Holiday notes: the “Tramp Stamp”
Ah, summer holidays. Bringing with them the many body-related tribulations of trying to get on in life in the face of ridiculous social conventions on how you should look (yes, thank you very much Special K Lady and your Cohorts of Doom). With the annual Revelation Of The Flesh comes a more recent addition to the pile of what Caitlin Moran might term ABSOLUTE BULLSHIT.
The puerile association between a woman’s choice of tattoo placement and her sexual availability. AKA the Tramp Stamp. I hate that word. I hate it as a woman who has many tattoos and is bored rigid of all the shitty comments from the Morally Uptight Brigade about how ink looks “common” or “trashy” on women (and it’s almost always about women), how I’ll hate it when I get older, which is another dull reminder of how once we’ve lost our looks we’re for the bonfire of other people’s vanities.
A quick scroll around the internet reveals the extent of the problem. Over 2 million results on Google for the term “tramp stamp” alone. Top hit is the Wikipedia article which doesn’t even try to assert any form of anti-sexism editing beyond the coy reference to “lower back tattoo”, which I initially applauded until I saw the bare bottom shots used in the article. There are pages and pages devoted to deriding these tattoos, and the women who have them. So far, so bad.
The litmus test is whether the chaps get tarred with the same brush. Seems not. They may well have tattoos in this place (it’s a good bit of skin to get inked) but they’re apparently doing it for the irony factor. Or, poor thing, by accident.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not denying that some of these tattoos are ugly, silly or plain ridiculous. I’m very fussy about my tattoos and I love each one to bits almost as much as I love bitching about crap ones. Tattoos are a matter of personal taste, not a flag declaring whether or not I want to sleep with you: if you pour scorn and sexist drivel on my ink, then I definitely don’t.
Tramp stamp – another phrase that we can probably do without. Agreed?