SLUT SHAMING; The Art of Mastered Control

How much sex is a woman allowed to have before we can officially be termed as a slut?

This is a conversation I must have had many a drunken nights with many friends and yet, few things are as hard to understand and explain up to now as the whore/ slut threshold conversation.

It is interesting that while we continue to pretend to be all sorts of civilised, we still get squeamish about a woman who enjoys to have sex as much as any man. In this day and age, we are still uncomfortable with women who declare publically that they enjoy sex. Sex and sexuality continue to be taboo topics and slut shaming a constant way to keep women in check; meanwhile we thrive with all sorts of sexual activity in our media. The hypocrisy of our reality is that many women continue to struggle with the decision of having to decide where they fall, “Are you a slut or a you a proper lady?” all the while, while we are on that same subject, it will argued that men are just men.

“A lady on the streets, a freak in the sheets.” Once again, women are expected by these standards to be the embodiment of purity and sexuality; be sexy but not too sexy. How many men, and I say men, because they never get policed for the sex they have, must a woman have slept with to be considered “a slut?” This is sadly the culture acceptance that women and men have been taught for so many years; men as active sexual agents and women as passive recipients. Sadly the idea of a woman claiming her authentic sexual self is seen as,” out of control and threatening.”  In a way this is  measure set to rein women in, to make them adhere to the strict boundaries that have been set up for them or suffer the consequence that come with breaking those rules.

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Undeniably, labelling a woman as a slut or a whore goes back to what is the fundamental of patriarchy; control. Slut shaming is nothing more than an attempt to control women and police their personal agency. Away from being just unfair, this double standard in essence limits women by choosing to identify them one way; forcing them to select; either you are a mother, doctor or society approved lady, or you are this sexual being; a slut.

Shockingly enough, slut shaming isn’t just yielded by men against women; women use this as a tool to curb others’ voices as well.  It has become normal, when it shouldn’t be, to jump on this labelling train as a deflection measure, as if to justify this shameful show of male dominance by agreeing with, and in turn believing that these classifications by their own understandings are the gospel truth. However, we seem to be unaware or unwilling to accept the end results of such a practice. Slut shaming for example has been used many times to justify sexual abuse. We insist that the survivors or victims of such assault must have done something to prove the abuse. We teach our girls that in order to survive such blatant display of the highest behaviour degrade and degenerating decency , they must manage their bodies by wearing skirts that aren’t too tight, shirts that aren’t too low-cut and God forbid they show more leg than is approved. We do all this, while refusing to pay attention to the fact that it shouldn’t be their problem that our young girls should not have to worry about how they dress if we taught young boys to know better, if we didn’t give them an excuse and a scapegoat from the beginning of, “She was dressed like a slut.”

“A culture that primes women to internalize their own sexual objectification, values their bodies and sexuality over their intelligence and opinions and punishes those who transgress a sexual narrow norm is undoubtedly harmful to the fight for progress.”

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This piece was solely written by my talented friend TRICIA who is a strong willed feminist (duh!). I hope you liked it. Leave suggestions in your comments. Thank you.

The pictures were taken by TIM MUUO a great photographer and friend and I’m soooo thankful that he let me use his work on this post.

Seize the week,

Marie