Beyond Babedom

We're (way) over 40. Deal with it.

The Lady is a Tramp

Here’s the thing – men get vilified in the press for being jerks, just like women do (case in point: Sarah Palin). And their sexual exploits (e.g. Anthony Weiner) are lambasted and ridiculed.  But have you ever heard of a man being labeled loose or cheap or whorish? No; the word for them is. . . lucky.

Oh, yeah. We are tramps. And sluts. And whores. We used to be trollops and loose, but language has gotten so much more colorful in the lifetime of we women over 40, hasn’t it? All of us are guilty, too. It doesn’t matter whether or not you’ve screwed around or simply used birth control. You’re a harlot and dirty and disgusting. Actually, when you hear these insults being bandied about, they’re often thrown at women for whom there has never even been a whiff of sexual impropriety. But the boys (and sometimes even the girls) don’t really care if the label is appropriate; they know that it’s the one insult that really works against women. And, boy, do they use it.

Now, if you’re a man. The worst name for you is “gigolo,” but the more common one is “player.”

Amazing, huh? Even Hillary Clinton has been called the “Sex-retary of State” by you-know-who and she no doubt got far less sex than her husband and most likely none of it outside of the marriage bed. But it doesn’t matter. Because only women are judged (and vilified) through this incredibly puritanical vision of sexuality. And heaven help the woman who actually does enjoy sex. Let’s  get out the branding iron and start marking her! You do remember who had to wear the scarlet letter. . .

It seems whenever someone wants to denigrate a woman, regardless of their reasons, they slip into that comfortable catch-all of crude carnal claptrap. Because it works. Call a woman a tramp and there’s a collective nod from the peanut gallery. The bruhaha over you-know-who’s comments about Sandra Fluke being a slut and a prostitite was actually the exception. Time and time again, commentators and supposed journalists get away with their potty talk about women. Doesn’t  matter if the name-calling has absolutely no basis in fact or even imagination; these guys/gals know it works. And it’s okay with their brethren. Even when it’s actually the guy who is a sleazebag, the slur goes to the woman (e.g. “bimbo eruption” for Bill Clinton’s problems).

Columnist Frank Bruni called it  “one-way wantonness” because it’s only when the “victim pool” contains men (e.g. Brett Ratner’s Oscar-losing sexist and anti-gay rant) that these guys have to answer for their raunchy riposte.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, March 15th, 2012 at 2:20 PM and is filed under Social Issues. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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