12 Posts of Christmas: Slut-Shaming as Defence Mechanism.

In the spirit Christmas, I’ve decided to revisit some of my favourite posts of the year in the twelve days leading up to December 25th.

This one’s about the good ol’ slut-shaming most girls experience at some stage in their life and how it is often, at the hands of other women, a defence mechanism. Original post is here.

A good male friend of mine has recently started dating someone new.

When I asked him how it was going, he said fine, blah blah blah, but that one thing she said really offended him. I was intrigued, so I asked him to tell me more. She must have been looking through his Facebook photos, and came across several in which we’re tagged together. She confronted him about it, saying, “Who’s that Scarlett girl, huh? She looks like a bit of a skank.” He proceeded to set her straight and defend my honour.

Upon going through the photos we’re tagged in myself, I have to say she made a fair call! They’re mostly from costume parties where my skank switch is on full throttle.

But, more than that, it is not uncommon for me to be called names like this. I’m not going to deny it, because if SlutWalk taught me anything, it’s that denying you’re a slut means that you’re acknowledging that other women are. What is a slut/skank, anyway?

But I know why she called me that: she’s jealous. Instead of asking nicely who I was and why my friend looked so chummy with me in the photos she saw, she was threatened by our relationship, so in lieu of admitting this, she questioned the relationship by insinuating that he shouldn’t be hanging around with someone (who seemed) so skanky.

I don’t begrudge her for this; I kind of think it’s funny and a bit sad. In this day and age, people are going to have to start accepting that men and women can be platonic friends. This is why I wrote on my online dating profile that if a man wants to date me, they have to be comfortable with the other men in my life. Especially since my new roommate come Saturday is one of my closest (male) friends.

What to you think? Have you ever experienced this kind of jealousy from another woman, manifesting itself as slut-shaming?

Related: Slut-Shaming as Defence Mechanism.

When Girl-Hate Turns Into Obsession.

’Tis the Season…


On the (Rest of the) Net.


Post of the week: Catherine Deveny on body love. [MamaMia]

On sexual harassment and “nightclub feminist success”. [Musings of an Inappropriate Woman]

Atheists are just as bad as rapists… and feminists. [Jezebel]

Lingerie football. What do you think? Personally, I’m not a huge fan of playing sports in underwear, but I don’t have much of a problem with it. [MamaMia]

“The Problem with My Week with Marilyn.” [Jezebel]

All long-term monogamous relationships are a transaction, says Ms. Elouise, so what’s the big problem with “paying your wife for sex”? [Feminaust]

Facebook, girl-hate and “I’m a better feminist than you” tête-à-têtes. [Howling Clementine]

XOJane on the message Breaking Dawn sends to virgins.

The Manic Pixie Dream Girl trope extends to indie films, too. [The Atlantic]

iPhone 4S’ Siri is pro-life, apparently. [Gizmodo]

When hemlines rise, so does bitchiness. [Jezebel]

Stella Young on the disability pension myth. [MamaMia]

Former Wordsmith Laner Sarah Ayoub-Christie tries to reconcile her modern marriage with her traditional Lebanese upbringing. [MamaMia]

“Teaching Good Sex” in school. What a novel idea! [New York Times]

Men in porn:

“The straight male performer must be attractive enough to serve as a prop, but not so attractive that he becomes the object of desire. As [porn publicist, Adella] Curry puts it, ‘No one wants to alienate the male audience’.” [Good]

Image via MamaMia.

When Girl-Hate Turns Into Obsession.

I think a little bit of competition between women is healthy. My default emotion when I meet new people is wariness. I gradually begin to like people as I get to know them.

The same is true of the first impression I make. I’m kinda shy, which comes off as cold and bitchy, and I’m very territorial. No after work drinks with my friendship group til I learn whether you can be trusted. I’m not a likeable person to begin with and, some would argue, at all.

It is those that I’d like to focus on here.

A few weeks ago I had to take one of my co-workers to Human Resources for harassment and bullying. I haven’t gotten along with this person from day one, when she returned from some leave, during which time I’d become employed at our workplace. Never before had my department had such a youthful, outgoing and eclectic bunch of new recruits, so when she returned, I think it was quite a culture shock. She was the alpha female when she left and, not to toot my own horn (but toot toot!), when she came back I was the alpha female.

Within a week she’d been complicit in a major fight between myself and a fellow co-worker/friend, whom I now don’t speak to. Granted, it was no big loss, but I realise now that I should have reported her then and there for bullying.

Two years have passed and it’s been an awkward working environment to say the least, but we’ve both/all (I’m not the only one she’s had a run-in with) managed to deal with it.

After another leave of absence, this person came back to work with what seemed like a vendetta against me. Prior to the few weeks she was away, our working relationship had become somewhat pleasant, surprisingly.

As soon as she saw me, she made some jibe about a co-worker’s party I went to that weekend, followed by some comments to a friend of mine about said co-worker and our (purely platonic, though I do think he’s cute!) relationship.

This was followed by some more bitchy comments to other co-workers about my birthday celebrations, about the way I dress, and about my reputation in the workplace, amongst other things. She even swerved towards me in the carpark!

At this point I took her to H.R., and was told there was nothing they could do because it was all “hearsay”. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’d say the threat of grievous bodily harm with a vehicle is a little more than hearsay!

She’s backed way off since then, but when one drama ends, another begins.

I’ve been struggling with just about everything lately. Work, love life, money, family, friends. You name it. So the last thing I need is people talking shit about me. But hey, I’m Scarlett, and people love to hate me! More on why I think this is a bit later.

My work Christmas party is coming up in less than a week, and if you were a reader of this blog a year ago, you will know that the event is an absolute extravaganza! The theme is heroes and villains and I’m going as Eve, with the aforementioned object of the rumour mill as Adam. (Yeah, I’m probably asking for it with that one, aren’t I?!) Upon hearing about this on the grapevine (some people are more guilty of tending to the vine than others), a female colleague who now works in a different department called me attention seeking.

I’ll pay that: I will be the first to admit that I am an attention seeker. I’m a writer with a blog; attention seeking goes with the territory. And when it comes to costumes, I’ll go all out in an effort to have the baddest ass costume in the joint.

My problem is with the blatant jealousy in these comments.

If you think I’m attention seeking and you want to realign the spotlight back on you, strive for an even more out there costume than mine.

If you think I dress like a slut, how is that any concern of yours? So what if I do? If you wanna dress like a slut, too, go right ahead. I don’t have the monopoly on sluttiness.

If you think I’m “all over” someone, try to peel me away and you yourself can be all over them if that’s what you really want. If it’s not, then why worry?

Honestly, I actually feel sorry for these women who have nothing better to do than bitch about me. Worry about your own lives and less about mine. You must really not have much going on (one of these women is a mother, for crying out loud! You’d think she would have better things to do.) if I’m all you’ve got to talk about. Get a life!

But I believe the reason people, nay women, have such a problem with me is because, as the divine miss Catherine Deveny puts it, “I don’t lay down in the chalk outline drawn for me.” Sure, she was talking about body image, but I think as a woman who refuses to comply with outdated “socially acceptable” norms, it is particularly fitting.

Perhaps people would like me better if I were more agreeable, demure and didn’t voice my opinions. If I strived less for achievement in the areas that are important to me, and more in the areas others’ think are important. If I was less threatening by being more concerned with what people think of me. But then I wouldn’t be me. Oh, sorry, that’s what they want!

Related: Breaking Up is Hard to Do.

Slut-Shaming as a Defence Mechanism.

Elsewhere: [MamaMia] I Love My Body. Catherine Deveny: I’m 80kg & Still Happy.