Slut-Shaming

slut-signs

Slut-shaming is the common practice of shaming, condemning, harassing or ridiculing a girl or woman for sexual actions or thoughts. Slut-shaming arises from the continued double standard in expectations for men and women in expressions of sexuality. It is premised on the belief that a woman who engages in sexual behavior at her own will is less than or inferior to a woman who abides by societal expectations of proper sexual behavior for women.

Slut-shaming need not include the word slut or its synonyms– any act of discouraging or insulting a woman for expressing sexuality is slut-shaming. And while the definition of a slut is of a woman who is sexually promiscuous, a woman does not have to engage in sexual behaviors often, or at all, to be slut-shamed. Girls and women are slut-shamed for a variety of reasons, including, but not limited to:

  • Acknowledging sexual feelings
  • Dressing in a manner which is considered provocative
  • Spending time with men who she is not in a formal intimate relationship with
  • Being raped
  • Engaging in any form of intimate behavior with a man or men
  • Being disliked or resented by other girls or women

Women Slut-Shaming Women

Men slut-shame as a way of wielding power and because they can and always have: men can not be slut-shamed as women can be.  Women, however, are also often the perpetrators of slut-shaming. But why do women slut-shame? What could they possibly gain from it?

In many cases, women who slut-shame have internalized societal expectations of female sexual expression and are often afraid of being slut-shamed themselves. They tend to believe that by discouraging sexual behavior in other women they can increase their own worth in the eyes of others, and themselves.

In this way, slut-shaming becomes a way to compete: women gain approval from men and the community at large for their “pure” behavior in comparison to the sluts of society. Even if they engage in private behavior which could be seen as “slutty”, they publicly reinforce the idea that overt female expression of sexuality is simply wrong.

gossiping-womenOther women believe that slut-shaming is necessary to protect women as a whole. They believe that direct expressions of sexuality encourage unwanted advances from men and send messages that a woman may not intend to. They discourage girls and women from blatant shows of sexuality as a response to what they believe are the even more direct expressions of sexuality of men.

But what women who engage in slut-shaming fail to realize, or don’t care to recognize, is that they are encouraging their own oppression. By consciously belittling women for expressing their sexuality in a way which is comfortable to them, they reinforce a system which constrains and polices women’s actions while allowing men a fuller range of expression.  They also support the notion that a woman’s worth is in her sexuality — or lack of it — and that this worth is rare and not assured.

To slut-shamers, slut-shaming may seem innocent or just not so bad, but the effects of slut-shaming are wide-ranging. Women who are slut-shamed feel and can be ostracized, and question themselves and sexuality in general.  They don’t feel open to express themselves sexually in context because they are worried about what others may think or say of them. At the extreme end slut-shaming indirectly encourages rape and forced sexual acts since women are too afraid to report rape for fear of being thought of as a slut or being embarrassed. In sum, slut-shaming negatively affects not just the women who are slut-shamed but all women.

What are your thoughts on slut-shaming? Do you slut-shame?

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66 thoughts on “Slut-Shaming

  1. Thank you for this topic! Do you know that there are blogs out there that are encouraging women to shame each other as a way to “keep the price of sex high”. Have you ever heard of anything more RIDICULOUS? These silly folks believe that feminism created this scene where women try to act like men in the sexual arena and that has ruined it for everyone because
    1) women are just throwing themselves at the bad boys and ignoring the nice guys, racking up high partner counts with no hope of something lasting.
    2) men have been spoiled by easy, early sex and will not wait for a woman who wants to take her time, thereby putting pressure on women to give in before they are ready.
    WHAT A HOT MESS …
    I stand by the maxim I developed as a young woman – Sleep with someone only if one of these statements is true for you: “I have spent enough time developing a rapport with this person and I feel comfortable that I will see them again” OR “I don’t care if I see them again”

  2. I would never shame a girl who was raped.

    I keep men and women to the same standards and should be equally shamed. You should not sleep around, women and men who do is full of things you don’t want. The essence of every woman and man they slept with. I know they say protection and all that. I don’t believe that for once second. Condoms breaks and it don’t protect from everything.

    Also a casual view of sex like that makes it harder for you to develop a close and bonding marriage and leads to cheating. People who sleeps with lots of people tend to have short attention spans and will stray.

    As well for that open marriage thing that I posted yesterday.

    //Waits for people to jump on me as usual\\

  3. I happen to believe that women in general having too many loose sexual standards actually brings down women’s integrity as a whole. However, the problem isn’t having loose sexual standards itself; but it is the way women process and use sex that’s the problem. That is what feminism has failed to teach.

