The Damages Of ‘Slut Shaming’ And How It Perpetuates Gender Inequality

Shutterstock/Kichigin
Shutterstock/Kichigin

We say we want equal rights as women. We want the same pay as men. We do not want to be cat called on the street, and so forth. We want to be treated like we are powerful, successful and capable because we are all of those things.

We want to be acknowledged as a human being who also just happens to be a woman. Gender does not define how kind, intelligent, or creative we are. Gender is a social construct.

However, I’d like all the women reading this to take a minute and do some serious self-reflection. I’m sure not at all females, but many, are guilty of contributing to the shaming and disrespecting of other women.

I, myself, am guilty of this. We claim we are feminists but then turn around without hesitation and openly bash another women, “She’s not even that pretty,” “She has sex with everyone,” “She’s slutty,” “Can she keep her legs closed?” Does any of this sound familiar? I bet it does.

Now I don’t know where or when the idea of sexual oppression began but somewhere throughout history it did, and you know what? It’s wrong, and it’s sexist.

Since “slut-shaming” is a slang term, it’s only fair to bring urban dictionary into this. Urban Dictionary defines slut-shaming as follows: “An unfortunate phenomenon in which people degrade or mock a woman because she enjoys having sex, has sex a lot, or may even just be rumored to participate in sexual activity.”

We are inhibiting ourselves from reaching the equal rights and sexual liberation that we all claim we want. Women attacking and deliberately insulting and shaming other women are only adding fuel to the fire of our own oppression.

How badly can we really want gender equality, when we are abundantly contributing to the inequality that already exists?

Some women love casual sex and others do not. Just like some men love casual sex and others do not. If a man has sex with a different person every weekend, his friends will high-five him and tell him he’s the man.

If a girl has sex with a different person every weekend, men will call her easy or slutty, and women will look down on her. Men will say she gets around and they’d be down to sleep with her, but they’d never date a girl who had sex the way she did.

Yet, if a man has a great deal of sex he’s just as dateable as a guy who doesn’t have a lot of sex. Are you kidding me? This is an incredibly ignorant and condescending outlook on sexual relationships. It’s 2015 and we still are reprimanding people for what they choose to do with their OWN bodies.

If a grown woman chooses to have consensual sex why is she being treated like a lesser being? It’s not your body, so why do you care what she does with it?

In a time where we’re encouraging creativity and acceptance, here we are telling other women what they should or should not do with their bodies. We can send rockets to space and video chat from our pockets, but here we are telling a fellow female how to live her life. We need to get over ourselves.

Instead of tearing each other down, we need to be having each other’s backs. We cannot expect men or people in general to support gender equality when we, women, are so openly supporting the current injustices.

If you don’t want to sleep around, don’t sleep around. If you want to sleep around, sleep around (but please be safe!!)

She’s not a slut; she’s your teammate in a messy fight that has gone on since we can remember. We should be trying to win the battle together instead of making all women lose. Let’s move forward and leave slut-shaming behind. If we want to see progress we have to stop being hypocritical and stand together, not apart. TC mark

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