Just received this interesting response from http://stuffforsadcats.tumblr.com in regard to my post linking body and clothing shaming to rape culture. http://stuffforsadcats.tumblr.com/post/98738227907/gordoananke-if-you-try-to-shame-a-woman-for-her
Since he seem really confused as to how the two connect, I’ll explain it for everyone.
Every single time you discredit someone due to their appearance, you are telling them that how they look is more valuable than who they are. This happens everywhere, on a daily basis. It happens due to race, it happens due to gender, it happens due to disabilities and it happens due to rape culture. Here specifically I’ll talk about rape culture.
The person in the original tweet wrote to me with the intent of making me feel ashamed of my body. They used a sarcastic and manipulative tone, “if you want to, you can, oh I don’t know…”. It wasn’t written to be helpful advice (although even if it was, I never asked for their advice) and it wasn’t written to be taken as a joke. It was a direct, harmful and nasty way to start a message. They have 140 characters. They knew exactly what they wanted to say.
They then went on to say “..not show your cleavage to get followers”. This cannot be misinterpreted. They are directly and purposely saying that my channel, who I am as a person, and everything that I do and say is with the intent of building a following for myself with the soul use of my body. They are saying that if I had a different body type or if I dressed differently, then I wouldn’t have followers. They are judging me for how I look, and not for who I am.
My response to them was incredibly polite despite their manipulation and sarcasm. I reminded them that they also have choices, and that bullying and harassing people for the clothing they choose to wear isn’t a kind one.
I then posted the interaction here with the intent to make people more aware of the constant and every day body and clothing shaming that goes on for women. A reminder that girls are constantly told that their value lies in how they look.
But how is this connected to rape?
If a person says that another human beings value lies in what they’re wearing, it gives the okay to rapists everywhere to go ahead with their crimes so long as their victim is wearing a low cut shirt, or a short dress. I mean, she’s not a real person if her skirt is short enough, right? Wrong. A human beings worth isn’t related to what they choose to wear. If you call someone a slut, whore, prostitute or any other gendered slur due to the clothing on their bodies then you are giving the green light to everyone and anyone who doesn’t understand consent. “But she was wearing a v-neck. She was asking for it.”
Clothing doesn’t = consent. Ever. How a person dresses doesn’t determine their intelligence, their value or their ideals as a human. By saying that I am worthless or stupid or slutty for how I dress, you are telling rapists that you think it’s okay for them to rape me. You’re giving rape a big thumbs up. Every single time you comment on a girls photo calling her a slut, you are being “pro-rape”.
Now I’ll talk about the response from “TheSadCat”.
They start their message (that they not only publicly commented but that they also sent to me directly in the form of fanmail) stating that I must be “COMPLETELY OUT OF [my] MIND”. Which is quite clearly abusive and degrading to those with mental illnesses. Before they even speak about rape culture, they’re doing the whole, mental illness = crazy, unreliable, liars, stupid thing which is obviously wrong and incredibly harmful.
“You promote ideas you don’t even fucking get”. I’d love if you had of expanded on that, because I definitely “get” rape culture. You can see rape culture, plainly see it, just by going into the comments section of a video made by any female youtuber. It isn’t just the women who dress in a way that you personally feel is inappropriate. Marzia experiences rape culture, Jenna marbles experiences rape culture, Trisha Paytas experiences rape culture, Scarlet Saint experiences rape culture. All of these women dress differently and have different body shapes and yet rape culture effects every single one of them.
“Admit that you can’t find in your self no other good skills besides your boobs”. Here TheSadCat is clearly, without any form of misinterpretation telling me that I am talentless, pathetic, stupid, and worthless. Simply because I have large breasts. And he is really telling me that I’m the one who doesn’t “get" rape culture? He is directly and beyond a doubt saying that my cup size determines my worth as a human being and that that’s all I have of value in my life.
“you’re doing the opposite of what femminims promotes!" Feminism promotes equality. Equality regardless of gender. Regardless of appearance. Regardless of clothing. And as you might of guessed, regardless of breast size. The size of my chest doesn’t mean you are granted some magical male feminist freedom to determine my value as a human being. You do not have the power to tell me that I’m “nothing but [my] body”. You do not have that control over me. You do not have my consent to tell me how to dress or to imply that I should somehow change who I am in order to be whatever it is that you personally want in a woman. I do not exist to please you.
I am my own person. I am in control of how I dress. If you dislike it, that’s fine. But if you try to bully, harass and manipulate other women because they aren’t what you personally perceive as a “real feminist” then YOU ARE THE PROBLEM. My shirt isn’t the problem. My breasts aren’t the problem. You. You are the issue here.