Slut Club. Source: Dollskill
I have done a lot of research into the word ‘slut’ recently. I set out to answer the question: why are women slut shamed and men are bigged up for their sexual endeavours?
I spent a long time trying to work out where the psychology of slut shaming came from – was it biological, psychological, cultural, economical, or a mixture of all of these? What did it mean – why were women increasingly being called sluts? It seems there are a million reasons a woman could be called a slut.
As time went on, the more confused about the verity of each argument I became. I had a hard time believing biological arguments. I got confused about the moral implications and whether promiscuity related to mental difficulties (implied mostly only for women and not for men). The answer I realised was that – I don’t know.
And the more I swam in these dirty waters, the more sad and dark I felt the word than at first glance.
The Dark Side Of ‘Slut’
It’s often about social isolation – a way of repelling someone as a skunk would. It’s a way of shaming. At its worst, it’s a way of objectifying and dehumanising a person, to the point where their feelings don’t matter or don’t exist. To the point where you can convince yourself that it is ok to attack them, ok to rape them. Ok, even, that they were a victim.
It is certainly a dark word. So is it ‘natural’ for this word to exist? Honestly, I don’t care about its origins. Whether we are less promiscuous than the female chimpanzee (who is getting it left, right and centre ;), but I do care about right now. This moment we are in right now, where young girls are subject to this kind of bullying and taunting everyday. … Even if the reason for it’s creation was biological, does that make it ok?
Between the media telling young girls one thing, and their peers telling them another, they are stuck between a rock and a hard place. -We want you to be sexy, but not too sexy. Oh, and don’t have opinions, or be poor – these could also get you labelled ‘slut’.
Instead of worrying about the reasons why a certain inequality might exist in our culture, we need to address it. To challenge it, and to say, this is not ok for us. Period.
Feminist bicycle. Source: Pinterest
I intend to peddle on (on my imaginary feminist bicycle!) and to continue writing about positive role models for women. That will hopefully help these young women out. Being at school is hard enough without your sexuality being brought into question and used against you – whether or not you are sexually active, this is something that will likely be flung in your general direction.
So you can choose – to notice those annoying chimps throwing faeces, or to be having a fun time proving that your body is your own, that you enjoy swinging on the monkey bars, or even, having a good time in the corner! Choose not to add to the mess that is already bringing women down. Choose not to dehumanise more of us. Choose never to use the ‘s’ word again.