The following was posted on my Facebook feed yesterday morning by one of my male Facebook “friends.”
For all you ladies getting ready to dress like slutty hoe bags for Halloween then post the pics of yourself on facebook! Remember we have to see you and your children in public, while at your kids soccer game, or at school or at any other function! Have a little respect for your children please!
Slutty hoe bags.
Slutty hoe bags.
Let me say that again, my friends.
Slutty. Hoe. Bags. (And he mis-spelled “hoe”, but I digress.)
This particular Facebook friend is one who brings delightful entertainment with his ignorant political rants as well as his formatting (he puts exclamation points after each sentence! to add excitement! because he has important things to say!). I can’t bring myself to delete him as a friend because his train wreck comments and status updates punctuates my Facebook experience with chuckles and chortles.
But this particular update didn’t bring on the chuckles. It made me fucking groan.
He had accrued a handful of responses to his update (mostly supportive) until I came to the last response by a female friend of his (who I’ll call Feminist #1) — which was this:
Umm I think YOU should “have a little respect” for women, please! What is this? 1903? “Slutty hoe bags”? Really? Just because a woman is confident enough with her body to possibly choose a costume that shows a little more skin on Halloween, doesn’t mean she is sexually promiscuous, nor does it make her a slut, a whore, or a “hoe bag”. Posts like this make a person seem like they have a very negative perception of women.
Of course as I read her response, I nodded my head and mumbled, “Right on.” I then proceeded to “like” her response. I then logged off Facebook and got my ass ready for work.
Toward the end of my work day, I checked Facebook and saw that I was tagged in a post. Please note that the following spelling errors and over-use of exclamation points are strictly those of said Facebook friend.
Male FB Friend:
[Name redacted] You obviously miss read the post or you don’t know who I am! I love and resect women! With that being said act like a woman when you have children that can see your Facebook! Or your child has friends who can see your parents Facebook! The offense you took from the post does have me wondering about your character and Sonja Essen For liking your post! I like a intelligent woman who does need to shop for a man with her boobs or ass! Rather her intelligence, demeanor, and being classy is enough to stop a man and make a stay a life time!
For realz. Dude is gonna judge my character because I like a post that voiced dissent.
Why do I care?
Well I don’t give a shit what he thinks about me, my life or my opinions. I’m just sick and mother fucking tired of this shit. You know — BLATANT SEXISM.
So I respond to male Facebook friend (MFBF):
… because somebody questions your post, doesn’t mean that they have bad character. Far from it. It’s called a difference of opinion. I believe [feminist #1] was saying that a woman should be able to dress up how she wants to on halloween without being labeled a “slutty hoe bag.” I agree that some costumes are distasteful, but that’s my opinion — far be it from me to label other women for what they wear on Halloween or any other day for that fact. But I suppose you can question my character if you want — if that’s what you need to do. Happy Halloween!
In addition — I’m curious to know where myself and Feminist #1 stated that women “need to shop for a man with her boobs and ass!”
This was also my first and last comment. I was busy and checked in occasionally to see how it played out. After a few more back and forth’s, MFBF responded again with this precious little gem.
The very fact your arguing about you doing! You didn’t clearly read my post nor did Sonja! So your type casting my post as a way of thinking and making it seem as if I am a quote on quote “male pig”! You obviously have been abused in some way and I am sorry about that! However, if a woman dresses like a slutty hoe bag and her son or daughter witnesses all of the men making lewd remarks and drooling over said mom! That kid now grows up to understand that a women is to be treated in such way and it is acceptable! My post was to be used as a instrument of how to be a good parent! I certainly will never tolerate my three boys treating women like shit!
I bolded the above statement. And let me just say that shit hit the fan after his beyond ignorant, and frankly dumb-ass comment. Feminist #1 took great issue with the judgement that she had been abused. I mean, the only reason for her disagreement is because she was “abused in some way”?
What a nice way to belittle a woman with an opinion.
In addition, he’s blaming women for their poor treatment. So he’s not holding men responsible for their lewd behavior? It’s the woman’s fault because she “dresses like a slutty hoe bag”? Alrighty then.
