The Orion

Shame on the slut-shamers

Photo+credit%3A+Helen+Suh
Photo credit: Helen Suh

Photo credit: Helen Suh

Photo credit: Helen Suh

Sam Rios

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In a world of nipples being flashed to and fro, nude photos being posted consensually online and relationships taking on less-traditional aspects, it’s natural to feel confused living amidst all the change.

Values are shifting in a progressive direction and many people feel as if they are being dragged along with them. It’s important to step back and understand why these changes are happening to support the movements rather than systematically slow their growth.

Women are at the forefront of progressive issues. Fighting for equality on many different levels, one of their most difficult challenges is obtaining social equality. One of the main reasons women are negatively perceived is through their sexualization. Along with this sexualization comes slut shaming.

Slut-shaming: the act of criticizing a woman for her real or presumed sexual activity.

What even is a slut? It doesn’t make sense to give a negative name to a person for being sexually open when sexual openness is seen as a positive thing in general. It is just a negative name that is thrown around and repeated over the years to embed the idea that women are less acceptable the more they’re human.

We’re shaming people for acting upon something that is no more than an urge. You’re not going to criticize a person for eating an apple when they get hungry. Sex is natural; reproduction is the foundation of life.

Slut-shaming is not directed from a specific demographic. Anybody can partake in slut-shaming and it’s not often as blatant as the definition implies.

Women are often slut-shamed by other women. By saying things along the lines of, “She’s really wearing that?” or “I can’t believe she posted that picture.”

Sometimes women publicly slut-shame other women. This is done mostly over social media. For example, Kim Kardashian faced a lot of criticism for recently posting a nude photo. People even discussed how expressing acceptance of her body takes away from her being a wife and a mother.

Bette Midler, an irrelevant formerly famous white lady, tweeted, “Kim Kardashian tweeted a nude selfie today. If Kim wants us to see a part of her we’ve never seen, she’s gonna have to swallow the camera.”

Bette’s right, we’ve seen a lot of Kim Kardashian. We see a lot of celebrities today. But all that she is doing is contributing to the ideology that women’s bodies should be hidden.

There is nothing sexual about a woman’s body. The last time I checked, breasts were meant to feed babies. Over half the human population has them. There’s nothing about them that says sex.

These are the same ideologies that ride along with victim-blaming, or how women take the “Walk of Shame” after sex and men are congratulated.

When a woman is considered promiscuous for posting a revealing photo online, the sexual connotation is coming from the viewer, not the woman in the photo. Unless this person is actually having sex, there’s nothing sexual about the image. It’s just a body.

Yet when a woman does have sexual intentions, shaming her implies that she is bad for acting out upon her sexuality.

Since these concepts are based off equality, they should also apply to men as well. So when male U.S. Representative Anthony Wiener tweets a picture of his boner, does this same concept apply? Is Wiener’s wiener simply a representation of his self-love and confidence with his body? This is where I have to step back and admit that honestly I don’t know.

These issues are complex and constantly evolving because they are so fresh. The only thing to do is admit our confusion. Discuss these issues. Try to educate those that don’t understand other perspectives of these situations.

Regardless, we need to remove the term “slut” from our vocabulary. Simply using this word in our language perpetuates the problem. It is demeaning and it’s about damn time to make a change.

Most importantly, don’t shame people for expressing themselves. Just because you do not understand something does not mean it’s wrong. I say shame to slut-shamers because their accusations are out of ignorance. They’re not shaming sluts, they’re shaming women and pro-women values. The closer you look the more you’ll realize that sluts don’t even exist.

Sam Rios can be reached at [email protected] or @theeemessiah on Twitter.

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2 Comments

2 Responses to “Shame on the slut-shamers”

  1. hank on April 2nd, 2016 8:13 pm

    You have a very pedestrian understanding of this topic.

  2. Sam Rios on April 4th, 2016 12:48 pm

    Gee thanks for the input, “Hank”!

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




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Shame on the slut-shamers