Jersey Shore: If Men Can Wax Their Eyebrows, Why Can't Women Sleep Around?

The cast's use of the derogatory term "zoo creatures" is ironic because they act like animals—struggling with basic things like telephones, impulse control, and logic. But we're not watching for their thoughts on politics. Or are we?


Jersey Shore is actually the epitome of reality television in that it entertains us on a really base level (like seeing Snooki drunkenly flash her thong while she thinks she's winning at a fight that nobody is even taking seriously), while also providing many of us with an opportunity to observe the behaviors, choices, and musings of a group of people with whom we'd otherwise probably never get to know. It really is like observing primates at the zoo or lab rats in a science experiment, as we watch what they do and try to understand why they do it.

Case in point: The slut-shaming of Angelina that revealed their thoughts on sexual double standards. (The "thoughts" being that sexual double standards exist, and that's just the way it is.) The roommates seemed to have a lot of reasons not to like Angelina—she was messy, inconsiderate, and started shit for the hell of it—so it's was a little weird that they took such an interest in judging her for her sexual activities, when Snooki exhibited the same kind of behavior as Angelina, and often times, with the same guys. In fact, the female roommates seem to treat men like trading cards. So their understanding of sexual double standards is, well, a little hard to understand.

Maybe it could be the fact that on the first season of the show, Angelina was quick to judge Snooki for her allegedly slutty hot tub encounters. Perhaps, on some subconscious level, they knew that attacking Angelina for sleeping around would hurt her more than insulting her her lack of cleanliness (the latter of which she doesn't seem all too concerned about). Or maybe I'm just being generous in that assessment.

But there has to be some sort of reason behind their collective thoughts about what kind of behavior is appropriate for men and what is appropriate for women other than simply conforming to gender norms, when so much of what these people do actually challenges old school notions about gender-appropriate behavior: Men who wax their eyebrows? Men who place that much of an importance on hair products? Women who fistfight? Women who drink so heavily?

On last night's episode, Pauly said about Angelina:

She brought all these random people home. She's a girl. You don't do that. That's a guy thing. Guy's do that, not girls.


I mean, it's one thing to just accept nonsensical social rules that have been taught since birth. But it's another when those nonsensical social rules completely work against everything you're about, which, in this case, is getting laid. Shouldn't Pauly and The Situation be grateful for sluts? If there were no sluts then they would never be able to have sex. Do they think for one minute that they would even want to live in a world in which all girls acted the way that they're "supposed" to?



While I don't deny these people are awash in Madonna/whore complexes, I do think the Angelina-directed slut-shaming is more a product of their not liking her than of their double standard. The clearest evidence of this is that the house's favorite girl Snooki is completely immune to their commentary, despite committing near identical "offenses."

Just as Tracie pointed out in another post, calling someone "fat" is a remedial insult. Calling a woman a "slut" is much the same. It's a easy dig that's almost sure to land, & it doesn't require much thought on the part of the speaker.