The Symptoms of Sluthood: Before They Lose Their Clothes, They Lose Their Way

In an earlier post, “Deep Inside The Sluts,” we talked about the reasons behind the outrage associated with the Slutwalk and like-minded movements. Now that we’ve seen some statistics, let’s look at the flawed logic behind the reaction. 

In essence, the point of Slutwalkers is a fair one. We should all be able, technically, to walk around naked, or in any state of dress or undress, everywhere, without fear of being seen solely as sexual objects. Trust me; if it could happen, I’d be the first one out there. Maybe then I’d lose the weight.

To that luxury, though, I would add that we should all be able to leave our doors open at night, deposit our million dollar jewelry on the ground in front of the World Cup concession stand while we make a run to the loo, and leave our children alone for a day to sell lemonade on any street corner in Bangkok. But we can’t do those things without significant risk of great loss. It’s not fair that we can’t. But it is reality, and that tide isn’t receding before the sky cracks open and everything is made new.

Public homages to Bettie Page, titillating as they are, won’t change that reality. You heard me: hard as it is to believe, ladies, parading yourselves through public streets as overtly sexual objects while yelling to get the attention of men to tell them that you don’t want to be prejudged as overtly sexual objects won’t cause men to view you less as sexual objects, no matter how big your sign, how naked you are, or how loudly you chant. In fact, it could — possibly — reinforce that inclination in them to view you as a means to an end, although the yelling might indeed deter any other interest they have in you.

So why does this form of protest miss the mark? We live in a fallen world. It wasn’t always this way, but Eden lasted for the blink of an eye, and almost no one lived to tell about it. That’s why today we have so much trouble believing it.

I know it’s disappointing. We want to think the best of ourselves and each other. We’d like to think that our politicians will keep their promises; that our parents will never hurt us; that our spouses will always be faithful; that our neighbors will leave our stuff alone; and that, in general, if we just all agree to try a little harder, the best of humans is yet to come. You know; the Age of Aquarius and all that. Yea, well, newsflash: your stockbrokers, CEO’s, university presidents, attorneys, and these days, many of your grandparents, used to be hippies. Ask them if they remember the last time they checked their horoscope. As it turns out, the Age of Aquarius is experiencing some technical difficulties. Or, in the words of the Secular Prophet, “This brave new world’s done gone bad again.”

Many of us operate under the belief that humanity is prone to basic goodness. This is the mother of all delusions, and we pay for it dearly every day. Six thousand years of human history tells us this plainly. Somebody out there read a history book. We’re just not good. In fact, the best of us are rotten to the core. Show me an Achilles, and I’ll show you his heel. Don’t get me wrong; we were all designed for perfection, prosperity, and eternity. But we chose a different fate. From here, there’s only one way out, and it doesn’t involve exposed garter belts.

History is not a record of benevolent dictators, with a bad apple in the basket on occasion. Instead, human history is chock full of war, treachery, human sacrifice, betrayal, debauchery, mutilation, rape, pillaging, oppression, and torture. The few instances of these things ebbing instead of flowing have been exceptional, localized, and brief. Here in modern America, we are living in such an ebb right now, although I’m not betting on it to continue forever.

Given enough power, all of us would eventually eliminate any and all threats to our comfort or security. Lord Of The Flies, anyone? We are our leaders, with less control. Unto ourselves, that’s the brightest outlook we have as a species.

This is why we have rules, customs, standards, and civilization. Ask anyone who knows me; it rubs me the wrong way, too. And like all good things, including sex, these can be abused, and often are. But they were created for our good, and there isn’t a healthy alternative. Some of them are bad, silly, oppressive, and outdated. But conceptually, they serve a legitimate purpose. They maintain a modicum of order and discourage us, individually and collectively, from following the straightest, most natural path to self-destruction. They give us pause, creating a buffer between our thoughts and our actions. Like locks on doors, they don’t protect against the determined trespasser. But they do sometimes move the trespasser on to lower hanging fruit, and they tend to keep honest men honest. We should all be willing to admit that obvious benefit.

In our last installment, we will talk about why a fallen cosmos makes men such a bad bet around indiscriminate displays of female sexuality; the response of the Slutwalk movement’s subconscious icon to this sad truth; the relationship between thought and action; and the result of ignoring the prudence which the wisest of our ancestors have always recognized as necessary, even when enforced by evil men.


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Categories: Beliefs, Morals, Gender issues

Author:Brian Howell

Very serious about very few things, and infuriatingly casual about everything else. ADD before ADD was cool. Big on relationships; small on stuff. I'm dispositionally a typical artist in the best and the worst of ways. I love debating. I hate fighting. And at the rate I'm growing up, I'll need about 120 years to complete the life most others do in 80. But that's ok; God knows His plans for me. Also at American Parser, my own blog. Google it.

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4 Comments on “The Symptoms of Sluthood: Before They Lose Their Clothes, They Lose Their Way”

  1. James Hill
    February 26, 2013 at 10:08 am #

    The problem critics have in discussing the issue of slutwalk with feminists and activists is that they’re talking about two different things. When you think of rape, you’re probably talking about a man forcing a woman to have sex– most likely with violence. When the slutwalkers talk about rape they mean a whole slew of other behaviours, including people calling girls bad names in videogames or– if you’re Rebecca Watson– having someone ask you out for a cup of coffee.

    For a lot of activists, a rape can occur without either the victim or the rapist knowing. In that light, you can understand why slutwalkers are so shrill about the idea of self protection. Being careful about what you wear, who you socialize with, and how much liquor/drugs you consume and the company you keep when you do it won’t stop the kinds of rapes they’re talking about. Nothing less than a total reengineering of society and the men and women in it will do that.

  2. Anonymous
    February 28, 2013 at 1:48 am #

    I have to say, I missed the whole cup-of-coffee-offer-is-rape thing.

    • James Hill
      February 28, 2013 at 4:13 pm #

      Feminist blogger and skeptic Rebecca Watson was approached by someone while riding an elevator. He asked her back to his hotel room for a cup of coffee. She wrote about this, comparing the experience to sexual assault. It led to a rift in the atheist/skeptic community and the creation of atheism +, which is essential liberalism: the religion

      • February 28, 2013 at 4:16 pm #

        Thanks for the lowdown. Now I’m a believer.

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