Feminism and “Slut Shaming”

In its simplest form, feminism advocates equality of the sexes in every aspect of life. The main concept is: women are the same as men so treat us the same. Real feminism does not paint women as superior beings and misandry is not a requirement for aligning yourself with the movement. In fact, any woman who believes that she deserves the same social, educational, cultural and political opportunities as her male counterpart is in fact a feminist. It is that simple.

However, throughout the years many have begun to stray from that basic concept. Taken out of context, many people have used the feminist movement as a guise for their inborn hate of the male species and as a medium to perpetuate their ignorance. This often creates problems, since people who don’t necessarily consider themselves feminists think that every feminist is a small-minded lesbian maneater. The movement has a lot more depth than lengthy judgmental discussions over trivial matters. Feminism is about exalting our sisters regardless of their skin colour, sexual orientation and physical appearance. It is not about putting them down. This is where “slut shaming” becomes a part of our plot.

Slut shaming is the act of making a woman feel inferior because of what she wears and who she chooses to have sex with. The root of this judgmental attitude cannot be attributed to any one thing; a lot of factors have bred this within us. It ranges from religion to our own personal ego. Whether they like to think it or not, everyone is judgmental. The real issue is when individuals don’t realize that this behaviour is problematic and make no effort to correct it. The real issue is when they hurt women because of their ignorance.

Picture a group of women sitting together in a coffee shop. Another woman walks in dressed provocatively. The group of women take offense to the provocatively dressed woman, and have already formed negative thoughts about her. By the time the provocatively dressed woman leaves the shop, they have already speculated in hushed voices about how many sexual partners that woman has had, and just what exactly her profession could be. All of the women call themselves feminists, yet their opinions are steeped in misogyny. They align themselves with a movement meant to protect women from oppression, yet they are oppressing a woman without even realizing it.

Another classic example of slut shaming is the prevalent idea that once a woman engages in “too much” casual sex she automatically becomes a whore. On the other hand, the more casual sex a man has the more respected he is by his male counterparts and (ironically) women. The same behaviour that makes a woman “less desirable” to her peers and the opposite sex makes a man revered. This kind of slut-shaming goes hand in hand with victim-blaming in rape cases. Some individuals still blame rape victims for their rapes, accusing them of “soliciting” such actions by the way they dress or the type of work that they do. In the twenty-first century, life for a female should not be this complicated. We should be entitled to live our lives the way we choose and do whatever makes us happy. As humans we are entitled to do whatever we want to do, as long as it does not infringe on the rights of others. Who a woman has sex with and how short her skirt is does not infringe on your rights, so why does it bother you to the point that you feel the need to attack her social standing?

I have witnessed my friends make choices about their lives in order to make society happy, and who they choose to have sex with and how they dress are perhaps the two biggest choices. I find it appalling that as females, we still don’t have full freedom regarding our lives. The kind of behaviour that is viewed as inconsequential to males, can ruin a female’s social life.

A woman’s life should not be defined by who she has had sex with. A woman’s life should not be defined by what she chooses to wear. A woman’s life should not be defined by the fact that she has been raped, and it really isn’t our place to decide if she deserved it or not (nobody deserves rape though, so why do you even need to think about that?)

Feminism and slut shaming do not belong in the same category. In fact, nobody can call themselves a feminist and still engage in this kind of behaviour. They do not go together. We all need to correct our view of other women. The next time you find yourself about to say or even think something negative about a woman because of what she wears or what you hear she has done, stop yourself.

We need to unlearn this problematic behaviour. Open-mindedness is the solution to every problem that we have.

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2 thoughts on “Feminism and “Slut Shaming”

  1. > In its simplest form, feminism advocates equality of the sexes in every aspect of life.

    Except divorce courts, criminal sentencing, manual labour jobs, education, rape, assault in public, domestic violence, voting rights, death in the workplace, shelters, the homeless, fashion (Mat Taylor), genital freedom (manspreading) and a million other things which fall under the general banner of men being expected to be of utility to women AKA He for She.

    > The main concept is: women are the same as men so treat us the same.

    But don’t ask us to go to war, empty the garbage, build the infrastructure, mine coal, put out fires, retire at the same age, pay our way, or support our husbands financially so they can get less demanding/ more fulfilling/ more flexible but less well paid jobs.

    > Real feminism does not paint women as superior beings and misandry is not a requirement for aligning yourself with the movement.

    Feminism’s ‘patriarchy theory’ (the foundation of feminism) defines men as sociopaths who have throughout history deliberately oppressed women – the people they form their most intimate and meaningful relationships with (which is why they must be sociopaths to oppress them).

    > In fact, any woman who believes that she deserves the same social, educational, cultural and political opportunities as her male counterpart is in fact a feminist. It is that simple.

    No it’s not that simple. Men have to earn their way in society. If women want equality with men they also must earn their way in society. Feeling that they ‘deserve’ the same as men is not gender equality, it is female supremacy. CASE IN POINT Men had to earn the right to vote by agreeing to go and fight wars for the state. Women believed they ‘deserved’ this right, and because men (who made up the majority if not all of the government at the time) like to please women they gave women the vote without any obligations to do anything at all. Feminism claims women’s suffrage was ‘gender equality’, but it was actually female privilege.

