The line between 'slut-shaming' and 'put some clothes on'

(41 Posts)
lifesagas Wed 30-Mar-16 16:40:22

I've been mulling over this for the past few weeks and wonder if I'm in the wrong?.

With Kim Kardashian and the several others over the last few weeks posting naked/nearly naked pictures and then even more as a 'stand against slut-shaming' response to the previous pictures.

I don't post on social media (FB, twitter etc) and I absolutely object to any woman being called a slut because of what she is or isn't wearing.

But I DO think - I don't want to see your tits or vulva. You have a great body and are very beautiful but I don't want to see quite so much of your body.

I do think you're doing a diservice to yourself and other women by posting those pictures. I don't think you're a feminist or making a stand against the patriarchy by doing it - in fact I think the opposite.

My dilemma is this - does that make me just as bad as the 'shamers' ?. I'm still saying that another woman shouldn't be exposing her body publicly in such an extreme way aren't I? Even if I'm not attaching misogynistic words.

MatildaBeetham Wed 30-Mar-16 17:11:26

Interesting question. I guess one way to think it through is to compare to how you'd feel about pictures of men in skimpy briefs. Do you have the same reaction? If not, why do you think that might be?

AgainstTheGlock Wed 30-Mar-16 17:16:31

I rather agree with you, there's nothing empowering about getting your baps out and it doesn't matter how much you say it does.

Like women who claim sex work makes them feel empowered - IMO it just devalues those who have no choice.

And yes, I feel mildly revolted by "men in pants" - could just be an age thing. wink

lifesagas Wed 30-Mar-16 17:37:05

Matilda - I DO feel differently about men in briefs but that's not coming from a 'it's okay for me to view that'. I think when it's men in briefs it's generally a case of an athletic/muscular thing they're showing off which doesn't make me think of sexuality in the way that I see when I look at one of the Kardashians. A bit like when I see Chloe Madeley and think; you don't need to wear such tiny pants but you're showing off the results of hard work and training. It seems different to me but that may make me a hypocrite?. I'd rather not see Chloe in pants or Justin Bieber naked but it seems less sexualised to me. A bit like sculpture or art.

And I also think 'put your clothes on' when I see Lena Dunham naked/near naked in Girls too. She has a very 'normal' (as in; non-stereotypical Hollywood body) and part of me used to think 'great, portraying 'normal' female bodies on screen but after several series I now think ' I don't want or need to see your vulva, what are you trying to express?'.

dreame Wed 30-Mar-16 18:22:51

There's a good discussion about this in Any Questions this week. I can't link easily because on dodgy 3G on phone. It's on Radio 4 and is the second or third question. One of the panellists is the Everyday Sexism founder and her answer is spot on and I think might explain what you seem to be trying to say.

WomanWithAltitude Wed 30-Mar-16 23:59:51

I feel similarly when I see men walking around with no top on in the summer. I don't want to see anyone's chest, thanks! grin

I don't think women should be shamed, but I also don't think that being naked or near naked is remotely empowering. If it was, men would be the ones taking their clothes off in that way. However, women are socialised to believe that their appearance and ability to attract sexual/romantic attention plays a large part in determining their worth, and the behaviour has its roots in that I believe. It's complicated.

houseeveryweekend Thu 31-Mar-16 00:13:12

yeah I think you are being more unfeminist than youd realise. As you are saying you don't equate a male torso with sex every time you see one so are more forgiving of seeing them. You think its about health and strength. Why is that different for a woman? I mean its difficult isn't it. Id be perfectly fine seeing a man walking around topless on a very hot day but id be taken aback if I saw a woman walking topless. Because on some level its ingrained in me that womens bodies are 'sexy'. Even though im not actually sexually attracted to women I view their bodies as sexual property that should be covered. I don't want to view them as such but I just do because that's how I and everyone else has been brought up. When you think about it, it makes no sense at all. Theres nothing more sexy about womens bodies than mens. Its just conditioned in us to believe there is. Its thing you see with small versus large breasts as well. Because I have small breasts I can walk around braless or in incredibly low cut tops and not look like a 'slut'. I have friends with larger chests who if they wore the same things as me would get harassed on the street. Why is it that large breasts need to be covered? I think its l pretty ridiculous. Id love it if women could walk around topless. I totally agree with this free the nipple stuff. I equate it all to the Victorian era when womens legs were sexualised to the point they always had to have them covered. You would think now 'how ridiculous theres nothing inherently sexy about legs they are just useful body parts to walk on, just because they have slightly different shape to mens doesn't make them somehow shameful' I think hopefully in the future it will be the same with breasts, people will wonder what all the fuss was about.

Deathclawswouldrunfrommykids Thu 31-Mar-16 00:52:18

I think that there is a difference between being naked for function and for titillation and I have no issue with nakedness for function.

However the porn styled images posted by KK are her way of seeking validation from a patriarchal society that she is still attractive enough to be in the club. There is nothing feminist about seeking validation based on the belief that women are only relevant whilst they are young and pretty.

VertigoNun Thu 31-Mar-16 01:11:04

I waa told by a man I know that he and another man were judging negatively, a third man for liking on FB a picture of a "scantily clad" woman. I laughed at the pair of them being all outraged.

I thought after about Henry Cavill Superman and his recent picture.
m.facebook.com/henrycavill/photos/a.1008459409174915.1073741828.1001896566497866/1059428557411333/?type=3&source=48
There was not as much debate about it. Would the two men have been outraged if I liked his picture on FB?

oliviaclottedcream Thu 31-Mar-16 09:44:00

I also don't think that being naked or near naked is remotely empowering. If it was, men would be the ones taking their clothes off in that way. They've tried, WomanWithAltitude We have had soft - men - porn magazines, but they all went broke. The primary market turned out to be gay men, (for whom it had a novelty appeal), but women just weren't very keen and didn't buy them.

