Sunday, January 15, 2012

The internet is a sad place, take 2,001

Tracy Clark-Flory at Salon writes about what she calls "Slut-shaming 2.0," web sites that exist for the sole purpose of identifying and shaming (mostly) women for their sexual behavior:
The content is submitted by scorned exes, former friends and total strangers. A typical post calls out a woman, using her full name and at least one photo, for either having too much sex or for being unattractive. A recent post headlined, “[Redacted] Should Think About Her Decisions In Life,” featured a semi-nude photo of the woman in question, along with this user-submitted gem:
This B*tch right here is [redacted], of Reno. She has been with 7 different guys in the past 2 week and I could not tell you what her total number is. She constantly brags about how drunk she gets a parties and how she sleeps with all these hot guys.
It goes on, but you get the idea. 
Some posts name and shame women for allegedly being escorts – or, in the site’s charming vernacular, “porta potties.” Usually, Nik Richie, who runs the site, weighs in with a one-liner pointing out a highly specific physical imperfection — like, “muscular back thighs,” “sperm eyebrows” or “wrinkles in her wrists.” He has zero tolerance for knobby knees, round cheeks or – the horror! — thighs that touch.
She concludes "These are the new slut-shamers of the Internet. What’s most remarkable is that they manage to be both prudish and NSFW, all at once."

I suppose it's remarkable, if the hypocrisy of American prudishness is remarkable. But that hypocrisy is the very thing that makes slut-shaming possible in the first place. It's kind of like being surprised that the girl who has sex in the first part of a horror film is also the first one to die.

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