Jersey Shore: Sexuality and the Double Standard

by Latina Fatale on 10/18/2010 · 2 comments

in Popular Culture, Sexuality

slut | s.l.u.t.
Before you begin to utter, “Why the hell are you watching that Jersey Shore crap?!” just take a breather and rest assured that I have not gone off the deep end. Allow me to explain:

A couple of weeks ago I acted in the capacity of high school principal while one of the principals was finishing up her maternity leave. One afternoon I was walking through the halls and I heard a group of girls talking about the show. I had never paid much attention to it other than I had faintly heard that one of the girls, Snooki, was punched in the face by a man in a night club.

As I passed, I heard one of the girls say, “Angelina from Jersey Shore is such a sluuuutttt”. I suddenly heard murmurs of agreement and saw heads nodding up and down.

“Ladies, don’t talk like that”, I said as I walked by. I was more concerned about the “slut shaming” more than anything, because frankly I have a foul mouth so who the hell am I to lecture a bunch of seniors about bad words?

“Oh, sorry. But she is such a ho!” the girl explained.

I tried to explain that my concern was not with the word slut, but rather with calling another woman a slut. I had about three seconds to try to make my point without sounding as if I was shoving feminist propaganda down their throats and then the bell rang and they ran off.

Coincidentally, two more times throughout the week I heard girls talk about the big bad Angelina from Jersey Shore. I also heard them talking about “The Situation” who was starring on the Dancing With the Stars. I tried not to vomit when I heard them gushing over his abs, but I sure was curious about who this sinister little Angelina was. So I decided to start watching the show.

I came home from work and recorded one of the episodes on my DVR because I was curious as to what these kids were watching. And let me tell you- I am definitely no prude. I am a sex-positive feminist, I’ve done my share of shameless sluttery, and nothing really shocks me when it comes to sexuality. But after watching about six or so episodes of the show, I am pissed that this is what our young girls are choosing to spend their time talking about in the halls of high schools.

If you have never seen the show, it consists of a group of so-called Italian Americans who are currently living in a house in Miami. There are four girls and four guys. They party, drink, go to the gym, have sex, go to the beach, tan, and engage in more silly behavior.

The four guys (who I believe most are all secretly closeted gays-mark my words) are pretty promiscuous, taking home women who are “DTF”-down to fuck-from the clubs and then basically kicking their asses out after they have sex. Literally. One of the girls is in a relationship with a guy who cheats on her and she knows about it. Snooki, another one of the girls, has had sex with a couple of the guys in the house, I think. And who knows about one of the other girls who seems to hang around with Snooki.

And then there is Angelina, who the most probable closeted gay guy “The Situation” calls the “Staten Island Dump”. It appears that she has had sex in the past with two of the guys (I believe) and she had sex with a third one in one of the episodes that I recently watched. During the episodes that I watched she is also going out with a guy that she met in the club, and claims that she is single so she can do what she wants. At one point she alludes to the fact that the guys are doing the same thing as her.

The guys in the house constantly tell her how dirty and disgusting that she is, berating her for engaging in the same type of promiscuity that they engage in. In my opinion it appears that she is even less promiscuous than the men. Nonetheless, they constantly tell her what a slut she is, and some of the girls in the house also jump in on the slut shaming. “She’s a girl, she shouldn’t do that. That’s what only men should do,” one of the male team members says to the group.

Eventually Angelina packs up her stuff and leaves. Throughout the episodes that I watched, I became increasingly agitated about how she was treated in regards to her sexuality. But what made me sort of happy is that she doesn’t seem too apologetic about it and continues on her merry way with her sexual freedom.

The show is so lame to me, but I just had to watch it because I am curious as to what some of our teenage girls are watching. It rips my heart out to hear the girls jumping on the slut shaming bandwagon of Angelina, although I have heard little about how the men treat the women as if they are pieces of garbage after having sex with them. I even heard the girls oohing and awwing over “The Situation’s” abs, the same man who popped snooki in the mouth in a club and is the worst of all the womanizers in house.

In a way I’m glad that to the best of my knowledge with what I watched, it didn’t appear that Angelina repented or apologized for her sexuality. You go girl. I just hope some of the young girls watching picked up on it. The next time I hear them talking bad about her, I’ll make sure that I will note that she’s doing even less than what the disgusting male pigs on the show are doing.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Megan August 31, 2011 at 3:53 am

I wholeheartedly agree that this show is trash. I also wholeheartedly agree that the slut-shaming double standard is complete bullshit. I also happen to think that “The Situation” is a twat, but I would like to point out that he did not in fact punch Snookie in the mouth. A man at the bar whom they were acquainted with punched her in the face, not any of the cast members.

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Latina Fatale September 1, 2011 at 12:50 am

Right, some random guy punched her. But I was just recently watching an episode where he didn’t exactly punch her, but he swatted her or kind of slapped her in the face. It didn’t seem painful, but I just felt that it was really painful for me to watch. It seemed very degrading.

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