Why One Rape Victim is Marching in the Seattle Slut Walk—And Why She Wants You To Join Her

Comments

1
Spelling fix! Her name's Lissa.
2
Goddammit, I knew that. Thanks so much for the fix!
3
Why. Does it have to be. On Fathers day.
4
I agree perfectly that the responsibility is entirely the rapist's (if capable of responsibility) because I gather people are using the word in a moral context.

On a purely causal level, acting in some ways will increase your chances of being raped/robbed/lied-to/cheated and so on, and others will decrease them. We should learn what hacks work best and use them, weighted by what and how much we care about avoiding and how difficult the hack.

But saying, 'The home-owner is morally responsible for the burglary because they [sic] didn't buy a good enough lock,' is an obscenity worthy of a tobacco executive (and in fact his stock-in-trade).

I think the problem is that many of us live in a universe where moral and causal responsibility are identified, due to some need to believe that the world is inherently in some way just or reasonable...so if you say, "How the U.S. has acted has contributed to the likelihood that we will be the target of terrorist attacks even though no-one deserves to be so," generally someone will immediately reply, "How can you say we deserve that?" People seem to need to identify 'what will' with 'what should', as if human desires alone could influence reality.
5
Why in god's name (presumably) would the Westboro Baptist Church protest THIS?
6
I never fail to get utterly enraged by victim-blaming. I'm not a very good defender though because I'm usually too angry and upset to express myself well when I hear it. Certainly the other person will understand that I. Am. Angry. but probably won't actually understand how fucked up their attitude is.

@5 the presumed reason is that whoarish women (= dyke = feminist) are hated by god. The real reason is that the WBC will go anywhere there are cameras. They are true attention whores (with my deepest apologies to respectable whores everywhere).
7
Why. does Fathers day. have to. be on Slutwalk. day.

*eyeroll*
8
@5, Lynx has it right. They'll also be protesting the Pride Parade, 2 of the areas big churches (for being too inclusive or something), and the Taking Back Sunday show. Westboro really is the definition of "attention whore".
9
@7 - Stylistically challenged, granted, but what about the sentiment? As a father of a 16 year old girl I am very sensitive of the issue of rape and I would support her interest in attending if she chose to do so. But why select this particular Sunday? If it is because Sunday is the best day to get this type of permit, then fine - those who regularly attend a conflicting worship service can pick a different time or just skip it. But Father's Day? How about the following Sunday, instead?

Were the organizers just oblivious, or do they have actual distain for what they think is a made up Hallmark holiday. Regardless of how it came into being, I like having a day set aside to focus on my kids as a father...
10
Victim blaming is easier than looking for the real cause and ways to prevent it. It is also always wrong, but some people seem to project their own worries about their ability to control their urges on to blaming the woman, I think.
11
i am sorry to hear about rape victims -- both men and female, but i must say that constant media attention exclusively on female victimization inadvertently sustains gender-focused vulnerability. the perpetual media attention on women as "victims," in the larger picture, simply sustains the idea of female inferiority -- "they're susceptible to attack" no matter what you wear!! go read laura kipnis "the female thing: dirt, sex, envy, vulnerability." the department of justice released stats in the mid 2000s showing how the number of female rape victims are decreasing while male rape is increasing significantly. the perpetuation of women as constantly being vulnerable inadvertently sustains the idea of women inferiority. it also creates an unrealistic fear in women.
12
Enough with the idiotic punctuation. This is a very serious matter and shouldn't be trivialized by some stupid Hallmark holiday (I'm a new Dad btw). Sure it's great to thank Dads and Moms but the Slut Walk represents so much more - these women need to be heard. And fuck the Westboro Baptist Church - nothing ever good comes from organized religion as far as I'm concerned and I'm happily agnostic.
13
Let's knock if off with the childish punctuation and snarky remarks. I'm a new father but would say the Slutwalk is far more important than a Hallmark Holiday. Sure it's a nice sentiment but in reality it means nothing. Don't get me wrong, I love both of my parents but my brother and I certainly don't need a made up "holiday" just to tell our Dad that we love him.
14
sorry about the double post ;)
15
Seriously women? You're fucking dumb.

