Slut Shaming

(I apologize, this topic got away from me at some point) (I also want to point out that I’m addressing only the female version of this, it happens to men on occasion, but my issue with this topic at the moment has to do with female slut shaming)

People keep saying that this particular song "You Belong With Me" by Taylor Swift is some sort of 'slut shaming', 'woman hating' diatribe. Couldn't it be that he broke up with his girlfriend because she was a bitch, not because she was a whore? (FYI: most teenage guys would love to date a girl that puts out.)

If you follow any liberal feminist blogs at all (I don’t do it for fun) you will undoubtedly have heard the phrase “slut shaming” at some point. Any TV that dares to show negative consequences for sex is accused of this.

Anyone who advocates that abortion is something that should only be used in extreme cases (like those that involve rape, the mother’s health, or serious medical/genetic problems on the part of the fetus) are accused of this as well. And those that believe that abortion should be outlawed completely are even worse.

Hell, even those that have a problem with President Obama’s contraception mandate, which is an attempt to force the Catholic church to shell out cash for contraception despite their religious belief that contraception is morally wrong, are told that they are practicing ‘slut-shaming’ and should be ashamed of themselves.

That’s the real reason Republicans care about restricting access to birth control and abortions. It has nothing to do with religious beliefs or concerns about the lives of cute little babies. It’s about punishing sluts.

How else can you reconcile the platforms of anti-choicers? If you truly were against abortion, you would be fighting desperately for comprehensive sex education and easy access to contraceptives – things that actually reduce abortions. If you truly thought abortion was murder, you would never make exceptions for cases of rape or incest. If you truly were concerned with women’s health, you wouldn’t use HPV statistics to scaremonger young girls about sex while simultaneously fighting against a vaccine. If you truly were pro-life, you’d want improved child care, education, and family leave instead of losing interest in someone once they pop out of the womb.

It’s simple. These people want you to catch STDs and have unwanted children, because you’re a dirty slut who deserves punishment. And they love babies so much that the punishment is babies.

– Blaghag

If you don’t know what “slut shaming” is, here is the definition from Urban Dictionary (look, it’s not like this term has made it into Webster’s yet.)

An unfortunate phenomenon in which people degrade or mock a woman because she enjoys having sex, has sex a lot, or may even just be rumored to participate in sexual activity. Often it’s accompanied by urban legends such as the common virgin misconception that the vagina becomes larger or looser with use– in fact, sex has no effect on vaginal size.

However, since most people would rather women be MORE sexually active than less, slut shaming is counterproductive to the aims of most men and quite a few ladies.

Though if you read enough feminist blogs (liberal feminist, slightly different than my own version of feminism) it becomes something more like:

Anything that alludes to negative consequences resulting from sex. Denying that women have any responsibility for negative consequence if they do occur, even though sex has no negative consequences. *

See, I thought that feminism was all about taking responsibility for our own bodies, our own sexuality, our own decisions. Maybe I was wrong, but that’s what I always heard from other feminists.

Whether you like to admit it or not, having promiscuous sex can have negative consequences of a physical (whether you use condoms or other contraception or not) and emotional nature. Discussing that fact is not “slut-shaming”, addressing that fact in popular television shows (I hate Glee, I don’t deny that it is popular) is not “slut-shaming”.

Unless you were raped (in which case you have my utmost sympathy and as I’ve already said, I can completely understand your wish to have an abortion) then you made a decision to have sex. Whether it was with one person or twenty. Sure, if you’ve had lots and lots of sex with multiple partners then you probably fit the definition of “slut”, but you won’t hear me calling you that. I think I once, only once, called a woman a whore on this blog. It was fitting and necessary, not because she had promiscuous and unsafe sex, but because she didn’t take responsibility for the consequences afterward.

My asking you to take responsibility for your own actions and choices is not “shaming” you.

The truth is, if you are comfortable with how much sex you are having, you are happy with your partners, and feel that what you are doing is morally and ethically right, then you shouldn’t be ashamed when someone points out how much sex you are having or whatever consequences it may or may not have. Why? Because you should have thought through the ramifications that each encounter could have and decided that it was worth the risk.

Sex is fun, but it’s also serious business and should be treated accordingly.

(Also see Easy A for an appropriately shame free, and hilarious, reaction to attempted slut shaming. Just because someone else feels you have done something morally wrong doesn’t mean you have to take their opinion to heart.)

I have only had one sexual experience which I regretted and was slightly ashamed about after the fact. Every other time I have had sex, it was with someone that I liked, respected, and (in some cases) loved a great deal. I have never felt ashamed to talk about sex, or the number of sexual partners (fairly small, I admit) that I’ve had.

However if your (or my) decision to have sex comes back to bite you on the ass then you need to own up to that. You can’t blame Republicans (for not wanting the government to force private companies/religious institutions to provide birth control. Isn’t the whole point of Planned Parenthood, the liberal feminists best friend, to give out free/cheap contraception?) or the religious institutions themselves. (I’m going to talk about Obama’s contraception mandate in another post).

The only people that can be blamed for the negative consequences are yourself and your sexual partner(s).

And for another view on how the term is being used to the point of it not meaning anything at all, one that I basically agree with, check out the Thought Catalog.

*Look, I’m writing this based on several feminist blogs that I’ve read over the past few weeks. I understand that this is not the case for all feminists, I just feel the need to make my opinion known on this topic since it has been bugging for a while.

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8 Comments

  1. GRRR…im so angry about this post, i want to rage about ALL OF THE THINGS >=(.

    but seriously good points are made, and people should have to accept the consequences of their actions, especially since nobody is hiding that sex->children.

  2. Ohhh you knew I’d comment on a “slut” blog! lol
    I love this post. I really think it’s one of your best. One of the things I love is how it gets you to thinking about how the Left is supposed to be the party of “choices” right? Free birth control so women can have more choices and be protected from those bad ‘ole boys. And not get stuck with unwanted children of said bad ‘ole boys. You see because the Gov’t has to do this for you since you are completely incapable of taking any responsibility for your own life at all! Well, that doesn’t sound like choices, responsibility, happiness or freedom.
    Have you noticed you could take this entire blog and switch the slut part for fat? Since we also are too stupid to take responsibility for what we consume, well then, the Government has to step in there too!
    I love sex, shocker, I know. But I fully understand the consequences and make that choice based on taking full responsibility for those choices, both emotionally and physically. And the left will really hate this, but I still think the best way is with one person in a committed relationship.
    The right is so NOT slut slamming. Like everything else in our lives, smoking, eating, drinking, driving, they say step up to the plate and take responsibility, because if you don’t the Left will make damn sure you lose your rights to make good choices.
    (I always leave the longest comments! sorry! It’s the slut in me! Me like it long time! haha!)

    • I figured you would probably comment on this one ^_^

      One of my best? Thanks. It gave me a lot of trouble while writing it, because I was sort of jumping all over the place on the topic. I’m glad it came out alright.

      Yeah, you are right. The switch out would be pretty easy to do. It’s sad that while liberals are always talking about “free choice” and “personal freedom” what they actually mean is “let the government fix everything, so you can do whatever you want without suffering consequences”. It drives me nuts.

      I like your long comments ^_^
      *insert appropriate dirty joke/’that’s what she said’ here*

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