Girls Aren’t Sluts

This morning we’re all waking up to the news about the shootings and rampage in Isla Vista. Parents sent their kids to college and seven won’t make it home. Currently the shooter’s YouTube page is active and it plays like a bad movie about a rich, disaffected youth who doesn’t make it through puberty with grace.

His videos are about how he’s been tortured with his virginity (not even a kiss) for the past eight years, his loneliness and how girls are sluts who “give it” to everyone but him. I’m quite certain he’s not the only 22 year old virgin who is frustrated but the venom is problematic.

Can we talk to our sons about the fact that girls don’t owe them sex? That there will many virgins both boys and girls, that some of them will be sexually frustrated and that’s normal. Can we normalize masturbation so that boys and girls can be a little less frustrated? I think we do a good job of telling our daughters they don’t owe anyone sex but we fail at telling them that they’re good people after they’ve had sex.

The notion of the mass shooting is not a common situation but the way we talk to boys about slutty girls who give it up to everyone but them is disturbingly normal. When we went to war against Vietnam we called them gooks. It’s easy to kill a gook but not so easy to kill a man, woman or child. Niggers were bought and sold, they were not people, using that term dehumanized them enough for America to treat them as chattel. Two generations before me my family died at the hands of Nazis. No Great Grandparents on that side, it’s easy to exterminate a kike but the notion of putting a human in an oven would be revolting.

So when our girls are sluts it’s easy to hurt them. Not everyone will run them over with cars or shoot them. People won’t necessarily kill them for being a slut but they do have permission to demean them, touch them, demote them, hit them, exploit them and abuse them. When we accept that women (and we do this to each other) can be called a slut we take away a piece of their humanity, we strip them of opportunities and we set them up as targets.

The shootings at UCSB will torture hundreds, maybe thousands of people for years to come. Elliot Rodger’s videos are disturbing to watch and his final video (which appears to be removed) talks about killing blonde sorority sluts. Again, they’re easier to kill than young women, because young women are human and deserving of proper treatment.

I don’t imagine that we will learn a lot from this shooting. There will be talk about mental illness and gun rights. There might be murmurings about watching for depression and isolation but the talk that I’d really like to have is this one. The one where we talk about keeping women human.

Facebook Comments

  • Bev Morse

    tough language, jess. important to be heard. sometimes shock value is what it takes. this is a nightmare, as you said, for hundreds of people – but the language substitute for human beings is loud and clear to us all.

  • Amy Sherman

    I cringe when women are called sluts, especially by other women. The double standard is mind-numbing. Who are all these “studs” going to hook up with if it weren’t for “sluts.” You are spot on how names and words can dehumanize a victim. And this really struck home…”Can we talk to our sons about the fact that girls don’t owe them sex?”

    Thank you for opening a dialogue that needs to be had and needs to rise above the cliches about mental health and guns, that are important, but are becoming weaker every time another tragedy of this kind unfolds and nothing changes. There is much work to be done.

  • http://inpursuitofhappiness.net/blog Britt Reints

    This is a message that needs to be repeated over and over again. This dehumanization is the definition of rape culture.

  • Suebob

    Thanks for saying it, Jessica.

  • http://chibijeebs.com/ Chibi Jeebs

    “Can we talk to our sons about the fact that girls don’t owe them sex?”

    For the love of all that’s holy, YES. We are not objects. We are not play things. We are not possessions. We owe no one anything.

  • http://thesocialjoint.com/ Lucretia M Pruitt

    I can’t add a thing to this. Well said.

  • Graham b

    I can’t help but read these comments and think what the hell is the world coming too? Anyone who takes anything that this blatantly deranged, narsasistic, self absorbed, mentally unstable idiot says is bluntly put a fool. Most normal properly adjusted kids don’t think girls or woman owe them anything. To say that this is the norm or the prevelant thought going through most young boys or men’s minds is repulsive. What has this world come to that people use individuals as sick and twisted as this to try and make a point. Teach your kids some morals for gods sake and guess what, you might find that the problem you perceive sorts itself out……..

    • mindy

      Graham, she has a very valid point – and as a female in my mid-50s with daughters in college and high school, I assure you that his attitude is not all that unusual. Of course he was all that you say – blatantly deranged, narcissistic, unstable. Obviously, most boys and men do not take these societal attitudes to such a ridiculous and tragic extreme. She is not saying that his behavior is the norm – maybe you should read the piece again with an open mind. She said that objectification, from which the slut-name-calling derives, leads to this mentality, this cultural attitude, which an unstable person might just take to the extreme. I know of very few women who have not experienced this attitude, to one degree or another.

      The percentage of women who reach adulthood without having encountered some level of sexual abuse or assault is astoundingly low, despite the fact that many such attacks go unreported. I find it refreshing that you believe men don’t think this way, but I fear you are quite naive. From very strict, patriarchal religious families, in which girls are frequently abused by older male relatives, to college date rape (mostly kids from families who taught their kids “some morals, for god’s sake” but forgot that alcohol erases those messages), to men in power positions of employment, to idiots who believe we are all mindless playthings, women have long been at the mercy of men who take advantage. Only in the last few years have we begun to feel the kind of solidarity that allows for more and more women and girls to speak out and hold men accountable for their behavior. My girls are both strong young women, and I sincerely hope that the men they encounter in their lives will respect them for the terrific HUMAN BEINGS that they are.

  • My Inner Chick

    The thing is, nothing will change…
    until we realize that ALL women deserve to be respected, cherished, and valued
    (NO MATTER what they happen to be wearing) or these horrid things will continue happening.
    Parents must have deep conversations w/ their daughters & sons at a young age.
    ZERO tolerance. NO MORE excuses. I’ve had it.