Your Two Cents: Does the WWE Have a “Slut” Fixation?

“Your Two Cents” is the new interactive feature where we gauge the opinions of our Twitter and Facebook followers on different discussions in women’s wrestling.

This week, we’re asking this: Eve’s heel turn has us wondering: What do you think of how heel Divas are portrayed? Is there a fixation on making a heel Diva a “slut”, or are things not that simple? We’ve read your responses on our social media pages and picked some of the best submissions to highlight here on the website. As always, you can join the debate by leaving your comments!

Our Two Cents

Batting for Team DD this week, it’s Melanie giving us her personal opinion on this week’s topic:

Melanie: This is certainly a controversial topic, but I would say that there is a misogynistic attitude regarding the way WWE has utilized some of its heel Divas, however, I also think it’s an easy storyline to run to because as history shows, it gets a response. WWE has a long history of drying the well of stereotypical extremes from evil foreign heels, to sexualized female heels, to even racial stereotypes. It’s a cheap way of getting a response and with Eve, like Lita etc., it seems to be working. To me, it speaks for the audience WWE is attracting at these arenas as much as it does about the company itself. The shows largely draw adult males who seem to respond to and even agree with the “slut shaming” storylines with their raucous cheers and chants. I do think there’s cause and effect. However, I don’t want to generalize all of the fans into that box, and if we look at the entire Divas roster past and present, not all heel Divas have been presented like that, either. While it’s certainly not a positive reinforcement for women and young girls watching, I understand it’s just a plot and we all know that Eve isn’t a slut, so I’m personally not as offended by it as others. Crass, yes, but that is one thing I’ve come to accept about WWE. That’s not to say others shouldn’t be offended by it if they choose to be, or that they shouldn’t find it unacceptably crass if they choose to, but I’m just speaking for myself. What I don’t appreciate is being judged for not feeling exactly the same or as horrifically appalled as others, as I don’t judge you for feeling the way that you do.

Your Two Cents

Adam Testa | Michelle McCool and Layla weren’t presented that way either. I think it’s an archetype of a heel Diva, much like the cowardly heel is for the men. It’s not defining of all of them, but it’s an old standby that always works.
@GregLucM | First, let us start by remembering that the current Divas champ is a heel and also pushing for the proud #PinUpStrong movement. Next, the biggest heel Diva (at least for now), Vickie Guerrero, is not portrayed as “slut,” but instead “annoying loud mouth wannabe-cougar.” But, as it pertains to Eve Torres and other heel Divas, the sexual angle is easy mode like the generic “cocky heel” or “foreigner” for male wrestlers. However, there hasn’t really recently been that more dedicated character who actually goes beyond merely being a hot-woman-in-a-skimpy-costume-who-is-heel to, two-faced, detestable, “Oh my god, I want to actually jeer this woman and call her names” character since, maybe, Lita circa-Edge/Matt Hardy.

So, as far as I see, it’s just a case of being shocked from generic to something with some actual thought and intensity to the character. Is it in good taste? Probably not. But good taste isn’t always fun or entertaining, and we should know that as wrestling fans.

Josue Guzman | I was asking myself the same question when I saw Eve turn heel but then I reminded myself that this is WWE and one of WWE’s favorite things to do are love triangle storylines. This is probably because they are able to kill three birds with one stone. First off, it is the easiest way to turn any Diva heel. Second, it not only gives the Diva a chance to build a heel character but it also cements the heel of the Superstar involved. Lastly, as the love triangle storyline comes to an end, the Diva can easily become face again by reuniting with the face Superstar or remain heel and further her heel character in singles competitions.

However, WWE has proven that they do not necessarily need to portray their Divas as “sluts” to make them heel. We’ve seen Divas who were: Dominant Heel: Jazz and Beth Phoenix. Psycho Heels: Mickie James and Victoria (now Tara). Heel Managers: Sensational Sherri and Luna Vachon. Heel with gimmicks: A bad singing Jillian Hall and Sacred Molly Holly. Again this all comes down to booking and the Creative team.

Michael Kelly | Not every heel diva is a slut or made as a slut, for instance LayCool were “mean girls”, DOD have been portrayed as “monster” or at least “dominating” heels, Maryse played a narcissistic heel, Victoria & Mickie were portrayed as heels with “mental” problems and the only heels who were real “sluts” and got everywhere were Trish Stratus, Lita & Stephanie McMahon and they were only made sluts because they wanted to give them a total refreshing change from there top face, luchador punk and innocent daddy’s girl, respectively. So it’s only be used to refresh a character and gimmick and because it works with the crowd, therefore generating further/future success.
@sofbomb | I think it’s a massive shame, it really is. Women are usually portrayed horribly in wrestling as it is, although that’s mostly in the bigger companies like TNA and WWE. The characters are almost always horrifically undeveloped and 2-D. As far as heel goes, the WWE is extremely guilty of following the same sort of misogynistic pattern. Their characters are almost always based on their gender. They’re “bitches”, they’re “sluts”, they’re “Hoeskis”, no matter what, it always becomes a way of simply demeaning women and reminding us all that they are nothing but women. Sometimes they get it right, like Trish being tough, ambitious and self-centered in 2004/5 and owning the division and Mickie’s initial psycho character. But unfortunately, more often than not, they fall into that silly trap of their sexuality and gender being used as a reason to boo them.

It sucks for female fans, and it sucks for all wrestling fans in general. I hate that they are catering to the sexist and “macho” male fanbase the most, who have been the ones attacking Eve (and in the past Lita, Kelly Kelly and so many others too) because of their own insecurities. The WWE should be socially responsible and realize what they’re doing and the stereotypes and hatred they’re perpetuating. There aren’t any female fans we can relate to and either love or hate not because of their gender, but because of what their characters do.

@ToDashAndBack | I think the “slut” gimmick is a rite of passage for Divas that have the backing of the company. Look where the gimmick has taken Trish, Lita, Melina, Stephanie McMahon, among others. To be given this gimmick, despite how degrading it seems, is a high honor. The ultimate heel Diva gimmick usually leads to a wildly successful face run after the heel turn runs it’s course. This is an exciting point in Eve’s career, I hope she has the same success as past Divas.

And now we turn it over to you…

What are your two cents on the debate? Is there a fixation on making a heel Diva a “slut”? Tell us in the comments…

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