    > Taken out of context, many people have used the feminist movement as a guise for their inborn hate of the male species and as a medium to perpetuate their ignorance.

    No true Scotsman fallacy.

    > The movement has a lot more depth than lengthy judgmental discussions over trivial matters.

    Can you give any examples?

    > Feminism is about exalting our sisters regardless of their skin colour, sexual orientation and physical appearance. It is not about putting them down.

    Unless they are anti-feminists, or just ‘not feminists’ and not prepared to blame men for their problems (Kirsten Dunst, Kaley Cuoco etc etc etc). These women are attacked for not being feminists, instead of celebrated for considering themselves free and independent and happy to be women.

    > Slut shaming is the act of making a woman feel inferior because of what she wears and who she chooses to have sex with.

    No it is not. Slut shaming is just expressing your disapproval of a woman’s sexual / social behaviour, usually because she either has an awful lot of sex for reasons that are not always about the joy of sex (such as career ladder climbing)…. or she exploits her sexual value to the same ends but without actually having sex (she dresses provocatively and exploits men’s physiological attraction to her in a cynical way).

    > The root of this judgmental attitude cannot be attributed to any one thing;

    Yes it can. It is the cynical manipulation and exploitation aspect which is the shameful part, not the sex or sexiness per se. For women who slut shame it can also be simply a matter of the slut cheapening sex (by putting out) and thus reducing other women’s value to men in that area (such as in a college or workplace).

    > Whether they like to think it or not, everyone is judgmental. The real issue is when individuals don’t realize that this behaviour is problematic and make no effort to correct it.

    What if someone said your judgements on slut shamers are problematic and you should correct them?

    > All of the women call themselves feminists, yet their opinions are steeped in misogyny.

    Why is judging someone based on their clothing misogyny?

    If she had walked in wearing a tracksuit and tennis bag would it be ‘misogyny’ to judge her as a sporty type who like to plays tennis?

    BTW ‘misogyny’ means a hatred of women by men. Although I suppose you could have misogynistic women I don’t see why these women should hate al women (including themselves presumably) just because they judge a provocatively dressed women to probably be a slut. It makes no sense.

    > they are oppressing a woman without even realizing it.

    How?

    > Another classic example of slut shaming is the prevalent idea that once a woman engages in “too much” casual sex she automatically becomes a whore.

    Biologically speaking women having sex = pregnancy (our bodies and hard wired instincts do not know about modern contraception). In the natural scheme of things a woman needs to select the best possible male partner to have sex with and reproduce with. This means a man who can protect her and provide for her in that vulnerable period of pregnancy and nursing. The general deal is men compete to prove how worthy they are as mates and women select the best man from the bunch (assuming she is herself desirable enough that the men want to mate with her).

    A slut is literally demonstrating that she will sleep with (and potentially get pregnant by) any old man passing by…… even really crap men who are unreliable, useless, and can’t provide her with anything of value and will just bugger off when she gets pregnant. And of course men are far more likely to desert a woman if they don’t even know for sure if they are the father (again our bodies do not know of paternity tests). Raising a child is a HUGE investment of resources, after all. Men want to know that the child is his and that is reasonable enough, right?

    So there is a very sound biological reason why being a slut is considered reckless and even dangerous for a woman. What if she just sleeps around and gets pregnant by some unreliable travelling salesman? Well, what happens is that everybody in the community is going to have to step in and support her through her pregnancy and single motherhood. That represents a HUGE drain on their resources and time. Remember communities often faced starvation anyway just a century or two ago….without having to look after sluts who had become single mothers.

    This is why being a slut is looked down on culturally. If nothing else it demonstrates the woman has no standards for herself. And if she uses sex in an exploitative way that’s also a sign that she is very a manipulative person.

    > On the other hand, the more casual sex a man has the more respected he is by his male counterparts and (ironically) women.

    Right. And this is because women generally are the gatekeepers when it comes to sex. “Men propose and women dispose”. Men compete to impress a woman in the hope of getting sex and/ or starting a relationship and she selects the man with the most to offer. So naturally if a man has lots of sex that means a lot of women have chosen him over other men. And that makes him a role model in the eyes of other (typically less successful men). As you noted, women also respect such a man. Even if they just ‘heard’ that he was a stud, they figure a lot of women must have preferred him so he must have something going for him (status, power, money, looks, a big willy etc).

    A successful man is only a ‘hero’ because women have the most power when it comes to sex. Women generally decide who gets to have sex and who doesn’t.

    > The same behaviour that makes a woman “less desirable” to her peers and the opposite sex makes a man revered.

    Yes…. for the reasons I just explained. Men and women are different! (gasp)

    > Some individuals still blame rape victims for their rapes, accusing them of “soliciting” such actions by the way they dress or the type of work that they do.

