• Mon, Feb 11 2013

Sexist Carmel Newspaper Calls Women ‘Sluts’ Including Some High School ‘Sluts’

facebook 'sluts'Hey Carmel Pinecone, f you, f you from me, from every other woman, from every parent who lives there and lets their child read this print newspaper, from every human in the world who understands that calling or referring to women as “sluts” is lame and offensive and sexist and derogratory and incredibly stupid. I am not allowed to use the word “fuck” in headlines, per my bosses, or else I would have just headlined this article “Fuck You Pinecone.” This weekend we were talking with our two youngest kids and my daughter asked me:

Mom, am I a feminist? 

And I asked her:

“What is a feminist?”

And she replied:

It’s a lady who is also a woman who believes things. Wait, what is a feminist?

So I explained, in young kid terminology, what feminism means and how that the basic idea is that men and women should be treated as equals. My daughter interrupted me:

Mom, I am a feminist!

And my son interrupted her:

Mom, I am a feminist! I can be a feminist too! 

And yeah, excellent, two new feminists in the world and then I have to wake up and read bullshit like this from a local newspaper in one of the wealthiest parts of California, where you would assume that due to privilege and income per capita and college degree statistics that the people there would know better than this. But no. From the Daily Mail:

The local newspaper in an affluent Pacific-coast town has caused a huge legal row after appearing to label models at a private lingerie fashion show ‘sluts’.

Reporting the opposition of one local resident, The Carmel Pine Cone printed the word in bold, capital letters directly above a photograph of the girls of Racey Promotions.

Lawyers for the PR firm are claiming damages and that the group photograph used by the newspaper included two girls, aged 17 and 18, who were not even present on the evening of the $50 show which took place at a local restaurant on Thursday.

So not only did the newspaper call this group of women “sluts”, they also referred to 17 and 18-year-old women as sluts. Who are in high school. Who claimed that due to this they were bullied in school. Classy. Keep it classy, Carmel.

The controversy began when flyers for a private tequila and lingerie fashion show at the Californian towns Vesuvio eaterie came to the attention of Carmel resident Carolyn Hardy.
Outraged, she urged the city council to ban the event in the exclusive town, which is famous for its arts community and Clint Eastwood, who was mayor from 1986 to 1988 and still has a home in the area.

Hardy wanted the scantily clad models stopped because she believed the risque show would damage the reputation of the town and she labeled the models as ‘sluts’ and ‘whores’.

‘You might mistake them for sluts and whores in their black thigh-high boots, little black dresses abundantly overflowing with chest,’ said Hardy according to KSBW.

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  • Byron

    Why would a 17 year old high school student be even allowed to participate in a lingerie and tequila show in a bar aimed at adults in the first place? That’s much more repugnant than people calling women who use their sexuality to their advantage sluts instead of…business-savvy or something.

    You may not like seeing it printed but it is what lots of people think when they see this image and this makes it ok in one way. What the populace deems ok in it’s majority is sadly what defines what is or is not acceptable in a certain society. It sucks and is arbitrary and without reason, I know.

    Why people think women are sluts when men are studs, that’s cause most of the time, if a random average woman makes a direct sexual advance, it’s much more likely her advance will be met with success than that of a random average man.

    When a key can open any lock you have a master key while when a lock can be opened by any key you have a bad lock and for whatever reason, women just seem to wanna have sex much less than men overall, putting themselves under the “lock” rather than “key” category. Of course I do recognize the existence of some master-key girls out there too, they end up having to be miss-typed, much alike the herbivorous males out there who do not like to hit on women and prefer women to make advances on them. An imperfect system for an imperfect world. Sexist it may be, but it is true as well for the majority of the people who live on this earth.

    As for explaining feminism to kids or…anyone really, feminism is the radical idea that women are human beings! There! :D

    • http://www.xojane.com/author/eve Eve Vawter

      The women who were participating in the event were NOT in high school.

    • Tinyfaeri

      The 17 and 18 year old were not there, they were just in the photo that the newspaper chose to use.
      Just because lots of people think it, doesn’t make it right or the world would be flat, we’d still have slaves, women would still be married off by their fathers, etc. And I can’t even go near the rest of your comment. Please try to remember it’s 2013, not 1950.

    • RainbowScrapple

      If you actually understood how master key systems work, you wouldn’t be using that analogy.

    • meg

      I think you nailed it with the very last two lines of your post, I really do. Props. But for the rest … yeah. Making it a prevailing opinion doesn’t make something great, and even if the 17-and-18-year-old girls are participating (they weren’t, according to the mod below, but let’s assume this is true) then that’s an isolated bad thing as opposed to the commonality of the word “slut,” which speaks to huge cultural overtones and sex-negativity aimed at women. So I’d have a hard time saying one is worse than the other in the grand scheme.

    • http://twitter.com/reanimated Kelly S

      “Why people think women are sluts when men are studs, that’s cause most of the time, if a random average woman makes a direct sexual advance, it’s much more likely her advance will be met with success than that of a random average man.” glad you realize it’s all about jealousy and resentment. the haters will never admit that. but it’s all well and good for you to give up and say this is how it is. after all, it doesn’t affect you in the slightest. you’ll never be called a slut and deemed trash because you are a mammal. you’re considered the norm. and i guess women aren’t allowed to want sex or to be sexy. gee, andrea dworkin was right. by this theory, all sex HAS to be rape.

  • Lastango

    How dare the Carmel Pine Cone call women sluts!!! Everyone knows only feminist media are allowed to call women sluts. Especially after the hard work Salon did to reclaim the word from Rush Limbaugh:

    http://www.salon.com/2012/03/11/to_reclaim_or_reject_slut/

    You go Gurl – way to shut up that Rush bastard.

