Stop Slut-Shaming

10 Jul
“What’s up whores?!”  Whenever I hear a girl yell this at another group of ladies a little part of me dies of rage.  Let’s talk about slut-shaming for a little bit and how completely wrong and counterproductive it is for all women.  I understand things aren’t nearly as equal or balanced as I would like them to be, but it’s important to keep fighting the good fight in hopes of one day balancing out not only the pay scale but gender roles a well.  Before anyones’ panties get bundled or nipples get twisted, I know that women have come a long way, but there’s still so much further we could go and slut-shaming is essentially putting us back 20 years every time a woman calls another woman a derogatory name and thinks it’s completely okay simply because it’s said out of “love” or “friendship” or even because they are a female themselves it’s completely acceptable.  Newsflash: it’s not!  By calling others names like slut or whore you’re not re-claiming the word nor are you showing any form of female empowerment.  By using those words all you’re doing is making it that much more acceptable for others to call you those names and not in friendly way, but in a demeaning, degrading, debasing kind-of-way.

I understand the intent of the girls’ who choose to use these words.  I understand that in their mind, they probably aren’t trying to label others by yelling “Sluuuuts!” to a group of friends. However, what you’re saying and what you mean are two different things.  We as human beings, especially women, are brought up in a society of sexual repression where sexual education is somehow seen as a negative, unneeded course and Planned Parenthood isn’t a health center or advocate for women’s health, but a polarized topic of debate.  We grow up in an environment where anything that has to do with sex is awkward to discuss or worse, not discussed at all.  So calling one another sluts and whores may seem like a form of sexual liberation, but it’s not.  In Tina Fey’s (awesome) words, “You’ve got to stop calling each other sluts  and whores.  It just makes it okay for men to call you sluts  and whores.”  If you genuinely want to break the mold of gender stereotypes or  somehow make it acceptable to dress however you want without being labeled there’s no quick fix.  I wish we could all simply be the way that we are without the stereotypes, but again, that’s not the case.

As women we live by the code of being feminine, but not too girly; talk about sex, but don’t have it too often and wear dresses and makeup, just not too short or too much. It’s a convoluted mess of mixed messages and I’m not sure how to straighten it all out.  All I know for certain is that labeling others what we don’t want others to label us is not helping at all. It essentially perpetuates and condones the acceptance of the stereotypes and hurts womankind as a whole.

Photo credit: http://bit.ly/qajVzM
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8 Responses to “Stop Slut-Shaming”

  1. marriagecoach1 July 10, 2011 at 1:50 pm #

    I could not agree with you more. It is never ok to call someone a deragatory name, even in fun.

    You are also right on about all the negative stuff put on little girls as they are growing up. It is done by parents wanting to keep you perennial virgins as well as your churches telling you that sex is bad, dirty and wrong and that good girls don’t do it. They never teach you the sex positive messages from the bible.

    Often a woman is so negatively conditioned that by the time that she is ready to embrace her sexuality, she is ruined for life.

    In Europe, sex is much more relaxed and accepted. It is no coincidence that we have the highest divorce rate on the planet (sex is one of the big 3 that couples fight about) and the highest sexual assault rate on the planet.

    This is exactly why I do my blog teaching couples how not to fight with each other and attack each other but to have good conflict resolution skills but also teach both men and women how to have better more satisfying sex lives. Sex feels good and we should all be taking better care of each other’s sexual needs.

    Blessings and kudos to you for posting this very valuable sexual post.
    John Wilder

  2. kelleyzwong July 10, 2011 at 4:13 pm #

    John-
    Good to hear from you. I’m glad you agree. It’s very sad when girls call one another demeaning names and somehow think it’s ok. It’s important to instill in them the importance of policing one’s own actions before being able to change others.

  3. Floridadom December 4, 2011 at 5:15 am #

    Kelley: You could also make the argument that women using those words with each other make them less degrading.

    I also think a couple in a loving relationship can use those words in a positive way. A woman in the throes of passion can say she wants to be his slut or his whore without meaning it literally. More a way of showing she wants to give him everything.

    But I agree that men shouldn’t use those words to degrade women.

    FD.

  4. A kid April 30, 2012 at 7:37 pm #

    Hummm…. Interesting to read this, it really was.

  5. kevnar June 26, 2012 at 2:56 pm #

    It all comes down to the dog-eat-dog battle for social hierarchy. In the heart of every human begin is the desperate, almost savage need to establish superiority over others, even if it’s only in their own imagination. Women attack and belittle other women as “sluts”, “skanks”, “whores”, “trash”, or whatever not so much to tear that girl down but to build themselves up as superior by implied comparison. If there was no implied superiority, there would be no point.

    If you want to end slut-shaming, you have to remove the ability of these women to feel superior to other women based on shallow criteria like clothing choices, or the indulgence of perfectly natural drives like enjoying intimacy. But that psychology is damn near part of our genetics. It’s gonna take quite a long time to remove that mountain.

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