#ThisIsHowSexismEnds: Not Another Column About the Word “Slut” – 19 Terms for Relationships that Dehumanize Women 

A few weeks ago I was invited to be a Media Partner by The Good Men Project as part of Media Tour in support of #ThisIsHowSexismEnds.  Initially, this started as a Facebook Group inviting authors, editors, publishers and people from around the globe the opportunity to discuss sexism in order to find and implement real solutions.

Sexism is still very real. Sexism isn’t limited to women or the workplace. The truth is that most of us are sexist.

If I’m being honest I can’t deny that terms that dehumanize others are part of my vernacular. When I percolate over Charlie Hunman being hot or go on about Kit Harrington, Stephen Amell, Alyssa Milano, Pink, Anna Kendrick or any Kardashian, I’m actively participating in sexism.

When I dismiss something my husband said or did by saying “that’s how men are” or I allow my male co-worker to interrupt me, hush me, ignore me or talk to me with zero respect I’m reinforcing behaviors and attitudes that need to be eradicated.

At the same time turning a blind eye when my female colleagues are being catty, even using the word “catty” is sexist. When I roll my eyes thinking “what a drama queen” or if I’m being hyper-sensitive about the word feminism, making sure it’s clear I’m not one of those feminists, I am actually feeding the machine that is sexism. Instead of standing in solidarity I’m being a champion asshat.

Andrew Smiler’s piece on The Good Men Project,  19 Terms for Relationships that Dehumanize Women, serves as a classic reminder of the ugly fact that this village is raising a more subtle and sinister version of sexism . Trump won because he used the same tactics that Barack Obama did when he reached voters who were marginalized. Obama provided a platform for those who felt they had been silenced. Those who deserved to be heard and represented.

Trump chose to return the microphone to an entirely different demographic.  We believe as a society we have evolved but the ugly truth is he won by dehumanizing every single candidate and crushing Hillary Clinton with her sexuality, her husband’s infidelity and by debasing her honor.

His voters didn’t care about her real story. Her journey. They didn’t care to look at the strengths she has or the successes and sacrifices she made after her husband failed to get re-elected for his second term as Governor of Arkansas.

It was only after Hillary “gave in” to society’s preconceived notions of beauty, sexuality and gender norms that she was accepted as the First Lady of Arkansas.  By changing the way she dressed, removing her glasses, “feminizing ” herself.  She even took his last name to appease voters.

To simplify this further, Hillary Diane Rodham allowed her husband’s constituents to “have it their way”.   Sexualizing herself was enough to get Bill Clinton re-elected as the 42nd Governor of Arkansas.  It was only after she conformed to society’s expectations that she was accepted by voters.

As if that wasn’t enough, Americans demanded she publicly reaffirm her commitment to her marriage, then later judged her for it. She was judged for his infidelity when she ran for President. While Trump casually told the world he was married and trying to hook up with other women . Any voter who didn’t vote or cast a vote under the premise that they had to choose “the lesser of two evils” is guilty of sexism .  She was judged for her husband’s infidelity by the same people who fifty years ago were giving JFK props for an alleged affair with Marilyn Monroe. That may not be why some didn’t vote for her. Yet, it shouldn’t be left unsaid that he was voted into office while loudly proclaiming none of the rules of decency or even rule of law applied to him .

Trump won by earning the vote of those who dismissed his nauseating, predatory, misogynistic statements as locker room talk”. These same voters ignored his actual lies, and his corrupt and unlawful so-called business practices.

Sexism is Trump’s calling card.  He is exalted for his alleged sexual prowess. His voters eagerly await his ignorant words. His unconscionable actions and beliefs are considered “refreshing”. He is rewarded for unethical, amoral, immoral, unprincipled, indefensible, unforgivable and plain old WRONG, inexcusable choices; because the dangerous truth is our country has been in denial.

To quote Andrew, I too “started thinking about words and all the ways we use them to diminish women”. Andrew Smiler’s column wasn’t just another column about the word “slut.” 

Hillary Rodham Clinton has been terrorized by sexism. She was shut down for having the strength of character, self-control and drive to stay on point, rising to the occasion and honoring her vows and commitment to her husband.

As the Publisher of Open Thought Vortex I could not in good conscience turn down this opportunity to join The Good Men Project to be part of the solution.

#ThisIsHowSexismEnds will now be at the core of Open Thought Vortex’s mission. We were always #YesAllGenders. Kara and I wanted to take this a step further because we will never reach apex of the mountain if we don’t climb such a steep path as partners.

We chose to highlight Andrew Smiler’s 19 Terms for Relationships that Dehumanize Women because Andrew is right .

“Words say a lot about how we think. These 19 expressions say we don’t value women in relationships. “

It is my sincerest hope that this goes further than just a conversation. It’s time we do our due diligence by making ourselves accountable. We must not simply spark a discussion. We must enact changes that will change the culture.

We can no longer have a double standard. We must never dehumanize each other. We can change our future.  Sexism isn’t just a problem for women, it’s a problem.

It’s a symptom of a disease we have grown tolerant of. Words lead to action. Action leads to change. Please read Andrew’s column. Don’t stop there. Participate in changing the world. This is just one of many columns featured this series on The Good Men Project.

#StopSexism #ThisIsHowSexismEnds

-Shareen Mansfield

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5 thoughts on “#ThisIsHowSexismEnds: Not Another Column About the Word “Slut” – 19 Terms for Relationships that Dehumanize Women 

  1. This is a great article. We do need to be very conscious of the words we use and the attitudes that stoke them. I clicked through to Smiler’s article but I have to say that I was very disappointed with the ads that proliferated on the page. Most of them were extremely sexist and the opposite of what this and his article implied.

    Liked by 1 person

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