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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Gender Issues » Guy calling me a whore...

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Author Topic: Guy calling me a whore...
bugsy182
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Okay so I was online talking with my friend Adam and his friend Danny IM's me and is like 'get on iChat ho....' I repsonded 'umm...no.'
Adam is on skank get on iChat'
'ummm...still no'
'damn ho get on ichat skank!'
And then I finally blew up at him. I told him to talk to me with some god damn respect and so on.

I asked my friend if she thought I over-reacted and she thinks I did... but I don't.

What are you're thoughts because, I get so offended when a guy calls me (or any woman) that over and over even if he is just joking.

Is it a self-esteem issue or a self-respect issue???

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-Lauren-
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I don't see it as an esteem issue, nor do I think you overreacted. It's a pretty normal response to someone being a jerk.

But you know? A better response might have been to just employ the block/ignore button. As the ol' Internet adage goes, don't feed the trolls. People who enjoy being jerks get their jollies off a response.

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dailicious
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I've run into circumstances similar to this, and while I have not been called any derogitory names myself, I have had them tossed around in conversation with a couple friends.

One friend of mine in particular was making some fairly lewd comments and disrespectful jokes about women, and I basically told him to cut that sort of language and those types of jokes around me or I'd end the conversation. He apologized quickly and stopped, but if he wouldn't have, you better bet I would have ignored his behind.

So, like Miss Lauren said - I don't think you overreacted at all; in hindisght, it's always easier to look at things with a bit more level head and to observe that a slightly different approach may have handled things better (for example, saying something like, "I'm not going to talk to either of you if you are being so disrespectful toward me or women." and then ignoring them), but I definitely understand how angering it can be to have to deal with so much disrespect straight to your face.

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Faith54
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I completely understand. My guy friends call each other "pussies" and sometimes even "vaginas" (it pains me to even quote this). Everytime my temper flares, because such language is just disgusting.

Anyway, I don't think you overreacted, but as Miss Lauren said, jerks get kicks out of angry responses. So next time I'd just give them the cold shoulder.

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"My grandmother never gave gifts- she was too busy being raped by cossacks." ~ Woody Allen

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Heather
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It may be stating the obvious, but I just want to make sure it's mentioned that everyone gets a choice in their social circles.

So, if you find yourself in circles or relationships where this stuff keeps happening, where the people spewing it don't seem to care about how you feel about it, really listen to your objections, or even try and adjust their language so that you don't have to deal with what is a form of sexual harassment, you get to choose to leave those friends. You also get to choose to pick friends who will treat you and whatever class of people you belong to -- per sex, gender, race, size, economic class, what have you -- with kindness, compassion, care and respect.

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squirrelgirl
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something that really bothers me is a term recently coming into use in my area among my male friends: calling girls "gashes" (guess why...)

My objection is not that there's anything 'disgusting' about vaginas or the female sexual organs, just that the term "gash" implies that women are solely there as sexual toys and ignores any value we may have as rational/emotional human beings.

I think the term 'whore' might also imply that we are solely sexual objects - not even acting of our own free will, but there to perform a service from men.

Rationalising it out with your so-called 'friend' might or might not work, but it certainly gave my male friends some food for thought.

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Heather
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Personally, the few times people have spoken that way around me, I have found that even just one firm, "You may NOT sopeak that way around me," with no further explanation -- let's face it, most people talking that way know full well they're being insulting -- works wonders.

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AngelC27713
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I also think it comes from the music us young people listen to..most of the rap artist we listen to freely use the words "whore", "trick", and "bitch"..So now other guys use the word and they dont think of it as an insult..Its almost like the "N" word..Its overused and people are not taking the time to think about the REAL!! meaning of the word and where it came from..
You also have to know who you are talking to..Some people are okay with things that other people are not okay with..You should talk with him and simply let him know that you dont appreciate him talking to you that way!!

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bellaitaliana69
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I too get extreanly offended if anyone calls me a "whore". Even if I know that they're just joking, that doesn't seem to make a difference. For me anyway, people saying things like that to me makes me particularly uncomfortable because I know that I'm more sexually experienced than most of my friends and I fear that they may actually think that of me.

Also, if I tell people that I don't appreciate being called that, and I get defensive, it makes it seem as though I have a reason to be defensive, thereby making their comments somehow true. Does anyone else feel that way?

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"Only fear the things which have the power to harm" --Dante Aligheri, "Inferno" canto 2

A miracle is not the suspension of natural law, but the operation of a higher law.

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AngelC27713
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I cant really say that Im with you on that because Im a virgin..But I do have a lot of friends that are sexually active and some get around more than others..I hate when people make it seem like just because I hang around them that Im having sex too and people call me a whore and things and I get upset because it doesnt mean that I do what they do just because I hang around them..

