Sexualisation of girls/women as main(male)stream entertainment, advertising and pop-culture is continuing to Go-Global with Australia hosting a US-based Toddlers & Tiaras pageant – coinciding with ‘Slutwalks’ for the Bigger Girls. Kiddie-porn has gone main(male)stream, and Baby Girls can proudly join the Big Girls in learning their Slutwalks, in the pornified exploitation of females.
Both are touted by their supporters as empowering, even helpful, for girls/women in developing self-confidence. All in the name of socially accepted gender-role insanity, cultivated by M.A.D (Male Approval Desire). It is not just light kiddie-porn, or what some euphemistically call ‘Lolly (Candy) Porn’, but is also Torture-KiddiePorn : Little Girls Beauty Pageants
The sexualisation of girl-children may always have been with us, but with globalisation it has expanded into multinational corporate paedophilia: “Sexualizing products (and services) being sold specifically for children, and children themselves being presented in images, or directed to act in advertisements, in ways modelled on adult sexual behavior.” (From the anthology: “Getting Real: Challenging the Sexualisation of Children”)
For me, its just another heartbreaking example of acceptable social and political Violence Against the Female Sex, popular everyday ‘normal’ acceptable misogyny, or variations on the theme of the Female Sado-Ritual Syndrome where girls/women are taught to embrace, and even celebrate – sexual, physical and psychological masochism, Self-Harm and Self-Hatred from birth, through such “Harmful Cultural Practices”, and learn to call it empowering, and positive for development of self-esteem. Not that I blame the mothers in the cases of girls, they are long-damaged by the same culture for generations upon generations before them, and are only continuing the “tradition” they were also subjected to.
No, I blame the men who are the ultimate consumers of the beauty and sex industries. It is male consumer demand that creates such industries, and the culture which supports it, all with the currency of Male Approval. Such approval is very important, for female human lives are so often dependent on it.
Liberal/socialist feminist support for such pornification industries, has always confused me. Many liberal/socialist philosophies, are also anti-capitalism, anti-globalisation, anti-racism, critical of agriculture, timber, mining, oil industries etc, environmental degradation, bemoaning neocon economics, the lack of universal healthcare, the exploitation of animals, peoples, races etc — indeed, almost everything – EXCEPT – the global reproductive and sexual slavery/exploitation of females, from cradle to grave.
While negatively impacting on all girls/women, such sexualised beauty multinational industries, crash the heaviest on the most marginalised women, the poorest women, Indigenous women, Black women, Women-of-Colour, developing nation women etc etc etc – ie the women who are the most exploited to death – and with the most to fear. And now, even 1-month old baby girls are being pornified for “harmless fun”. So we find these cultural phenomena for girls and women, promoted primarily in the Western anglo-speaking nations, mostly from groups of women who are in social positions of relative perceived ‘safety’, (ie mostly white, mostly middle-class, mostly well-educated).
With Big-Girl Slutwalks, a kind of ‘Fuck You’ gesture, presumably directed at men, but also a kind-of ‘And Fuck You Too’ directed at the majority of the world’s women, who cannot afford the luxury to ‘play’ with language or dress codes, cannot afford the luxury of choices or agency in such matters, without courting death, by law or by just engaging in their daily realities – as described by Aura in Slutwalk: A Stroll Through White Supremacy, and also by Rebecca in The Ultimate Slut.
As for “solidarity” in protest against Violence-Against-Women, well my understanding is that women have been doing it for decades, (eg Reclaim The Night/Take Back the Night events), and where are the SlutWalkers there? I guess such events do not have enough “fun”, not enough Male Approval, Male Attention, not enough Glitz & Glam.
I can well believe men have been “supportive” of Slutwalks, getting a free eyeful from the world’s media, but no matter how well-meaning the original intentions, no matter how ‘harmless’ and ‘fun’, the baby-girl beauty pageants, the beauty and sex industries are – the Medium-is-The-(Only)-Message that Men-As-Consumers ultimately receive. The attention that such gestures receive, has nothing to do with what women want to say. They will only hear, what they want to hear. They will only see, what they want to see.
Instead of a meaningless Fuck-You gesture ( that men will only see as flirtatious acquiescence of the status-quo, just as happened to previous generations of women who have tried their own versions of Slutwalks, and failed) –
I would rather see women and girls uniting in solidarity, in making a ‘Fuck Off’ gesture.
Anyway, just to end on a more girlfun-positive note :
Herstorical Note: This post was originally posted here, at the Radfem HUB, on May 18, 2011, and was authored by HUB author Rainsinger. Over a year later, on May 28, 2012, Rainsinger left the HUB and indicated that she wished to have this post removed from the HUB, and no longer desired to have her name associated with the HUB. Instead of allowing content to be deleted from the HUB which would be deleterious to our herstory, it was proposed by the remaining HUB bloggers, and agreed to by Rainsinger, that, as a compromise, the substance of the post would be left intact and authorship would be changed to the generic HUB user, “HUB Newsfeed”. However, the HUB now regrets making this compromise, and believes that changing the authorship of the post was also deleterious of our herstory. The post should have remained intact, in every respect. We regret this error in judgement, as well as the fact that this change is permanent and cannot be altered. — Eds. 6/15/12