The slut-shaming continues. I use that word cautiously, because I don’t think Kristen Stewart is actually a slut (I’m not even sure what that word really means, since we use it in such a loose way — no pun intended — that it effectively amounts to “someone who has sex in a way that I don’t like.” That seems like a pretty useless and pointlessly subjective way of dealing with sexual behavior.). Anyway. Back to the topic…
So let’s face it. The reason Kristen Stewart ended up on this list of least attractive actresses is because she was recently the focus of a none-of-our-business “sex scandal” involving an older male director. It has nothing to do with whether she’s actually attractive (she fared well on the list in the past, after all). It has to do with public perceptions about who is and is not a “slut” in this culture. Kristen Stewart must be shamed because ONLY women can break the “code of conduct” associated with marriage and monogamy. ONLY a woman can lure a man from his marriage and destroy his family by having sex with him. ONLY A WOMAN.
This is bullshit. All the people who went after Kristen Stewart with a furor best reserved for people who commit genocide ignored two crucial things:
- Men have agency, too. Assuming that woman are solely responsible for “luring men away” is sexist all around. It makes women into succubi and men into sexual animals. Women are mythical beings. Men are dogs. The de-humanization should disturb…
- The man in said illicit relationship happened to have been someone in a position of power. I don’t know if that influenced Stewart, but it is worth noting. If anyone was likely to have been tempted into doing something they shouldn’t do, it would have been her (this assumes a lot about what actually happened, of course).
But our society ignores these things. It must. The narrative we’ve sold to our children is one that still views women as the lesser sex and men as uncontrollable and victims. A woman gets raped, and the man is the victim of a false claim. A woman has sex with a married man, and the man is hugged by society for falling prey to temptation. On and on and on and on and on.
This story is just another peg in the slut-shaming campaign against Kristen Stewart. She’d had enough four minutes after the story broke and thousands of people shoved their nose into someone else’s business.
And so I say this to Kristen Stewart:
I may not be a fan of your work (it’s not really marketed to people like me anyway), but I’ll be your ally. I will defend you against this vicious, immoral, and disgusting sexist campaign so long as people believe treating you like filth is a rational response to an all-too-human mistake. If we knew one another in person, I’d be your friend and I’d support you while you figured out whatever it is you needed to figure out about yourself. And I’d tell all those people attacking you to go fuck themselves, because enough is enough is enough.
So begins my campaign to defend you and your work from sexist assholes who would rather destroy you (how moral of them) than reconsider how their culture has conditioned them to look upon you like a villain. Villains line people up in gas chambers; human beings make mistakes. I think you can guess which category I’d put you in.