Compromising Positions

A sex ed blog with more

Slut Shaming

This is not a post about rape, survivors, perpetrators, etc. This is about sluts.

There are lots of ideas about what a slut is. Here are some I’ve heard:
1)    Someone who has a lot of casual sex thinking of instant gratification only; and probably finds their self-worth and/or power through sex and sexual stories.
2)    Hmmm I don’t use that word and don’t hear it that often anymore, by men or women, but I guess when it is used people are referring to a woman who is sexually promiscuous and not very choosy over her partners. You might say they have lower standards than some.
3)    I don’t buy into the double standards of ‘slut’ vs. ‘player’ or what have you. There’s no decent male equivalent for the term, first of all; man-whore, maybe, but it still doesn’t hold the same connotations. I have sex with who I want, when I want, how I want. Some would say that makes me a slut; I say I do what I want and I’m liberated. Personally, I think women should reclaim the word as a positive. If the LGBTQ community is reclaiming ‘queer’, women should have ‘slut’ as an everyday term for an empowered, liberated woman.
4)    A slut is all about behaviour. If 2 women walk into a bar and both go home with a relative stranger, one is a slut and the other isn’t based on how they present themselves.
5)    It’s not part of my vocabulary. If anything it’s nothing more than a degrading way of talking about a woman and it’s not a useful or descriptive term. The only great thing about slut, is that in Danish it means ‘the end’ and so you could find it at the end of every Danish movie. So basically all old Danish movies end with insulting the viewer. Hilarious! 😉
6)    A girl who sleeps around? Or a guy… or maybe someone who just throws themself at someone? I don’t really know.
7)    An outdated word that used to hold meaning in society but doesn’t anymore.
8)    Someone who flaunts their sexuality and is very sexually active, but I would say that no one should ever call someone else a slut.
9)    A bastardized word to describe promiscuity. I hate that it’s used as a way to describe someone’s activity as a slur. 99% of everyone everywhere has had sex, hence humanity, like it’s a BAD thing…idiots.
10)    I think that a slut is a label that has been placed on women who have decided to take back their sexuality and engage in activities that give them pleasure. I think that it was given by men to women, because they began to feel emasculated when women were beginning to empower themselves through the act of sex. Now a days, I like to think of myself as ‘progressive’ versus a ‘slut’, for I engage in as much sexual activity as someone who would stereotypically be labelled a ‘slut’.
11)    A slut is a name given to a woman seen to be sexually promiscuous by other, usually less promiscuous, people. Also, a name I hear gay men call their hot friends a lot.
12)    Jenna Marbles made a whole 9 minute video about it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EU20JnsYiXc&noredirect=1
And then Laci Green made an awesome response video talking about the idea of slut shaming: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CCw2MzKjpoo&noredirect=1
It seems like it’s completely acceptable to have “those slutty college years,” but then you need to get serious: no one wants a virgin but the number of partners matters. Well, until you’re ready to settle down, then it’s not such a big deal. Umm what?! How does that make any sense?
Slut shaming is propagated by both genders, making women feel bad about themselves due to their sexual behaviour or lack thereof.  Laci said it really well: slut shaming is when we insult a woman because she expresses her sexuality in a way that we don’t like or approve of. Segue to the Miley Cyrus/Sinead O’Connor debacle, wherein Sinead likened Miley’s Wrecking Ball video to prostitution and selling her naked body for money. If I understand correctly, Sinead is encouraging Miley not to take her clothes off to sell music. I found this response to all of the controversy, which sums it all up quite beautifully: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/raina-rose/an-open-letter-to-miley-c_1_b_4057283.html

This all makes me sad. Definition 9 above said it well: 99% of all people have sex, hence humanity. I may make some sweeping generalizations here, and this may hit a nerve. I think it’s safe to say that most of us are not about to seriously injure someone because she wears sweatpants or those really high pants that come up to your belly button. Sure, I don’t want to see ass cheeks hanging out, and I’m probably going to think that you will be cold for wearing so little on your rear and it’s likely that I will voice this opinion in one way or another *cough* “I don’t understand! Does she know her bum is hanging out? Cause, that’s fine, but if she doesn’t, I kinda want to tell her.” I have often asked: “Do you know that I can see your pockets? Is that on purpose? Oh, okay. Also, be careful – I almost just saw your cootch.”

I just learned of a great Twitter feed: @everydaysexism. Now, I’ve mostly been talking about women badmouthing other women but as I said earlier, slut shaming is propagated by both genders. My partner just got home and said “You’re pretty!” to which I always respond “Pretty what?” I am hoping to encourage both of us to ensure that our relationship is not based on my looks, and actually I am often surprised by his answers. On occasion he gets upset with me for expecting sexist behaviour saying “What? Do you think I’m some Neanderthal?! I know better than that.” Perhaps we need to create rules for giving compliments: suggestions?

I’ve been sitting here for a while trying to figure out how to succinctly wrap this up, or have some kind of commentary. Well. I apologize for lack of eloquence in the following: GET OVER THE DOUBLE STANDARD BULLSHIT. First, a woman sleeping around is the exact same as a man sleeping around. Second, how dare we judge someone for a lifestyle choice that is not our own – especially about sex!  Actually, screw that. Judge away. Ima let you in on a lil secret: I am ridiculously judgmental; those who know me well can fully attest to this. However, I ensure that those judgments do not cloud my interactions. Don’t dare voice your judgments lest you wish for someone to come back atcha with a can o’ whoopass.

My main issue is that we should be lifting each other up, rather than tearing each other down. I fully appreciate when someone tells me that a certain colour or cut looks terrible on me, or if the pants I’m wearing are so tight that both muffin top and camel toe are visible. I say, let’s ensure that those around us are being safe. And for goodness’ sake, if you’re going to exude your sexuality, do it on your own terms. Dress all scantily clad if you wish – though I strongly recommend at least tights or leggings when the weather gets cold. Seeing ladies in mini-skirts or short shorts in November hurts me, simply because I’m worried that you’ll fall ill! But hey – if you want to show off those lovely legs, you go girl!
Let’s reclaim slut. I’m a slut, for sure! I have sex with who I want, when I want, and how I want. I decide what happens to my body, what I am comfortable with and what I am not. I’M A SLUT. Are you? I hope so.

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