It's like if all the bikers on Seattle go pissed off because a cop said, "Don't ride your bicycle in black clothing at night if you don't want to get hit".

We're not saying you can't dress like sluts, but don't bitch and moan when you get raped. Sure, there are some incidents not relating to dressing like a slut, but it still happens. It's called preventive measures. Stop being dumb cunts. That's why women will never get ahead in the world, instead of dealing with shit, they bitch and moan until they get their retarded ways.
16
@15:Go to hell.
17
@7 - Thank you.

@all others: Perhaps Fathers can join their Daughters at Slutwalk and help begin to put an end the dangerous and hypocritical world their Daughters live in.
18
@16

This person is probably a troll. I doubt there are that many people who actually believe that kind of crap these days. And if so, he is probably bitter because he probably hasn't been touched by another human being in decades.

And it's all because of his attitude.
19
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Just-world_…

The just world fallacy, people blame the victim because it's too scary for them to admit that bad things happen to good people randomly and for no reason. Meaning that it just as easily could have been them getting raped. So they come up with a behavior that the victim did that they can point to and say "See? That's why you got raped. That's not something that I would do so therefor I am safe from being raped."

It doesn't make it right though.
20
@16: That commenter's nick contains a pretty nasty racial slur. He be trolling hard.
21
As a man, I am totally offended by the notion that women are to be blamed for being assaulted and raped due to what they wear.

As someone who goes to nude beaches, hot springs, raves and who is a masseur, I see naked and half naked people all the time. I do not want to sleep with them and even if I did I know how to control myself. And when someone who I'm interested in tells me no, I back the fuck off.

Just because someone is naked or half naked or in a mini skirt does not mean they want to be screwed, groped or molested.

I know of what I speak and I know a bit about what women go through. Several years ago a female friend and I were walking around Fremont naked after the Solstice Parade. Some man, probably in his fifties, walked over and cupped my testicles and said "nice package", then he did the same to my friend and said "nice bush". We were taken aback and pissed off but were so shocked that we didn't say much. If it ever happens again I know that I would tell the person off and probably hurt their arm.

It's simple:

No means no. Before touching someone intimately, ask. If someone tells you to stop touching them (even after they said it's ok), then you stop touching them.

Goddamn some people are so stupid when it comes to respect and common sense.
22
@15: It is excellent that you are putting up this point of view after this particular article. This is an excellent example of the kind of mentality that women who have been victimized are constantly fighting against. Without you coming in and so eloquently stating your point of view it reminds the world that this kind of walk for awareness is still so necessary. No one can be complacent when there are still people, such as yourself, who are completely in the dark about these issues.

Clearly, one could merely tell all women to wear men's clothing and cut their hair and speak in a lowered voice so that they will never be mistaken for women who wish to be raped. Already, as evidenced by this very article, even dressing modestly does not prevent rape, wearing a headscarf to cover our hair will not, so the only option left is to cover ourselves from head to toe with nothing at all to identify ourselves as women at all. We won't even look at a man in the eye so as not to give the impression of interest. Then, as I'm sure you will agree, there will be no more rapes at all.

Or perhaps rape has nothing to do with how we dress. Perhaps it has to do with the person committing the crime looking to exert power over his victim. Perhaps, it only has to do with the person committing the crime. As stated previously, perhaps, just maybe, people don't want to believe that it could happen to them or to anyone they care about so they look for any reason why the person must have contributed to their own victimization.

Hindsight is always so clear. Anytime anything goes wrong people go over in their heads all the things that they could have done differently. The problem is that reality is not the movies. We can't plan out everything perfectly and expect all crime all the time without becoming paranoid of even leaving our houses. Maybe we should instead shine the light of hindsight on the people who actually had foresight in the matter; the criminal.
23
@22

"Hindsight is always so clear."

So why don't we listen to the advice of those who have seen the damage done, and when they give tips, you decide to go extremely the other way? "Don't dress like a slut, less chance of getting raped." Then you, and the rest of the retarded women say "Oh yeah?! Well we'll just dress like sluts and walk around!".

