Slut Shaming: Gender Inequality Today

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.

We live in a culture that objectifies women.Defining girls and women as “sexualised” merely adds to it. Where the media  portrays most successful women wearing provocative clothing and appearing sexy, but there is an imbalanced proportion of men ever mentioned to be looking “slutty”.

This shows how apparent gender inequality is today. The fact it is accepted that a man can have sexual contact with multiple partners but if a women did this she’s seen as ‘dirty’,’slutty’ and ‘easy’.

Every  woman will have had experience of this whilst growing up. No man has ever been criticised for their sexual behaviour, they only receive praise. Slut shaming has to stop.

In a study of North American English, Stanley (1977, cited by Graddol & Swann, 1989, p. 110) identified 220 words for a sexually promiscuous woman but only 20 for a sexually promiscuous man.

It suggests that we have taken a step back in time when women should be pure,innocent,not heard and to just follow the footsteps of their husband rather than embracing themselves.

It is 2015, not 1950!! It’s not only males that discriminate women in this way its also women themselves. It’s almost seen as a crime. It is any humans’ right to dress and behave in the way that they want and to not let society’s ‘expectations’ stop them.

As social media has grown it has been a catalyst for additional slut shaming. In the YouTube community, users such as Jenna Mourey (aka Jenna Marbles) speak out against “sluts” in their videos. In a video released in December 2012. “Things I don’t understand about girls Part 2: Slut edition”, Mourey mocks women who engage in casual sex as she says;

“A slut is someone that has a lot of casual sex. […] It’s the girl that you’re like, ‘Pyeah [sic], yeah, she’s a slut.’ Yeah, that girl. Those are the group of people that I’m talking about. […] Help the sluts of the world make less bad slutty decisions. […] We need to look out for the sluts of the universe together. Because I think they are just a little lonely and sad.”

There is a significant lack of male slut shaming videos in the media. How is this fair? How is it socially accepted that men can sleep with multiple partners without any judgement? When women who have casual sex are seen as ‘trampy’. This shows the inequality that women still face today in everyday life.

Just because what’s ‘socially accepted’ in society does not mean its actually right and fair. It’s as if nowadays everyone just accepts the way they should think and no-one actually has their own individual mind to question society’s expectations of how women should behave.

Society views today are sickening towards women. Slut shaming has got to the stage  where people blame sexual assaults on the women themselves because of what they are wearing because “they were asking for it”.

An example of this is when a Toronto Police officer told a group of students that they could avoid sexual assault by not dressing like “sluts”. 

As a result of this the “Slut Walk” protest was created.This is a protest march that calls for an end to rape culture.Specifically, participants protest against explaining or excusing rape by referring to any aspect of a woman’s appearance.

There’s no such thing as a slut.So stop pretending there is? ‘Slut’ is a word used to shame,silence and attack women. It is only a real thing to misogynists who use language to hurt women.

Slut-shaming’ is not about shaming ‘sluts’. It’s about misogyny. It’s about shutting women down. It’s about hating women. It’s about silencing. You can be labelled a ‘slut’ regardless of whether or not you have or like sex. Whether you’ve had one partner or fifty, it doesn’t matter.

It needs to stop. Why should any woman be told they are something that they aren’t just down to their own choices or clothes? For some young women, the stigma of “slut” is so hurtful that it leaves their lives in ruins.

In 2015 no woman should ever be ashamed of her decisions and the way she looks. Every woman has the right to feel confident and sexy without getting put down.

So next time you think about calling someone a slut, just stop and think. Every time you do you are dis-empowering women and allowing gender inequality to continue in society today without even realising.

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