Can you call a woman a slut and NOT be a misogynist?

March 3, 2012

Last week I was involved, yet again, in a Facebook argument with a male 'friend' about his post. He uploaded a photoshopped photograph of Angelina Jolie with her legs poking out of the dress she wore to the Oscars.

 

 

His added comment went like this:

 

Bwahahaha. What a sluzza!

 

'Sluzza' for those not familiar with the term is another word for 'slut'. Sadly, he received three 'likes' for it. Of course I commented on the post:

 

Ladies and gentlemen! Please put your hands together for ........ Tony* the Misogynist!!! Come on Tony*, surely you could have come up with something more intelligent than calling her a slut! Get out of the 50's

 

Some may say my comment was too assuming, too rude or too brazen. And perhaps it was for 'those' some, but from where I sit it wasn't harsh enough - in fact, I was being very gentle. Why should I mollycoddle him when he clearly has no concern about the effects of his comments? Because I'm a woman, should I just shut up and say nothing? He would certainly agree to that.

 

Well, despite your thoughts about my comment, this is how he responded:

 

"Please, you're big words are hurting my head. Bravo Paulina, you've been managing to give off an air of feminine superiority that is so outdated it stinks of hairy bra-less women of the 70's. My opinion of Angelina Jolie's leg stance is not a forum for post-modern feminist criticism. It's a photoshopped image created for the sole purpose of generating a laugh. You don't like it? You know where the unfriend button is. I think there's a pile of dirty dishes calling you in the kitchen- I've got a 50's misogynist ideal to live up to."

 

All of a sudden, when exposed for being mindless, Tony* begins to show he has a wider vocabulary; he is a teacher, after all, at a boys high school. But his angry response only further pointed to his misogynistic behaviour rather than his sense of humour, which he suggested I lacked since I didn't find the photo funny. The photoshopped photograph, he said, was intended to "generate a laugh". And I agree with him. I have no problem with the photo, I can't say I laughed out loud when I saw it, I think creepy came to mind, but I can see that people would find it humourous.

 

My comment was about him calling her a 'slut' and nothing else. His suggestions about "my air of feminine superiority" has to do with, I assume, some posts I place on my FB page about feminism. Oh dear! What am I thinking? I now realise they probably insult him. Of course he can use the same button he suggested to me if it does. Incidentally, what he intended to be an insult wasn't, I would have been proud to be one of those "hairy bra-less women of the 70's" - I may even be one now. This wasn't the end of our exchange but it continued along the same lines.

 

Ultimately, I think the reason Tony* became so upset was because I called him a misogynist, which he obviously doesn't identify with. Rush Limbaugh just recently branded a woman a "slut" because she wanted insurance coverage for birth control pills - was he trying to be funny too? I doubt it. It appears that Tony* may need to re-think his terminology if he doesn't want to be submerged with 'those' kind of men.

 

Is there ever a time when calling a woman a 'slut' is simply funny and not misogynistic?

 

I don't know any woman who has been called a 'slut' only to find her rolling around the floor in hysterics. In fact, I've never understood that word to ever be used for the purpose of humour. 'Slut' is always, and has always, been used to denigrate a woman, to shun her, to embarrass her, to belittle her but never, ever to make her laugh.

 

So when that word is being used towards a woman, whose pose, may I remind, was photoshopped (although no matter how she is standing would it ever indicate the amount of sexual partners she has, nor should it matter) is called a 'slut', how can anyone find that funny or humourous, or even generate a laugh out of it. It's simply not funny at all.

 

A man who insists on using the word 'slut' can only be deemed as misogynistic because he clearly uses it as an attempt to humiliate her. Perhaps the men that continue to judge women by the amount of sexual partners they have are only jealous that they themselves do not have that many, or perhaps they are simply jealous that a woman, any woman, famous or not, receives more attention than them.

 

Tony*, it looks like your comment about Angelina Jolie warranted, perhaps not a forum but at the very least, a post.

 

*name has been changed.

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