• Camille

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

December 16, 2013 

Camille Hayes


Man, 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.

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