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On Sunday, the editor-in-chief of the Mises Institute in Canada, James. E. Miller, published an article entitled “Why Slut-Shame.” The blog post was taken off the Institute’s website early Tuesday morning, but the article is still circulating on the internet. After reading the first sentence, the reason for its quick removal is abundantly clear:

“Slut-shaming now, slut-shaming tomorrow, slut-shaming forever.”

(Sound familiar? Miller issues rhetorical credit to George Wallace, a former Governor of Alabama during the Jim Crow era, who echoed a similar declaration when he cried “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.”)

In his article, Miller argues that the degradation of moral values in America legitimizes the practice of ‘slut shaming’ women as a way to reverse the outcomes of the ‘Sexual Revolution.’ He uses Miley Cyrus’ recent VMA performance as his primary example of a woman who deserves slut-shaming, though he goes on to suggest that women who are found “sleeping with the first…guy (they) meet in a bar” or “having multiple bed partners” can, and should, be subject to the same treatment.

“I am an enthusiastic proponent of the modern practice of shaming sluts. Frowning upon lewd behavior is not exactly a new phenomenon. It has existed since Christianity, in Rod Dreher’s words, brought about a reasoned liberation from the “sexually exploitive Greco-Roman culture.”

But Miller goes a few steps past “frowning upon” displays of promiscuity:

“Engaging in “slut-shaming” is a welcome course of action – even more so in an era where young women wear their craving for erotic climax as a badge of honor.”

Throughout his article, Miller only advocates for the blaming and shaming of female ‘sluts’ who act on their sexual drives. His gender-bias evolves to the point where his description of the VMA performance could be construed as an age-reversed telling of The Graduate—apparently singer Robin Thicke (the individual responsible for making the so-called “Blurred Lines” of sexual consent something ‘fun’ to dance to) was “play(ing) along” with Cyrus’ performance. Though he claims both parties “deserve every bit of condemnation in the hope that they will learn from the mistake,” it is only “Cyrus-esque behavior, (he) will continue to ‘slut-shame.’”

Conservatives, libertarians, or any persons who believes in the freedom and uniqueness of the individual need to be the first to condemn articles like Miller’s. His overt sexism has no place in conservative or libertarian ideology. The advocacy of derogatory slurs like ‘slut’ to be used against women and their empowerment (sexual and otherwise) undermine our principles of individualism and respect.

We don’t need to celebrate Cyrus’ performance; in fact, we can thoughtfully criticize it from a conservative perspective by empowering women to rise above society’s attempt to objectify them. Miller could have sparked an interesting and legitimate debate regarding the consequences of an over-sexualized culture and the false fulfillment it creates for women (and men); instead, he destroyed his credibility by asserting that women, and only women, should be targeted and made to feel guilty for any kind of sexual expression.

Right-wing thinkers are quickly gaining a reputation for opposing the use of the term ‘slut’; let’s not allow radical individuals like James Miller to undermine that progress.

Note: This piece has corrected the author's name in the last paragraph.

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Kate Andrews

Kate Andrews is a Townhall intern.