Slut Shaming

slutshaming

 

Feminists unite: Slut shaming is a school / Facebook trend that shallowly judges people (mostly girls) for their looks, popularity, dress sense or even just individuality. It’s time to make the nasty badness go away. Or at least be poked in the wriggly bits with a sharp stick.

Well, look. There’s this thing called slut shaming. It’s in schools, it may be in your friendship circles, and it’s all over Facebook. Slut shaming’s been around since forever. Remember when Mary of Magdala washed a bearded guy’s feet and everyone got freaked out because she was an unmarried woman (or sex worker, depending on the translation)?

What is slut shaming, exactly?

Slut shaming is all about singling people out and labelling. It’s about peer pressure. It’s about unfair preconceptions of who a girl is, labelling her by her dress sense or her lack of popularity or her sexual experience.

School slut shaming and its victims:

If you’re at school, you’ve probably seen at least one of these before.

    • It only happens to certain established ‘slutty’ girls.
    • It only happens to the ‘slutty’ girls, but who they were changed depending on who was popular.
    • Anyone could be called a slut, but you have to act or dress a certain way for it to happen.
    • Anyone could be called a slut, but you have to have actually have done something with a boy for it to happen.
    • There is/was a big divide, it doesn’t matter what you do, if a rumour starts you’re a slut, then you’re a slut. It happens to everyone at least once.
    • It only happens to girls who have had sex at least once
    • It only happens to girls who have had at least two boyfriends in a month
    • It only happens to girls who have had a long term boyfriend
    • It only happens to girls who have done anything sexual with a guy
    • It only happens to girls who have dressed in short skirts and/or revealing tops
    • It only happens to girls who have developed earlier than the majority of their peers
    • It only happens to girls who have owned one or more “shag bands” (which, frankly, are sexually degrading enough, for if a guy snaps a black one, you apparently have to sleep with him)
    • It only happens to girls who have been in at least one fight with another girl

Slut shaming is just another example of bullying. It’s too easy to fall into saying something you don’t really mean about a person just because of peer pressure and the fear that if you don’t single out someone else, the tide will turn and you’ll be singled out instead. Well… we’re all guilty of being weak now and then. We’re all guilty of saying things we don’t really mean, or saying things based on ignorance. But if you see slut shaming in schools (or anywhere else), don’t believe the hype.

That quiet girl with big boobs? Her body isn’t her fault. It doesn’t mean she’s a slut. That girl who likes to show off her body and wear short skirts? She’s just having fun with expressing herself. That doesn’t mean she’s a slut. That girl who’s had sex? Maybe sex with more than one person? It doesn’t mean she’s a slut.

What is a slut, anyway?

Thinking about it… what is a ‘slut’, anyway? Is it anything at all? At worst, it could be considered having low self worth and attempting to feel better by attracting attention in a deliberately sexual manner. That’s not being a slut, that’s struggling self esteem and trying to find a coping mechanism. That’s something we should empathise with, not feel holier-than-thou about.

The thing is, people become sexually active at different rates, and people have different sexual drives. Slut shaming is condemning someone for having a slightly different sex drive. It’s as judgmental as virgin shaming, which is an equally unfair practice that – again – condemns someone for having a different sex drive, different experiences or different motivations.

Isn’t slut shaming okay if she really is a slut?

Nope. Not really. That girl that it’s fashionable for everyone to call a slut?

It doesn’t mean she’s a slut.

Repeat, repeat, repeat: A girl’s sexual activity is not a measure of her character.

No-one has the right to judge someone on their appearance, or their sexual behaviour if everything is consensual. If their behaviour isn’t harming others, they have the right to do whatever they like. The same as you have the right to do whatever you like, so long as it’s not harming others.

Reporting slut shaming on Facebook

Slut shaming creeps from school to Facebook, with all those lazy-minded ‘make me a sammich’ and ‘ho ho we’re so anti feminist it’s funny’ groups popping up where you least expect them. Remember ‘smack a slut week’? Just one of many Facebook pages that actively condone degrading of women and violence towards women. Women might find themselves ‘going along with the joke’, pretending it’s funny to show how relaxed they are. It’s not that funny. It’s ignorance, fear, anxiety and peer pressure.

Slut shaming is a trend that’s unfortunately here to stay, at least for a while. But if you see an example of it, try to step back and take a deep breath, and consider that no-one deserves to be judged in such a way.

And if you see a page dedicated to slut-shaming on Facebook? Don’t hold back, good people – stamp it out. Report, Report, report.


write for Mookychick