What will be definitely will be! I never labeled anyone or a particular group of humans! I used a terminology to educate people! Your tangent only made you look vulnerable and hurt by the comment! Your further argument is only building a case against your intelligence! Leaving you suspect to the viewers of the world! I am happy you do have a opinion! You do know what they say about opinions! They are just like assholes! Everyone has one!
Used a terminology to educate people. So wait. He’s trying to educate me by referring to women as “slutty hoe bags.” Got it. And dude. Enough with the exclamation points.
And yes. There’s more.
I prefer to education my kids a manner of respect and love! Seeing women using a holiday to dress like skanks for attention is not what I want my kids to see at their school or on facebook! People forget the entire world can see your facebook! No matter how much you have your privacy setting set!
I’ll just leave the above quote for you to absorb. Try not to chuckle too much.
So this guy’s views were not particularly shocking. These views pervade our media, our society — our lives.
But the real damaging part is what follows.
A woman responds:
Ok I will give you that but maybe it’s because I was raised to not care what other people’s opinions were of me…I work in a male dominated profession an get called every name in the book but I just don’t care. Words don’t offend me. And I truly believe that women who dress provocatively know what they are getting themselves into, NOT meaning abuse or sexual assault but the name calling…
She continues to say:
Once again, someone calls you a whore or slut…WHO CARES!!! Go shed a tear and get over it! People are so sensitive!!!!
A woman who perpetuates misogyny — who accepts it — is the worst kind of misogyny. THIS is a reason of monolithic proportions why we cannot advance feminism. Because the very people that the feminist movement is trying to help is in fact deflecting it. These women are fearful of anything but the status quo.
Why does she think it’s okay to be called a slut or a whore? These are not just words. These are weapons. And she’s tolerating a slew of misogyny grenades because she believes they’re harmless. Really? She feels perfectly fine being called a whore? I find that very difficult to believe.
Here is another example of a female response:
Oh…my word! What a thread! U are right on target [name redacted]! I enjoy using the term -” dirty ho bag” as loosely as possible. There is even a few songs about it .
Oh! Well okay then!
But MFBF continues to dig deeper. He’s really reaching this time.
Us males are subject to a variety of derogatory mannerisms! such as Douche bag, male whore, male, piece of shit, loser, dork,
You’re KILLING me, MFBF. Seriously. I can’t even BEGIN to tell you how much is wrong with this statement. And I couldn’t help but snort at the words “dork” and “loser”. As if those names are exclusive to men.
In response, another female makes a comment:
Couldn’t one argue that your interpretation of the phrase WHORE whether meant male or female is indeed YOU’RE OWN interpretation? Arguing that the term “male whore” has a less negative connection in society than “female whore” is just dumb!
Oh my god. Oh my god. Oh my god.
This is where Feminist #1 responds again:
All of those terms are not isolated just to this topic, save for maybe “male whore”, but even that does not have nearly as negative connotation to the masses as the female equivalent.
Okay, so this exchange went on for nearly 140 comments. Most comments were extremely frustrating. But as I was searching the internets this morning, I came across this post titled You’re Not A Feminist If You Call Halloween Costumes “Slutty”, by Chloe Angyal of Thought Catalog.
So I leave you with a quote from Angyal’s piece.
Sometimes the arguments against “sexy” costumes are blatantly regressive and puritanical: women and girls are precious flowers who ought to be protected from the roaming eyes and hands of men and boys who just can’t stop themselves from groping and raping. But even when well-intentioned people couch their arguments about sexualization in concern for girls and women, in claims about gender equality, there are some girls and women they straight up hate: “whores,” more respectfully known as sex workers. For these people, these noble defenders of trick-or-treating girls and women, the act of “dressing up like a whore” is an act of degradation. It’s so sexist, they cry, that in our culture, our good innocent (and, it’s implied, white, and middle- or upper middle- class) young ladies feel pressured to dress up as filthy prostitutes! The hypocrisy, the shortsightedness, the ability to preach gender equality while blithely casting around gendered, marginalizing slurs, is breathtaking.
Now go out and rock those fishnets!
- You’re Not A Feminist If You Call Halloween Costumes “Slutty” (thoughtcatalog.com)
- Obligatory Halloween Post On Skimpy Costumes (rawstory.com)