Slut Shaming- A Patriarchal Concept?

 

The term ‘Slut Shaming’ is defined as “the act of criticising a woman for her real or presumed sexual activity, or for behaving in ways that someone thinks are associated with her real or presumed sexual activity.” Slut shaming has made a key presence in the both the virtual the world and in reality, where videos of young women performing sexual acts have been filmed discreetly and then uploaded on the net to be “slut shamed” by thousands. The Youtube channel Trollstation which is known for uploading staged social experiments, where actors and actresses challenge the public.  Actress Amina, went out dressed in a pair of skinny jeans and a crop top, she was faced by violently acting male actors who began the experiment by calling her a “slut” and “prostitute”. The public’s view seem to be divided, the video shows people defend the girl and then others are seen questioning her dress attire and even ask if she is a prostitute.

The video touched upon a controversial subject and inspired me to look deeper into the ‘slut shaming’ stigma by understanding the arguably key perpetrators- a man’s perspective. A study undertaken by Graddol & Swann 1989 identified 220 sexual slurs for promiscuous women and only 20 for sexually promiscuous men. 27 years later there’s no doubt the list has increased.

Therefore, I questioned a few male colleagues and male pals on their opinion on slut shaming and why does it so easily roll of the tongue for some men. Surprisingly, the views were unique and had some credibility. Some argued slut shaming is not a patriarchal concept, it’s an honest view of some women these days. Women do have less respect for themselves, the men also admitted men are “like animals” but argued a woman is “biologically different”, she is “smarter” therefore for a woman to behave like a ‘slut’ is “wrong as her nature is different a man’s”. The reason “sleeping around” is different for guys and girls is because biologically, it is different. Women have a limited number of eggs in their bodies, so they must learn to save them and identify ideal mates to use them on, whereas, men have a conceivably limitless number of sperm cells. However, a slut who sleeps with many guys, is incompetent of perceiving which man is are good or bad, therefore is “shamed” for this inability.

It’s not just the biological difference but also the way a woman is raised, many claimed women from our generation are “looser” and do not carry themselves the way their mothers did whilst growing up. It’s not slut shaming or degrading a woman, it’s speaking the truth. If a woman behaves promiscuous then why can’t we have an opinion on that? Why are we seen as sexist pigs if we do not respect a loose woman?

After all we aren’t animals, and sex isn’t just one body part enveloping another. It is a profound act that should carry some psychological weight. Religious believers argue both men and women who have sex with anyone they wouldn’t be willing to have children with are behaving in a way that makes light of one of life’s most sacred acts. It is understandable that such behaviour would be discouraged. Sex is an intimate and special act, a loose woman does not understand this.

The arguments suggested have credibility, the men where honest about their own promiscuous ways and did raise a fair point, are women from our generation more “loose”? Has sexual liberation and individualism backfired by installing reckless and irresponsible morals in us? Feminism should be about stopping the objectification of women’s bodies, not encouraging it?

The counter argument raised by the men with differing opinions disputed, men who slut shame a woman or criticise a woman for being sexually liberated are those men who are sexually deprived themselves. A woman being sexually liberated is a woman not being curious but simply responding to her nature. Humans were made to have sexual intercourse with one another, it’s a pleasure which is theoretically to be appreciated by both men and women.  Sex was not made just for men, religions as well as secularist beliefs would support this view. Being sexually liberated it shows the independence a woman has and how far society has come. The men argued, of course modern women are not going to share the same characteristics their mothers have. It’s socially impossible to be exactly like our parents, the norms and value were different back then to how they are now. Men who criticise a woman’s sexual choices made or her appearance for being too sexual based on their own standards do this in order to control women.

Both arguments raised by the men hold credibility and invoke further discussion. After listening to both opposing views can we actually argue are modern women carelessly being sexually promiscuous? Is it really about sexual liberation? Or do some women jump on the feminist bandwagon to hide the real intentions behind their licentious behaviour?

Another interesting point raised was about the mannerisms which makes a woman a slut. One of the male participant’s stated there’s nothing wrong with a woman who is indeed sexually liberated but at the same she’s smart and protects herself. Whereas, as slut is someone who is just “up for it” whenever and does not protect herself or care about the consequences. The argument was then pushed to the extreme when the participant argued a slut carries sexually transmitted diseases and would recklessly infect other men, whereas a sexually liberated woman would put safety first.  The participants implied they have distinguished classification of a slut is and a sexually liberated woman. The participant counter argued slut shaming is “outdated” and sociologically doesn’t make any sense. Centuries ago, promiscuity caused overpopulation and sexually transmitted diseases which caused people to starve and suffer. It would make sense for that society to repress sexuality. Whereas, now living conditions have improves, there’s sex protection, birth control and technological advances to prevent STD’S, women should now be allowed to express their sexuality as long as it does not harm anyone.

Overall, the heavy and controversial topic of slut shaming has led me to understand that men who do slut shame base it on the way a woman carries herself oppose to her sexual choices. As argued there is a notable difference between a sexually liberated woman and a slut. However, despite the reasonable and honest points put across I still struggle to accept the slut shaming method. Perhaps this may be due to loud double standards which are difficult to ignore when it comes to discussing promiscuity between men and women. This of course is an issue in itself which I shall be touching upon in the upcoming post, for now please do share your thoughts below!

slutshaming2

 

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s