Friday, October 16, 2009

The Slut Shaming of Meghan McCain Over A Picture on Twitter

image McCain took the above picture of herself on Wednesday night and posted it on twitter.  It was simply her way of saying that she was having a night in with a good book.  Unfortunately for McCain, she forgot that what may have been comfortable attire to wear in the privacy of her own home, would subject her to slut shaming when publicly exposed. 

"You don't have to pull cheap gags like this to get attention. Leave this to the Paris Hiltons of the world," one of the milder rebukes went. "You knew you were posting a nearly NSFW photo, so don't pretend like you're surprised at people's reaction."

What really is so terrible about this photo.  Even if McCain had decided to post a nude photo of herself on twitter, is it really anyone’s business?   People seem to feel that they have the right to slut shame women to control female bodies.

"Seriously I was just trying to be funny with the book and that I'm a dork staying in," she wrote, later adding, "when I am alone in my apartment, I wear tank tops and sweat pants, I had no idea this makes me a 'slut,' I can't even tell you how hurt I am."

McCain is learning that not even her famous last name can protect her from the disciplining that all women suffer.  If we decide to display our bodies we are called sluts.  If we chose to play to convention and cover ourselves, we are repressed and frigid. 

We certainly have reached the post feminist world haven’t we?  When was the last time you saw the slut shaming of a man to this degree?  Why are her breasts necessarily sexual?  We claim that everything is equal and yet women are continually judged and degraded.  Western misogynists have a tendency to use middle eastern women as proof that sexism is non existent and yet incidents like this continue to happen.  Patriarchal control may differ across culture, but it is alive and well because men continue to exist with undeserved privilege. 

What the hell does her attire have to do with how many sexual partners she has had?  Even if she had slept with one thousand men, why would that be a reason to diminish her?  A woman's value is more than her body and yet patriarchy stubbornly refuses to admit that, because to do so would reduce its ability to oppress women. We continue to need womanism/feminism because this is the only social organization that asserts female agency and rights. As long as one is female in this world, patriarchy will attempt to discipline your actions.  Class and race may mitigate the degree to which sexism effects your life, but there can be no doubt that patriarchy wants all women to subjugate their will.