    How do I explain it better? You know how they say, “with great power comes great responsibility”? I agree that all women are sexual and their sexuality has a lot of power. But if you do not understand that power, then how can you use it in a responsible and fulfilling way? If you choose to have loose sexual standards, that is certainly your right; however, you need to be aware and prepared for any potentially negative consequences that come out of that (such as being hurt and rejected by other men, most of whom don’t process/use sex in the same was as *most* women) and how to manage that internally. You kind of need to have a good grasp on who you are and what you want.

    Instead, what we have is a lot insecure and immature women using their “right” to have sex with anyone and at anytime, thinking it will snag a man or thinking it will make them look better than other women, or that all we’re good for as women is sex. When I hear some sexually “liberated” women (usually young) proudly speak of her sexual conquests, it really sounds like a good amount of them want to be accepted by a specific man (or men in general). In effect, a lot of women end up using sex as a competition tactic AGAINST their women peers! What it does is forces a lot of women to come down to their level or to go without stable relationships for a long time. Why? Because men who don’t care or value women (and a lot don’t when they don’t work a little for what they get), will take what they can get — even if in the long run, they aren’t all happy about the results!

    Please note I’m not saying all women who have a lot of sex are like this. I believe there are women out there who are secure and confident in themselves, women who understand and can handle any potential consequences that come out of their actions. There are women who don’t let themselves get overly attached as a result of sex. But let’s be real; this does not appear comprise most of the women who are sleeping around. This is what, I notice, a lot of women do not want to hear.

    Do I agree with slut-shaming? No. I don’t agree that there should be hard and fast rules on how women choose to express their sexuality. I also don’t agree that men should tell women what to do with their bodies and “punish” them for it. But I do agree that we should not send women out there ignorant about their sexual power and without understanding their rights, and the consequences of using it differently from biological norms (which do not necessarily care about political ideology and political correctness).

  4. Generally I think slut shaming comes down to people being uncomfortable to what women are doing sexually, and if it doesn’t fit their morals of how a woman should behave sexually, they’re bothered by it.

  5. This is an excellent post. The key line, I think, is this:

    But what women who engage in slut-shaming fail to realize, or don’t care to recognize, is that they are encouraging their own oppression.

    I could talk about the evils of slut shaming for hours. I’m disgusted by it; I’ve always been disgusted by it, ever since I was a little girl and heard some stories about one of my female relatives.

    I’ve been heavily slut shamed when I was a teen (and still a virgin). I was slut shamed for my views on sexuality and my belief that women have a full right to express their sexuality the same way men can.

    It’s interesting to note that the girls (and it’s always the girls, more than guys, at least in my case) who slut-shamed me all had more sexual experience. They just had it in a socially approved way (with a long term boyfriend) or they just knew how to keep their mouth shut and don’t talk about the stuff they do.

    I’m sorry, but I just don’t think that someone’s sexual behaviour should be taken as a sign of her character. Just because she’s a virgin doesn’t automatically make her a good person or a moral person. (It doesn’t make her bad, either). It’s down to her personality and not her sexual behavior.

    What I find particularly confusing with slut shaming is that virgins (or non-promiscuous women) who engage in slut shaming, emphasize their own worth as people “because they don’t think about sex only” and “because they have self-worth”. But it means they, in fact, base THEIR own self-worth on their vaginas (and the fact not many men were allowed to go inside) and not on their personalities? Isn’t that a cheap way to gain “social points” and elevate yourself as a “good woman”, instead of going the harder way (actually having a good character and doing good things).

    But wait, I’m wrong. It’s not cheap at all. Because, like your said, the whole thing is just encouraging your own oppression.

  6. Sherry,

    “Thank you for this topic!”

    You’re welcome. 🙂

    “I didn’t know that but I’m not surprised. I’ve heard that idea a few times…

    “2) men have been spoiled by easy, early sex and will not wait for a woman who wants to take her time, thereby putting pressure on women to give in before they are ready.”

    This is fairly true: feminism has changed the sexual milieu for women, and thus men. And women do feel pressure to be intimate earlier than they are ready for. But that’s no reason to shame women who feel comfortable being sexual early on in a relationship.

    Nkosazana,

    “I keep men and women to the same standards and should be equally shamed. You should not sleep around”

    But what about the women who don’t sleep with many people? I’m not sure that a good bulk of the women who are slut-shamed actually sleep with more people than women who aren’t.

    “Also a casual view of sex like that makes it harder for you to develop a close and bonding marriage and leads to cheating. People who sleeps with lots of people tend to have short attention spans and will stray.”

