Slut Shaming is Real and You Need to Know About It

Slut+Shaming+is+Real+and+You+Need+to+Know+About+It

courtesy of Jezebel.com

Not so fast!

I want high schoolers to think about our culture on a different level. (video from Feminist Frequency Youtube channel)

Marina Smoske, internal operations coordinator

Have you ever overheard or participated in a conversation about a skimpy outfit a girl wore to a party?  The number of guys she’s been with?  What kind of language did you use?  Were you outraged?  Keep reading, feminism is for you.

I get a lot of smack for preaching respect for women to my peers, especially if I’m talking to boys and especially if you tweeted about the Victoria’s Secret fashion show.  (#sorrynotsorry I was so mouthy).  Some tell me it’s not appropriate to discuss human sexuality in an academic forum. Then again, so isn’t almost everything we chat about in an academic forum.

Unfortunately, I’ve never had the chance to explain that the feminist movement concerns just about every aspect of a high school student’s life- music, clothes, social media.  Everything.

That being said, it’s high time more students were made aware of a practice I see way too often: slut shaming.

In short, slut shaming is the practice of making a woman feel inferior, through rumors, tweets, demeaning language or otherwise, for expressing her sexuality through actions that surpass what we view as acceptable.

Slut shaming makes my blood boil because it often comes with a double standard.  There’s no term for a boy who hooks up with a lot of girls, unless you count “legend.”  It’s a matter of pats on the back versus being tied to a pole and stoned in the town square.  That needs to change.

I ask my peers to do two things, just TWO things to help me end slut shaming.  Give it a shot:

1.  Educate yourself.  I guarantee there’s a piece of this cause that will interest you.  Gamers can check out Anita Sarkeesian’s ongoing project on women in video games.  If you’re shopaholic, look into FORCE’s panty-drop project in Victoria’s Secret.  If you’re an athlete, read about discrimination of women in sports.

2. Let go of your judgments.  Whether you like it or not, every woman is entitled to express her sexuality in whatever way she pleases.  Her body and her clothing are not an insult to you.  Her sexual activities do not merit slander or shame.  Remember that the way high school girls (and boys, I’m lookin’ at you too!) express themselves is sometimes a product of cultural messages that make it difficult to develop healthy sexuality.  And for that, we need to have understanding and compassion for each other as we navigate a tough time in our lives.