A post written by Kimberly Hall, the Director of Women’s ministry at All Saints PCA in Texas, has recently gone viral. It is everything I could ever dislike about a post wrapped in the bacon of blind hypocrisy. She rants about the seductive selfies girls seed to her boys (The Hall Men) and how her boys will never be able to see those trollops without thinking about their icky girl parts and she is blocking them lest the harlots further lead her magnificent sons down the evil path of having sexual thoughts. She also included pictures of her sons on the beach, 2/3 of the way naked. With no irony whatsoever. Because everybody know naked boys are just human beings with skin, whereas towel-clad girls are walking sin-bags.
I have seen some responses, by Christians, which were gentle yet firm remonstrations that her message was wrong. My favorite paragraph was this one:
“Please, please tell me if I’m reading too much into what you’re saying here, but it looks like you’re suggesting that once a male sees a female in only a towel, he can only think of her in a sexual way. If so, YIKES. Also, NO. I made a phone call on this one, just to double check with one of the most rule-following, law-abiding, deeply-rooted-in-Christian-culture men I know… my father, former Marine, former missionary. And he said two things that stood out like flashing neon signs: 1) Although men certainly retain memories of seeing exciting things – “like I’ll never forget seeing my first Ferarri!” he said – it’s demeaning to men of any age to presume they can only see a woman as a sexual object once they’ve seen her in a state of undress, and 2) This shifts an unreasonable burden of responsibility to young women for ensuring men don’t view them sexually.”
I heart that Marine with a big ol’ heart, y’all.
Then there were responses from people who saw the misogyny and hypocrisy in her craptastic post and let fly. I especially liked these two comments:
“So wait. This means that when The Hall Boys ™ finally get around to doing the nasty with their wives, they’ll only be able to see them in a sexual way? Like, The Hall Boys ™ won’t ever be able to think of their wives as anything other than a place to insert their dicks? Or are The Hall Boys ™ going to do it through a hole in a sheet and therefore never see their wives in “a state of undress”? – Corggirl
“You guys are missing the BEST PART! The majority of the commenters on her post brought up that they would love to use the article to talk to their teenage girls about modesty, but they can’t because shirtless boys are shirtless. So she posted the exact same essay, but with pictures of her boys covered up. Without acknowledging why, or deleting the first one. Or even a disclaimer.” — Icecreamcono
Since others have taken her to task for the hypocrisy and sexism in the flaming bag of bullshit she posted, Imma not blog about that. Nope. Imma blog about what her flaming bag of bullshit IS and DOES.
It is part and parcel with “slut shaming”, AKA “the double standard”. Soraya Chemaly summed slut shaming up as “a national sport: we embarrass, insult or otherwise denigrate girls and woman for their real or extrapolated sexual behavior, including for dressing in sexual ways, having sexual feelings and/or exploring and exhibiting them.”
She pointed out that no one was “safe” from being called a slut, and that “the defining characteristic of a slut is not her sexual behavior – it’s her gender. In this way, more people now understand that a slut is any woman who wants, on her own terms, to control her reproduction (for whatever reason), build a life, earn a living of her own, dress how she wants, and take care of her health and her family … If you’re a “good” woman, don’t kid yourself. It means you’ve spent your life and will continue to spend your life calibrating your appearance, speech and behaviour so that you are not a slut.”
Then Ms. Chemaly drives home why women slut shaming other women is particularly egregious: “By not acknowledging how the word is used you are embracing its power over you and other girls and women. And you will pass that corrupt and misguided abuse of power on to your daughters and mine. That’s because you know, deep down, that at any point that word can be used against you. Every woman is a slut waiting to happen. Women who abhor the word, find it vulgar, and fear it, the ones who slut-shame others, gain a little bit of power by participating in a system that denigrates them.”
I think it is abundantly clear that what Kimberly Hall’s post IS. It is the self-righteous glory-hogging of a ‘good girl’ trying to slut shame other women to 1) make her self look even better and 2) to drive home to her sons that only ‘good girls’ are worthy of respect and/or love. It is another wonderful example of patriarchal enforcement and propagation by a woman. Way to sell out your gender to earn a pat on the head from the God-ordained Penis-having Overlords, Kimberly Hall!
What the attitude of people like Kimberly Hall, those who gleefully participate in the perpetuation of slut shaming, DOES is prop up misogyny and rape culture. It is the source from which the mighty River of Sexism springs. See, by blaming women for “tempting” men with the merest suggestion of our sexuality, or ta-tas, or whore-split, what you are telling men women are the gatekeepers of morality and any sexual moral slips a guy might have are caused by strumpets. Considering the hornytoads teenagers are, this trains men to believe women are The Enemy to their control and morality. Simultaneously men are taught by patriarchal culture that banging hot chicks is the just and rightful reward for being a manly man. Hot chicks who look hot but don’t spread their hussy legs are just taunting men to be MEAN to them. It is an easy few steps from “that floozy made me get an unwanted boner” to “I have a boner and now the bitch won’t suck it” to “I hate women and want to punish them for all my conflicted feelings”. Misogynists are asshats, and I think Kimberly Hall should think long and hard about whether or not she wants her babies to grow up to be misogynists.
Maybe she does, because then SHE will be the only woman worthy of their love. In which case, EWWWWW.
Unfortunately, misogyny can express itself in the form of rape. Rape is an attempt to have ‘power’ over a victim. Rape “punishes” women for being women and having women body parts or “punishes” men by “using” them as women. Patriarchal cultures like ours subtly condone rape in the form of rape culture, “a concept which links rape and sexual violence to the culture of a society, and in which prevalent attitudes and practices normalize, excuse, tolerate, or even condone rape. Examples of behaviors commonly associated with rape culture include victim blaming, sexual objectification, and trivializing rape.”
An example of rape culture is the fact that “Yellowstone County district judge G. Todd Baugh sentenced Stacey Dean Rambold on Monday, but rejected the prosecution’s plea for a longer prison sentence, stating that the girl was “older than her chronological age” and that she was ”as much in control of the situation” as the middle-aged teacher who repeatedly raped her.This despite the fact that the young girl committed suicide while the case was pending and despite the fact that Rambold already failed to complete a sex offender program the court had mandated him to complete.”
Slut shaming reinforces rape culture by bolstering the tropes of “she really wanted it” and “she was asking for it”. Or in the case of Stacey Rambold raping a 14 year old student, saying that the dead victim was as much in control of the situation as he was.
Am I being harsh to Kimberly Hall. Yes. She could have written a post telling girls not to send suggestive selfies because she wanted THEM to know that they were worth so much more than their bodies regardless of what the media would have them believe. Instead, she blamed them for potentially tempting her Angels with their Devil Lairs. That is slut shaming. That is misogyny in action.
Congratulations on feeding the Rape Culture & Misogyny monster, Kimberly Hall!