Stoner Slut Shaming: Women, Weed and the Great Divide

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Why are we trying to control the image and perception of the female cannabis user?

Recently I had a male activist, someone I felt was a friend, hit on me in a gross and insulting way. Later that weekend when I called him on some bad business, his response was to get angry, and call me a bitch in a room full of people.

So it got me to thinking of the role of women in the cannabis business and how we are perceived not just by men but by each other. I’ve been reading other articles about the role of women in weed, and frankly I’m as disheartened by what we are saying about each other as I am by the words and actions of the “boys club”.

Articles asking that we stop hyper-sexualizing women and weed piss me off, because frankly that’s a much bigger battle than cannabis prohibition. Women are hyper-sexualized EVERYWHERE.

Now I see both sides of this argument because I am both sides of this argument.   I am a medical cannabis patient and a feminist. I believe that like men I am allowed to enjoy sex. I believe the work that I do deserves equal pay and that I should be able to dress however I like without being harassed by men, and frankly the same goes for women.

Who are you to tell me how to medicate? Who are you to tell me what I can do with my own body and how I choose to adorn it?

Now on the other side, I do believe there is a time and a place for certain types of marketing, but my issue is not with the young ladies who are just doing their jobs as promo models or often times just happy they were asked to help; my issue is with the booth owners and event organizers that blur the issue. I think if you are going to have nurses at a medical marijuana conference that they should be actual nurses, not just playing one to promote bongs and bud.

I love Amy Anonymous and applaud her hard work and the female cannabis pioneers like Hilary Black, Rielle Capler, Diane Fornbacher, Jodie Emery, Sita Von Windheim, and the late Michelle Rainey that came before her (but don’t think for a second that these ladies are not “sexy”).

I also love the High Five girls and all the girls that are owning their “hotness” and rather than simply being the cute girls that hang out at the bong bar are sharing useful information and having fun doing it! How dare you discount women like Watermelon, a stunning pin-up who also fought bravely for the right to bake cannabis edibles?

These young ladies should be encouraged not shamed. Why are we discounting a pretty face when each person we add to this fight brings us closer to legalization? Who are you to say what the “right” kind of woman is to represent the cannabis movement, when women of every age, race, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic class consumes cannabis?

If you want to ensure proper representation at your event, impose a dress code. Make it formal, make it business casual, whatever you choose, but frankly that means you get to deal with the guys and their baseball hats, baggy jeans and pot t-shirts. Funnily enough, I haven’t been reading any op-ed pieces about that being bad for the “industry.”

I like to shop, in some ways I am a stereotypical woman. I like to bake cookies, I love cannabis and I have a lot of shoes. Sometimes I feel serious, sometimes I feel silly, sometimes I feel like a slob and sometimes I feel sexy as hell but whatever I am wearing don’t you for one second forget that I am first and foremost smart.

I will not be discounted by the men in this industry or in any other facet of my life, and I will be damned if I have to fight the same battles with my own gender.

For previous Ladybud articles that discuss the cultural issue of slut shaming, click here.

Photo Credit: ARTISTE 2013