Tuesday, August 10, 2010

My Queer Sluthood.

First in case you haven't already read it I recommend reading this piece in Feministing.

Via Twitter Babeland in Seattle I found this article over at Jezebel.

Like a few too many articles at Jezebel I was turned off inside two paragraphs, in particular this portion.

Presumably, queer women who are cool with calling themselves a "slut" base their queer-sluthood on number of partners -– such is the case in Jaclyn Friedman's recent heat-scoring piece "My Sluthood, Myself," in which Friedman assesses her straight-slutting on the same terms she does her casual sex with women -– in her estimation, it all adds up to one big slutty statistic. But I'd argue that when it comes to gauging one's overall sluttiness, volume of sex is secondary to what those partners are packing.

By this point, I am turned off because this seems to be holding onto the binary idea of Queer=Lesbian - Straight=everyone else.

The article itself seems to lose the point in there somewhere but after some fairly judicious rereading I sort of get what the author is trying to say.

I think the overarching point is that if you are queer and are having multple partner "slutty" sex or exhibiting "slutty" behaviour that you are somehow exempt within the queer community from slut shaming.

Unlike the heterosexual slut, representations of queer sluts are understood to be sexy, uncomplicated and explorative (Laurel Canyon). Or just brutally masculine (Shane on the L Word).

No doubt it would be pretty awesome if being a Queer slut on TV equaled the experience of being a queer slut in actual life.

I myself practiced loving exuberant slutdom when I was a youngster. I had no interest in monogamy or even serious dating. When I met someone I wanted to fuck we fucked. Sometimes we fucked often, sometimes not often, there were booty calls and one night stands. There was a lot of fucking.

I myself have no fear of using the word slut in a reclamation type context when it comes to myself.

I was a joyful, safer sex having, cock sucking, pussy eating monster of a slut.

Within my community of queer people who were in fact also of like mind, I was not shamed. Inside the rather tight confines of my tiny microcosm of queer sluts, we celebrated each other. We spent a lot of time going to clinics to get tested together. Sometimes when there was a scare we held hands and cried while waiting for HIV test results.

However, I don't feel like that is entirely representative of Queer culture in general. Particularly for a bisexual woman traveling in lesbian circles.

Within a more strictly lesbian community I myself experienced a lot of shaming in the name of not being as much of a dyke as someone else because I was entirely honest about still loving men. I experienced and watched down low slut shaming, I listened to women talk a lot of shit about so and so because she'd dated this chick and that chick and was easy.

So my experience really does not mesh well with the point that a queer slut is going to experience slut shaming in a different way than a straight slut.

So yeah. The article bugged me.

Moving right along.

I'd like to point you at a quote from Jessica Valenti that speaks to a lot of slut shaming among women-

But outside of the content of Walsh’s argument, there’s something else going on here that I think deserves some attention. Walsh is peddling in a pretty common (and tired) theme among bloggers who don’t really have shit to say – attacking someone who does.

This is not that and I hope it doesn't read as such.

I don't know the author of the Jezebel article. Her (presuming the author is a her here) experience could absolutely be the entirety of what she's saying in the article and that would be pretty fucking awesome.

What I'm saying is that this article does not speak to the kind of shaming I myself have experienced.

This article makes me feel on a gut (this is gut not brain) level is that I have been shunted into the position that I hate, that of "other".

I'd like to quote a bit more from My Sluthood, Myself.

I’m telling you this because juries still think women who even look like they might possibly be sluts are “asking for it.” I’m telling you this because some people still think it’s OK to drive a teenage girl to suicide because she was probably a slut. I’m telling you this because our policymakers would rather girls get sometimes-fatal diseases than be perceived as condoning sluthood. I’m telling you this because it’s important for everyone to understand: Sluthood isn’t a disease, or a wrong path, or a trend that’s ruining our youth. It isn’t just for detached, unemotional women who “fuck like men,” (as if that actually meant something), consequences be damned. It isn’t ever inevitable that sluthood should inspire violence or shame. Sluthood isn’t just a choice we should let women make because women should be free to make even “bad” choices. It’s a choice we should all have access to because it has the potential to be liberating. Healing. Soul-fulfilling. I’m telling you this because sluthood saved me, in a small but life-altering way, and I want it to be available to you if you ever think it could save you, too. Or if you want it for any other reason at all. And because even if you don’t ever want sluthood for yourself, you’re going to be called upon to support a slut. I’m telling you this because when that happens, I want you to say yes.

That's a hefty bit to quote but I feel like it bears repeating over and over again.

My own sluthood probably needs it's own whole fucking entry. I have a lot to say about it and should stop here but, the Jezebel article has done something good.

Sometimes I have a really difficult time stepping into the Grown Up Panties of blogging and pointing out where I have an issue. I'm often afraid that someone will take criticism as stupid personal attacks etc when I know in my heart that is not my point. This is a good exercise in making my voice heard in a way that is hard for me.

So I am thankful that I read that article even if it ruffled my feathers in a way I don't like.

Consider this me practicing engaging with the world outside of you my regulars.

So, to wrap it up because I'm going way long here.

Tomorrow I will start some posts about my own Sluthood. I will also plan out some posts about why I talk about sex so much and the people who helped shaped my beliefs about sex and talking about it. Also some bonus entries about bet a fat lover.

Holy shit right?

So, per usual I love you my homies. Each and every one of you. I love you too Haters.

I also have a couple of MAJOR HUGE announcements coming up but I'm not quite ready yet.

Homo Out.

PS, Totally not apropos to this entry but do any of you have this model of sports bra? Do you have DD or bigger boobies? How did you like it? Champion

1 comment:

Kristie said...

I am continually frustrated by slut-shaming commentary of my women friends, women friends who are by their own admission, sex-positive, even if they choose to be so in monogamous relationships, straight and queer. It saddens me to see how well the patriarchy has done its job--men hardly need to lift a finger to keep women in their place anymore; we are stunningly adept at policing each other, regarding who we fuck (and how much), what we wear, how we look. Woman-on-woman slut-shaming is a breakdown of sisterhood, and I wish some of my sisters, women whom I know to be relatively enlightened in general, could unpack that and see how it hurts all of us.

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