Slut Shaming

slut

The word ‘slut’ is making or attempting to make a woman or girl guilty or inferior for certain sexual behaviour, circumstances or desires that deviate from tradition or orthodox gender expectation. However, ‘slut’ is used loosely nowadays; many women are slut-shamed merely for how they dress and how they are physically developed. You see a woman as dressed provocatively but it does not necessarily mean that they are provocative.

Slut-shaming is sexist because are congratulated and idolised for their sexual endeavours, whether real or rumoured, women and girls are called to task for their sexuality. This is the essence of the sexual double standard: Boys will be boys, and girls will be sluts. Women have become so used to hearing the words ‘slut’ aimed at females that in today’s society women are more likely to label another female a ‘slut’. Instead of empowering other females, many have succumbed to putting others down. It is difficult for women to argue against men calling women ‘sluts’ when women are doing the same. Often women are to blame for their own oppression.

Shockingly, some use the term ‘slut’ to refer to what they call ‘victim blaming’ for rape. When women are held responsible for someone sexually assaulting them as they were “asking for it”. Even though they have not given their consent to partake in any sexual activity, they were seen to be acting in a sexual manner or dressed in a certain way so are playing the victim.  In the USA last year, campus preacher Brother Dean Saxton caused anger around the world after a video posted on social media showed him preaching at the University of Arizona and holding a sign that read, “YOU DESERVE RAPE.” Brother Saxton believed that immodestly dressed women are asking to be raped. It is this way of thinking that has made slut-shaming the serious issue it is today.

Slut-shaming has been made worse by both the media and social media, where women can be branded a slut on the likes of Facebook or Twitter.

Miley Cyrus’s controversial performance at the 2013 VMA awards caused slut-shaming uproar, her duet with singer Robin Thicke was described as “lewd, grotesque and shameful” as she ‘twerked’ on the male singer and suggestively touched herself with a foam finger. The 37 year old ‘Blurred Line’ singer who is almost twice her age received little negative publicity whereas Miley was plastered all over the internet and social media being called a “whore”, “trollop”, “slut” and “tramp”. It is in most circumstances that if both a man and woman are involved in a scandal played out in the public eye, the men will get no blame and no abuse and it will be entirely the woman’s fault. For example, when Justin Timberlake accidently ripped open Janet Jacksons top at their ‘Superbowl’ performance revealing her breast. America did not get angry with Justin Timberlake for revealing her asset, they were mad at Janet for having boobs!

“My girlfriends and I talk a lot about feminism and the inequality between the way men and women are talked about. The kind of things we say are: ‘Why is it mischievous, fun and sexy if a guy has a string of lovers that he’s cast aside, loved and left? Yet if a woman dates three or four people in an eight-year period she is a serial dater and it gives some 12-year-old the idea to call her a slut on the internet?’ It’s not the same for boys, it just isn’t and that’s a fact.”  – Taylor Swift

There has been a rise in the slander of females with the sexualisation of women in magazines also on the rise. In publications such as ‘Rolling Stone’, women are five times more likely to be hyper sexualised than a male. In the last ten years if you were to pick up a copy of the magazine, there would be a women posing in a suggestive or sexualised manner on the front cover.

Furthermore, the multiplying of ‘slut-shaming’ has resulted in the conflation of “being critical” and “prudishly or maliciously taking issue with female sexuality.” Not all criticisms of public displays of sexiness are meant to shame, which is something many people seem to have lost sight of.

The way the public look upon women needs to change. The double standards in media are always making women out to be the negative role model, which is only making it okay for both girls and boys to have a disrespectful attitude towards certain females they come across in their day-to-day lives and female celebrities.

“Girls rival each other. Women REVIVE each other. Girls impale each other. Women EMPOWER each other. Girls compare each other. Women CHAMPION each other” . – Ann Voskamp

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One thought on “Slut Shaming

  1. Its sad how society has come to undermine women by default, as you mention how whatever men do “boys will be boys” but anything a women does shes classified as a whore, slut etc.
    I myself am happy about this topic because not only does it show how men think of women but also society’s image on women too.

    I hope women get the respect they deserve because it seems these men have forgetten their mothers are also women.

    Like

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