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A gay man's perspective: Rashida Jones' #girlsarewatching campaign

Chad Hensley is a full-time journalist, part-time bow tie enthusiast living in New York City. His interests include eating cheese, drinking too many bottles of wine with names he can’t pronounce, and the oxford comma. Follow him at @chad...

We need to talk about slut-shaming

From Miley Cyrus' continuous twerkathon to Beyoncé's sex-drenched performance at the Grammy Awards, there seems to have been an influx of female nudity throughout the past year. Rashida Jones has had enough.
Rashida Jones on the Gotham Independent Awards red carpet.
Photo credit: C. Smith/ WENN.com

In October of 2013, the actress infamously tweeted, "This week's celeb news takeaway: she who comes closest to showing the actual inside of her vagina is most popular. #stopactinglikewhores." Jones found herself caught in the crosshairs of a full-fledged Twitter war of both cheerleaders and critics, both analyzing the tweet's apparent intentions.

Taking it off

In a column for Glamour, Jones expanded on her mini-rant, clarifying that there is "nothing wrong" with being sexy, but that today's standard for sexy has become vastly oversexualized.

Rashida Jones' shocking message to Miley Cyrus and Rihanna >>

The feminist movement is at its best when it pushes toward expanding choices for everyone. Instead of adding to the painfully long list of things that women shouldn't do, Jones should consider channeling her efforts into ventures that actually lift women up — such as supporting women's reproductive rights and fighting for flexible work arrangements. Slut-shaming occurs when a source attempts to elicit feelings of inferiority or remorse when attacking a woman's perceived or actual sexual behavior or feelings, and Rashida Jones is guilty as sin.

From Elvis to Britney

Pop stars are not role models. Over history, pop culture icons ranging from Elvis to Britney Spears to Marilyn Manson have acted as scapegoats for parents and conservatives looking to assign blame for varied prepubescent misbehaviors. Why don't we expect other artists to uphold such a rigid moral compass? It would be absurd to argue that Amy Poehler's Parks and Recreation character Leslie Knope is a bad influence on young girls because she is ditzy, unintelligent and seemingly running her entire department into the ground. How is Britney any different?

Is Britney Spears' new music video anti-feminist? >> 

Whether you see her as a feminist torchbearer or a Disney marionette, Miley Cyrus' impact is undeniable. Cyrus shouldn't be judged, policed or condemned for being comfortable with her own sexuality. Instead, she should be applauded for becoming a bare-cheeked exuberant sexpot of her own volition and for having the fearlessness to disregard criticism from pseudo-feminists who simply don't understand.

Assuming that female pop stars have no reason to take their clothes off beyond fulfilling the male gaze is hugely problematic. Jones should be ashamed. If you don't want to see a pop star's a** cheeks, change the channel.

Ladies, #keepactinglikewhoresifyouwant. I won't judge you.

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