When I spoke to Belle about what she wanted her story to be for this project, our conversation had a lot of roots in the societal issue of slut shaming. I have gone and done my own research post-shooting and this is what I have derived to be the most important points on this very dangerous mindset.
One point Belle and I brought up frequently while chatting, is the absurd amount of dickpicks that we both receive online. While these …gestures? may seem playful and harmless to some, it comes from a place of misogyny. Now, I don’t want this whole post to just be buzzwords, that is not my intention, but I know I am right when I say that the people that send random models/girls online their genitals, it comes from a place of wanting power and it is assault, even if it is online. These men want you to feel uncomfortable, they want you to give them a reaction, which is why the best thing you can do is block, I love blocking people.
Now onto the more physically dangerous side to this, I want to talk about ‘A Woman’s Responsibility.’ Women are told to protect themselves from rape, rather than Men being told not to rape. This means if a woman is blackout drunk, the man knows it and proceeds to act upon the woman sexually, it’s rape, not sex. Sex is about pleasure, rape is about power. The idea that it is a Woman’s responsibility to prevent rape herself in itself has good intentions but overall it is a dangerous mindset to have as it leaves the woman open to victim blaming if something does happen that was out of her control.
This brings me to victim blaming. This stems from the ideas of male ownership over women and virginity myths. The idea that regular girls are different to sluts (Hayley G Hoover) is where the issue of respect comes into play with rapists. In their mind, a woman who isn’t monogamous and has a lot of sexual partners doesn’t deserve respect and therefore they do not need permission to violate her. Of course this is bullshit and it sounds awful when broken down like this, that is because it is awful. Misogyny is still rampant! Small remarks and actions make the world of difference to how woman are viewed and treated every day.
The modern day woman seems to entertain the same sexual freedom as a man, sure we see it in the music videos and on our instagram feeds but it is still making men and woman uncomfortable. Majority of rape doesn’t come from a shady masked dude lurking in an alleyway, it comes from ‘normal’ people with these dangerous ideals. 7 out of 10 rapes are committed by someone known to the victim. (RAINN) https://www.rainn.org/statistics/perpetrators-sexual-violence
Although the world for women was looking up there for a while, in recent times I feel there is a backlash against feminism, and for this reason we need to fight back harder against the double standards in our society. Our feminism needs to be intersectional, all inclusive of trans-women and women of colour. It needs to look out for our women with disabilities, mental and physical. We need to look out for each other.