Things I hate: slut-shaming

28 Apr

Jelly speaking.

Something out of the many, many things that annoy me is slut-shaming.

Slut-shaming, and our society with its double standard for sex, is an idea which is pervasive, clinging, and damaging to our self-esteem and fight to be truly equal. I hate it. The idea of a lady, or of anyone really, being judged on simply how much sex they’re getting is completely irrational. There is no reason why frequency of sex should have any relation to things such as intelligence. And yet it does – according to sources as wide-spread as my little sister to the media. Despite the fact that our society reveres sex to an irrational extent, we judge those ladies who are getting a lot of it (or who look like they are getting a lot of it) in what seems like an absurd display of jealousy.

To start with, why is sex such a big deal? If it’s fully consensual, then people should be able to enjoy it, however, with whoever, as often or as little or as never as they like. Instead we have a stupid situation where girls are not allowed to have sex before they are married, and yet are supposed to be amazing at it on the pinnacle of their lives, their wedding nights. Boys are supposed to have lots both sides of  the perfect marriage, although the question arises, with who, if not the chaste and virginal girls? God forbid not other boys (although that’s another matter entirely)! Something I like that sums this up is this post. (Shamelessly linking to my tumblr there).

Surely, if sex is this great, everyone should enjoy it? Men do. A man who has lots of sex with multiple partners is called ‘lucky’, a ‘player’. The position of having lots of sex puts them in a position of respect.

Now imagine the same situation – someone getting laid a lot – but this time with a lady. A slut. That is all the commendation she would get. It doesn’t matter what she wears, how she acts, this insult is based purely on how lucky she’s getting. Her entire character would be based on her perceived sex appeal to men.

Laid out like this, it seems utterly ridiculous. And it is. People like my father can use the excuse that promiscuity has more dangers for the girl (namely getting pregnant), which is why ‘nature’ has made society look down on girls having lots of sex. This is a ridiculous argument though, because in this day and age of easy contraception and protection (although you shouldn’t get me started on places where contraception is neither free nor easy) girls, if possible, can be as safe as men. Also, ahem, STIs?

And this argument certainly doesn’t explain why frequency of sex seems to have something to do with what you’re wearing. Regardless of your actual sex life, you can still get called a slut because of what your clothes, which doesn’t even slightly make sense. If you reveal flesh, you reveal flesh. Maybe it’s a hot day, or your legs are looking particularly fine that day and you want the world to know, or you want to feel sexy and wearing a low-cut top makes you feel sexy – so be it. Maybe you do base your clothing decisions on whether you are getting laid that night or not – so be fucking it.

I hate the way that we think we can make judgements about someone else’s supposed promiscuity because of their clothes. It’s not your problem. It’s no-one’s problem except the judged, because it’s their body, and their sex life, and for some reason, boys don’t undergo this same scrutiny and hatred. I wonder why? Hmm, maybe it’s because of sexism.

In my school of anxious teenage girls, this has led to the story circulating like wildfire that someone I know gave a blowjob to her boyfriend in the park and then got the favour reciprocated. She is extremely intelligent and strong-willed. She likes her boyfriend. I know that she wouldn’t do anything that she didn’t want to do, and so why the fuck is it anyone in my school’s business? The word ‘slut’ is getting bandied around a lot in regard to her, which is even more stupid once you think that slut is equal to promiscuity, and this girl has had one partner. My dad’s argument of unsafeness and ‘biological necessity’ against lots of sex doesn’t apply. Why, why, why, is she now getting a reputation, is she looked down on, is she judged?

Why, why, why, is slut shaming an easily accepted part of this culture that even my innocent little sister knows? She calls girls sluts, chooses clothes on ‘sluttiness’ rating, and yet can’t articulate why sleeping with lots of people is such a big fucking deal. Along with everyone I know.

Please stop slut-shaming, stop using the word slut, and instead join Katharine Whitehorn in her famous 1963 article and ask yourself “Have you ever taken anything out of the dirty-clothes basket because it had become, relatively, the cleaner thing? Changed stockings in a taxi? Could you try on clothes in any shop, any time, without worrying about your underclothes? How many things are in the wrong room—cups in the study, boots in the kitchen? … [this makes] you one of us: the miserable, optimistic, misunderstood race of sluts.”

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One Response to “Things I hate: slut-shaming”

  1. glasgow sex worker April 29, 2013 at 9:08 pm #

    That closing quote is so brilliant! Also have you seen this disconcertingly amazing video on this topic? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXH2K7OC37s – So so good.

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