I believe if there was as-big-a market, men would be dropping their pants left-right and centre.

PalmerViolet Thu 31-Mar-16 10:15:02

I believe if there was as-big-a market, men would be dropping their pants left-right and centre.

There was, and it was gay men. Do you think products are normally sold to a specific demographic and if that demographic fails to purchase them, but another does, then they are withdrawn?

It makes no economic sense.

Until you factor in those men not wanting other men to see them as sex objects of course, then it makes sense in a homophobic sense.

oliviaclottedcream Thu 31-Mar-16 10:19:53

VertigoNun Good points. Of course they wouldn't.

MrsJayy Thu 31-Mar-16 10:22:49

KKW is attention seeking she sees her sexuality and body as her whole being and needs us to look at it i just want to yell put it away love not for any other reason than i dont want to see her arse or any other bits but she makes her living from putting herself out there so she will say she is trying to empower women or something but in reality its just another click on her instagram

RudeElf Thu 31-Mar-16 10:24:42

I don't want to see your tits or vulva. You have a great body and are very beautiful but I don't want to see quite so much of your body

Is this only relevant to women? There are plenty of men i would gladly have hide their whole heads but its actually my issue and shouldnt be projected onto them.

dontcallmecis Thu 31-Mar-16 10:25:16

My reaction to her is probably fuelled by the fact that I dislike her intensly. I resent the fact that I never, ever seek her out, yet she (and other members of her family) seem to be in my face every second day.

She seeks validation but dresses it up as empowerment. I find it all a bit pathetic and vacuous.

The comparison to a man doing the same thing doesn't ring true for me. Men's and women's bodies are viewed very differently. A man's worth is not judged on the basis of his pecs or abs.

Mide7 Thu 31-Mar-16 10:31:01

I haven't quite thought this through fully in my head but it's interesting the rise of fitness stuff on social media. There are men on YouTube and Instagram who have huge followings solely down to how they look with their tops off.

TheSparrowhawk Thu 31-Mar-16 10:31:35

So if a woman shows her body she's doing a disservice to other women?

What if, every week, a man kills a woman? Is he doing a disservice to other men?

MephistophelesApprentice Thu 31-Mar-16 10:32:58

It is slut shaming, just from a different set of moral arguments.

oliviaclottedcream Thu 31-Mar-16 10:33:10

I'm thinking of 1 particular publication which came out around 1990, it was called 'For Women Only', I think that's right?? It didn't sell, not to women anyway. It did however have a novelty appeal for gay men, (which didn't last long). The novelty of a 'mainstream' soft-men-porn publication, available on the top shelf of most newsagents, wore off for gay men, who ultimately preferred the publications that were specifically targeted at them..

There have been other soft-male - porn publications I'm sure...

MrsJayy Thu 31-Mar-16 10:35:30

Thats the thing i have no interest in KK but yet i still see her bits everywhere. I think women in the public domain like Kiim start to panic thinking their popularity is going to fade so pull stunts like thisi remeber when Paris hilton was at her height she did a playboy(i think). I dont think its like that for men women have to be young and hot men can be middle aged and hot

RudeElf Thu 31-Mar-16 10:52:40

I have no interest in conor mcgregor yet i still see him everywhere in his pants. The difference is no-one has sexualised his body or the work he does with it so its ok, no-one says "put it away conor". By continuing to whinge about KK and the like "having their baps out" hmm you are choosing to continue the sexualisation of women's bodies. How about you decide just not to care? Someone is naked or nearly naked- so? The less the world as a whole reacts to it the sooner it stops being an issue. If you want to see less of the human body, stop providing a reaction when you do. No audience= no benefit in putting on the show.

oliviaclottedcream Thu 31-Mar-16 11:08:40

I agree RudeElf. Though not 100%.

Personally I can't watch violence on screen. It makes me physically sick. I'm haunted with nightmares and even get mild panic attacks after seeing it. So I make a point of avoiding Q Tarantino's movies, the Sopranos', The Wire etc... I don't though, wish to see those things banned or censored in any way and I fully accept that those movies/TV series, play an important role in pop' culture. There are all kinds of arguments that they are a force for discussion, debate and serious thought on the subjects and issues they highlight. But I can't bare to see it - so I don't look.

PalmerViolet Thu 31-Mar-16 12:00:44

So if a woman shows her body she's doing a disservice to other women?

What if, every week, a man kills a woman? Is he doing a disservice to other men?

Excellent points, however, I believe we're only allowed to see men as individuals and women as a homogenous group. hmm

BarbarianMum Thu 31-Mar-16 12:04:08

I worried for a long time that feeling their should be boundaries in what people can wearin public was not a feminist stance. But actually, I feel the same about both sexes- I don't want to see your arse/genitals and - at the other extreme - I do want to see your face. I also don't think being near naked in public is particularly desirable unless you are on a beach or at the swimming pool. So I guess I'm an anti-religious prude sad.

JanTheJam Thu 31-Mar-16 12:25:56

(Lurker and some time poster who has name changed recently)

Lots of good points. But I don't understand how you just "stop" thinking that women removing their clothes for patriarchal approval is problematic for feminism. How do you dress it up as good for feminism? Is it just double think? confused

I'm not being sarky. DH was brought up in a deeply religious family and brought up to believe that homosexuality (for eg) was wrong. He no longer thinks this - in a nutshell, who cares who consenting adults love as long as no one gets hurt.

But surely women are hurt by their continued sexualisation? And slebs taking their kit off is part of that IMO.

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