Crime happens. If you go on a "slut walk", it won't stop rapes. You'll just encourage more girls, especially those impressionable 14 year old prostitots, to go out dressed like a slut, thus indirectly cause more rapes.

I hope women feel good about this, you are actually causing rape by encouraging people to be sluts.
24
I was wearing a t-shirt and shorts, and I was fully under the covers of my bed. That was my slut-crime. I guess being in college was another of my crimes. I got molested at least 4 times that year (20-21) by men generally much older than me. I was not beautiful: I weighed 200 pounds. Scratch that--I WAS beautiful, just not in my head.

My head was fully immersed in school. That was absolutely the most important thing in my life. I did not date except to go around with a group of friends--until after the incident, when I chose a bad boyfriend out of fear of being alone. But school was definitely the most important thing in my life--in fact, that's what I thought about as he had me in a headlock and was dragging me up the stairs.

So there's my horrible slut world story. Molested in the most mundane of places--movie theatre, coffee shop, dorm center, media room--hands go on my crotch as if I wouldn't puke at the thought of them going there. Why? Because they assumed rights over me, because I was a young female. They assumed I was too weak to resist. Bad news, creepers and rapists--I fought you off and you ran away like the cowards you were. Sorry the troll can't get a girlfriend. I assume he's "going Galt." That's what guys like that say when they've run out of excuses.
25
Can we just banhammer the troll already?
26
@15: It is excellent that you are putting up this point of view after this particular article. This is an excellent example of the kind of mentality that women who have been victimized are constantly fighting against. Without you coming in and so eloquently stating your point of view it reminds the world that this kind ofwalk for awareness is still so necessary. No one can be complacent when there are still people, such as yourself, who are completely in the dark about these issues.

Clearly, one could merely tell all women to wear men's clothing and cut their hair and speak in a lowered voice so that they will never be mistaken for women who wish to be raped. Already, as evidenced by this very article, even dressing modestly does not prevent rape, wearing a headscarf to cover our hair will not, so the only option left is to cover ourselves from head to toe with nothing at all to identify ourselves as women at all. We won't even look at a man in the eye so as not to give the impression of interest. Then, as I'm sure you will agree, there will be no more rapes at all.

Or perhaps rape has nothing to do with how we dress. Perhaps it has to do with the person committing the crime looking to exert power over his victim. Perhaps, it only has to do with the person committing the crime. As stated previously, perhaps, just maybe, people don't want to believe that it could happen to them or to anyone they care about so they look for any reason why the person must have contributed to their own victimization.

Hindsight is always so clear. Anytime anything goes wrong people go over in their heads all the things that they could have done differently. The problem is that reality is not the movies. We can't plan out everything perfectly and expect all crime all the time without becoming paranoid of even leaving our houses. Maybe we should instead shine the light of hindsight on the people who actually had foresight in the matter; the criminal.
27
http://letseatcake.org.s85789.gridserver… - Rape isnt just a case of Men Gone Wild! Linked to my take on it, not gonna retype :)
28
http://letseatcake.org.s85789.gridserver… - Rape isnt just a case of Men Gone Wild! Linked to my take on it, not gonna retype :)
29
See ya there, Lissa.
31
@31

Show me statistics against it. Approximately a woman is raped every two minutes according to the department of justice.

Show me clear studies that determines what women were wearing at the time. If there is one single person that was raped because of what they were wearing, that defeats you entire purpose.

If the point of the whole sob story was about a person not wearing slutty clothes, then why is there the walk? If it's happened before, it will happen again.

If it happens to prudish women, and happens to sluts, then what is the point of parading it around? Want to attract rapists to your side?

Let me guess, every person is a left winger dumbass?

32
@31 The military forces has higher incidence of sexual assault than any city in the country. They are all wearing uniform.
34
@32 @33

Prove it. Prove not one single rape happens because woman are dressed like they're sluts. If it happens once, you're march is just stupid bullshit. Just proof you're just a drain on our economy. You're why America is having problems right now.
35
I know a 60 year old nun that was raped.. she was wearing her habit. So go somewhere else@34..
36
sheesh. how many times do we have to tell you, @31? rape is a crime of power and control NOT SEX. stranger tech folks, ban this troll NOW. his nick is a racial slur.
37
@ 36

You mad cunt? I'm not a troll, I'm just radically against the retarded shit you say.

