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Prude vs. Feminist: A field guide

Obligatory disclaimer: This is a comic. It includes generalizations. Obviously there is significant variation among both prudes and feminists, and occasionally overlap between them.

I have, though, quite frequently seen the two confused. And I decided that “sex positive” and “sex negative” don’t do enough to describe the difference between them, so thought it would help to articulate those differences a bit more.

I know it can be confusing, the fact that both a prude and a feminist are likely to object to the following:

  • Being harassed on the street (or at work, or anywhere else)
  • Being exposed to porn without having expressed any interest in such
  • Depictions of rape, jokes about rape, rape itself
  • Etc.
However, the beliefs underlying the objections to these things are often quite different, which is not limited to the fact that the prude might have to first examine whether to hold herself responsible for acts such as harassment and rape based on her own immodest dress or actions before speaking out against them. 

So here’s a guide to some key distinctions– when confused, consult this handy chart. Good luck!


Now, this is interesting: "the FACT that the prude might have to examine whether to hold HERSELF RESPONSIBLE for acts such as … rape" -Last time I checked, sexy women wearing string bikinis at the beach do not deserve to be raped, so how could a prude? Your reasoning is both faulty and offensive.

Uh, that was not my reasoning, Neil– it's the prude's. I was talking about how abhorrent it is that the belief systems of a prudish person (which often includes the belief that women can be responsible for their own rapes, wholly or in part) would cause such a person, if she was raped, to consider that it might be her own fault. So I was actually condemning the reasoning you find so faulty and offensive, not endorsing it.

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