Naomi Wolf takes the position that women should actively embrace being a slut in order to rescue themselves from male dominance. In fact, Wolf strongly believes that women should use their physical beauty and their sexuality to reclaim ownership of their own bodies and put an end to male dominance and male control over women's lives.
In this essay, it will be argued that Wolf is simply wrong in encouraging every young woman to allow her shadow slut to emerge as a means of achieving sexual liberation and freedom from male domination. While Naomi Wolf may be correct in her belief that ôit is neither natural nor inevitable that women's lust should be punished, she is simply wrong in calling for women to embrace so-called slutty behavior as an act of personal liberation.
Many films, television programs, books, songs, and paintings tend to depict women in Western society as little more than sexual objects. Christine Bold makes reference to the James Bond films as examples of how women are often reduced to little more than sexual objects, noting that ôwhatever skills female characters demonstrate, however, their one great prowessà resides in their bodies.ö The bodies of the James Bond books and films are ôdesigned to pleasure othersö and the women in these books and films are objectified and made into little more than children despite their clear sexual maturity.
What Wolf would argue is that women should embrace this image in order to free themselves. It does not make a great deal of sense to suggest that a woman becomes free by adopting the dress, behavior, language, and actions that men impose upon her. Judith Lorber, commenting on characterizations of women in various works of fiction or art and film, points out that what women need to do is question the images of beauty and sexuality that men have imposed upon them.
In discussing what it means to be labeled a slut, Leora Tanenbaum notes that t...