"Sluttyienna" Miller and the sexual double standard

Slut-bashing never goes out of style in Hollywood. The latest victim: Sienna Miller.

Published August 22, 2008 4:10PM (EDT)

Here's one thing that never goes out of style in Hollywood: slut-bashing.

After paparazzi snapped actor Balthazar Getty, a married man with four children, canoodling with actress Sienna Miller -- surprise, surprise -- Getty and his wife announced a separation. What came next was even less surprising: The gossip media began dragging the home-wrecking hussy through the mud by her hair.

For weeks, blogger Perez Hilton has been relentlessly denigrating the actress, heckling her online as "Sluttyienna" or "homewrecker," with what looks like ejaculate dribbling out of her mouth and even calling her mother "Slutty Mom." Then Thursday, Gawker reported that some vigilante slut-basher even spray-painted the word "slut" outside her apartment.

Getty's not getting off scot-free, either: Perez has called him "Daddy With Dick for Brains" and "The Adulterer," also writing "shame" over his face in pics. But somehow Getty mostly manages to keep his own last name in Perez posts while Miller is referred to just as "The Slut."

None of this, of course, is any different from what happens in high schools, offices and elsewhere across the country every day. Broadsheet checked in with Leora Tanenbaum, author of "Slut!: Growing Up Female With a Bad Reputation," who called the harassment of Miller "a classic case of the sexual double standard: Boys will be boys and girls will be sluts." She wrote in an e-mail:

The striking thing, of course, is that Sienna Miller is called a "slut" even though the man she's involved with is the one who has transgressed by being unfaithful to his wife. This incident exposes the most troubling aspect of the sexual double standard, which is that it often leads to violence, sexual or otherwise, against women. Her home was vandalized, a scary situation that serves as a warning: Next time, we might break into your home and hurt you.

Unfortunately, Miller's not the only actress cursed with tabloid slut-bashing wrath: Jezebel's "Missdemeanors" feature has dutifully chronicled other victims of Perez Hilton's double-standard-filled, finger-wagging ways. Seems like it's not going to let up, either (Britney, Christina, Miley). As long as we devour the gossip magazines and blogs, propping up the sexual double standard with slut-bashing will stay a pile-on sport.

By Jessica Wakeman

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