Much Ado about Slut Shaming

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I should start by introducing myself: My name is Koromone and I am a feminist. That is all. *wears feminist cape* Let’s talk about Slut shaming.

To really understand how Slut Shaming works, you must first understand who or what is considered a slut.

According to dictionary.com, a Slut is “an immoral or destitute woman; prostitute”

According to Feministgeek.com, Slut shaming is the act of criticizing a woman for her real or presumed sexual activity, or for behaving in ways that someone thinks are associated with her real or presumed activity.

Slut shaming, very much like crack, is wack. Slut shaming on social media is wack.

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Somehow, over the years, Slut shaming has become this virulent phenomenon, growing and spreading through the darkest and ugliest areas of twitter and instagram.

As a woman, I hate slut shaming. As a feminist, I hate it even more.

The keyword in Feministgeek’s definion of slut shaming is “criticizing”. Every woman alive has discussed how terrible double standards are and how they wish they could play like men play without being judged. Double standards have been talked about, ad nauseam, so I will not torture you with another pointless discussion. We can’t change the way society dishes out separate rules about sex and relationships for men and women. However, why do we have to criticize and degrade  women so publicly for their personal decisions about what they choose to do (or not) in their relationships?

A woman with a long list of ex boyfriends is seen as a slut. Why?

Which authority set the number for the amount of men a woman can get into a relationship with?

If a 28 year old woman has 4 ex boyfriends, is she any less of a slut than a 25 year old man with 10 ex boyfriends. Why do either of them have to be doing something wrong or right? Why are women being compared against one another? What is an acceptable number of ex boyfriend that a young woman is allowed? Should this even be an issue? I have so many questions.

I can tell you right now that getting into a relationship with a new guy every three months is not an entirely impossible or difficult feat to accomplish. Relationships are fun. If I could date three guys at the same time, I totally would. Some people might call me a slut because they assume (shame on you) that I will be sleeping with all three men. But if I am not sleeping with any of them, do I then get excluded from being a slut? It seems as if the main criteria for being called a slut is how many men you’ve been with physically sexually.

From my understanding of Slut shaming, thanks to the internet, a woman who is in a non-sexual relationship with multiple men may or may not be called a slut, but a woman who has been in number of sexual relationships with different time over a space of time will definitely be called a slut.

Can we say Conundrum?

I have witnessed the most shameful forms of Slut shaming on twitter, mostly by men but sometimes by women too. My female followers will call a woman a slut just as much as my male followers will, but for different reasons.

Let’s use Kim Kardashian-West as a sample. I love Kim. I love Kanye. I love Kim-Ye and whatever other cute nicknames the internet has blessed them with. A good 80% of my female followers do not feel as strongly for Kim as I do. Shame on them.

In fact, I am certain they hate her. A half naked picture of Kim rolls onto my timeline and the women stroll out of their caves and rip her apart. She is called names and accused of being a terrible mother with strong intentions of ruining her child’s future. I mean you all must be on the phone late at night with North West listening to her woes.

I believe most women do not like Kim Kardashian because of the way men react to her pictures. A regular, good-looking female can post a picture where she is impeccably dressed, receive scattered compliments and be somewhat sated with the responses. All good in the hood right? Wrong. Here comes Kim with another sexy (nude) photo and all the boys lose their minds. Now, all the impeccably dressed female can think about is why her picture did not get favorited by 1,000 thirsty men. She might protest “But I am classier than that slut Kim Kardashian. Why can’t I get this love? I mean no part of my body is showing. Unlike Kim the slut.” And so it begins.

Since I love Kim, I am very defensive about this on twitter. Does this make this entire article biased? Yes it does. You can stop reading here now if you want.

As biased as I may be, I am still willing to indulge the women who call her a slut. I have asked them to explain why they think she is a slut and I have gotten similar answers.

  1. Kim Kardashian is a slut because she made money off a sex tape. (Oh you mean the sextape from 2006, as in TWO THOUSAND AND SIX, as in almost 7 years ago. Oh you mean the sex tape Ray-J released without her permission. Oh you mean the sex tape she made with her BOYFRIEND. That sextape? I see.)
  2. She’s only famous because of her body. Slut. (Well she cannot control that,  can she? After the sex tape dropped, Kim became an objectified and sexually desired pseudo-celebrity. Sure she has dropped the occasional nude photo and posed nude for a couple of magazines, but they have nothing to do with her perceived sexual activity, so how is she a slut again?)
  3. She has had a lot of boyfriends. (Well, excluding Kanye, she’s had 7 boyfriends and she has been married twice. 7 boyfriends? My what a slut! Two ex husbands *gasp* how dare she?)
  4. She’s a mother and she still posts slutty pictures. Slut. (Listen here, if you are so worried about North West’s future, why don’t you call social services. Also if her husband, you know the mega super star who married her a.k.a Kanye West a.k.a Kanyeezy a.k.a Yeezus does not have a problem with her naked selfies, why you mad?)

I’ll stop there now because the rest of the reasons are silly. None of these responses really prove Kim is a slut. If anything, she is more of a hopeless romantic who dated the wrong guys and was too young to fathom staying out of a relationship for an extended period of time. Why aren’t young women allowed to make mistakes without worrying about being labeled a slut? Woes.

Kim Kardashian is perhaps the most hated, and loved, female celebrity on twitter. If you search her name on twitter, you will find a long list of tweets criticizing her body, chastising her role as a mother and questioning Kanye’s decision to settle down with a slut. The tweets are undeserving and unnecessarily cruel, but it’s twitter, you can’t fight everyone and 140 characters is simply not enough to explain the adverse effects slut shaming can have on a woman. If Kim did not have a strong support system i.e her family and her husband, I believe she would have had a couple of break downs this year alone.

Can Slut shaming be stopped completely? I don’t think so. But it can be curbed. If we educated more people about how harmful words can be, the number of people who slut shame will drop at a consistent rate. We can educate people in the smallest of ways: if you friend is slut shaming, tell him/her to stop. You can unfollow, block or mute a notorious slut shamer and not have to deal with their stupid tweets anymore. Ah, the simple pleasures of like that twitter has made available to us.

*Takes off feminist cape* So in conclusion folks, Slut shaming sucks. Let’s come together and end it forever *pumps fist*

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