"Wahhhh this guy has different thoughts then me, wahhhh, ban him, I vote my opinion matters! Ban all freedom of speech!."

Sorry but you prove my proof that sluts are just an inconvenience to the world.
38
Oh jiggaboo you so crhayzee...
The rest of you: should we meet before Sunday? How about signs? I'm thinking signs might be nice. Something along the lines of "Sluts of Slog" or "This Was What I Was Wearing" etc. It is late and this has been a little harder on me than I thought it would be, so I'm not coming up with anything more clever. Help me out Sloggers! We are an intelligent and erudite bunch (well not you of course jiggaboo, but it's not like you can help it; trolls have such tiny tiny heads) Lets make the Stranger proud!
39
J.Jones - You miss one of the main tenants here: The freedom of expression. If you wear a Star of David and get beat up, then just don't wear it, right? You wear a crucifix and get shot, then just don't wear it, right? Why should we allow dangerous assholes dictate what any citizen should be able to wear?

If the raging racist can somehow restrain himself from smashing in the face of his minority of choice as he walks by, the power-hungry insecure tiny-dicked "man" should be able to contain himself around a short skirt and tight tee-shirt.

Assholes must not rule the world - and you sound like an asshole.
40
I wish I was in town, Lissa. I wish I was in town.

Take care.
41
@34 Dressing "slutty" is a totally arbitrary distinction. So your question is unanswerable.
42
I love the notion that the possibility that X was a contributing factor for a single rape must mean that X is "a contributing factor for rape, generally" (nice grip on statistics there) and that others have to prove that X isn't a factor (super grip on burden of proof too) and that furthermore anyone doing X has no one but themselves to blame. If as much time was spent sending vitriol to actual, you know, rapists, we might get somewhere.

Here's a thought. Pedophiles exists. Pedophiles target children. Therefore children have no one but themselves to blame for putting themselves in the line of sight of abusers. Children should be dressed and made up to be adults because, after all, we know they are targeted for being children. Stupid children and their stupid children ways.

Alternatively we could accept what experts in the field have said for years, which is that rape is not about sex but about power, but that of course would compromise the searing mysoginy of some men with delicate egos and untouched dicks, and we can't have that, can we?
43
Lissa and Alleee, you are both badasses for sharing your stories. Thank you so much.
44
@40: I wish you were in town too Kim, as I am dying to meet to you. I was down in Portland a few weeks a go and thinking of you and your family.
@43: Thank you.
45
Dammit! I was planning on doing this, but June 19 is father's day. Is this a massive oversight or intentional? It seems rude if it is intentional, and sloppy if it is not. Either way, I'm disappointed as I would love the opportunity to take a stand against victim blaming.

