Friday, November 13, 2009

Carrie Prejean Masturbating Is A No No

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From the moment Carrie Prejean was catapulted into fame for homophobic remarks, I have ardently wished for the end of her fifteen minutes of fame.  No one should become a household name for preaching hate.  Despite the reason for her fame, defending her has become a necessity because many of the attacks launched at her have been based squarely in sexism.  GLBT rights are not advanced by using another ism to attack her.

Recently it was revealed that TMZ is in possession of a sex tape featuring Prejean.  When one hears the words sex tape, a flurry of images instantly rush to mind.  It would be wrong to shame her for filming a sexual act with a man, but I find it even more problematic that she is being shamed for masturbation.  It seems that she sent a tape of herself to a former boyfriend, who decided  to make the tape public.

That this betrayal of trust is now celebrated, is a gross display.  How many of us have former lovers, that could potentially reveal something embarrassing because at the time of the relationship, we trusted them implicitly?  There has been little to no discussion regarding how he violated her trust for a quick buck. Unlike Carrie,his name remains private.  Too many women have been publicly shamed by ex boyfriends, who have surfaced after they have achieved fame. 

Prejean’s sex tape is a recording of her masturbating.  How is this a violation of her supposed Christian beliefs? Men and women across the globe masturbate and  this is only understood as immoral because the person in question is female.  Women are taught never to touch themselves.  Our bodies socially are understood as belonging to men and therefore when we touch ourselves, it is constructed as a filthy vile act.

It is assumed that men will masturbate from the moment they enter puberty.  Women are encouraged to remain chaste and deny any and all sexual impulses they may feel.   We are told repeatedly that our vaginas are dirty and that it is a filthy act to touch them beyond basic personal care.  In this way, female sexuality is highly disciplined. In a culture in which female sexuality is highly controlled, masturbation can be a radical act. Not only is it a reclamation of sexuality, it is a reclamation of ones physical body.

Carrie Prejean is a woman filled with much negativity and hate, however; the slut shaming of her for masturbation is completely unacceptable.  A man would never be reduced for daring to pleasure himself.  There are many reasons why it is acceptable to be critical of Prejean, however masturbation is not one of them.  Don’t tell me that these people screaming hypocrite, have never engaged in masturbation. 

The right makes its case by obfuscation, shaming and playing upon isms.  If we agree with them on this issue, we are supporting sexism and are no different than the people we seek to criticize.  It is not enough to  have principals when it benefits us.  To have the courage of ones convictions, we must stand up and defend our stated beliefs, even when it means supporting someone who is abhorrent.  It is for this reason, that I have stood up for women like Sarah Palin, though I would fight her beliefs to the end of my days.  Principals only mean something, if we can apply them fairly across the board.  Sexism can never fight the virulent hatred that Prejean preaches, however standing behind ones stated beliefs, displays a consistency and conviction that the right wing fundamentalists have yet to engage in.