    No they don’t. They just point out that they were acting irresponsibly and foolishly. ‘Blaming’ is a deliberately emotive word. Not all rape allegations are actually rape. Many are just morning after regrets, or other scenarios like being found out for cheating and so claiming it was rape to save face.

    > In the twenty-first century, life for a female should not be this complicated.

    Why not? It is for men.

    > We should be entitled to live our lives the way we choose and do whatever makes us happy.

    Why? Men aren’t. I thought you wanted gender equality?

    Feminists don’t allow men to wear colourful shirts or spread their legs… and yet they want the right to do whatever makes them happy. This is why people say feminists are princesses and spoiled brats who have major entitlement issues.

    > Who a woman has sex with and how short her skirt is does not infringe on your rights, so why does it bother you to the point that you feel the need to attack her social standing?

    Judging someone is not the same as attacking them. In a free society we have the right to judge each other and to avoid people who we consider below our standards or just ‘not compatible’ to our values and interests. Feminists are always demanding everybody conform to their value system and their interests. That is why they are often called ‘feminazis’.

    > I find it appalling that as females, we still don’t have full freedom regarding our lives.

    What freedoms do you not have? Demanding nobody judges your behaviour negatively is not freedom, it is NARCISSISM.

    > A woman’s life should not be defined by who she has had sex with.

    It’s not for you to dictate how others ‘should’ view you. You do not have that right. And you’re being a hypocrite anyway. You start a new job and you meet a guy there who is very nice and you seem to hit it off. You even wonder if he might be ‘the one’. But then you find out he has slept with just about every woman in the office. Are you telling me that isn’t going to affect how you judge him?

    > A woman’s life should not be defined by what she chooses to wear.

    But if a man who’s just landed a spaceship on a comet wears a shirt we don’t like it’s OK to attack him until he cries, right?

    > A woman’s life should not be defined by the fact that she has been raped, and it really isn’t our place to decide if she deserved it or not

    A lot of women (and particularly feminists) say that being raped is worse than being murdered. But you’re saying being rapes does not define a woman’s life, as if it was a trivial thing like being slapped on the ass. Is that right?

    It most certainly IS our place to judge whether a woman claiming to have been raped is telling the truth or not. If she lies about rape and gets away with it then she will ruin a man’s life and condemn him to jail where he will be repeatedly raped.

    > We all need to correct our view of other women.

    You mean nobody should ever judge a woman negatively, regardless of her behaviour.

    > The next time you find yourself about to say or even think something negative about a woman because of what she wears or what you hear she has done, stop yourself.

    You are LITERALLY dictating what people can and cannot think in the privacy of their own minds. You are LITERALLY promoting the idea of thought crimes.

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    • You have developed such a bias against feminists that anybody who aligns themselves with the movement automatically becomes an ignorant narcissist in your book. You perpetuate ideas that were not even stated in this piece, and complicate the whole situation. I wrote an article about a specific incident that deeply bothers me, yet you generalize it and apply it to everything and everyone.

      I understood where you were coming from with your argument. I did leave some sentences vague, and those were left up to the reader’s interpretation. Your interpretation strays from the intended idea, but it is just what it is. YOUR INTERPRETATION.

      I use understood in the past tense, because your argument suddenly gained holes when you brought up the fact that a woman’s MAIN sexual purpose is pregnancy. The fact that you can even bring yourself to type that is appalling. From your standpoint she should save herself up for the one male who has “won her affections”, since her only purpose is to get pregnant for him. According to you she can’t take care of herself if the man who impregnates her is not around. YOU ARE SAYING THAT A WOMAN CANNOT SURVIVE WITHOUT A MAN. I dare you to walk up to any well-thinking woman and tell her that her only sexual purpose in life is to get pregnant, so she should settle down with one man because if she gets pregnant and the man leaves her, she cannot take care of herself and the child. Listen to what she will tell you.

      You are justifying a man’s want for casual sex, yet shaming a woman for doing the same. Because that is all that it is, a want. A man does not NEED to have casual sex, and neither does a woman. But they both WANT to, so why will you draw a line and give one a bigger advantage than the other? How does that make sense? That is the main purpose of this article, to examine thinking like yours that make life for a woman problematic. Not to engage in a petty squabble over technicalities. The fact that you can reduce a woman to someone who should only have sex in order to get pregnant means that your viewpoint is already flawed.

      I stand by what I said here. Women should not be judged for what they wear or who they have sex with. It is not a thought crime to ask people to look into themselves before perpetuating ideas about someone that they have no proof of apart from what they see. Because, as we well know, how we see the world is tainted by own personalities, motivations, likes and dislikes. Asking someone to distance themselves from their biases to appraise a situation fairly isn’t being hypocritical, isn’t dictating how people think. It is simply asking for individuals to make an effort to leave their ignorance behind them.

      This principle doesn’t only stand for feminism. It is universal. Men should not be judged, women should not be judged. Nobody should be judged. It just so happened that Feminism and “Slut Shaming” was used as the vehicle for stating this idea.

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