Archive for May, 2011

Jane Fonda, MSNBC, and Sluts

My friend’s American History teacher hates Jane Fonda and repeatedly called her a dumb whore slutbag. He hates her because of the Hanoi Jane controversy. He received an email circulating around about Obama honoring Jane Fonda–which is a lie by the way, and went on an expletive filled tirade about how much of a terrible person she is.

First of all, I had to research it myself and the story is half true. She did say the North Vietnamese’s use of torture wasn’t systemic, and she did call American soldiers war criminals. She visited some prisoners of war and sent messages back to their families. But supposedly she committed treason because she took the messages and handed them to the North Vietnamese or another variation is that she was handed their social security numbers. Totally false.

Anyways, I’m going to relay this information back to my friends. Now they passionately hate Jane Fonda and never miss a chance to call her a dumb whore slutbag. But that doesn’t make much sense. If Jane Fonda is a supposed traitor how does that make her slut?

This is feminism 101: words like slut, whore, and cunt are used to degrade women. If a slut is someone (mostly women) who is sexual promiscuous (no can agree how many sexual partners are too many), then how is being a traitor related to being a slut?

Ed Schultz was suspended from his cable show for a week because he called Laura Ingram a right wing slut. That ad homien attack had nothing to do with her disgusting politics. He just threw that word in there to degrade her, but in the process of doing that degraded women everywhere. Once again, the power of the word slut is reiterated. It’s considered acceptable to use because it puts a women back in her place. Most girls at one time in their life have been called a slut.

It should be a basic concept to understand. Left wing liberals were up in arms because Tea Partiers frequently used racist imagery and language to attack Obama. Most liberals I know expressed they wouldn’t hate Tea Partiers as much if they just criticized Obama for his policies and not his skin color and his supposed foreignness. I heard the phrase “fear mongering republicans” dozens of times while watching MNSBC during the 2008 presidential election. If MNSBC correspondents understand the power of words and how syntax can illicit hateful responses, why can’t they see the same concept applies to right wing women.

Anyways, we still live in a world where women are blamed for their own rapes because they dressed like sluts. A pop star deserves to abuse his girlfriend because she has a supposedly skanky attitude.

These detrimental words aren’t even used like how they are supposed to. Women are called sluts for not sleeping with guys; Women are called bitches even when they are being completely nice. These words just contribute to a violent environment that women are forced to live daily. Worst of all, women use these words negatively against each other. This type of colluding behavior doesn’t make you seem cool or like one of the guys, it makes it harder for other women.

My personal opinion: if you want, use slut or bitch positively and don’t give it anymore more negative power—but only use it for you. You don’t know how other people feel about those words and it may be severely triggering for other women.

Not everyone is completely scarred because they were called a slut or a bitch; but there’s no denying that the lives of women have been altered because of slurs like bitch or cunt. After being called a bitch several times by the officers of my club (I’m the president), I was really hurt and tried even harder not to seem like a bitch. But bitches get shit done.