Thursday, June 05, 2014

I Can’t Be a Slut, I Have a Gold Card!

Where are the feminists when you need them?
When I was a kid, you couldn’t swing a dead cat without hitting a dyed in the wool feminist.  They wore their empowerment, their sexual liberation, like a medal of honor.  And they demanded that women stand together in their hard fight for equality.  

Well turn back the clocks ladies, because the young women of America are eating their own and they are doing it in a nasty way. 

A recent study out of the University of Michigan has examined the act known as “slut shaming” and has found that rich girls are using the label of "slut" to separate themselves from those girls who come from lower incomes.

According to the study as reported on

Researchers […] studied a group of 53 women who lived on the same college dorm floor in the 2004-2005 academic year and followed them for about five years for the study published in the June issue of Social Psychology Quarterly.
What the researchers found is that class warfare, expressed in terms of sexuality, is alive and well. Rich girls, who have more hookups than their less well-to-do female classmates, believe their own sexual escapades are "classy." Their poorer classmates who have the same sexual behaviors are "trashy," or "slutty."
That so-called "classiness" gives the more well-to-do young women license to enjoy sexual exploration without the fear of a derogatory label, explains lead researcher Elizabeth A. Armstrong, associate professor of sociology and organizational studies at the University of Michigan.
"We were surprised by how willing (these) women were to throw around the word 'slut,' since it's so clearly damaging," says Armstrong, co-author of "Paying for the Party: How College Maintains Inequality." 
Simply put, the rich girls are actually having more sex but they want you to think they're classy.  So they throw damaging labels like "slut" and "whore" on girls who aren’t as rich as they are in order to feel better about their own sexual escapades.

I’ve written more than once on the damage income inequality does to our country and our society. But I never thought about this cruel and personal way that it affects our young girls. As a parent of two girls, I am both worried and disgusted by the way they could be treated merely because we are middle class.

Feminism, in nearly all its forms, would not condone using sexual slurs as a way to cement a woman’s superior social status over another woman. The way that these girls are bullying those less financially fortunate than themselves hurts both the individuals targeted and the overall cause of equality for women. Women are still paid less than men.  Women are still be bought and sold as sex slaves. And yet the little rich girls would rather bully another young woman than stand with her in solidarity.

Of course, it could be a case of depraved indifference.  The rich girls have it pretty good these days.  Their families are getting richer while everyone else is treading water or getting poorer. They have their designer bags to hold their gold cards while the rest of us are pinching pennies at WalMart.

Or maybe it is just a manifestation of the dark side of human nature. Since the beginning of human civilization, beating up on the poor has been a popular sport for the well-to-do, why should today be any different? 

All I know is, Bella Abzug must be rolling in her grave.