But Is It Feminist: Slut Shaming

Today I want to talk about sluts.

Actually:

slutshamingbanner

So, I have been working on developing a set of stickers centered around the phenomenon known as Slut Shaming or Slut Bashing.

Why, what is Slut Shaming? I’m glad you asked!

My Definition: Slut Shaming is when a person, 0ften someone who identifies as female (but this person can also identify as male) is met with harsh criticism, judgmental and downright hateful behavior for being perceived as a sexual being.

Here are some other great definitions:

This is when an individual…is judged to be of low moral character or otherwise lacking in basic human rights because of what she wears and who she chooses to have sex with. Essentially, it reduces a woman to a sex object, and then vilifies her if she has the gall to take ownership of her own sexuality. (Morgan M Jordahl)

Cruel words like slut, whore, “ho” (and worse) are used to make a woman feel worthless, disgusting and ostracized for her sexual feelings and desires. (Dr Laura Berman)

Slut shaming refers to the practice of criticizing a woman for engaging in certain sexual behaviors outside of traditional gender roles, whether it be actual or presumed based on her manner of dress, speech or personality. (Amanda B.)

Some feminists have actively participated in slut-shaming on the basis that it’s not feminist to have sex with a lot of men.

WRONG-O.

Slut Shaming is especially viral on the internet:

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slut-notslut

sluts

So, What’s The Problem With Slut Shaming?

  • Slut shaming tells people that it’s wrong to engage in consensual sex. Not true.
  • Slut shaming tells people that it’s wrong for women to want to have sex – meaning that good sex is with unwilling women. Hmm — can you see how Slut Shaming takes a rapid turn to Victim Blaming???
  • Slut shaming is also based on people’s ‘perceptions’ and not in fact. Not only is it an awful tool for social ridicule, but ‘Sarah’, for instance, may be labeled a slut when she actually is not sexually active. We wouldn’t care about this so much if we didn’t view her status as virgin or sexually active women so highly.
  • Slut shaming also often relies on the ‘unclean’ issue. Women who have a lot of sex are impure and they’re gunna give you STDs and STIs. It’s totally possible to have completely safe sex with multiple partners. It’s also totally possible to have unprotected sex with a single partner and contract an STD and/or STI.
  • Slut shaming is dangerous. It seriously affects the lives of young women who are in a critical stage of sexual and emotional development. They’re not prepared for this kind of attack of their outward sexual identity, which is leading to a terrifying increase of young female teen suicide.

It’s a really pervasive issue.

Internet memes, novels, tv shows, classrooms – slut shaming is literally everywhere. I even found a prime example of it on Etsy:

You can purchase your very own slut-shaming hand-made art!

You can purchase your very own slut-shaming hand-made art!

So, we need to start taking some very real action to end slut shaming:

  • Start teaching our youngins to talk about consensual sex! Right – that’s terrifying in a country that stipulates that teaching abstinence should be the norm, but it clearly is not working. Here is a pretty great resource on that subject: Let’s Talk About Consent
  • When you see things (facebook posts, pictures, comments, magazine ads) that are shaming women for being sexual, stand up and say something about it. If you’re about to share something that you think might be slut shaming, take a second to reconsider your actions. Is this going to be harmful to the women in your life? Is it going to be harmful to you?
  • Put positive vibes out there to other women and especially teens and girls. — And that’s my number one goal with my new set of stickers :
I Will Not Slut Shame

I Will Not Slut Shame

No More Slut Shaming

No More Slut Shaming

Some Great Sites For Further Research:

4 responses to “But Is It Feminist: Slut Shaming

  1. Excellent post. Very concise, and also I love Laci Green. And adorable stickers! I may have to pick a couple up when I get home from work. Thanks for the pingback. 🙂

    • Thank you! Laci Green is absolutely one of my favorite internet personalities. She is doing really amazing work. I’m really glad you like the stickers!

  2. Pingback: Studio Update: Keep On With The Keeping On | Callie Garp·

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