For a successful movement organization, I decided to go into deeper research of what it means to be a feminist. One of the books that I have owned since freshman year of college is a book written by Jessica Valenti titled "He's a Stud, She's A Slut and 49 Other Double Standards Every Woman Should Know." This book is written to inform women on double standards and to inspire action on battling sexism. It's a "fun (but informative!) handbook of everyday inequities women still face today."
Using these 50 double standards, every MISS Monday I will write a summary of each double standard and explain what Valenti has. Keep note that the main moral to learn is not from me, these are mainly Valenti's opinions but with me translating (or adding a story to relate) for you.
"He's a Stud, She's A Slut"
The most common used double standard used today explaining the difference between a man who sleeps around and a woman who sleeps around. First of all, the word "slut" cannot be used to describe a man. Even if he is referred to it, the word "male" is added before "slut" to make us aware that, this time, the slut is not a woman like you would expect.
Sexual judgments are made towards women in a more negative way than men are. Men who score sex are Gods, players, pimps, Casanovas, and anything else that is positive. Valenti makes a great point about the word "slut" and how it is used as a form of control. The word is used to show shame and humiliation towards the woman.
A woman's body is being controlled through not only this shameful word, but also through rape, reproductive rights, or violence against women. "It's our bodies that are the battleground, not men's."
"Outside of the feminist implications of the sexual double standard, the slut/stud conundrum has always been my favorite because it just makes no sense logically. Why is a woman less of a person, or (my favorite) "dirty," because she has sex? (Heterosexual sex, that is; somehow lesbian sex isn't "real.") Does a penis have some bizarre dirty-making power that I'm unaware of? Every time I have sex, do I lose a little bit of my moral compass?
How many times has a rape been discounted because a woman was deemed a slut? How many times are women called whores while their partners beat them? How often are women's sexual histories used against them in workplace harassment cases?"
What do you have to do now to fight against this double standard? Refrain from calling another woman a slut to begin with and speak out when you hear a man do the same. Recognize the hypocrisy in calling a woman a slut. One of my favorite recently learned quotes is from The Passion of the Christ. "Let he who does not sin cast the first stone." What I've learned from this quote is that because we are humans, we make mistakes and because we make mistakes, we are equal. You are not greater than me as I am not greater than you and this is because we both go along life making mistakes. Not one human out there has lived a life free of making a mistake and if one has, they get to throw the stone first because they are above all else.
Have you had sex? Are you judging another woman for having sex?
MISS Woman of the Week
Each MISS Monday, there will be a new woman of the week. This woman can be one straight out of the NANA region who we've interviewed (and you nominated). This woman can be a historical woman who has made a change in the world. This woman can also be a public figure who we all know. These women are mentioned for celebration, for inspiration, for recognition, and for praise. These women are just a handful of the strong and powerful women out there. You hold the potential and ability to be just as strong and powerful, too, and I hope that these women mentioned inspire you to be all that you can.
We all know who Tyra Banks is. She was one of the original Victoria Secret's Angels, making her public debut as a model but not stopping there. Banks is the creator and host of America's Next Top Model, co-creator of True Beauty, and the host of her own talk show The Tyra Banks Show. Tyra Banks is one of four African American and seven women to be repeatedly mentioned as one of the most influential people in the world by Time Magazine.
Banks began her modeling career at the age of 15. She was rejected by six modeling agencies before receiving her first approval by the Elite Model Management. Out of high school, she put college on hold and booked 25 runway shows in Paris at the 1991 Paris Fashion Week. Banks was the first African American woman to make the cover of GQ and Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue magazines. She was also the first ever African American to be on the cover of Victoria's Secret.
Banks later extended her career into acting. Beginning with Fresh Prince of Bel Air, she made appearances in Felicity, All That, MADtv, Wild 'n Out, The Price Is Right, Space Ghost Coast to Coast, and Gossip Girl. She also appeared on the big screen with the following movies: Higher Learning, Life Size, Love Stinks, Love & Basketball, Coyote Ugly, Halloween: Resurrection, and Hannah Montana: The Movie.
She then started her own production company called the Bankable Productions which include The Tyra Banks Show, America's Next Top Model, and a movie called The Clique.
As if this isn't enough, Banks has also participated in the music industry. She appeared in music videos of Michael Jackson, Tina Turner, Mobb Deep, George Michael, and Lionel Richie. Her first single Shake Ya Body was released in 2004. She also recorded a single with Kobe Bryant and another through Disney Channel's Original Movie Life Size.
In September of 2011, Banks released the first of a three-part novel titled Modelland. This book explains her experiences as a model. This novel hit the New York Times best seller the following month.
Banks released her website typeF.com which she co-created with Demand Media in March 2011.
Banks also has enrolled in the nine-week-long Owner/President Manager Program at Harvard Business School's open-enrollment extension school She passed the Executive Education Training Program last February. She's established the TZONE program aimed towards leadership and life skills development and also established the Tyra Banks Scholarship - a fund aimed towards African American girls who are attending her alma mater, Immaculate Heart High School. TZONE is now a public charity.
Like you, Tyra Banks started out with two "weaknesses" of being a minority and a woman. She did not try to become something she wasn't but instead celebrated being an African American women and geared her success towards these people specifically. She accepted and grew through who she was instead of becoming something the public has always rooted for. She changed the media world through performance of a minority woman.
MISS Song of the Week
Keep Ya Head Up - 2Pac
And since we all came from a woman
Got our name from a woman and our game from a woman
I wonder why we take from our women
Whey we rape our women, do we hate our women?
I think it's time to kill for our women
Time to heal our women, be real to our women
And if we don't, we'll have a race of babies
That will hate the ladies that make the babies
And since a man can't make one
He has no right to tell a woman when and where to create one
So will the real men get up
I know you're fed up, ladies
But keep ya head up