Reconsidering Rashida: Her Slut-Shaming is Bad, But Not “Anti-Feminist”

rashidaMan, Rashida Jones really stepped in it, didn’t she? Following up on a series of ill-advised tweets (with the charming hashtag #stopactinglikewhores) aimed at “encouraging” female pop stars to cut it with hyper-sexual stuff already, Jones channeled her inner Sunday school teacher again last week in the pages of Glamour magazine. Her editorial was intended as an elaboration and clarification—“I didn’t say stop being whores, I said stop acting like it!”—but mostly it was a personal defense. She’s not, she assures us, a “prude.” In fact, she’s a feminist, which I guess in this formulation is the opposite of the moralizing scold the Twitter hordes accused her of being. But she didn’t soften her original arguments, which basically boil down to something about role models, plus Jones being grossed out by the sexualized images of pop stars like Miley Cyrus and Rihanna.

Unsurprisingly, the sentiment “I’m a feminist; stop acting like a bunch of hos” wasn’t warmly received by the wider feminist community, most (but not all) of which panned her for her seemingly un-feminist slut-shaming. I found the op-ed troubling, but less for the slut-shaming than the glaring hypocrisy. The fact that Jones directs her anger at female performers, rather than the male record executives who cook up the toxic stew those ladies swim in, is pretty appalling. However, much as I personally disagree with her, I think the critics claiming Jones’ stance is somehow anti-feminist are dead wrong. Loud, proud, and public moral scolding is a long tradition in the US women’s movement, one which continues to this day. But it’s a strategy we’re increasingly uncomfortable with, and it’s useful to examine the tensions that result when we deploy it. Read the rest at Bitch Magazine.

Comments

  1. Maureen Jensen says:

    Great article!
    I, however, have to ask……why is it that a intelligent woman like yourself who writes so well still uses the term “ladies”? (cook up the toxic stew those ladies swim in) and even the name of your blog….”ladytroubles”. As long as you are calling us “ladies” you will demote us to the rubble pile. We are not “ladies”; those fluffy frilly “things” that men is the 1950′s pursued….we are women. “Ladies” either puts us on a pedestal, with nowhere to fall but down, OR, more commonly, with the stupid females that did something stupid, they’re so moronic! ….”Hey LADY, watch where ya goin’!”.
    I really DO love your articles though!

    • Thank you! I use the word “ladies” mostly tongue-in-cheek, and that’s especially true of the blog title—“lady troubles” is an old-fashioned euphemism for menstruation. I know some feminists find the word offensive, but I’m not one of them. It’s one of those words that’s been repurposed of late—you’ll see some online feminists refer to themselves as “lady bloggers,” etc. To me the word seems pretty harmless at this point, and rather amusing. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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