Sunday, October 6, 2013

Slut-Shaming Defined

Those of us who criticize and admonish the behaviors of pop singers get quickly labeled as slut-shamers or people who are living in the past. Supposedly, we are the anti-feminists.

But daily we are seeing our pop singers and entertainers in general engage in behavior that society as a whole deems wrong, morally and illegally.

Behaviors that many of us ordinary folk would get locked up for when trying to get away with it.

Miley Cyrus's admission to doing drugs in her gyrating 'We can't stop' video, a singer who has many young and impressionable fans, still gets heralded as a figure of female empowerment and we the stuck-up, slut-shamers who live in the past.

At least when it comes to certain dangerous drugs can we draw the line on how far this 'empowerment' should reach?

'She risks it all by revealing herself, emotionally...and sometimes physically,' is the praise for Miley, and many other pop singers or entertainers, the like of Rihanna, Niki Minaj, etc.

Is acting out 'shockingly' (let's face it, it's not as shocking anymore after many young stars mature and start participating in what I see as the same reckless behavior) and getting semi-nude or fully nude, female empowerment?
Do men take women more seriously for their public nudeness, and the perverts and predators looking for it?

Maybe the definition of empowerment will shed a much critical light, as well as some context.

The definition of empowerment is this, no more or less:
  • give authority to somebody: to give somebody power or authority
  • make more confident or assertive: to give somebody a greater sense of confidence or self-esteem.

  • Was Miley, or Rihanna, or even Britney acting in 'a greater sense of confidence or self-esteem' when they each came out with their sexually-charged images after their American Sweetheart act was over?

    Britney suffered some issues after everything was said and done. It could be argued that Rihanna also suffered some issues.

    Did Miley act in a confident or assertive way, or did she just follow the crowd?

    Could peer pressure have also played a role in Miley Cyrus's decision to do an array of drugs, as it has in many teens and young adults lives? Or was she just so empowered in who she was and as a female who can do anything a guy can do, that she had always wanted to do drugs and be the 'bad girl' and now she's of an age that she can fulfill that fantasy of drug use and bad girl awesomeness?

    I don't think giving in to peer pressure, whether it be by friends or industry colleagues, is being confident and assertive in oneself or identity.

    You could say the same thing for Rihanna. Was showcasing her sexuality her full decision or was it somewhat influenced by those at her record label because it would be more profitable to sell a hyper-sexualized version of femaleness?

    No woman looks like BeyoncĂ© or Rihanna; some men and women agree to this because they exude an out-of-this world sexiness and beauty, but there's a reason for it: do regular women wear the same make-up and clothes (and air-brushing) these stars do?

    All stars are doing is selling an image, which should be enough to look at their actions with skepticism, not insults towards people like me for engaging in 'slut-shaming' or living in the past.

    Is selling sexuality, and not even a good kind of sexuality, female empowerment?

    Or is female empowerment being able to do whatever the f*ck you want without being influenced into doing it and truly being who you are, something a lot of people are afraid to be?

    Was Miley afraid that her pop country act wouldn't sell, essentially being afraid that people wouldn't like her?

    Female empowerment has a myriad of meanings, but it shouldn't replace decency or be mistaken for men-bashing, especially the men who are sometimes behind constructing female images for the masses to ogle at.

    Female empowerment shouldn't be giving men the fantasy they've always wanted: A completely sexually freaky chick who doesn't seem to realize the meaning behind her own crazy antics.

    Is a woman her face and body only?