Does anyone know the story?
46
I missed the Chicago SlutWalk due to finals week coming up, but my best wishes go out to all you. Stay strong, Lissa.
...
Can someone draw a pony on their sign, so I can be there in spirit? It can be a stick figure.
47
@45: It was a permit issue as I understand it and the fact that June also has the Solstice Parade, the Pride Parade, and UW graduation happening. It's a hoppin' month for liberal festivities! :) No disrespect to fathers was intended, and I personally think that it would be nice to have a lot of fathers participate, as one assumes that they would have a vested interest in a world, with at least less rape, for their children.
48
@46: I will make this thing happen. Can there be a rainbow as well, or would that be too much? :)
49
One more thing, here is the link to the facebook invite for or pre walk meet up: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=20
50
I don't believe that there are more rapes in Eastern Europe, where women walk around in lingery in the summer, than in Afghanistan or Saudi Arabia.
51
@6 & 8 Thanks for answering my question, although I'm still trying to wrap my head around this "Church" lumping rape victims into some category of "whoreish women". Fucking hateful maniacs, obviously, and attention whores (without wanting to slur whores in any way). What the fuck is wrong with them? In another vein, I'm so impressed with and in awe of the women involved in this march.
52
@50: Yeah, you think just one day at the beach would make clear the colossal flaw in the dress-like-a-slut-get-raped theory. Buuuuut nooooo.
53
@50: I bet there are, actually. Because in Saudi Arabia, it's not a proven rape unless there are six reliable witnesses (someone double-check that number for me) to the actual nonconsensual penetration. Sharia law may have worked fine thirteen centuries ago, but the Saudis aren't doing their people any favors by refusing to supplement it.
54
I'll be there. My sign is probably going to be My Dress Is Not a Yes. I'm hoping my husband can arrange his Fathers' Day bonding with his boys so that he can be there, too, carrying a sign that says I Know The Difference Between NO and YES.
55
Oh, and I know better than to feed trolls, but hey dumbass? Look up what started Slutwalk before you criticize it. It's a protest against the mindset that led a Toronto police officer to tell students that "Women shouldn't dress like sluts if they don't want to get raped." Leaving aside the fact that "dressing like a slut" is entirely in the eye of the beholder, so how does one then explain the rapes of elderly women? Unattractive women? Children? Women at home in their own beds? Women wearing fucking HIJAB? All these things happen. Where's the sluttiness?

Most of the women at Slutwalk aren't dressing like streetwalkers; they're dressing HOWEVER THEY CHOOSE. Just as they should be able to safely do ANYWHERE.

Surefire rape prevention strategy: Don't rape anyone.
56
FYI all: Here is the invite for the sign making party on Wednesday. Hope to see a lot of you!
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=12
57
@11
I am definitely concerned about, and virulently against rape perpetrated against anyone, anywhere! I often rant about the fact that rape of men in prison is treated as a joke, and I think there is a real need for services for male victims of all kinds of sexual abuse.
Both men and women are welcome at this event. The specific "Slut Walk" theme is because of the comment quoted above, that if women don't wish to be raped, they should not "dress like sluts", which is clearly aimed at female rape victims.
Your argument seems to be that every event or media story about rape should include men and women equally, otherwise it "sustains the idea of female inferiority" and "creates an unrealistic fear in women" This seems disingenuous to me. Saying that the fastest growing group of rape victims is men, doesn't negate the fact that far more people who have been raped are women. 1 in 4 women in this country has been raped. I'm one of them. Most women are in fact afraid of being raped, and take regular steps to avoid it. This is not unrealistic, given the fact that for this particular crime being a woman DOES vastly increase the chances that you will be a victim.
58
@57: Very well said Crafty. And how nice to see you!
59
@jiggaboojones
How a woman dresses is not a CAUSE of rape. It may be an excuse a rapist uses. Have you committed rape? Do you feel completely unable to control your behavior whenever you see a woman dressed provocatively? You seem hell-bent on focusing the behavior of rape victims, of feminists, of the participants in this walk, while showing no apparent concern for the behavior of criminals.

I think it's reasonable to talk to women, especially young women, about safety strategies that include considering their decisions about where they go, who they go with, how much they drink and what they wear. It pisses me off, but it is reasonable from a woman's point of view to take precautions. However even women who do everything "right" get raped, and if a woman makes choices I might consider risky it is still noone's fault EXCEPT the criminal if they are attacked.

The ideas that girls will dress like sluts because of this event AND that more of them will therefor be raped are both patently absurd.

60
@jiggaboojones

Have a daughter.

Tell all of this to her, after she is raped.

oh...sorry, you'd probably be the one committing it, you worthless pile of flesh.
61
Girls & boys,
Quit pretending like you give ONE CARE for rape victims! Shame on you!
This is an occasion for you to proudly flaunt your sin & demand acceptance.
Furthermore, God Almighty controls all things. God sent the rapists. Deal with that hard truth.
The person raped does NOT own that crime. Don't pretend this slut pride parade is about rape victims. Liars, liars, whore panties aflame!

Your best friends from the WBC will be there to remind you of these truths.

