sexuality

Slut Shaming

What girls face….you’re either a slut or a prude.

Guys usually receive praise and are even adored for being able to express their sexuality whereas girls are shamed and even reviled for doing the same thing. Girls are taught that they are not meant to enjoy sex and that the ones who do enjoy it are not meant to be respected,that they are loose and wayward. “Why is it that men are called incorrigible rakes and admired while women are reviled and called horrible things for the same behavior?”, I’d stumbled across this question in a novel I once read and I feel it is one that society needs to answer. We live in a world of double standards;where boys are free to show off their sexual nature but heaven forbid that a girl shows off hers;she is immediately shamed for it. Girls are made to believe that they cannot be sexual like their male counterparts and that doing so makes them less of a woman(so untrue by the way). This trend is what we call slut shaming….

I’m a human being…of course I’ll like sex. Its a basic bodily function.

What is slut shaming?

Well,slut shaming is the practice of criticising people,especially women and girls,who are perceived to flout the expectations of behaviour and appearance in regards to issues related to sexuality;it is also a form of bullying where girls are degraded and humiliated for their sexuality(girls are often ridiculed for the way they look,dress and their presumed level of sexual activity). In other words, it is simply the act of making women feel ashamed of their sexuality (which is so uncool).

Forms of Slut Shaming

Well there are so many forms of slut shaming out there,some so overt that they can’t be ignored while others are so covert that they can pass off as a normal everyday occurence and a few of them are listed below;

1.) The Madonna/Whore Complex; This can also be identified as virgin praising and slut shaming. The Madonna/Whore Complex is an age-long practice where girls who have not had sex before(Madonnas) are praised and portrayed as the good gals while the girls who have had sex before(Whores) are shamed and portrayed as the bad gals. Although the term itself is kinda new;what it describes is something that has been around with us for a really long time;where girls who confirm to society’s rigid standards for female sexuality are praised while those who flout the rules are called are sorts of names. Pretty sad,huh?

2.) Name Calling; Calling girls derogatory terms like slut,whore,small,loose, easy and other names of that nature is pretty much one of the most obvious forms of slut shaming there is,as well as one of the most harmful. After all,words are a potential killer and the tongue has much more power than we know.

3.) Revenge porn; This is the distribution of sexually explicit images or videos of individuals without their permission,usually done with the air of humiliating said person,for instance a young couple who have been dating for a while. In the occasion of a break up, the boyfriend could release the nudes she sent as well as videos in a bid to spite her. Of course this would cause a great deal of humiliation for the girl.

4.) Promotion of sexist dress codes; A dress code in itself is not bad,not at all. The problem is a dress code that penalizes girls for showing off skin and distracting the boys, a dress code that is rigid towards girls and much more flexible for boys,one that urges girls to cover their bodies and shames the ones who don’t. By promoting a sexist dress code;we promote the sexualization of the female body and slut shaming as well.

5.) Judging a woman’s sexual history from the way she behaves; Sometimes people tend to judge a woman for how she behaves,for example a woman who is confident in her skin and friends is wrongfully perceived as a loose woman. Or that a woman who exposes a little bit of skin is an automatic slut,which is wrong.

Effects of Slut Shaming;

The double standard in society is quite frustrating to be honest(and annoying,let’s not forget annoying), I mean boys are usually praised and adored for being able to express their sexuality while girls are shamed for the very same thing. Where the guys are called playboys,lady killers and ladies men;the girls are called loose,easy, whores, sluts, tarts and whatever derogatory name you can think of. Of course slut shaming has its negative effects such as the ones below;

1.) Slut shaming may lead to lower self worth.

2.) It promotes victim blaming which is a major part of rape culture.

3.) It increases the risk of suicide as victims begin to consider death as a way to escape the situation.

4.) Girls who have been slut shamed often develop body image issues.

5.) It causes depression and anxiety (as do other forms of shaming and bullying).

6.) Victims develop habits like alcohol and substance abuse in order to cope with the situation.

How to deal with slut shaming;

As you teach girls to cover up their bodies,teach boys that girls are not sexual objects. Teach girls that its not bad to express their sexuality,after all girls are people too路, and enough with the double standards;you can’t be saying “boys will be boys” then go ahead to put all the stress on girls, you have to handle the situation from both sides. Girls need to be taught that their bodies are not “distractions” and that they are not responsible for the reactions of the boys. Most of all girls need to learn to be comfortable with their bodies and be proud of their sexuality. Whether you’re a virgin or not,it doesn’t make you any less of a woman,know that. Well I’m done here for today,I would love to see your opinions in the comment section. If you loved this post and would like to be notified when the next one drops,click the follow button below and follow the blog,you can also click the share button below and share the post. So yeah I’m done here,see you next time. Yours’ truly, Arreta

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