EppsNet Archive: Joe Barton

Slut-Shaming: It’s Not Just For Women Anymore

26 Nov 2017 /

Some of the recent sexual misconduct allegations seem serious enough to warrant adjudication in a courtroom, but a lot of them sound like what would be called slut-shaming if the targets were women.

(Slut-shaming is the practice of criticizing or attacking [wo]men for having casual or promiscuous sex, acknowledging sexual feelings and/or acting on sexual feelings. The implication is that if a [wo]man engages in sexual activity that traditional society disapproves of, [s]he should feel guilty and inferior.)

Joe Barton is the congressman from Texas whose nude photo was posted online, apparently by a jealous ex-girlfriend. (That link goes to an NPR story, not to the actual photo. I’m sure you can find the photo if you want to but be advised that Barton is overweight and 68 years old.)

Some facts are in dispute, but everyone agrees that the photo was posted (by someone) after Barton told the woman he would report her to police if she posted the photo.

The Washington Post reported the Barton story with a headline that made him sound like the villain:

Congressman on tape tells woman he would report her to Capitol Police because she could expose his secret sex life

“Secret sex life”! Isn’t everyone’s sex life secret — other than porn stars?

Let’s flip the sexes: A man threatens to post an explicit photo of his ex-girlfriend, she threatens to report him to police, and he posts the photo anyway. Where do our sympathies lie?

With the woman, right? We don’t support revenge porn because we’re not deranged sociopaths.

Slut-shaming is not just for women anymore . . .