Love,
Jael Phelps
62
I am planning to go. Hope to see you there, Lissa.
63
Hi, My name is catherine I wished I could of been at the walk yesterday. I have been threw my faIR share like so many others. We need to put an end the reason so many men think they can get a way rape with the excuses they have. Power and control their way threw it. Would like to get involved. Catherine
64
Girls everywhere and all you emasculated "men" who are trying so hard to be politically correct at the expense of your masculinity, listen up.

Men and women are equals. This does not mean that they are equal in every single thing they do. For example, men are, on average, physically stronger than women. It is much easier for a semi attractive (even a 6/10) woman to go out and get laid. The same cannot be said about men. Men have to work at it, have some skill (game) and thereby get a woman to sleep with them. It is a LOT harder for an equally attractive man to get women than it is the other way around. This is one of reasons behind why we, as a society, naturally celebrate men who are successful in bedding multiple women; while at the same time shame women who bed multiple men.

Let us briefly visit the topic of virginity from both perspectives. Virginity in a man is not a desirable state or label when it comes to an attribute that the opposite sex wants. This is because he has obviously not been preselected by other women. However, female virginity is not looked at negatively in the least by men. If she looks decent, no man cares if the girl is a virgin or not. In fact, a female virgin is often wanted more.

Now don't get me wrong, men LOVE sluts. We will never turn down an opportunity to sleep with a good looking slut. Partly because she's good in bed, partly because it's sex. But any decently intelligent, self-respecting man will know that it is a terrible idea to emotionally involve himself (i.e. date) with a slutty girl. That would be a very dumb move. Why would any man want to get emotionally involved with a girl who's had 15+ sexual partners? We would just be setting ourselves up for failure. There are many nice worthy girls out there who don't have daddy issues and haven't slept with an entire fraternity house. But, by all means, fvck the brains out of sluts in the meanwhile.

Most guys can detect when a girl is a slut by the first few dates and by what he hears about the girl from other people and from the girl herlself. We put this information together and figure out if she is dating material or not. If not, I like most guys, will still go in for the prize but have no intention of following through with dating the dirty little tart.

To put it simply, a lock that can be opened by many keys is a useless lock and of little worth. But a key that can open many locks is a master key and is valuable.
65
Girls everywhere and all you emasculated “men” who are trying so hard to be politically correct at the expense of your masculinity, listen up.

Men and women are equals. This does not mean that they are equal in every single thing they do. For example, men are, on average, physically stronger than women. It is much easier for a semi attractive (even a 6/10) woman to go out and get laid. The same cannot be said about men. Men have to work at it, have some skill (game) and thereby get a woman to sleep with them. It is a LOT harder for an equally attractive man to get women than it is the other way around. This is one of reasons behind why we, as a society, naturally celebrate men who are successful in bedding multiple women; while at the same time shame women who bed multiple men.

Let us briefly visit the topic of virginity from both perspectives. Virginity in a man is not a desirable state or label when it comes to an attribute that the opposite sex wants. This is because he has obviously not been preselected by other women. However, female virginity is not looked at negatively in the least by men. If she looks decent, no man cares if the girl is a virgin or not. In fact, a female virgin is often wanted more.

Now don’t get me wrong, men LOVE sluts. We will never turn down an opportunity to sleep with a good looking slut. Partly because she’s good in bed, partly because it’s sex. But any decently intelligent, self-respecting man will know that it is a terrible idea to emotionally involve himself (i.e. date) a slutty girl. That would be a very dumb move. Why would any man want to get emotionally involved with a girl who’s had 15+ sexual partners? We would just be setting ourselves up for failure. There are many nice worthy girls out there who don’t have daddy issues and haven’t slept with an entire fraternity house. But, by all means, fvck the brains out of sluts in the meanwhile.

Most guys can detect when a girl is a slut by the first few dates and by what he hears about the girl from other people and from the girl herlself. We put this information together and figure out if she is dating material or not. If not, I like most guys, will still go in for the prize but have no intention of following through with dating the dirty little tart.