I just think the word sucks period..No matter how or who uses it!!

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!!-->MizZLoFteN<--!!

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000
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quote:
I cant really say that Im with you on that because Im a virgin..But I do have a lot of friends that are sexually active and some get around more than others..I hate when people make it seem like just because I hang around them that Im having sex too and people call me a whore and things and I get upset because it doesnt mean that I do what they do just because I hang around them..
Well you know, people shouldn't be judging your friends based on their activities. People shouldn't be judging you based on your activities, or your friends' activities. Those things are both equally unfair.
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bellaitaliana69
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I too am a virgin, it's just that most of my friends have never even kissed someone before. I think that anyone's sexual decisions are his/her own business and that NOBODY has the right to judge him/her on that basis.

I also hate how the term "whore" is so gender restricted and is only used to describe women. It's chovinistic (sp?) and mysogynistic. Basically, it sucks. I agree with iheartdc.

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"Only fear the things which have the power to harm" --Dante Aligheri, "Inferno" canto 2

A miracle is not the suspension of natural law, but the operation of a higher law.

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Ecofem
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I'm reading this thread and I have to admit I'm a bit baffled by this name calling. But I'm saying this as a woman in her twenties with high school and undergrad behind me. I've had guys make inappropriate sexual remarks or comments to me, but "whore" and other such words haven't really been tossed around.

Then again, I think I remember it being used more freely as slang by both genders in high school, but not so much as an intentional insult. (I'll admit to saying "whore" in this regard in a conversation with someone with a different, more conservative background who got majorly offended. I felt really bad and it made me nix it's usage entirely.)

I'm wondering if this is mostly coming from high school-aged males? (That they say such things to assert their power/status/"masculinity" because they feel so unsure in this regard?) Or that I now intentionally hang out only with people who use respectful terms?

I read how you all are feeling like you have to stick up for your sexual behavior ("no, I'm still a virgin!", "no, I'm not a prude", etc.) I feel bad about this but understand where you're coming from -- It's hard when you're just figuring out your sexuality yourself, and you certainly have to defend it for some moron... but it can catch you off guard! I definitely think this goes into the double-standard for male-female sexuality. Just remember that anyone making such a judgement/comment not only is crappy, undeserving of such any explanation, and not someone you'd really want to get involved with in any way. (That may have sounded a bit preachy, but it's also something I work to keep in mind myself. [Wink] )

[ 02-20-2007, 11:38 AM: Message edited by: Ecofem ]

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000
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Ecofem, if you're a bit baffled, I'll just throw something out there...

W/o knowing where you grew up, I'll suggest that it may have been a place/culture where the double-standard was not taken as seriously as it still is in some places of the US and the world.

Cultural differences can be amazing. And yeah I agree with everything you said.

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Ecofem
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I think I'm from about the same place as you: DC metro area. [Smile] I realize now what a huge difference regional differences make, even more than general assumptions or situations, i.e. village in conservative European country versus big American city. (I think Germany is better than the US for everyday men-women stuff (like in buses) but worse than the US in terms of institutionalized sexism (jobs/hiring, etc.).)

I think the US is very pluralistic: Sometimes if I wonder if I grew up in some bubble (I never thought Nova was some progressive, liberal haven) because I hear about someone's experience in a small town in the Midwest (US), and it just seems so "foreign" to me.

I also wonder if it's just a handful of crappy male chavinists at a school or wherever who make their rounds with the misogynist remarks thinly veiled as chatter.

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Heather
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Certainly, it's not the fault of women when men speak to and of them this way. Nor is it the fault of women as a class when we/you aren't reared to be assertive, to set limits and boundaries and to have limits which you simply put your foot down with.

But can we be frank and address the fact that NOT being very frim and clear when you are talked to, at or of this way DOES enable this stuff?

In other words, if you're just looking the other way when this stuff happens, or going away or hanging up while saying nothing, turning the other cheek, just ignoring this, you can only expect so much change.

I know I said it once already in this thread, but really, being very frim, very clear and very unwavering with stuff like this really is effective. Mind, it does mean that if this comes from guys you like, who you're concerned about thinking you're cool or whatever, you can't let it go with those guys and not with others. (And I do get the pressures to not be a "bitch," or a "nag" or all of the gazillion words used to make women think there's something negative about standing up for themselves and refusing to be spat upon in any way.) It also means that if you dog other women in the presence of these guys ever, or enable that, you've got to knock that off, too: this isn't just about it not being okay to talk about YOU that way, but about all women, so there's no room for mixed messages.

