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Sun Jun 1, 2014, 11:33 PM

I was recently shamed for talking about sex

I responded to a question about intercourse with a discussion of my own perceptions of sex based on my own experiences. Someone who has accused me and other members of this group of "pathologizing male sexuality," being a "prude" and "sex-negative," responded by telling me I had given "way, way, way TMI." I was in a subthread discussing with another woman the issue of PIV sex, and we were exchanging our different views on the subject. (I am for it). This man felt compelled to enter the thread and tell me he wasn't interested in my "sexcapades." I had not asked him to be interested. I was discussing a topic about human sexuality, so naturally my post included a discussion of sex. I spoke in general terms and saw no reason to pretend I did not have or enjoy sex.

I felt his lecture that I had spoken inappropriately about my "sexcapades" was an effort to shame me. I found it ironic that I have so often been accused of not liking sex because of my concerns about objectification of women in the media and violent porn. I have been told I simply can't bear the fact that people are attracted to one another and having sex. That point is of course absurd, as members of this group well know, but to them have a person who has made those very charges turn around and scold me for my "sexcapades" showed me that my entire sexuality is a rhetorical target.

While people often speak of "slut shaming," the fact is women can be shamed for any sexual choice or the perception that our views are linked to our sexual choices. Calling someone a prude, or sex-negative when they have not identified themselves as such, is part of the same process of shaming women for enjoying sex. Advancing feminist positions that certain men dislike means that they may target our sexuality as defective, either excessive or inadequate. Women's sexuality is a subject of attack at all points: when she turns a man down for a date, chooses not to have sex with him, has sex with someone besides him, or challenges him on the idea that misandry is pervasive opens her up to scorn and shaming. The term "slut shaming" is not adequate to describe the phenomenon because we can be simultaneously called prudes and sluts. What is under attack is our womanhood. Expressing ideas or behaving in ways some men don't approve renders us sexually defective, as less than full women.

Add to that other rhetorical practices, using the c word, associating weakness with the vagina through the word "pussy," and the far too common online practice of threatening women with rape. For some men, a woman's purpose is to provide sex. Any deviation from what they see as acceptable behavior for a woman renders her defective, a slut or a prude. In targeting our sexuality, those men who find our feminist ideas so objectionable attack our very womanhood, indeed our personhood. I realize I have been shamed for my sexuality all along, since I was called a prude when I first raised concerns about objectification. This was simply a continuation of that shaming process. Whether a prude or someone who discusses "sexcapades," I was defective. Daring to speak my mind pathologized my sexuality and ruined my value as a woman, as a person.

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Reply I was recently shamed for talking about sex (Original post)
BainsBane Jun 2014 OP
ismnotwasm Jun 2014 #1
Sheldon Cooper Jun 2014 #2
seabeyond Jun 2014 #3
Sheldon Cooper Jun 2014 #5
BainsBane Jun 2014 #6
seabeyond Jun 2014 #7
seabeyond Jun 2014 #4
seabeyond Jun 2014 #8
libodem Jun 2014 #9
BainsBane Jun 2014 #11
Tuesday Afternoon Jun 2014 #10
seabeyond Jun 2014 #12
BainsBane Jun 2014 #13
seabeyond Jun 2014 #14
MadrasT Jun 2014 #15
Flatulo Jun 2014 #16
BainsBane Jun 2014 #17
Flatulo Jun 2014 #18
BainsBane Jun 2014 #19
laundry_queen Jun 2014 #20
BainsBane Jun 2014 #21
nomorenomore08 Jun 2014 #22

Response to BainsBane (Original post)

Mon Jun 2, 2014, 04:42 AM

1. They're losing

Flat up. Losing power, losing any possible way to to make actual sense, losing their superior position in the world. Losing men that want to be associated with them. No wonder they're such whiners.

I can't believe-- well yes I can--someone jumped in and pulled that shit. It reeks of desperation, of misogyny and a sneaky sex/fantasy life that is probably either self-destructive or completely self indulgent.

Why would they care? What possible reason? Unless it was a lame attempt to make you uncomfortable. Instead, they just look like a 15 years old kid who's never had sex education.


Meh. I've got to go back to sleep-- I work tomorrow, but idiots abound as usual I see.

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Response to BainsBane (Original post)

Mon Jun 2, 2014, 10:19 AM

2. Would you mind sending me a link to the thread?

I like to know who is doing this sort of thing. Thanks.

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Response to Sheldon Cooper (Reply #2)

Mon Jun 2, 2014, 10:24 AM

3. it is all about the monkeys....

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #3)

Mon Jun 2, 2014, 10:29 AM

5. I don't think I saw that and if I'm guessing right I have them on ignore anyway.

A link would still be appreciated.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #3)

Mon Jun 2, 2014, 10:31 AM

6. LOL

No, Sea. We are great apes.

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #6)

Mon Jun 2, 2014, 10:32 AM

7. and act like it. woman. dont you know those monkeys/apes sex shame the female to feel like a male.

oh.... something

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Response to BainsBane (Original post)

Mon Jun 2, 2014, 10:25 AM

4. yes. the right slut shames. the left prude shames. but our sexuality is always used to shame us.

he would be the first poster to self righteously claim his badge in feminism,

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #4)

Mon Jun 2, 2014, 10:37 AM

8. where as the male sexuality is used to make them feel like... god. isnt that interesting,

how the two work

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Response to BainsBane (Original post)

Mon Jun 2, 2014, 12:33 PM

9. I have to say

I know we don't always agree or see eye to eye.

