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Slut-shaming and Why It’s Stupid

The double standard, that men are allowed to be sexually active while women are not, is very well depicted in the popular ‘lock and key’ analogy. It is said that a key that is capable of opening any lock is a master key, whereas a lock that can be unlocked by any key is a less than desirable lock. Men are the ‘master keys’ in this scenario, whereas the women are described as being the ‘broken locks’.

These kinds of ideas have filtered through into our everyday language. A man can be a player, a stud, and a lad, whereas women can be sluts, whores, and ‘asking for it’. What are the male equivalents of these disparaging terms, you may ask? I suppose there is the relatively new term ‘manwhore’, but simply adding ‘man’ in front of the female term for a sexually promiscuous woman does little to improve the situation. There is the hidden implication in the term ‘manwhore’ that being a whore is naturally a woman’s attribute. It seems arbitrary, like referring to a doctor who also happens to be a woman, as a ‘female doctor’, instead of simply a ‘doctor’. Besides, evening out the playing field by slut-shaming both men as well as women isn’t what we should be striving for anyway.

So what is a slut?

There are various definitions for ‘slut’, but it can be simply summed up as a woman who sleeps around. How many people do you have to sleep with to be a slut? 1? 5? 10? 20? Perhaps most shocking of all is that you don’t really even have to sleep around or have any sexual experience at all to be labelled a slut. You can simply be walking around in an innocent pair of (damn comfy) leggings that some self-righteous cad deems to be a little too exciting. We can try on a new outfit, and ask ourselves, ‘does this look slutty? Hmm… If this skirt was a little bit shorter then yes, definitely heading into dangerous ‘slut’ territory’. This situation is probably common to many of us, but can you imagine a male scrutinising himself in front of the mirror over the length of his shorts, and worrying that he looks too sexually available? To add insult to injury, it isn’t only men that partake in slut-shaming. As a result of society’s brainwashing, women are frequently the instigators and participants in these kinds of activities.

Mean girls hitting us with the hard life lessons…

But why? It is reasonable that we should unconsciously perpetuate this ideology when it is so prevalent in the media, and in our everyday lives, as it is part of a system of beliefs that was formed and built upon over hundreds of years. However, we do need to take a step back and think about the kinds of words we say, what they mean, and why we are saying them. Why is sleeping around associated with loose morals? Surely there are more important things to worry about than other people’s sex lives.

Regardless of whether or not you choose to have sex with lots of people or to have no sex at all, it shouldn’t matter, or concern, other people, other than those directly involved.

People should have as much or as little sex as they want. Be responsible and respectful (i.e. safe sex and no cheating) and stop judging other people for their bedroom activities.

Edited by: Amy Hawthorne

 

Sources:

https://sites.psu.edu/purcellfeminism/2015/02/19/slut-shaming-a-complete-post/

https://www.theodysseyonline.com/why-slut-shaming-is-not-ok

http://www.funnyjunk.com/Slut/funny-pictures/6038065/