Ideas

The feminist response to slut shaming

by on December 20, 2017
Idea Summary
 

Writer and Delhi University professor Nivedita Menon on the feminist response to slut shaming.

 

Women find themselves arguing futilely that ‘just because’ I go out to work/smoke/drink/wear unorthodox clothes/enjoy male company—that doesn’t make me a whore.

[…] The feminist response to being called whores or chhinaal should not be to protest fruitlessly, ‘We are not whores!’ but to turn the insult around and ask, ‘What makes you think this is an insult? We refuse the terms of this insult.’

What if all women were to say we are ‘loose’—we are not tightly controlled—and if that makes us whores, then we are all whores. If we are all bad women, then patriarchy had better watch out. Or, as Archana Verma puts it: ‘One day, I will hear hurled at me the words, loose woman, chhinaal, prostitute … And I will turn around and say, “Thank you for the compliment”. That day will come. And it will be a day of feminist celebration.’


Image credit: @thepoojaproject

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