To put it simply, a lock that can be opened by many keys is a useless lock and of little worth. But a key that can open many locks is a master key and is valuable.
66
Women complain about how unfair it is that men are called studs when they sleep around, yet women get called sluts for the exact same behavior. It’s actually not a double standard though, because both scenarios are pretty different in terms of circumstances and consequences. I can think of at least four crucial differences:

First, sleeping around is easier for women. Regardless of how you feel about promiscuity, we can all agree that a guy who manages to rack up a lot of sexual partners has to have some skills. It’s challenging for men to rack up partners, even for men with low standards. A man needs social intelligence, interpersonal skills, persistence, thick skin, and plain old dumb luck. For women, though, a vagina and a pulse is often enough. Whenever an accomplishment requires absolutely no challenge, no one respects it. It’s just viewed as a lack of self-discipline. People respect those who accomplish challenging feats, while they consider those who overindulge in easily obtained feats as weak, untrustworthy or flawed.

Second, women have potential to do more harm by sleeping around than men do. Say a man sleeps around with a bunch of different women. He’s definitely doing harm to these women if he pretends to be monogamous while sleeping around. He may cause them emotional pain by his promiscuity. He may cause unwanted pregnancy. He may spread VD. When women sleep around, however, they can cause not only all these same ill effects but one additional crucial ill effect: the risk of unknown parentage.

If one guy sleeps around with five women, each of whom is monogamous to him, and they all get pregnant, it’s a safe bet as to who the father is. If you reverse genders and have one woman who sleeps around with five men who are monogamous to her, and she gets pregnant, the father could be any of the five men. And if one of those men is tricked into raising a baby that isn’t his, he’s investing time, money, estate and property to provide for a child that isn’t carrying his DNA into the next generations, a costly mistake from an evolutionary standpoint.

Our two basic primal drives are to survive and to reproduce, and promiscuous women traditionally make it hard for a man to know for sure whether he is truly reproducing or is secretly raising another man’s child. Men stand a lot more to lose from promiscuous women than the other way around. And it’s no picnic for the child to not know who his real father is either. And it’s a mess for the women carrying on the deception as well. Or just look at any random episode of the Maury show if you don’t believe me.

Since the DNA test and the birth control pill didn’t exist until recently, there were no reliable ways to prevent pregnancy or prove parentage for most of human history. For this reason society developed a vested interest in preventing promiscuity among women, and society accomplished this by creating the slut stigma. And even though the creation of birth control and DNA tests have made this less of a risk than the past, longstanding traditions and customs are not easy for society to break so the slut stigma remains.

Third, men have evolutionary reasons to be programmed to sleep around more. A lot of women roll their eyes when they hear that men are “hard-wired” to sleep around. But from an evolutionary standpoint, it makes total sense. If the two primal drives of humans are to survive and to reproduce, nothing leads to maximum reproduction like one man sleeping with multiple women. If one women sleeps with many men in a nine month period, she can only get pregnant just once. Nine months of rampant promiscuity would give the same result as nine months of highly sexed monogamy: one pregnancy. Now if one man sleeps with many women during a nine month period, you can get many pregnancies during that period. The more women he sleeps with, the more possible pregnancies.

So from an evolutionary standpoint, there are concrete advantages to men being promiscuous compared to women being promiscuous. This doesn’t mean that women have evolved to be strictly monogamous. Women have evolved to be somewhat promiscuous too, something men badly underestimate. However they haven’t evolved to be as rampantly promiscuous as men.

Fourth, promiscuity poses more risk to women than to men. A woman has more to lose from choosing bad sex partners than a man does. She’s the one who gets stuck with going through a pregnancy and taking care of a baby alone if she chooses a deadbeat. For this reason, promiscuous women throughout history have historically been viewed as being a vastly more irresponsible risk takers than promiscuous men, who rightly or wrongly could always run away from the consequences of unwanted pregnancies easier than women could.

These four reasons explain why the longstanding tradition came about of men being rewarded for multiple partners while women get socially punished for similar promiscuity. Of course all this is gradually changing, but we’re up against millenia of evolutionary and cultural conditioning here, so don’t expect any dramatic overnight reversals.

Understand that I’m just explaining why the double standard came into existence and not condoning or condemning it. This is not an attempt to pass judgment or be self-righteous in any way. It’s just an explanation of why the two conditions are treated differently.