Change the Standards

By Emily Effrece

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I typically use a number of difference sources to get my news. One of my favorites happens to be the Huffington Post. I follow the Huffington Post on Facebook and they’re typically known for covering a wide range of news issues, from politics and foreign affairs to sensational news about celebrities and gossip. I’ve found most of their articles to be intellectually stimulating, often scouring for perceptions that challenge the norm.

However, when I curiously clicked on one of their more recent article posts, I was oddly filled with anger and disappointment. The article was titled “Man Divorces Wife Over Her ‘Excessive And Insatiable Desire’ for Sex.” After seeing a number of posts recently speaking about the role of sex in marriage I thought the article could open up an interesting discussion for the role of sexuality in the life of a woman. But what I found was what could be described as the common “Slut Shaming” of the internet.

As the article points out, we typically see individuals divorcing over the lack of intimacy or sex in a relationship, something known to keep a relationship quite healthy. Men are typically the ones becoming upset when their partner seems to be too tired or simply uninterested in engaging in sexual activities after a long day. This is often viewed to be the woman’s fault, coming up with common excuses such as a headache or fatigue. So, having the tables turned seemed to be out-of-the-ordinary, no doubt making headlines.

My disappointment came when the author began to pity the man, depicting the woman in this circumstance as the “problem” again. The author of the article describes the man with sympathy, portraying him as “sex-fatigued.” Although there is a comical tone in the article, attempting to seemingly “poke fun” at the situation, I couldn’t help but feel a little upset at the different standards society has put in place for men and women.

We live in a society obsessed with sexuality. However, people still seem to expect certain genders to fall into specific roles. Men are prideful in their sexuality and constantly receiving “pats on the back” whenever they “bone” another one. Yet, when a woman shows confidence and enjoyment in her sexuality, society shames them with words like “aggressive, stubborn and autocratic.” Men are pleading for sex while women are “harassing.”

Some of this comes from the man’s court hearing, but if you look around you can see this kind of behavior all over our society. Just a few days ago when Jennifer Lawrence had private pictures of her displayed all over the internet individuals were not looking to indict the man who hacked into her personal computer to steal the pictures, but began to point their fingers at Jennifer Lawrence, claiming that if she did not want her pictures seen she shouldn’t have taken them at all.

To that I say, No. Something is wrong in our society when we are not looking to protect the rights and privacy of a victim of a sexual harassment crime. When our society’s first response is not to track down the man who committed this crime but blame the victim. What kind of message are we sending our children by claiming this woman’s right to privacy is not as important if she acts in a “promiscuous” manner?

I hope that someday our society is able to drop the stereotypes and I believe that if we make a real effort to stop the slut shaming we will have the opportunity to provide a better, more accepting world.

Link to The Huffington Post Article

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One response to “Change the Standards

  1. I see what you’re saying. And there’s a very strong point to be made. I completely understand and sympathize with you on every level.

    I’m proud of every woman who expresses her sexuality and owns it, and isn’t ashamed of asking for what she wants. She should never be made to feel bad for what or who she is. No one ever should.

    I think you should be looking at Huffington Post as a news source more critically, and not just this article. While it was once a news aggregator with integrity run by Arianna Huffington, since it was bought by AOL in 2011 it’s business model changed drastically. AOL’s new ownership has brought a significant decline in it’s content. It is now a business, it runs articles for mass appeal, and it’s market is largely on Facebook.

    Further, I didn’t find this article to be about slut shaming. It’s about abuse, rape, and a potential addiction. Rape is rape. If something is nonconsensual, it doesn’t have moral grounds to happen at all. No one ever deserves to be subject to violent crime. This is true across… everything. Especially gender.

    If someone is forced to engage in sexual activity that they don’t want to participate in, it’s rape. In the case of this marriage, it sounds like that was happening every day. Not to mention the emotional abuse described as well.

    This isn’t slut shaming. She isn’t asking for sex, she’s abusing her husband. Unfortunately, we don’t get her side of the story because she never showed up for court. This woman might very well be a sex addict. Which you can find an apt description for… here.

    It’s interesting that you mention Jennifer Lawerence and the recent theft of her personal property. Maybe it’s because I stopped watching the news on TV, but the first I heard about that was how wrong and disgusting it was, how the media’s coverage was misogynistic and undermining, and how Apple and various celebrity lawyers are doing their best to find the hacker and prosecute. There’s more on that… here.

    We live in Rape Culture. Unfortunately, it’s a thing. I didn’t realize fully until I began identifying with nearly every #YesAllWomen post. Women should never be blamed for their their clothing choices, perpetrators should never gain media sympathy, and the way we talk about violent crime needs to change. For both genders.

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