Why is it that we live in a world where men are incessantly praised for their sex life, whereas women are ostracized left and right?
It’s frustrating, to say the least, that a woman’s sexuality is too often held against her. I’m not talking about sexuality in regards to her sexual orientation; I’m referring to, you know, if she gets around.
Slut shaming, defined as “to publicly humiliate or shame (a woman) for engaging in promiscuous or premarital sex” has proven to be a pertinent yet overlooked conversation. We throw around terms such as “slut” and “whore” so cavalier without fully understanding just how grave they can be. First and foremost, why exactly is sex a bad thing? Why is it that we place a normal, human craving in such a damning light, but only for women?
Let’s first clarify that having sex or “hooking up” with someone (or a few people) does not warrant criticism.
Considering that sex requires more than one party, it is ignorant to point a dirty finger at solely the woman.
The act of hooking up is only relevant to those persons involved. Of course, there is no way to prevent the word from getting out. My point remains the same: the criticism is unsolicited.
The terms are inherently sexist, though, given that they are applied to females exponentially more often than males. Amongst themselves, men often praise one another as if having sex or hooking up with multiple women heightens their masculinity. Males are labeled as “studs”, “bros”, “manly”… terms that are much less harsh in nature. If men do not do the “walk of shame”, why are women?
Females, on the other hand, seem to be each other’s most ruthless critics. Is it to paint another woman as her subordinate? Is it out of jealousy or insecurity? While women (AND men) may sometimes engage in sexual acts for “wrong” reasons, shaming her never spontaneously sparked the realization of her mistake. Take the notorious Monica Lewinsky, for example, who was publicly silenced for over a decade. While they both faced criticism, Lewinksy endured much more cruelty. Yes, what she did was wrong in the eyes of millions (although again, I’ll reiterate that two parties were involved), but she herself understood the implications of her actions. The ceaseless harassment of her mistakes indelibly branded her. Regardless, a sexually active woman’s reasoning is personal, thus, not open to an ounce of slander.
There are a few reasons to condemn this behavior. First, it’s a waste of energy to be speaking so harshly about someone whose acts likely have zero effect on your life. Second, we all make our fair share of mistakes as well as have our own fun. How silly is it to judge someone for such an innate craving when other people knowing was solely an unfortunate case?
Lastly and most importantly, slut shaming is a form of bullying that can easily lead to issues with depression, anxiety or worse. Even if she chooses to embrace her promiscuity, it can lead to sexual assault. In a number of cases, vilifying a female for this humanoid act has even driven her to suicide, an occurrence that is 100% preventable.
For heaven’s sake, let’s start prioritizing women for far more than her physicality or how she handles her sexuality.
Challenge this sort of denunciation and actively choose to not engage in this sort of speak. Reiterate that she’s aware of her own doings and that her personal life is not a call for open judgement. Her intellect and character and far more telling of how she is as a person and no woman should ever be defamed for something that occurs behind closed doors.