Twin Peaks Usenet Archive


Subject: Re: a.t.t-p FAQL supplement
From: muffy@remarque.berkeley.edu (Muffy Barkocy)
Date: 1990-11-08, 05:02
Newsgroups: alt.tv.twin-peaks

In article  bobg+@andrew.cmu.edu (Robert Steven Glickstein) writes:

   Excerpts from netnews.alt.tv.twin-peaks: 7-Nov-90 Re: a.t.t-p FAQL
   supplement Jym Dyer@remarque.berkel (560)

   > > 9.  Why was Donna acting slutty for a few episodes?
   > .-.
   > |C|ouldn't we find a better word than "slutty" here?  It has such
   > `-' negative connotations, and as it is rarely used to describe
   >     the actions of men, it comes across as pretty sexist.  (Nobody
   >     has called Ben Horne a "slut.")

   @begin(soapbox)

   "Slut" does indeed have negative connotations (which I meant to use),
   but I disagree with the claim that it is a sexist word.  "Sexism"
   connotes the denigration of an entire gender, or of a person because of
   their gender.  My use of "slutty" did neither.  Many words are
   gender-specific, or at least oriented toward one gender or the other. 
   "Slut" is one such word, oriented toward use regarding certain women. 
   This is not to say that there aren't similar words that can be used to
   describe similar men.

Speaking of knee-jerk...! In fact, if you read what Jym wrote again, you
will note: a) he said the word was *not* specific to women b) he said
*since* it is usually used to describe women, it *comes across* as
sexist.

   What I did NOT say:

       "Women are slutty."

       "Donna, being a woman, couldn't help being slutty."

       "Donna went through a period of typical female sluttiness."

       "While men are to be lauded for sexual promiscuity and leanings
       thereto, it is wholly inappropriate in women (specifically Donna)."

You didn't say this, but you *did* imply it.  You see, the connotations
of the word "slut" are quite negative and do suggest that the person
wants sex inappropriately (too much, in this case)...

   I sympathize with the causes of feminism, equality, and justice, but I
   am irritated by knee-jerkers who, perhaps overly sensitive to these
   issues, bristle at the innocent and *appropriate* use of a perfectly
   good and descriptive word such as "slut."

   @end(soapbox)

Well, let's examine how appropriate it was.  Donna felt that James might
be getting interested in someone else.  She knew he had been very
attracted to Laura, who probably acted sexier than Donna normally does.
So, Donna was attempting to attract James (in however bizarre a way).
She was not trying to attract any other men (which *might* have been
"slutty").  Smoking, while an unpleasant habit, is not "slutty."  Her
makeup and clothing, while they were sexy in a strange sort of way,
were *not* "slutty"...just different from her normal mode.

All in all, choosing to refer to someone trying to appear sexier to
attract a man she is in love with as "slutty" doesn't seem very
appropriate.

Now, what I want to know is, did we ever figure out if this was just
Donna being weird for a while, or was she being influenced from outside?

Muffy
muffy@mica.berkeley,edu


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