Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Why Is Slut Shaming Still Ok?

Why Is Slut Shaming Still Ok?Why is slut shaming still ok? Perhaps the more obvious question here is why is slut shaming even a thing? Why do we, as a society think it is ok to label someone based solely on who they choose to sleep with?

I use the same argument for this as I use for gay rights - if you aren't directly involved, why the hell do you care who someone else is having sex with!

If a woman chooses to have sex with a different man each night, unless one of those men is your husband/boyfriend, why is it any of your concern?

As a barmaid, I find my life is generally open for discussion by the regular customers, including who I do (or more often don't but they think I do) have sex with. Seriously, you can't have male friends or even acquaintances without someone putting 2 and 2 together and getting 75!

Why Is Slut Shaming Still Ok?

I would say that 99% of the time, they are wrong about the people I am supposed to be having sex with. Luckily for me, I'm not someone who gets upset by it. I find it hilarious for the most part, and it's always interesting to hear what you got up to the night before! I suppose I should be flattered these people have nothing better to talk about than who I may or may not be having sex with.

I can see why some people would be annoyed or upset by this, but for the most part, its harmless. Its a group of kind of sad people having a bit of a gossip. They don't even get judgemental, they just like to think they know things before other people.

Where I think this takes a dark turn is when the derogatory terms start. When women start being labelled slut, slag, whore because they enjoy a healthy sex life.

News flash: Women enjoy sex!

There is no reason why a woman should be shamed for enjoying sex. It is essentially something that is meant to be pleasurable! If you weren't supposed to enjoy it, it wouldn't feel good!

It's an age old argument, but it still bugs me that men who sleep around are celebrated, whilst women who do the same are shamed.

The main worrying thing about slut shaming though, is, in my experience, woman are by far the worst culprits for slut shaming other women. I'm sure it happens, but I am yet to sit in male company and hear them bitching about women, calling them sluts and whores, yet I hear this all too often from groups of women.

Surely, as grown women, we should be above this school yard behaviour. We should be happy that women have the freedom to have sex with whoever they want to. At the very least, we should mind our own businesses.

Why Is Slut Shaming Still Ok?
If penguins slut shamed this is how it would look!
The victim of their derision often doesn't even have to be sleeping around. She could have simply been flirting with a man, be seen to have too many male friends, or wear a short dress. And heaven help a woman if a man someone else fancies has a thing for her. Even if she doesn't feel the same, and nothing comes of it, she will now be branded a slut.

Here is an example of when it is ok to slut shame a woman:

That's right, its blank. Because it's never ok.

Aside from the fact it is offensive, how can we, as woman treat each with such a lack of respect and then expect men to respect us?

The simple answer is, we can't.

We are sending a message loud and clear that a woman who enjoys sex, or has a lot of sex for whatever reason, is somehow less deserving of respect than a woman who is more conservative.

We are sending the message that it is ok to use her physically because having sex is what defines her. If that is not feeding the rape culture, I don't know what is.

When a woman is labelled as easy, it becomes easier for a certain type of man to assume she is "up for it" and if he then finds that actually she isn't, it leads to all kinds of problems.

I know this an extreme example, and that calling a woman a slut doesn't necessarily mean she will be raped down the line, but it can happen. If it happens to one woman, then it is one woman too many.

Also, it can have a massively detrimental effect on a woman's self esteem. If she hears these comments on a regular basis, she may start to believe she is not worth respect, and is only to be used a sexual play thing.

Some people will come back with "she shouldn't be sleeping about if she doesn't want to be called a slut".

Why shouldn't she? Are these people who slut shame really that arrogant that they think it is their right to label others and put them down? That they are somehow the special ones who get to decide on whether or not someone else is worthy of basic respect?

Why Is Slut Shaming Still Ok?

In short, if you wouldn't want your mother/daughter/sister/friend to be labelled as a slut, you shouldn't be doing it to anyone else. Ever.

There is a huge difference between slut shaming and intervening with a friend or family member if you feel their behaviour has gone past enjoying sex and is becoming unhealthy.

I still believe it is not our right to judge someone else for their sexual choices, but if you have a genuine concern, then I don't think it is a problem to approach the person in a tactful, concerned manner and find out if there is something else going on that is making them behave this way, especially if it is out of character for them.

