone would tell me so I could protect myself.

      • Saye Bennett · June 23

        Ditto, a million times!

  2. k.jane · June 30

    You are right. While I am pro-choice and support same-sex marriage, people disagreeing with me isn’t going to make me suicidal. If it did, I would seek help. Honestly, I’ve been an agnostic all my life so arguments appealing to God or other higher powers don’t really phase me.

    I think that liberals and transactivists spewing the “questioning me will lead to murder and suicides” is so wrong for so many reasons. First off all, it’s whinny as hell. Second of all, constantly saying that, for example people who oppose same-sex marriage will cause young people to commit suicide may actually encourage stupid children who don’t know better to try and martyr themselves. What ever happened to the idea of using facts, logic, and reason to win an argument? Instead it’s a weird form of thought policing where your comment will somehow lead to murder and suicide.

    I have also noticed a weird trend in liberalism where criticizing hyper-sexuality in the media and in clothes for girl children automatically means you’re a right-wing prude. Personally, I think girl children should not have to wear sexualized clothing that mimics adult styles and should have functional clothing that they can run around and play in. (With some of these outfits, it’s like the parents are grooming their daughter to be a sex object. I’ve seen heels on female toddlers.)

    • joannadeadwinter · June 30

      Boom! Exactly. Whether we like to admit it or not, clothes communicate with the outside world crucial details about who we are. If we are being seen by others, then nothing about us is really just for us but also for the public to consume. I get amused by people that say that they don’t dress for anyone else, but to express themselves. Well, express themselves to whom? We don’t need to express ourselves to ourselves, we express ourselves to others, to the public. If something is really “just for you,” then you would do it in private. So what kind of message is being sent when mothers dress their daughters in adult, hypersexualized clothing? is that really a free choice made by the toddler, and if it is, is that really a good thing that should be encouraged?

      As for being a right-wing prude, I am so past that. If you’re a right wing prude, then I am a Taliban Puritan.

      “What ever happened to the idea of using facts, logic, and reason to win an argument? Instead it’s a weird form of thought policing where your comment will somehow lead to murder and suicide.”

      I have been asking myself the same question for years. It is borderline tragic when I, a liberal, feel safer and freer to express my ideas on radical conservative or extreme right wing Catholic sites than I do on liberal sights, religious or otherwise. There’s something wrong there. No one we are accused constantly of being communist/fascist.

      • K.Jane · July 8

        I haven’t really felt free to express my ideas to far-right conservatives but good for you if you have. Moderate conservatives and other people in the middle, yes. Radical feminists, yes. Mainstream feminists and many liberals, hell no.

        Though with radical feminism, it’s kind of sad that suggesting that maybe femininity and dressing a little girl up in hyper-sexualized clothing is bad for girls/women is the “radical” position nowadays. With liberals and mainstream feminists, linking to actual scientific studies showing that high heels cause tendon damage and that makeup isn’t as safe as you think will result in accusations of “slut-shamming” and women thinking that you are attacking them personally. Well, it’s not about the individual and since it’s the internet I haven’t seen most of these people so I don’t even know what they look like or how they dress either. The reality is that you get in trouble for not being feminine and no one is being oppressed for being feminine. Some jobs require that women wear makeup and heels and not wearing makeup is considered a sign of psychological dysfunction in women. For some mysterious reason, this does not apply to men.

        Even so, we aren’t as badly punished for not obeying male rules as women in other countries, so we might as well not follow them.

        And yes, you are right that self-expression means expressing yourself to other people unless you’re staying indoors.

        (Also, slut-shamming as a concept doesn’t make sense to me. Plus, I’ve seen mainstream feminists and liberals yell “slut-shamming” in cases where a rape victim was blamed for her rape. It’s like, you guys do realize that you just called a rape victim a slut, right?)

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