The ‘slag’ double standard

by Rachel Bell on October 16, 2009

Passed this lovely sign outside a restuarant in Old Street:

El Paso – the slag of Shoreditch!!! A bit rough, but you still would… come inside!

Oh the wit. Is a hilarious young man from Nuts magazine working behind the bar in El Paso? We all know girls and women are called slags all the time, both hatefully by males and jokingly by their female friends but please, keep up, lots of women really like sex! If we don’t flaunt that, we’re prudes and if we flaunt it too much, we’re slags, slappers and whores. Men who like sex and have lots of sexual partners are studs, players or Casanovas with an enviable reputation, women are dirty slags who’ve ruined their reputation. This attempt at marketing is wrong on so many levels. Apart from the obvious, it’s hardly Shoreditch; like Yorkie bar, it’s alienating half its potential customers; it’s offensive to men who don’t feel the need to go round sticking their penis in any girl or woman (suggesting men can’t control their sexual desires) and the mix of hatred for women and fucking them can never be amusing when there is a rape crisis going on. Replace ‘slag’ with ‘nigger’ or ‘faggot’. Incitement to racist hatred and homophobic hatred is a crime. Why should incitement to sexist hatred be tolerated? The F-word spotted this way back in May, but hey, I don’t get out as much as I used to.

For further funny and intelligent reading, try He’s a Stud, She’s a Slut, and 49 Other Double Standards Every Woman Should Know by Jessica Valenti. Jessica says:

‘the purpose of the word slut is to control women through shame and humiliation. Women’s bodies are always being vied over for control – whether it’s rape, reproductive rights or male violence against women’

‘why is a woman less of a person, or (my favourite) ‘dirty’, because she has sex? Does a penis have some bizarre dirty-making power that I’m unaware of? Every time I have sex, do I lose some of my moral compass? Sorry Grandma, but I had sex twice this week!’

 ‘the slut stigma isn’t just dangerous to our ‘reputations’ or some weird-ass notion of purity. How many times has a rape been discounted because a woman was deemed a slut? How many times are women called whores while their partners beat them? How often are women’s sexual histories used against them in workplace harassment cases?’

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