What do you think? Should women be allowed the freedom to have sex with whoever they want to or should they be more conservative? Have you ever been slut shamed or have you slut shamed someone else? I would love to hear your views on this in the comments section :)

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14 comments:

  1. I found this interesting and amusing and then serious all in one! I used to get that sort of nonsense (who are you with) when I was about 18 so I can relate and then at school I was called a slut when I wasn't even doing the deed. I think at the end of the day, everyone is free to choose and depending on beliefs, values and what feels right for you. No one should be called these names for having a relationship or having sex and how come its okay for men to sleep with women and then not women to sleep with men. It takes too to tango!

    Angela x

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    1. Exactly - everyone should be able to decide for themselves without fear of name calling. I have heard men being referred to as "male sluts" but this is always said like its a compliment! And yes, it sure does! x

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  2. It is such a double standard. And even worse, it's something that actually divides us as females. I wonder why we don't realize what others do with their bodies is really none of our business.

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  3. You and I think alike! Everything you've said, I have said to others. I love the phrase, "how can we, as woman treat each with such a lack of respect and then expect men to respect us?" It is so true. If we want men to respect us then we need to be the ones to show them how it's done by treating each other with that same respect. Not that men don't know how to respect women but I'm reminded of the saying, "charity begins at home." We women are our home and we need to show the world that we stand together. Let's lift each other up, not knock each other down. Great post! Thanks for sharing! visiting from #effitfriday

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    1. Yes to lifting each other up! Strong women don't need to knock other woman down, they support each other! Thank you :)

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  4. The answer is....slut shaming isn't OK. Even the term "slut shaming" is pretty unpleasant to be honest, as it assumes that there is such a thing as a "slut" to which one refers.

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    1. Yes, that's a very good point actually. The term is pretty harsh, I hadn't considered it from that angle, thank you :)

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  5. If I quoted every line I liked in this, I'd be rewriting the whole post! I totally agree. Why is it alright for men to sleep around and be hailed as studs, racking up a score to be admired but bad for women to do it resulting in them being labelled as that ugly word slut. I never understood it but am ashamed to admit I have sometimes been guilty of thinking this way BECAUSE society does such a number on us! I could go on and on about this! We'll have loads to talk about if ever meet Debs!
    Thanks for linking to #effitfriday my dear.

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    1. Exactly, the double standards bother me the most I think. To be honest, we've probably all said about someone at some point, but then you sort of catch yourself and think wtf! We sure will - we'll have the world put to rights over cocktails lol :) Thanks for hosting

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  6. I agree, this should not be a thing at all. I actually have known plenty of men who say things like this in groups (not to mention that certain type of men online who use this as a response to any woman who dares to express a political opinion or, shock horror, feminism). But I agree that lots of women do it, and that is ridiculous. & of course it does not matter whether the assumptions about the woman's sex life are true or not. Who cares.

    Giggling a little at the things about your bar. I used to be a barmaid & this is exactly how it was! There was always a soap opera going on based around what (who) the barmaids were or were believed to be doing. I was lucky, due to my natural shyness, I was a competent but not massively sociable barmaid, and I sailed under the radar mostly! #bigfatlinky

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    1. Yes, I have encountered men using it as a comeback online, I forgot all about them little saddos!
      I'm rather gobby at work believe it or not ;) so I rarely manage to get left out of these conversations. I probably don't help myself because I refuse to confirm or deny the rumours. I've even been known to add a little fuel to the fire because it amuses me lol!

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    2. Haha - yes, it's good to find ways to amuse yourself in a bar! Especially on day shifts with just a few locals. I worked in a bar with my sister for a few months. That was quite interesting as she is much more outgoing than I am & was always at the centre of the scandals and rumours. Every time something got out of hand she would say that from then on she was going to do what I did instead. People found it odd that we were so different. At one point there were women who would literally watch the bar like a hawk & run if I came free because they were not prepared to be served by my sister due to disputes over men!

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    3. You're sister sounds like she would be brilliant fun to work with! I've said a few times I'm going to stop doing it and just start denying stuff. It never works though lol! I don't think it's ever gotten to the point where customers won't be served off me due to it, but I think I have probably accumulated a frenemy or two along the way haha :)

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