For anyone with a TV, internet access (with it a Facebook and/or Twitter account), or who has ever stood in the check-out lane at a grocery store, the news over the break-up of Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson has unlikely escaped your attention. Even if you’re not following it because, like me, you’re not a voyeur, you at least know the headlines. Honestly, I couldn’t have cared less about the “news” because I do not know either of these people personally, I’ve seen a number of their movies (“Snow White and Huntsman” was awesome, in my opinion, and “Remember Me” still makes me cry if I try to talk about it); however, after reading Nico Lang’s post on HuffPo, I have now taken an interest. Not because I have suddenly developed a twisted fascination with the relationships, break-ups, or sex lives of the people involved, but because I am now aware of and concerned about the public reaction to the story; and quite frankly I am both appalled and disturbed by the vitriol being hurled at Kristen Stewart.
People, many of them young girls and women, are publicly and bitterly flogging her all over the internet. Kristen is being called a “whore,” a “home-wrecking cunt,” and has even received death threats. There’s even Facebook pages, like this one and this, devoted to “slut-shaming” Kristen. There’s so much wrong about the public reaction to this, not the least of which is demented fascination and involvement that these people have with celebrities and their personal lives; but that’s a discussion for another time. Right now I am most worried about the “slut-shaming” taking place. From the flogging Kristen is receiving, to pompous windbags like Rush Limbaugh calling Sandra Fluke a “slut” for wanting access to birth control, to the unsettling reaction to Secretary Clinton’s lack of make-up, our society has a very medieval attitude toward female sexuality that is nothing less than fucked-up.
Through the comments of misogynists like Limbaugh, the obsession over Secretary Clinton’s face, and the public outcry over Kristen’s actions we are teaching young girls some very unnerving lessons. We’re teaching girls that men can do whatever they want whenever they want with little to no adverse reactions because, well, they’re men and it’s just the way men are. Case in point, Ashton cheated on Demi and I barely heard a whimper; Rush has cheated on two of his previous wives, no one says shit. Do you think there is a Facebook page devoted to slut-shaming Rupert Sanders, the man with whom Kristen had an affair? Nope. Not a one. Kristen has about a dozen hate-pages, all of which have people cursing, shaming, and wishing death upon her, but the married man, the one who betrayed his wife and kids, is getting by virtually unscathed by public opinion.
We are reinforcing the antiquated notions that Women and girls are supposed to keep our legs closed until our boyfriend or husband wants use of our lady bits; that we are supposed to dress modestly, never leave the house without a bit of make-up, and act respectably; and never, for the love of all things holy and good in the world, are we to ever make a mistake because if we do the world will rain down upon us a fire-storm of insults, death threats, and stigmatization the likes of which would make the fire-bombing of Dresden look like a back-yard barbecue. We are perpetuating a culture of patriarchy in which women are ostracized from society; our careers ruined and our reputations irrevocably demolished for daring to not be virginal little ladies. We might as well just sew a scarlet letter on Kristen and get it over with.
Fuck that shit.
Personally, I am rallying along side Kristen. Not because I think she’s a stellar actress or because I agree with or condone in any way, shape, or form that she slept with a married man; that was wrong. I feel baldy for the wife and kids whom Sanders betrayed, but beyond that it’s not my place to judge Kristen or Sanders. This is a very private matter and people need to mind their damn business. Kristen is not a whore or a slut, she’s a very young woman who made a mistake. The only people who get to be mad at or name call Kristen, are those people directly affected by the affair. Everyone else needs to shut the fuck up and stop slut-shaming every woman who dares to have sex. For this reason I’ve got Kristen’s back. I am standing up for her and with her because I am sick and fucking tired of the double-standard. I am sick and goddamned tired of women being called whores, sluts, cunts, and trash while society essentially gives men a free pass to use and abuse women as they see fit. This shit has got to stop. Fuck the double-standard, fuck the slut-shaming.