Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Thoughts for Tuesday, v.5: "Boyfriend Stealing" and Name Calling

Silhouette Girl style blog Philadelphia

I apologize that this is being posted rather late! I've been incredibly busy trying to find an internship for school, doing other schoolwork, and enjoying the glorious weather we had.

I've been thrilled to have been part of the ongoing conversation about feminism and miscellaneous issues within a few blogs. Annebeth from The Styling Dutchman brought up something I'm still thinking about: it's very common for women to be mean toward one another. From making a general statement such as "girls are bitches," or being down right vicious and spreading rumors about a so-called friend, I've witnessed it. I've been a victim. Haven't we all?

Today, while flipping through Cosmopolitan , I read an article entitled "I Exposed a Boyfriend Stealer". Perhaps this sounds good, ridding evil amongst female peers, but the photo was captioned "sigh... another skank bites the dust". Apparently, the woman was wrong for being a slut and compulsively stealing boyfriends.

Yeah, I know many of us gals detest or simply shun the opinions of the misogynist magazine, but this happens outside the men-centric pages as well. I'm very reluctant to take the phrase "boyfriend stealing" seriously. As much as women are objectified and sometimes treated poorly in relationships, stealing implies ownership. And women don't own men, just as men don't own women.

I'm firm to believe the males are at wrong in these scenarios - seduction only goes so far. There's a crucial part of this equation that many seem to miss: his consent. I highly doubt that in these situations, the men are being forced against their will. He enabled it. He actively participated, making him just as guilty, if not more.

So why blame the other woman? Yes, a friend should respect the boundaries of a relationship her friend is in. Yes, she might have started it. However, that doesn't make her a slut. I know this happens between guys too. I've witnessed several physical fights over a lady. But you don't hear one calling the other - the alleged culprit - a slut, whore, skank, bitch, etc.

We do that. It's unfortunate. Sometimes women take pride in being a so-called bitch. There's a bit of irony in that, but it's acknowledging and arguably not dispelling this self-hating thing us women have going on. Of course, we're less likely to pride ourselves in being "sluts". But calling a friend a slut or whore as a term of endearment - something I've been guilty of - has the same effect. We're just pushing that it's okay to call each other sluts and whores.

Words are just words, but these are loaded with highly negative connotations. Seems we (collectively) have a way to go in terms of dealing with fellow women on a civil basis. How sad.

xox Catherine

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  1. Ahhhh. I totally JUST read this article and I couldn't help but feel like it was a little snarky. I talked to Niklaas about it and he said the EXACT thing you did, "Well, there's something wrong when the guy goes along with it and takes the bait."

    I applaud you. As usual.

  2. I absolutely agree with you. Women have been getting the blame of being an irresistible source of seduction ever since the bible was written with Eve as the source of all the bad in humanity, and we have hardly moved on from that point. Girl gets raped? Well she shouldn't have been there at that time dressed like that. Girl gets promoted? Well she probably literally sucked up to some people. Girl breaks up relationship? Oh yeah it's the girl's fault! Preferably even BOTH girls: the girl that gets left behind probably didn't want to have sex anymore or was pressuring the guy into more commitment than he could offer her, and the new girl is just a slutty mcslut. It's always our fault. Seems very strange to get all the responsibility in the sex field, while through history we have had to fight for responsibility in other fields, like the professional or even just the responsibility to vote.


  3. i agree with muchof what you are saying . i think that the language is pretty crass. but i do think women should respect eachother . i would never knowingly get involved with someone in a relationship . its girl code . even for women who dont know eachother. but of course the man is the one who owes her his loyalty and therefore he is at fault . im curious about the article . is it online?

  4. I refer to myself as a gender equalist rather than a feminist. I feel that women are talked down to, disrespected, and pushed into a demeaning and shallow role in North American society, but there are stereotypes that men are forced into that are just as deliberate and hurtful.

    Cosmopolitan is the worst magazine ever. I hate the over-sexualization of women and men that's spread all over the pages. The tips to "please your man" (as if you don't know how to already? or should you feel like a sex robot?) lose weight, get a "toned tummy," "feel sexy"... It's another tool to encourage women to brand themselves as tools for sexual gratification and sets a stage for how men should treat and view women. Cosmo can blow me.


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