Fuck No, Hugo Schwyzer

Most female-specific stereotypes are based in the universal fear of an unbridled and autonomous female sexuality. For women on welfare, this is complicated by their assumed undesirability and dependency on a patriarchal state economic system as well as the physical and material ways that poverty and working class lifestyles are visible on the body. Women on welfare are perceived and discriminated against in terms of their sexual activity and their body image. It is assumed that loose sexual morals or deviant desires placed them in the shameful status of poor; but not just poor—poor women that no man wants or that men only want for one thing.

As a teenage girl from a welfare family I automatically was labeled as SLUT, actually long before I was a teenager, by the time I was nine. There are two kinds of girls, those you marry and those you don’t—if you are poor you are a don’t. My sexuality was named and positioned before I was sexual. Adults were constantly deciding that their sons and daughters were not allowed to be around me and especially not allowed in my house/apartment (whatever it happened to be that month)…

I have also been noting how the assumptions of ignorance particularly diminish poor women and the incredible brilliance they operate in. Stupid girls make easy girls.

—Tammy Rae Carland, “Reflections of a Stupid Slut” (from I <3 Amy Carter)

Dear Hugo Schwyzer,

Poverty does not make girls, as you say, hypsersexualized, competitive, and promiscuous. Being poor (or being nonwhite) makes rich, white, sexist men project their own feelings about the availability and worth of poor and nonwhite women onto their bodies in order to justify abusing them.

(via rgr-pop)

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