Anti-social sluts

This may be one of the worst things you will ever read: “These are the most anti-social sluts on earth“. It is hosted by the source of 40% of evil in the world, the Torygraph, and written by a man called Brendan O’Neill, who, judging by the article, is a weeping syphilitic chode.

The article is ostensibly a critique of SlutWalks, wherein women and allies march against the notion that a person is in any way responsible for their own rape. O’Neill”s article is, in fact, nothing more than a seething pile of misogyny and rape apologism. O’Neill’s main thesis is that women who wear a short skirt and don’t immediately fuck a man are anti-social. Really.

The high-minded feminists who make up SlutWalk’s supporters and cheerleaders seem to want to opt out of this everyday social interaction, to dress as sluttishly as they like while also being surrounded by some magic forcefield, legally enforced perhaps, which protects them from any unwanted male gaze or whistle. They are prudes disguised as sluts, self-styled victims pretending to be vixens, astonishingly anti-social creatures who imagine it is possible to parade through society dressed outrageously without any member of that society ever making a comment about or to them. This is the highly individuated politics of fear – fear of men, fear of unplanned-for banter, fear of sexual licence – dressed up as radical feminism. But to update an old saying: no slut is an island.

He actually said that. He actually said that.

There is much to unpack in that short segment–the conclusion of the article–alone. First of all is the argument that women are “asking for it” if dressed in a certain way. Secondly, that O’Neill clearly has no idea what radical feminism is. Thirdly, that O’Neill also cannot comprehend why a woman would possibly be afraid of strange men harassing them (this is, apparently, nothing more than “unplanned-for banter”).

Most of all, that women who wish to live a life free from harassment are somehow anti-social. They are the “mean bitches“, one of the roles for women who refuse to inhabit rape culture and do not follow the rules.

Not only does O’Neill believe women are asking for it, he also believes that harassment is absolutely fine and dandy as long as you don’t stick your dick in the woman.

Yet that is what some SlutWalkers seem to be demanding: effectively the right to dress provocatively without ever being looked at, commented on, whistled at or spoken to by a member of the opposite sex. Unless such interaction is clearly solicited, of course.

O’Neill’s attitude towards women is rampantly obnoxious and hideous. It is hard to believe, from his writing, that when he refers to “cocky, swaggering men”, he is not casting himself in this role. He smirks smugly at the top of the page; his face says “come on, love, it’s just a bit of light-hearted banter”.

O’Neill wishes for a world in which a woman’s mode of attire is the same as a baboon’s swollen arse: an invitation to leer, to grab, to blow beery breath down the back of her neck and vomit in her tits. He is angry that such a world does not exist, and that some women believe that such contact should only be available with explicit, enthusiastic consent.

O’Neill does not stop for one moment to wonder why this is considered unacceptable by some. Instead, he frames women who want sexual contact with consent to be anti-social. This is a strangely socialist perspective for a Torygraph article. O’Neill believes cunt to be a commodity which should be distributed fairly, and that obnoxious oglers deserve a share. From each, according to her sluttiness. To each, according to his desires.

As more women realise that street harassment is wrong and become empowered to enthusiastically consent to sex and sexual contact, men who do not respect boundaries and rape apologists become more reviled. No wonder O’Neill is frightened. He and his leery ilk are becoming less and less able to express their entitlement over women, and so write angry Torygraph articles or post misogynistic comments beneath them.

They cannot blame themselves. They lack the self awareness to blame themselves. And so they hit out at the mean bitches.

Rape apologism and this sense of entitlement require challenging.

O’Neill’s article neatly demonstrates why a SlutWalk is so necessary and timely.

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22 responses to “Anti-social sluts

  • 5cc

    I was ‘impressed’ by the brilliant rhetorical trick of effectively saying that if someone gives a list of things they think are objectionable, they’re actually saying tat all those things are equally as bad.

    “If anyone is belittling rape, it is these so-called sluttish feminists, who discuss rape and wolf-whistling in the same outraged breath, as if a builder saying “nice bum!” is an act of unspeakable violence on a par with forced sexual intercourse.” – he says. But when did anyone say that in the first place?

    Very shoddy.

    • stavvers

      He either fails reading comprehension, or is actively setting up straw men to feed his misogyny. I still can’t tell which.

  • Dr Reefer

    My penis agrees with his main premise. The rest of me thinks he’s a cunt*.

    Any questions?

    *Don’t even start…

    • stavvers

      The fact you used the word cunt is the least wrong thing about your comment.

    • Quiet Riot Girl

      My cunt agrees with his main premise (from the extract quoted. I haven’t read the rest of his article).

      Sometimes feminists read their critics’ words and read into them things they do not say. He does not mention ‘rape’ in that section at all.

      Also if you don’t like people using misogynist terms, why is it ok to call a man a ‘weeping syphilitic code’? How is that ok when you oppose men using gendered slurs against women.

      I will read the rest of his article now. Thanks for alerting me to it!

      • stavvers

        The rest of it was indeed about rape and other forms of harassment.

        I have no problem with “cunt” being used as an insult (you may wish to look at my Twitter feed during Question Time). I have much more of a problem with people believing it is all right to harass and that clothing is a signal that says “harass me”!

  • Jennie Kermode

    It’s lazy, substandard trolling on his part, hardly deserving of being categorised as journalism. If this is the only way The Telegraph can boost its sales then it’s really in touble.

  • jon

    O’Neill’s job is to be a prick, thereby provoking his readers and garnering pageviews (and therefore ad revenue). Almost everything he writes is wrong, or intellectually lazy.

  • jon

    Just reading this: http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/the-lay-scientist/2011/jun/06/1?CMP=twt_fd my Martin Robbins. Best line: ‘Well Brendan, some of us manage to get through the day without being outsmarted by our genitals.’

  • Juana

    God, forgive the guy. O’Neill doesn’t know anything about women and their lives. Arrogant!

  • Quiet Riot Girl

    Thanks stavvers but he is saying that clothing does have sexual connotations, that women do dress sometimes to be sexually ‘inviting’ to men and that the premise of Slutwalk is about closing down all forms of (unwanted) attention from men to women, so women are basically in charge of what attention is acceptable and what isn’t.

    • stavvers

      I believe everyone should be in charge of the attention that they receive and should have the right to receive only invited attention, living a life free from harassment. Just so happens that this article is about women because O’Neill made it about women.

  • Tobias Fauntleroy Slater

    Stavvers, this is not to belittle the rest of your article, as you have some important points to make. But it’s hard not to read the expression “weeping syphilitic chode” and avoid finding within it a misandrist insult, given that “choad” or “chode” nearly always refers to male genitalia. Let’s try to move beyond gendered insults as a way of critiquing peoples’ arguments as they only serve to undermine the more serious and urgent points in the debate.

    • stavvers

      Fair point. Thing is, I often use body parts as an insult. I’ve been thinking of blogging my thoughts on anatomical terms as insults for quite a while (here’s the thing: I use “cunt” fairly frequently, too).

      • Quiet Riot Girl

        I think ‘cunt’ has become separated in many ways from its origin whereas ‘chode’ still means only what it means.

        AND what is more I think you know that perfectly well.

        But please go ahead with your post about gendered insults. Then we can judge for ourselves.

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