    Anyway, first thing I did after hearing about Pineconegate was pop over to the Slutty Feminist to see if she was on the case:

    http://sluttyfeminist.blogspot.ca/

    Nope – nothing yet. Not at her other website “Feminist Media”, either. But no doubt she’ll start slutkicking butt any minute now.

    The Pine Cone better watch it, because when Jaclyn Friedman of Feministe wrote “My sluthood, my self”, she wasn’t fooling around:

    “(Sluthood is) a choice we should all have access to because it has the potential to be liberating. Healing. Soul-fulfilling. I’m telling you this because sluthood saved me, in a small but life-altering way, and I want it to be available to you if you ever think it could save you, too.”

    http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2010/07/26/my-sluthood-myself/

    When the Feminist Wire titled a piece titled “Sluts on Parade” they knew what they were doing. The Pine Cone doesn’t, and it’s time they learned sluts aren’t going to take it lying down!

    http://thefeministwire.com/2011/05/sluts-on-parade/

    • http://www.xojane.com/author/eve Eve Vawter

      Shit, Brb, going to get my Lasttango tattoo, OR, tramp stamp.

      YOU always make such great points LT!

    • Lastango

      Oooo…you coquette you – nobody calls me “LT” anymore! You’re going to make me like you even better.

    • meg

      … You’re one of those people who gets really upset when Jay-Z entitled his album “N***az in Paris” but you’re still not allowed to casually throw that word around at will, aren’t you?

      Good “word reappropriation” and you’ll understand why it’s reasonable for feminists to use the word “slut” as a self-descriptor but not for people to continue to hurl it at them in a sex-negative or mocking way.

    • Lastango

      Does this mean I’m going to have to look up “Jay-Z” – ?
      I sort of pride myself on not really knowing who all those poptrash pseudo-shock people are.

    • Guest

      I find that the men most offended by women’s sexual liberation are those who sadly didn’t benefit from it.

    • http://twitter.com/reanimated Kelly S

      aw honey, you tried. you can’t tell the difference between reclaiming and the classical, misogynistic usage, can you? from texas: bless your heart.

    • Lastango

      There, there now sweetiepie, you can have your cake and eat it too! You can be a “slut”, and not be a SLUT! — both at the same time. But don’t feel like you have to stop there. Reach out for lots of cultural labels, and stick them all over yourself so you can feel like you sort of know who you are. Always remember, you’re totally empowered to do whatever you want with the language, and if it doesn’t work out, well, that’s somebody else’s fault for not seeing your true self.
      Say, how’s the STD rate on campus these days?

    • Blooming_Babies

      Yes let’s not be offended by something so clearly meant to degrade because someone else has inappropriately used the words. That theory works as long as you’re good with every crime because someone has committed it before.

  • ali

    Eve, I love every article you write.

    • meg

      The fearlessness in calling a spade a spade here is pretty admirable, yeah. Round of applause for the author.

  • meg

    I’m trying to thinking of something I’ve read so far this week more repugnant than this, but it’s just not coming to me. WTF is wrong with people??

  • Christine H

    This could all have been prevented if some idiot hadn’t thought up a ‘Tequila and Lingerie’ event. I would be embarrassed to tell my daughter that I was attending such a thing. Scantily-clad women have nothing whatsoever to do with female empowerment. To the contrary, actually.

    • meg

      So women aren’t allowed to be proud of their bodies? If they embrace their sexuality or dress in a “scanty” manner, they’re disempowering themselves?

      Say what you will about the use of female sexuality as a marketing tool, but I am a feminist who both drinks tequila and wears lingerie.

    • Christine H

      I am proud of my body, and my daughter’s body. I am proud of our womanhood…so much so that I choose to protect our dignity in public with clothing. The way old-fashioned LADIES used to do.

    • http://twitter.com/reanimated Kelly S

      yaaay slut shaming. do you feel superior yet? because you hide away your human body?

    • lea

      But do you charge someone for the privilege of witnessing you drinking tequila in your underwear? That’s the difference.

  • Amber Phillips

    I’m Amber Phillips, mother,
    daughter, student, mentor, community activist, and the founder of Racey
    Promotions. We specialize in attractive, classy, fun and personable female
    promotional models. If you need a promotional model, we’re the company you need
    to race to first. Our models are more than pretty faces. They are intelligent,
    personable, fun and energetic. They know how to raise money, sell a product and
    accomplish your event goals. In fact, ongoing community service and “spreading
    the word” about social causes is a requirement for models who work with Racey
    Promotions. I have forged a team that is creative, fun and not afraid to get
    their hands dirty. I am extremely proud of Racey Promotions and what we stand
    for! None of the Racey Promotional models deserve this type of harassment! This
    is inexcusable. Please show your support by liking our FB page and sharing your
    opinion about this issue. Thank you on behalf of Racey Promotions for your
    support. http://www.facebook.com/RaceyPromotions
    http://www.RaceyPromotions.com

  • otterpop

    you know, i always find it extremely amusing when people say things like this – i am a former escort (yes, that’s right – a BIG OL’ WHORE!) and let me tell you, i never dressed like that for a client (occasionally i would wear slightly racy lingerie, but none of my outerwear would be called ‘slutty).
    so, not only are you insulting these women, who are all presumably not promiscious and/or paid to have sex with others, but you’re also insulting those of us who ARE paid to have sex with others! i am not ashamed of my former profession – classy is classy, regardless.