Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A Bitch Or A Slut?

Apparently a number of men have assigned themselves a task reserved for those with a degree in Anthropology. They have taken to categorizing women into two groups.  If she is physically attractive (wears make-up, stylish clothing etc.) is friendly, at least somewhat receptive to attention from or communication with men, she is a “slut.” If she has a “type A” personality, is career-oriented, opinionated or simply a “slut” who is not receptive to attention from or communication with men she is a “bitch.”  

These experts have wisely deduced the need for certain protocols on how to interact with each group. Naturally “sluts” should be leered at, groped, and cat-called. They expect and accept sexual advances of both the aggressive and suggestive nature. On the other hand, “bitches” require a more hostile approach and ought to be bullied, belittled, and discredited. As this group is not receptive to sexual advances, it is best to make them feel unattractive so as to discourage the notion that they can choose with whom they interact sexually.
Often real life examples are the best illustrations. Consider Logan, a tall attractive woman. One afternoon she was involved in a fender bender. While exchanging information in the presence of a police officer, a truck full of college-age males passed by and noticed her stylish figure and long dark hair. “Choke on my dick!!” They yelled. Logan looked to the officer for help; he laughed saying he had enough paperwork to fill out on the accident. This incident is typical for “sluts.” 

Consider “Olivia,” a petite attractive young woman. During a night out with friends she was approached by a man approximately her own age. He mistakenly treated her like a “slut,” touching her on the stomach and asking if she wanted to dance. Olivia brushed away his hand and proceeded on with indifference. “Fuck you, you ugly fucking bitch!” he yelled and continued to stand nearby. A friend of Olivia’s who heard the exchange, stood in between the two and told him to walk away. “Fuck you! I don’t know you bitch!” was his reply. This incident is typical for “bitches.” 

Both the categorization and the interactions that follow are barbaric and reprehensible. If a woman were under the legal age, it would be outrageously inappropriate for her to endure either characterization. If a woman were the mother, sister, cousin or wife of one of these scientific experts he would be livid and bent on retribution, perhaps even violently so. If a woman is of a certain age and not a personal acquaintance then she is vulnerable to disrespect; her treatment is akin to that of a blow-up doll or a “pocket pussy.”  

Women are not inanimate objects. They are living, breathing, feeling human beings with the same dreams, abilities and rights as any man. Only moral degenerates and dim-witted sexists think otherwise.  As a post-Suffrage society, we ought to be embarrassed that we have allowed such deplorable behavior to continue. It must be condemned until it is eradicated and women are free to walk down the street without being harassed, and are able to deny an advance without being insulted. 

I may be affectionate and attractive but I am not a slut. I may be driven and powerful but I am not a bitch. I am a glorious being with the ability to bring forth life. I am a woman and that is all I wish to be called.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Yolis and I sit together watching her new house being built. A sturdy shed-like structure is being raised up beside her previous place of living – a dark, tiny shanty made of scraps of wood and plastic and cloth. The road in front of us is a tangled mess of stones, and discarded objects – broken dolls, candy wrappers, flat tires, broken bottles, and various other unidentifiable scraps of trash. Children are yelling as they kick a soccer ball back and forth in the flattest parts of the road. Construction sounds mingle with this yelling; people are hammering, painting and cleaning as they attempt to squeeze the last bit of usefulness out of themselves before 5:00 arrives.

Yolis and I sit silently taking in the busyness of others. She is resting comfortably in my lap; her brown completion both contrasting and complimenting my fairness. Our lives are opposites; she has only known the cruelties of poverty and I the comforts of privilege and yet there is a sisterly camaraderie between us. Her eyes grow heavy in the warm sun and I gently brush her black hair out of my face. She leans back and smiles at me; we do not need a translator for this exchange.

Monday, February 14, 2011


My name has become like a cruel brand – burned onto my person ever reminding me I will never be able to give my father the one thing he wanted most from me.  He has said on many occasions with great conviction that he does not care who I marry or where I work so long as I am a Christian. He best expressed this expectation when he named me because Kristina means “follower of Christ.” Ever striving to make my father proud, I fulfilled this desire with ease – attending church faithfully, ascribing to evangelical dogma, and pursing vocational ministry. All of this made my father proud, and with his pride came a steadfast assurance of his affections.  He once told me he interpreted my dedication to Christianity as a sort of redemption of his failures.  This statement initially strengthened my resolve to follow Christ but ultimately it has come to haunt me.

Over the past few years I have become disillusioned; my faith has completely dissolved and with it my confidence in my father’s love for me.  I see him look at me with worry and disappointment, but he is more disappointed in himself than he is in me; the daughter who was meant to redeem him is now his greatest failure.  This devastates me.  My father has many wounds which have caused him to be distant and critical; I have always forgiven him for the pain he has caused me because I believed I could be the person he wished he had been.  I should have been a salve but now I fear I am the greatest wound of all. My father will always have my love and forgiveness, but I struggle to forgive myself for turning what he hoped would be a legacy into a lie – my name is a cruel brand.