For those of who who ARE being very assertive with stuff like this, who are saying clearly, "Nuh UH, I will NOT listen to that," a show of hands? How has that gone for you? or how about those of you who simply make a limit that you're just not going to have anything to do with guys (or girls) talking this way?

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About MeGet our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Ecofem
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quote:
Originally posted by Heather:
(And I do get the pressures to not be a "bitch," or a "nag" or all of the gazillion words used to make women think there's something negative about standing up for themselves and refusing to be spat upon in any way.)

For those of who who ARE being very assertive with stuff like this, who are saying clearly, "Nuh UH, I will NOT listen to that," a show of hands? How has that gone for you? or how about those of you who simply make a limit that you're just not going to have anything to do with guys (or girls) talking this way?

I was also thinking about this, Heather, but you phrased it really well here. I did and do stand up for myself and others in such situations. I was going to add to my post: I think I came across as intimidating to such guys (I was rather "riotgrrl" to put a name on it) and people weren't going to stay such things to my face. Supposedly they were saying things behind my back or assumed I was a "lesbian" for such stuff, but I had a tight knit group of friends for support and I really didn't pay attention to such gossip.

My mom was born in the early 1940s. She talked about how women had to play nice and smile through all this stuff in the career world. She said that they (the women) had ways to use this against the misogynists and get ahead, but that we (her daughters and women nowadays) shouldn't have to deal this way. That we should "bitch" and scream away... However, I have friends with mothers born later who told them to not make waves and be demure.

Group question (an add on to Heather's): What are you getting told at home about this? Did you ever bring up being called such names with your parents? Did they say to ignore/talk back/be quiet or even agree?

[ 02-20-2007, 06:41 PM: Message edited by: Ecofem ]

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Irm
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Any time that I have stood up and proclaimed that type of name-calling in regards to women was completely inappropriate, I have been met with scoffing and some pretty cruel efforts to make me look like an extremist, over-reacting bitch. "Chill, geez, what's YOUR problem?" type of stuff. Or no acknowledgement for my statement at all: anything to invalidate it and belittle my authority to be making the complaint in the first place.

Now and then, a woman present in company will actually chime in and say things like, "Hey, I don't mind being called that", or even, "Hey, I like that name; I'm a whore/skank/whatever and proud!" And more rarely, when I'm voicing up about ANY mysoginist issue, something like, "Let it go, you're making too much of it; it's just the way things are, chill out, it's not that bad. *I* don't mind/care."

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Heather
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So what happens next?

In other words, do you bother hanging out with these people again, since that reaction shows pretty clearly that not only do they think little wof women as a class, they don't have any respect or accord for you as an individual either?

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Andromache
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The big word in my high school - and I doubt it's changed in the past nine months - has always been slut. That, and if you wanted to be particularly vile and vituperative, cunt.

There's a different dynamic with each of these words, I think; with whore, it's treating all women as prostitutes, with the idea that women's sexuality can be bought for a price. With slut, it's denigrating wmen's ability to make free choices about their sexuality, and also applies the double standard to "promiscuity".

The worst bit about it, I've found, is that even if you've the clearest understanding of the evil of the word, it slips into your own vocabulary if you don't protest it enough. I've always made a big deal of homophobia, and people usually know enough not to use "***" around me - but I protested less with slut, and lo and behold, it would creep into my thinking. It's so hard to excise all the internalized sexism of society, particularly when language is a vehicle for misogyny.

Drives me crazy.

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Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?

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000
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I am from a small town in the midwest, not DC originally.

And yeah, I was always assertive. Telling boys off though, always escalated the harassment. (I wasn't exactly popular, and didn't really have girls on my side either). And man, I guess it did seem a little unfair because I wasn't even getting any and I wanted to. Not that this problem has changed or anything...

My moms sort of part of the cultural problem. She doesn't want her girls to act like "whores" although she'd never use that exact word. And I know you can't make generalizations about anywhere, but I gotta say that everywhere I've been in DC, artsy areas as well as rich subarbs, people are much more sexually liberal

[ 02-21-2007, 10:19 PM: Message edited by: iheartdc ]

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Irm
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"So what happens next?

In other words, do you bother hanging out with these people again..."

