On Slut Shaming

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Present day feminists always talk about how “slut shaming” is wrong, how we shouldn’t belittle women for expressing their sexuality, and how we need solidarity within our sex. I’m torn as to how much I agree with these sentiments. Solidarity is important, and something this movement needs to work on. We also should not be in fear of expressing our sexuality. But, should women not be held accountable for actions that affect the way men view all women?

Something about calling a woman a “slut” feels wrong. We, as individuals can’t judge something like that, because being a “slut,” in the true sense of the word, often lies within the intentions of the individual.

On the other hand, intention isn’t everything. When individuals act submissive, degrade themselves, or play down their value as a human being, it affects the way people view all women; it leads to stereotypes. To achieve anything with the feminist movement, we need to have a distinct goal and if the actions of a person, regardless of sex, go against it, it’s okay to call them out on it. It can be done in a diplomatic manner.

With this being said, men can take responsibility as well. They can work to view women, even the ones who choose to degrade themselves as what they are, human beings. But, I try not to play the blame game. The truth is, we women can take matters into our own hands. We can hold ourselves up to high standards and call others out when they appear to be degrading themselves. It doesn’t need to be in a harsh way, but in an empowering way, as if to say, “I know you are better than that, I see you as better than that, allow everyone to see you as better than that.”

But, I want to know other people’s thoughts. It is “Two Way Hump Day” after all.

Do you think slut shaming is wrong? Do you think there is a place in the feminist movement for calling out other women who betray the objectives of the movement? Does this diminish solidarity or promote empowerment?

As always, reply below or create your own post and tag it, “Two Way Hump Day.”

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9 thoughts on “On Slut Shaming

  1. Another great topic! Thanks for initiating it. This is a pretty complex issue, and actually I believe whatever conclusion anyone comes to can be applied to all insults or racial slurs that we use on other humans.

    To avoid giving you a 5000 word essay, my take is that it’s not immoral. While my personal belief is against insulting others, I think freedom of speech cannot be judged by morality. Everyone has the freedom to say whatever they want. Similarly, everyone has the freedom to interprete words however they want. Those who have the ability to think clearly don’t see the need to insult others, and they also will not take insults personally.

    Just like feminist groups have the freedom fo choice to voice their opinions about the wrongdoing of those who shame sluts, others have the right to shame others with insults. No matter which way I look at it, I deduce that the decline in critical thinking abilities is the cause of the prevalence of insults, provocation of insults, as well as the poor choice of activism approaches (such as focusing on anti-slut shaming rather than the real issue of better education).

      • I definitely agree that we need to apply critical thinking.
        I also thought it was interesting how you wrote in your post that it’s okay to speak out against an idea, but not the individual people. Do you think people could apply that to this situation? Maybe feminists, or people who want women to stop objectifying themselves, could speak out on a societal level, showcasing how it affects others, but keep the slut-shaming and name calling to themselves?
        I’ve had a hard time with this topic, because I know it’s inherently wrong to hurt other people’s feelings. But, sometimes the way other women act make it harder for men to respect me, even if I’m not acting that way.

      • Yes, I agree with you that feminists should redirect their approach to focus on the idea of insults, rather than being so specific with slut shaming. They can also focus on the stupidity of insulting others rather than on the morality of it.

  2. Great blog post. “With this being said, men can take responsibility as well. They can work to view women, even the ones who choose to degrade themselves as what they are, human beings.” AMEN.

    Also, on an unrelated note, I noticed you were following my blog over at crawfordwritingblog.com – I wanted to let you know that I’ve switched it from a wordpress.com site to a wordpress.org site, which means if you want to keep following my blog, could you kindly go over there and click the new follow button?

    Thanks so much! :-)

    Sara

  3. Pingback: There’s something about leggings… | Work.in.Progress

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