Let's Talk: Slut Shaming

48% of young adults lose their virginity before the age of 16. When you are a 16 year old boy, losing your virginity is a big deal. You get high fived by all your friends and you are almost instantly cooler. When you are a female, things also change. You are seen as less valuable. You are told that you have lost your innocence. Then are called a slut.  

Slut shaming is huge in this generation. Actually, slut shaming has always been big.  There is proof of slut shaming that can be traced back to even as far as 1850. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, is even a book written based on this concept. It is about Hester Prynne, a married young adult, who is forced to wear a big, red A, for adultery, on all of her clothes after having an affair with a man who was not her husband. Her affair with the minister began when she believed her husband was lost at sea - which ended up being false. They both commit adultery, because ultimately it takes two to tango (or make a baby). But in the novel Hester takes all of the blame being labelled as a seductress even before the father’s identity was revealed.

Although slut shaming has always been around, it somewhat exploded with the use of social media. It happens not only much more frequently, but it also gets published for the entire world to see. So why is it okay to call a girl a slut? Why is it okay to judge a female for her sexual past? Who are you to decide someone's worth?

It’s not okay to slut shame. It’s not okay to judge someone on their past, sexual or not. It is not yours, or anyone else’s place to decide the worth of someone. It is none of your business how many guys a girl has had sex with and how often she has sex. Slut shaming, however, does not stop there. Slut shaming is promoted on television, magazines and even in songs. Media is filled with comments about naked pictures, promiscuous acts and bilitting phrases such as “hoes” and “thirsty bitches”.

They are also judged by what they wear, how they do their makeup and even by their tattooes. This is where things get tricky. Women should wear whatever they want. They should be able to choose to look anyway they want. They should wear what makes them comfortable. A big controversy today, is about dress codes and whether or not they are promoting slut shaming. The answer is yes and no. There are differences in dress codes and dress attires. When schools outlaw young girl from wearing tank tops and shorts but then allow young males to wear tank tops and short, they are promoting slut shaming. They are saying that if a young girl shows her body, it will distract boys therefor it should not be allowed. This is very different from dress attire. Many feminist will say that this also promotes slut shaming, however, in my opinion it does not. In professional circumstances, there is a way to dress for both males and females. If a male goes to his professional job in shorts and a tank top he would be sent home. Not because he is revealing too much but because he is not dressed professionally. In that same way, if a female goes to work in a tank top and high waisted shorts, they won't get sent home for showing too much, they will get sent home for not dressing professionally.

Slut shaming is a complicated thing. It is something that is so big in this world that ending it is hard. Slut shaming is programmed in everyone’s mind. Whether you are a big jock or a strong feminist, you have more than likely slut shamed before and you will probably do it again. Not because you are mean, or intend to hurt someone but because society has taught you what it means to be “slutty”, however, think before you act. Remember that it is not okay to hurt someone and call them names. Remember that it is not okay to judge someone who you do not know.  Remember that it doesn’t matter if she has slept with 1, 10 or ever 20 people. It is none of your business, and remember it is not your place to have an opinion on anyone but yourself.

 

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