Today, we're pleased to welcome Sarah Anderson back to H&H. Sarah is an old-timer by now, having written A Penis by Any Other Name and Names for the Vagina and today's post was inspired by some lively Twitter conversation about romance novels and current popular events. The heroine of Sarah's brand-new book, A Real Cowboy, also suffers through slut-shaming, but ends up, thankfully, with her own happy ending. Thanks, Sarah!
By this point, the names alone should be all you need to hear. Janet Jackson. Kristen Stewart. Kate Middleton. Anne Hathaway.
Not that these women have been alone in experiencing the horrors of being publicly slut-shamed. They’re just the most recent in a long line of women who have been put in their “place” by means of manipulating sex and perception. We’ve been told over and over that their sexuality—the fact that they either had sex or even just had body parts involved in sex—was dangerous, dirty, wrong.
Who could forget Janet Jackson? Remember what she did during that Super Bowl Halftime routine? She stood by while Justin Timberlake ripped part of her costume off, thereby giving birth to the phrase “wardrobe malfunction.” Justin issued a statement apologizing, yet the world went on as if Janet had personally corrupted an entire generation of youths on purpose.