Sunday, June 1, 2014

The female definition of slut

With women, it's always all about alpha access:
As US News & World Report explains, the researchers found that “slut” is an all-purpose insult. But calling someone a “slut” had more to do with perceptions of another woman’s femininity rather than with her sexuality. In fact, less sexually experienced women were actually called sluts more often, according to the research.  Thanks to the class stratification found on the campus, young women perceived other women from their own social group as the “right” kind of feminine.  As Armstrong explains, “Wealthy women are making a distinction between being classy and trashy, whereas women with less money are equating stuck up and exclusive and not nice to being slutty.” As blogger Amanda Hess put it on the blog Double X, employing the slur “was more about policing women’s looks, fashion, and conversational styles.” For example, women from wealthier backgrounds were able to afford the beautifying treatments considered by their peer “classy”: wearing department store makeup, getting their nails done, tanning. Young women who can’t afford these services and presented themselves as feminine in other ways were seen as “trashy.”

Interestingly, young women from a lower class background who were trying to socialize with higher-status groups were more likely to be labeled “sluts,” the study found. Armstrong explained that lower-class women risked being called out and humiliated by the higher-class women for their clothes or behavior, which signaled they weren’t welcome in the group. (And not surprisingly further cemented their reputation for being stuck up.) Also interesting, as Double X reports, is how higher-status women were less concerned with how many men that lower-status women had slept with but whether the men themselves were lower status. Higher-class women, it seems, are highly attuned to the subtleties of status-by-association. Yet higher-class women were also (frustratingly) less concerned with what the lower-class women thought of them.
There is nothing that women find more hateful than lower-status women stealing the men to whom they are attracted. Hence the incessant attacks, and the not-infrequent labeling of women with considerably less sexual experience as "sluts". Among women, the term is more about policing status than behavior.

I was good friends with a beautiful swimsuit model back in the day. Most women HATED her on sight; she was the sort of girl who could just about start a riot by wearing a tanktop. She was from a small town and didn't get around a lot, but that didn't stop women from openly calling her a slut despite knowing nothing about her. Ironically, the control tactic backfired, as she didn't change her behavior, but she did start dressing a lot more provocatively. As she once said: "they're going to call me names anyhow, so why not make sure their boyfriends are all looking at me."

Women are very hard on women, particularly lower-class women. Another girl I knew couldn't stand being around my social circle because she'd never been to college. None of the men cared, (I doubt most of them even realized it), but it seemed that some of the women always found an excuse to remind her of it.

16 comments:

Bob said...

Heh, amused at how this entire piece is focused on women getting at other women.

Usually all the campaigns and all that crap is directed at men "labelling" them. Reminds me of this: (Click the image if text is unreadable): http://www.funnyjunk.com/Feminism+vs+Reality/funny-pictures/4928293/

Retrenched said...

The biggest misogynists are other women, just as the biggest misandrists are other men.

Cecil Henry said...

'Sluts' with no sexual experience.

Just the kind of sluts most men want.

The difference in how the sexes see things is striking.

Yohami said...

"they're going to call me names anyhow, so why not make sure their boyfriends are all looking at me."

Well wasnt she a slut.

Jack said...

“Misogynist: A man who hates women as much as women hate one another.” --H.L. Mencken

Laguna Beach Fogey said...

Women are their own worst enemy.

Doom said...

I am sort of jealous, in a way, at how much vitriol women can spew. Alone they are useless at it, unless whoever allows them that power. But in a group, at least to other women who depend completely on the herd, they are splendidly vicious. Why jealous? It's a beautiful thing. The thing I am not jealous about, is that they can't control it any more than their female target can usually bear it.

If you happen to have some attractiveness to you, and you want to test it? Give some middling woman more attention than the higher status women. Things might end up being thrown, definitely nasty glares. Pure, unadulterated, hatred if you have enough to attract the higher status women too. Actually, that's a trick that can land a ripe, top, fish in your lap. Sometimes.

Conscientia Republicae said...

I want my own personal slut.

Marissa said...

I've always thought clothing, and to a lesser extent hairstyle, was the status marker for women. One can fake the things listed: makeup, nails, and tanning if you have decent skin, can care for your nails and stand to lay outside an hour a day in the summer. But nothing can fake "Abercrombie and Fitch" emblazoned across one's chest. Or not repeating outfits through an entire month. I remember one girl I was acquainted with in high school who kept a calendar of what she wore so she didn't re-wear it for a month. Many guys followed these social cues too. It's probably a Millenial thing.

Dalrock said...

This makes sense when you consider that slut means a woman who is not suitable for marriage. That women in our hookup culture would continue to use the term but try to morph it into an issue of class/ingroup is to be expected. However, eventually it will get back to sexual purity and trustworthyness, or at the very least a willingness to honor marriage vows even when unhaaapy. Children raised by intact families have a built in advantage, and UMC women in general understand the class ramifications kicking their children's father out of the house would have on the class of their children and grandchildren.

One other thought; this reworking of "slut" is precarious at best, and relies on men never calling women on it. If you've ever teased a middle class divorced mother for having street cred now that she is a baby momma, you know what I mean.

Lamont Cranston said...

No, not a Millennial thing. I saw it in High School in the 80's.

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