Why Do Women Slut-Shame Each Other?

Unsplash / Sunset Girl
Unsplash / Sunset Girl

When I was younger, my best friend introduced me to a show called Sex and the City by convincing me to watch a couple of episodes. My initial reactions were:

  1. What is Carrie wearing??
  2. Miranda is really annoying and I hate her
  3. Charlotte is definitely my kindred spirit, and
  4. Samantha is such a slut.

When I shared those observations with my BFF, she agreed with the first three but scolded me for judging Samantha so harshly. Her exact words were: “She just likes to have a lot sex. What’s wrong with that?” I immediately became embarrassed because it’s true. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with actively engaging in multiple (healthy) sexual relationships, unless you’re a woman, apparently.

How many words can you think of (slang allowed) that are used to label a woman who has a lot of sex with numerous partners? Here, I’ll start the list: slut, whore, skank, tramp, ho(e), trick, easy, loose, THOT, and my absolute favorite, harlot. Now for the harder question: how many words can you think of that apply to men? A player? Casanova? Lothario? There aren’t many words for guys because it’s expected for men to enjoy the many benefits of sex, so why would society create a stigma to undermine that the way it does for women? Who are women to think that we should be awarded the same “privileges”, right?

Being born with a vagina may prove to be one of the worst things that could happen to a person, at least that’s the way our culture makes it seem. As women, we are treated atrociously not only socially, but economically, politically, verbally, mentally, sexually and physically by male lawmakers, bosses, co-workers, friends and significant others every. single. day. So how dare we treat each other as awfully as they treat us by joining in and disrespecting each others personal choices by addressing each other with words used to repress our population on a daily basis by our oppressors?

There is nothing I hate more than overhearing a woman speaking ill of another woman because of how she chooses to express her sexuality. Now, I’m not saying that slut-shaming is tolerable or even expected when men do it and intolerable when women do it, because the fact that slut-shaming is even a thing still baffles me. But when the victim of such a social issue takes on the role of the perpetrator, lines become increasingly blurred and men then begin to think it’s acceptable to continue the blatant disrespect. Why? Because if slut-shaming were truly as huge of an issue as we claim it is, then as women we wouldn’t be engaging in it ourselves. How can we complain about the catcalling epidemic when just yesterday we were probably judging a complete stranger because we ~heard~ about the amount of sexual partners she’s had? Madeleine Albright once said something that has easily become one of my favorite quotes: “There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.” We can’t expect to win the war if we occasionally pick up a gun and fire for the opposing side. TC mark

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