What Makes Women Vulnerable To Hate Speech?

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What Makes Women Vulnerable To Hate Speech?
Why do some people sling sexual slurs at women? What makes women uniquely vulnerable to hate speech?

Yet we are a long way from the day when the majority of women will refuse to be shamed or silenced by words such as "slut," "prostitute" or "whore." President Obama called Sandra Fluke to offer his encouragement and support for exercising her freedom of speech on behalf of women's right to safe and effective birth control. He added that her parents should be proud of her. I agree. But I also sense the vulnerability even this courageous young woman feels at having her reputation and her worth as a person attacked in a manner which is unfortunately common to misogynists of every stripe.

The most basic tenet of sexism lives in the sex after all. When all else fails, it is the sexual behavior, whether verified or fabricated, which is targeted as the quickest and most effective way to gut a woman's power and silence her voice. All the more reason we women must reclaim these words no matter how noxious we may experience them to be and wear the labels meant to divide us, proudly, defiantly and powerfully. If we are to be free of the shame and control, we must stand in sisterhood with all women regardless of their sexual behavior or lack thereof.

Veronica Monet, ACS, CAM
Author of Sex Secrets of Escorts and Where Sex and Spirit Come Together . . . Healing Shame for a Better Life.
Host of The Shame Free Zone on Sex Talk Radio Network

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Veronica Monet, ACS, CAM

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