Frankly, if I didn't, I wouldn't have any males in my life. Perhaps with the exception of my grandfather. I keep my position and hope that they'll gradually pick up more of my views. *Sad shrug*

[ 02-22-2007, 05:23 PM: Message edited by: RedGoddess ]

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SatisfactionBroughtItBack
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This kind of name calling happens all the time in my peer group.The guys call the girls(and sometimes each other) 'bitch' or 'ho' or 'slut'.
They make me angry when they use these terms against me,such as 'Pick up the phone bitch.'
AAnd of course we have a choice as to who we hang around with,but the truth is,these guys are very friendly and kind.And yet no matter how many times I glare at them and warn them to watch their mouth they continue with these terms.They do not mean any offense by them,they seay them in a way thats joking.And the fact that they jokingly call each OTHER these terms aswell shows that they dont call me these names to show me up as a sex object.
But if this guy is calling you these anmes in a way thats truly offensive and that seems to be PURPOSEfully offensive towards you,then I suggest you either sit him down and explain to him that its hurtful towards you and why,OR if he refuses to cooperate simply ignore him and make him know exactly why you're ignoring him.
I'm sure that he'll come around eventually.And even if he doesnt,a person like that who wont cut out the insults when they hurt you isnt worth your time.

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Johann7
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"Telling boys off though, always escalated the harassment."

Those who are consciously using derogatory terms to harass others typically are trying to get a strong negative reaction, as well as assert power, maintain power differentials, etc. as has been stated previously. I think, then, that it's important to draw a distinction between being assertive and being reactionary. CALMLY tell the people (typically boys, not surprisingly) that you find the terms insulting and derogatory, and that you will not talk to them if they continue to call you or others "slut", "whore", "bitch", etc. and then follow through by not talking to them. If they do want your attention, positive or negative, and you refuse to give it to them, then they'll have to change their behavior. But keep in mind than it is important to make it clear why the terms bother you and why you won't respond to them; otherwise you're just ignoring the problem.

"AAnd of course we have a choice as to who we hang around with,but the truth is,these guys are very friendly and kind.And yet no matter how many times I glare at them and warn them to watch their mouth they continue with these terms.They do not mean any offense by them,they seay them in a way thats joking.And the fact that they jokingly call each OTHER these terms aswell shows that they dont call me these names to show me up as a sex object."

There's a fine line between ironic joking and reinforcing gender norms. What might begin as joking often simply becomes reinforcement through repeated (often unconscious) use. If you do find the terms offensive, be assertive that they are not used around you or to refer to you. As for boys calling each other "bitch", "ho", etc. this is a way for them to assert their masculinity over each other (as are the widespread application of the terms "gay" and "***" [American]) - this is no less indicative of sexual objectification.

As a side note, I do find it interesting that this site autoblocks the word "***" but not "bitch", given the almost exclusively derogatory meaning of "bitch" when used to describe a woman (absent of qualifiers like "righteous") and the non-derogatory adoption of "***" by some members of the LGBTQ community, or the English meaning of "cigarette".

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selina
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i find that insults like whore, cunt and slut are used when someone doesn't have anything else to say to you. i get called that regularly on the internet becuase the men who hurl that abuse at me, don't have anything intelligent to say

'something that really bothers me is a term recently coming into use in my area among my male friends: calling girls "gashes"'

same. and one of my teachers (who is male and calls himself a feminist) reprimanded the word in his class becuase he didn't want a violent word used for a body part

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orca
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Someone made what I felt to be a sexist remark in general before so I pointed out that it was sexist. In response he told me to "get the sand out of my vagina." What does that even mean? It really disgusts me that such sexism exists today, but at the same time I keep realizing how great it is that now more than ever women have a lot more freedom and rights (at least in certain parts of the world).

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AnansiGirl
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quote:
Originally posted by Andromache:
The big word in my high school - and I doubt it's changed in the past nine months - has always been slut. That, and if you wanted to be particularly vile and vituperative, cunt.

There's a different dynamic with each of these words, I think; with whore, it's treating all women as prostitutes, with the idea that women's sexuality can be bought for a price. With slut, it's denigrating wmen's ability to make free choices about their sexuality, and also applies the double standard to "promiscuity".

The worst bit about it, I've found, is that even if you've the clearest understanding of the evil of the word, it slips into your own vocabulary if you don't protest it enough. I've always made a big deal of homophobia, and people usually know enough not to use "***" around me - but I protested less with slut, and lo and behold, it would creep into my thinking. It's so hard to excise all the internalized sexism of society, particularly when language is a vehicle for misogyny.

Drives me crazy.

I know the feeling. I'm unused to having large amounts of friends, except in these past couple of years, and it still surprises me how easily low words can slip into your vocabulary.

My mother has always been a stickler for shrieking at bad language, but I'm now at the point where I'm pretty much of the opinion that words are words are words. I heard someone call me a 'foul-mouthed dyke' for that once, but then I punched his lights out so that was okay.

--------------------
"I'm bouncing off the walls again, woah-oh~
I'm acting like a fool again, woah-oh~
Threw away my reputation,
For one more song on the RADIO STATION~"

Posts: 29 | From: England | Registered: Jun 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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