This was a most well thought out and reasoned essay. I'm very impressed with the personal insight and larger cultural implications. If we get that essay corner, Skinner discussed in ATA, this one should go in it.

Nice work, BB.

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Response to libodem (Reply #9)

Mon Jun 2, 2014, 12:48 PM

11. Thank you

It's very kind of you. I'm glad you liked it.

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Response to BainsBane (Original post)

Mon Jun 2, 2014, 12:44 PM

10. DU Rec

Thank you, Baines.

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Response to BainsBane (Original post)

Mon Jun 2, 2014, 12:57 PM

12. "a woman's purpose is to provide sex. Any deviation from" it is ALL they have. it is all they have

and that is why they are holding on to it so so so hard. why they must have submission in their porn. why they must... fuggin must to get it up, shame, degrade. and humiliate. there is nothing else.

then we are done.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #12)

Mon Jun 2, 2014, 01:00 PM

13. I think my most important realization

Last edited Mon Jun 2, 2014, 04:46 PM - Edit history (1)

is that calling someone a prude and "slut" shaming are the same thing--both belittle our sexuality and devalue as women.

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #13)

Mon Jun 2, 2014, 01:03 PM

14. i and others have been saying that for about a year now. but once it hits... it means something.

exactly as your Op states.

at that point, it is a real fuck you... to any man or even woman that tries to pull that crap. then of course, you are.... oh, whatever. mean?

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #13)

Mon Jun 2, 2014, 01:57 PM

15. Yep. Exact same thing.

Which is why I no longer qualify anything I say with disclaimers or explanations about my own sexual activity.

My worth - and every other woman's worth - is unrelated to our individual sexual preferences or practices. Those are not anybody's fucking business, and are not on the table for discussion.

Judging women (or the value of their opinions) based on who, how, or how often they fuck is as old as the hills, and needs to be shut down in its tracks.

Fuck too much? You are labeled a slut or a whore and are worthless. Don't fuck enough? Or fuck women instead of men? Or prefer activity that is not centered around the almighty phallus? Frigid, damaged, prude who is also worthless.

Yeah, no. Not playing that game anymore.

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Response to BainsBane (Original post)

Mon Jun 2, 2014, 02:27 PM

16. It's a cycle that men have to break for themselves.

The notion of entitlement to a woman's body leads to feelings of rage and jealousy when a woman chooses to have intimate relations with different person. So ironically, men who claim women use sex as a 'weapon' are doing this to themselves; putting the gun in the woman's hand, pointing it at themselves and pulling the trigger.

If men would just let go of the deeply ingrained notion that we own womens' sexuality, there'd be a lot less trouble in this world.

I'm old enough to have learned this a long time ago, now I pass it on to my son and any of his buddies that will listen.

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Response to Flatulo (Reply #16)

Mon Jun 2, 2014, 03:56 PM

17. Good for you

I'm glad to know you understand these are lessons that boys (and girls) need to learn rather than assuming that discussing how they should relate with women pathologizes their sexuality, as some insist.

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #17)

Mon Jun 2, 2014, 05:00 PM

18. It's a good lesson to learn in handling life in general, not just relationship-y stuff.

Raising my son, ironically, was a wonderful opportunity to give myself a tuneup. A lot of the issues he was having were things that I had struggled with myself, without the benefit of a sane adult to help me.

Letting other peoples' actions and behaviors define whether or not you're happy is just a losing strategy. Who cares if another person has a better car, a nicer house, or a vagina? Work on yourself and others will enjoy being around you. Don't obsess over what others have or what they do.

By the way, do you blog anywhere? You really are quite articulate.

Added: and I don't mean 'for a lady'. Hope that was obvious.

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Response to Flatulo (Reply #18)

Mon Jun 2, 2014, 05:56 PM

19. No, I don't blog

but I very much appreciate the compliment.

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Response to BainsBane (Original post)

Wed Jun 4, 2014, 01:26 AM

20. Excellent post.

Probably like most women, I've experienced both sides of the same coin too although I didn't understand it at the time (or why I felt ashamed by it). You are very good at making the issue crystal clear.

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Response to laundry_queen (Reply #20)

Wed Jun 4, 2014, 06:55 AM

21. Thanks. I appreciate the compliment.

I had thought about the two being connected in the past, but when the same person accused me of both, it came together in a way it hadn't before.

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Response to BainsBane (Original post)

Wed Jun 4, 2014, 07:49 PM

22. "...those men... attack our very womanhood, indeed our personhood." Very true, and very sad.

Not unlike the knee-jerk hatred and disgust directed at gay men, this form of "shaming" seems to come from men (or overgrown boys, perhaps) who aren't very happy or secure with themselves. In my view, they need to chill the fuck out and realize that, yes, they can be a valid and fully human (and fully sexual) person without denigrating others.

Not to mention that the "sex-positive"/"sex-negative" thing is a classic false dichotomy. But that's a complex enough subject for a whole 'nother thread.

As usual, you explain things very well, and provide a good deal of food for thought.

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