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David Thompson

I might date a slut, but I certainly wouldn’t marry one.

"I might swim in hog slops, but I certainly wouldn't eat them". Dumbass.

Richard

Yes, there is a double standard. Definitely. Having said that, doesn’t a person's (male or female) proclivity for serial sexual partners speak positively or negatively of their ability, desire, or need for a committed monogamous relationship such as marriage? Slut, just like the word “player” as it pertains to men with such a tendency, is an unnecessarily judgmental word, but there may be some sense in not marrying a person whose lifestyle is not conducive to a marriage relationship, yes?

h sofia

I hate the "s" word. It really, really makes me feel uncomfortable. Incidentally, the man I've heard use it more than anyone else I know has slept with - literally - over a hundred women.

And what some men consider "around the block" for a woman is not even close to what they consider acceptable for themselves (or other men).

TangoMan

While it certainly made sense, even in the recent past, to have a sexual double standard, the actual need for it today is diminishing, and I expect that in the coming years there will be absolutely no need to foster a double standard.

mythago

"So if you're dating a slut, what does that make you?"

Enjoy the silence.

The Happy Feminist

Richard, "player" doesn't strike me as an especially judgmental word. I suppose it can be, but it is often used as a compliment as well as a negative. And no, I don't actually object to people wanting to marry someone whose sexual proclivities are similar to their own. If you believe in virginity before marriage, by all means marry another virgin. If you are uncomfortable marrying someone with a history like Gene Simmons's, then don't. But don't get all smug with me about how you (not you Richard, but "you" the hypothetical person I'm talking to) expect your wife to be a virgin while you of course will sow your wild oats with all those sluts first.

Tango Man, you're speaking in code. Assuming I understand this "need" to which you refer: Men in the past may have feared the possibility of caring for children not their own while not in the least bit worrying if other men had to care for children they had fathered with the "sluts" out there or worrying if the sluts had to care for the children by themselves. This hardly seems to me to establish a "need" for a double standard-- which by the way is an injustice pure and simple, and one that continues to persist in the face of all rationality.

TangoMan

The standard didn't exist to benefit men, it existed to benefit couples. Before the days of child support and paternity suits, when a man and a woman married they brought their reputations into the marriage. The man could have been tomcat and the consequences of his actions (pregnancy) fell on the women he cavorted with, so despite his reputation the misery he sowed wouldn't be inflicted upon his new family. The woman who brought a reputation of sleeping around into her new marriage would certainly plant the seed of doubt in her husband's mind about future paternity. He would never have certainty on that front but by assessing her past behavior he could increase his comfort level in the future. Therefore a woman's reputation mattered more to the man, rather than vice versa but it was family stability that was at stake.

Once men can reliably be assured of their paternity then men and women can be as promiscious as they please, with no stigma attached, for when it becomes standard that a paternity test is administered after every birth, then the women would bear the full consequence of her own decision and the man would be freed from bearing the consequence alongside her. She can then seek support from the child's father and all will be well in the world.

This hardly seems to me to establish a "need" for a double standard

Sure it does. The woman need to assure the man that the child is likely his. The man doesn't need to assure the woman that the child is hers, for we're 100% certain that the woman is the mother of her own child.

Think of this as the counterpart to the unfairness of the abortion decision. Men get screwed on the double standard in that arena, and women get screwed on the unfairness in the sluttiness arena. It's simply a biological constraint. Women get "choice" and men get a free pass on their reputations.

The Happy Feminist

No cigar, Tango Man. The double standard never benefited "couples." It did not benefit the Tomcat/slut couple in which the woman was left to contend with a child on her own while enduring the stigma imposed on her.
So we're left with no real justification for the man's tomcatting behavior. If you were talking about a "need" for chastity by both men a and women, I could understand that. But there is no "need" for men to sleep around while simultaneously dumping on the very women they are sleeping around with.

Nor was it such a great benefit for wives either -- as it has historically provided a handy excuse for men to rid themselves of wives with whom they were dissatisfied. (Probably the most famous examples in western history are King Henry VIII's divorces from Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard, and their subsequent executions. That kind of thing still goes on in Saudi.)

In any case, I doubt "Don" was worrying about the paternity of his future children. He is just a self-satisfied jerk with an unthinking sense of entitlement.

As for the "unfairness of the abortion decision," abortion has not historically been a legal option for women. And at this very moment, men are fighting tooth and nail to wrest control of that decision from women.

Chipmunk

Happy, don't forget that there are many women out there who are also fighting "tooth and nail to wrest control of that decision [choice to terminate a pregnancy] from women." Men aren't the only one's who are trying to use the law to enforce their own values on others.

The Happy Feminist

Very true. But the end result is the same -- women no longer having the choice.

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