Are bad boys simply boys, and bad girls sluts?

A blog friend and I were discussing the appearance choices (clothing, tattoos, piercings, hairstyles) of alternativly minded people when she wrote:  “My back is up by the insistence of the word ‘slutty’—you cant be seriously telling me you meant that to apply to both male and females surely?”

First, I will only admit to being sexist inasmuch as I regard women as more moral than men due to the fact that evolution made it desirable for males to impregnate every woman in sight, and for females to find a safe environment in which to raise their precious few eggs. Because the male impulse is detrimental to a stable society, it would clearly be for the common good if men were more like women. It would also save countless male politicians and preachers from losing their jobs.

Second, I refuse to avoid gender-specific criticisms simply because they are gender specific and therefore don’t fit the current definition of how I am to think if I value gender equality. We all have a general idea of what slutty dress and behavior look like, and that both are specific to women (sleazy has a somewhat similar meaning and can apply to both genders). Because appearance and body language represent a profound statement of whom we are, I would argue that slutty is an accurate description rather than a sexist insult.
Third, I don’t see the word slut as deprecating of women but only of those women who dishonor womanhood. Manhood should mean more than testicles, and womanhood should mean more that presenting oneself as a likely object with which to have intercourse. I realize that women who present themselves as sluts sometimes do so falsely, whether through naiveté or because they find gratification in watching men slobber, but this doesn’t negate my point. For a woman to dress and behave in a sexually suggestive way constitutes a negative statement about her self-worth whether or not shes promiscuous.

Until the advent of the birth control pill, women were the guardians of morality because they were the ones who had the most to lose due to pregnancy; hence words like whore and slut applied to them alone. As a result of the pill, the expectation that women take the lead in guarding morality has been greatly lowered, yet it is still true that men behave like so many bower birds in their desperation to win the favor of females. Men simply don’t need to send permissive signals by the way they dress because the term “permissive male” is all but redundant. The same is not true of women, so women of questionable character always have and always will find it desirable to signal their availability. 
If a woman wants to excite a man, she need only display her thighs and cleavage, but if she wants to win his respect, she needs to be his moral superior because, to put in bluntly, evolution made mento continue with my critters analogieslike so many dogs in the gutter (which is why both genders are hard-pressed to sell sex to anyone but men). On this, I would assume that many of those who insist on complete gender equality would agree because theirs is not an equality that cuts both ways, but rather a veneer over their hatred of men. As I see it, equality must take differences into accountthe rub is in determining what differences. Does this not mean that I too hate men? No, I hate it that the power of testosterone is so enormousand so beyond the understanding of womenthat it leads men to be as promiscuous as I have been.  

"The time I’ve lost in wooing,
In watching and pursuing
The light, that lies
In woman’s eyes,
Has been my heart’s undoing.
Though Wisdom oft has sought me,
I scorn’d the lore she brought me,
My only books
Were woman’s looks,
And folly’s all they’ve taught me."
Thomas Moore 1779-1852)

Two other things make it necessary that women assume greater moral responsibility and therefore deserve greater condemnation if they fail to do so. One is that young men, at least, live in such an intense state of sexual arousal that it qualifies as torture, while women have to build into arousal. The other is that women suffer more severe consequences from herpes and pelvic inflammatory disease. It therefore makes sense that, even with the pill, a double standard not only continues to exist, but that it is proper for it to exist because, to repeat myself: (a) women have the most to lose, and (b) women are better able to say no.

Margaret Deland had much to say about gender issues, and they are completely congruent with my own experiences. The following sampler is from her novelette “Amelia,” which appeared in her book Dr. Lavendar’s People in 1903.

“… the companionship of an eminently worthy wife is almost never enough for the male creature.”

“…as every intelligent…woman knows, men like fools; feminine fools.”

“…a man wants more than to just look at a pretty girl across the table.”

“…the male creature, good and honest and faithful as he may be, is at heart a Mormon.”

I have attempted to show why I think it behooves women to put their emphasis on attractiveness rather than sexuality. Even so, there is lot of ground between, on the one hand, taking the position that gender-based realities don’t exist, and, on the other, arguing, as do millions of Moslems, that women are fire and men are gasoline, and women must therefore cover themselves from head to foot so that poor, desperate horny men wont be forced to rape them. 

The worst thing I can say about what I regard as slutty dress and behavior isn’t how it affects men but what it says about women. For a woman to present sexuality as her dominant visual statement about herself is to imply that her existence is a triviality. In the early days of modern feminism, women who presented themselves as “sex objects” (the term used at the time) were severely condemned by the feminist community, so how is it that we went from that to the current belief that such dress and behavior are not only consistent with equality, they are equality, the result being that people like myself whose views were once consistent with feminism are now labeled as sexist because we dont agree that behaving like a dog in heat is a noble endeavor?
A movement’s high ideals can quickly degenerate for various reasons. For instance, there might have been a loss of strong leadership; or an absence of focus and clarity once a movement’s primary goals were achieved; or the movement’s original values might have become the status quo; or those too young to remember how hard it was to achieve those goals might take them for granted. So it is that, in my lifetime, Civil Rights and feminism have become trivialized; the demand for freedom of expression has become the tyranny of political correctness; and the Peace Movement has fallen off the radar. When such weakening occurs, superficiality becomes the order of the day; goals that were once considered unworthy are that’s left; and behaviors that were once unthinkable become acceptable. Deland (1857-1945) saw all of this coming, and grieved for the growing social fragmentation of the 20th century, a fragmentation that she recognized as an unintended consequence of what started as the movement for women’s suffrage. The trouble of ridding society of negative values is that positive values can also be lost in the change.