Sluts. This word is often times used towards women and usually in a derogatory manner rather than as a compliment. Traditionally, it usually meant that a woman was sexually promiscuous and had multiple sex partners at the same time or over a course of a short time but this is an outdated definition. In fact, these days, slut has evolved to mean in addition to sexual promiscuity, that she is also emotionally promiscuous. That is, developing multiple, deep emotional connections with men who aren’t their boyfriends or significant others, sharing intimate details about themselves that are meant to be shared with just one man but instead are spread across all the men with whom she holds these connections with. And a very interesting evolution has taken place since third wave feminism was in full swing. Have you noticed, my dear WordPress bloggers, that this word, slut, has become synonymous with “Independent Women” as of late? Yup, independent women is just the politically correct way of saying “slut”. Wonderful, isn’t it? And to top that off, it has nothing to do with politics but because it has been used all too often on the internet, it might as well be referring to the same thing.
The independent woman used to be that gal who could take care of herself, financially speaking. She used to be that “empowered woman” that so many feminists have been fighting for and that other women who grew up with more traditional gender roles looked up to and wanted to emulate. She was that rebel. She was that woman who stood up for other women when they were being mistreated by men. She was that heroine that went after what she wanted in life and nothing would stop her from achieving what she set out to obtain. What happened to that independent woman? Seriously. Nowadays, an independent woman has become that woman that slept around with multiple men in a single night, that woman that broke up marriages and long-term, loving relationships just because she could, and flirt and fooled around with men even though she, herself, is married or in a serious and committed long-term relationship with another man. Because…Go Girl Power? Because…Go Equality? Because…Go Women’s Freedom of Choice? What part of this is about girl power? Or about equality? Or about women’s freedom of choice? When has women’s choice, equality, and girl power become synonymous with destroying other people’s relationships? When has it become synonymous with the blatant disregard for the feelings of the other party involved in a marriage with a woman? When has it become synonymous with having every orifice filled with a man’s penis in as many different positions as possible? Seriously. It’s ridiculous how far the state of the independent woman has fallen.
And this transition from the independent woman to “independent woman as a euphemism for slut”? When did this happen? Because I didn’t get the memo. For the longest time, I had no issues with the strong woman who went after what she wanted but still knew how to be a feminine woman. But this? This was a recent phenomenon that happened only in the last decade or so. This is an abomination. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that women can’t sleep with whomever they choose. But it crosses the line when one is attempting to sleep with a man who is already taken or married. But no, no, says the “independent woman”. Gender is a social construct and social constructs are so 1970’s. We’re past that point, say the independent women of today. Why should it matter who I sleep with or with how many I choose to sleep with? Ummm….because maybe other people may not necessarily share your views? Because maybe other people still believe in monogamy? Because maybe other people still believe that there are such things like for every action committed, there are necessarily consequences and sometimes, those consequences may require taking responsibility for them especially when harm has been done?
I think that white feminism should take a few pointers from Asian feminism because Asian empowerment from East Asia is different from white feminism in the West. They don’t take things too far because they still subscribe to the idea that there needs to be balance in relationships as well as every other facet in life. They understand that men and women are different by nature and do not attempt to mess with what nature intended but only modify those aspects of human nature that, if changed, will still lead to balance and harmony. Just a quick look into Asian history, there are numerous examples of strong women, truly strong women who hold positions of power but yet never forget that their feminine qualities play just as much as an important role in their lives as their masculine qualities but under different conditions and circumstances. In other words, some situations require more feminine qualities taking the forefront while others require more masculine qualities. Out of all the strong women in Asian history, “Mulan” in Chinese folklore, comes to mind. She is the perfect example of what an independent woman ought to be. And if you have no idea who she is, please do yourself a favor and go read up about her. Hell, if nothing else, go watch that American-made cartoon “Mulan” to get a general idea of who she is. Granted, that cartoon is not historically accurate but I think that the cartoon captures the basic essence of what an independent woman ought to be.
But okay, I’ve been talking down on today’s independent woman in the West a lot. Are there any saving graces of the independent woman in the West? That would depend on who’s perspective that we’re talking about. From the perspective of the independent woman, I would imagine that having the choices and freedom that are essentially akin to being like a man, the very fact that one can choose to do whatever one desires without the social construct and thus the “social rules” in place, it can be particularly freeing. But this type of freedom is unlike the freedoms that a man has because the man still subscribes to the social construct and thus are still subject to penalties of the same construct. The independent woman, on the other hand, who doesn’t subscribe to this social construct is in an entirely new territory that’s never been traveled on even by men. This territory is basically a free-for-all where anything goes and I mean that quite literally. (Incidentally, this is the same paradigm that the hookup culture is based on *Surprise, surprise.*) And thus, the independent women of today who choose to identify as such and commit to this philosophy of life really has no right to complain about how there are no “good men” left to date and ultimately to marry. No right whatsoever. Why? Well, if they honestly believe that social constructs are a thing of the past and shouldn’t be followed, then it should also apply to men as well–because, you know, of equality–which is one of the major proponents being touted by today’s feminist movement, right? Given that to be true, the same social construct that say that men ought to “man up” and “grow a pair” which, itself, is a product of the same social construct that “oppressed women,” that same system that independent women decided for themselves that it is an obsolete system of social governance in personal relationships should also be tossed out–again, for the sake of equality of the sexes. Dun dun dun…
Yup, you guessed it. This creates a whole new set of problems for both sexes. If the old world social construct says that men ought to lead, be the first to ask a woman out and pay, then who should do it in this social construct-free world? Obviously, men can’t do it lest they be accused of following the old world social construct that oppressed women in the days of yore. So that means women would have to do it. But now we run into another set of problems. Women don’t want to do it. Women don’t want to do the leading, the asking out, and the paying of dates. *GASP* Catch 22.
And again, the only solution that I can come up with is that white feminism (or more generally, feminism in the West) should take a few pointers from Asian feminism and slowly return to the idea that feminine and masculine qualities should play a more balanced role in each of the sexes, male and female. I think striking that balance will usher in a new Renaissance for the Western Woman and once again, allow men to be men–real men–thus restoring balance that third wave feminism have upset and ultimately ruined for all parties involved in the here and now.