    Well, it seems they would stray anyway. A person with a casual view of sex is likely to have a casual view of it regardless of whether they’ve made a commitment or not. I don’t think the sex is the cause of it as much as it a natural result of a specific attitude towards sexual relations.

    “//Waits for people to jump on me as usual\\”

    Lol. There will be no jumping on of anyone by anyone here. 🙂

  7. Valerie, I agree that people should be responsible about their sexual choices, whatever those may be. Good response.

    “But I do agree that we should not send women out there ignorant about their sexual power and without understanding their rights, and the consequences of using it differently from biological norms (which do not necessarily care about political ideology and political correctness).”

    How do you think we could go about doing this?

    Hi RenKiss, welcome.

    “Generally I think slut shaming comes down to people being uncomfortable to what women are doing sexually, and if it doesn’t fit their morals of how a woman should behave sexually, they’re bothered by it.”

    Yes. More or less. And I’m uncomfortable with their being uncomfortable. 😉

  8. Thank you for the welcome Alee. I’ve been more of a lurker here and finally decided to comment. To further address the post and some comments here. 🙂

    Also a casual view of sex like that makes it harder for you to develop a close and bonding marriage and leads to cheating. People who sleeps with lots of people tend to have short attention spans and will stray.

    Can you explain your logic here? I don’t ask you this to jump all over you but I’m just curious. It sounds like to me you’re saying that if someone has a casual view of sex it means they don’t respect monogamous romantic relationships. If so, I respectfully disagree. Casual sex essentially means sex without romantic attachments. Just because someone has a causal attitude towards sex that doesn’t mean they’re going to cheat once they enter into a committed relationship. You can still have respect for the emotional aspect of sex. Also please tell me where did you get the logic that promiscuous people have short attention spans? O_O

    This is fairly true: feminism has changed the sexual milieu for women, and thus men. And women do feel pressure to be intimate earlier than they are ready for. But that’s no reason to shame women who feel comfortable being sexual early on in a relationship.

    I agree. I think what happened was that although feminism acknowledges women have sexual desires and should be able to upon those desires, I think what ended up happening was some women feel they have to be sexually active before they feel ready. It seems like feminism (third wave specifically) is just now acknowledging issues of agency when it comes to women’s sexuality. Like women having sex (or not) when she feels ready.

  9. Mira,

    “I was slut shamed for my views on sexuality and my belief that women have a full right to express their sexuality the same way men can.”

    Perfect example of someone who isn’t “slutty” as per definition being slut-shamed. And I think a lot of women probably have the same experience as you and they don’t feel comfortable expressing their sexual feelings as a result. Then you get the popular notion that women aren’t as sexual, etc.

    ‘What I find particularly confusing with slut shaming is that virgins (or non-promiscuous women) who engage in slut shaming, emphasize their own worth as people “because they don’t think about sex only” and “because they have self-worth”. But it means they, in fact, base THEIR own self-worth on their vaginas (and the fact not many men were allowed to go inside) and not on their personalities?’

    Yes, how is this confusing? 😀

    Indeed many women do feel their worth is greater because of their (lack of) sexual activity. It’s just a natural result of conventional values that still regulate society. Even women who are more liberal in other aspects still view female sexuality mostly as a bell curve with slutty/tainted and pure/worthy at the extremes with most women in between.

    RenKiss, yay, another lurker out of hiding. I love it. 🙂

    I get what Nkosazana is saying re: sexual relations. It’s not that people who engage in casual sex will cheat but that a person whose general attitude towards sexual relations is casual is likely to be that way no matter.

    “please tell me where did you get the logic that promiscuous people have short attention spans? O_O”

    It’s the other way around: people with short attention spans are more likely to be promiscuous.

    Lolol, I kid. 😉

  10. What I want to know is how some famous women get away with being a so called “slut” while others are talked about so bad? Angelina Jolie for instance. Even before she got with Brad, she would brag to the media about all her lovers yet people were so fascinated by her and to this day you got people defending her for her affair with Brad while he was married to Jennifer. Can exceptionally beautiful women get away with being “slutty” more so than less beautiful women?

  11. Not sure. I think it’s the other way around. Gorgeous women are always seen as more slutty and experienced than they are.

  12. But what about the women who don’t sleep with many people? I’m not sure that a good bulk of the women who are slut-shamed actually sleep with more people than women who aren’t.

    Well they should not be shamed then.

    The man and woman sluts should be ashamed and beaten with a stick until they howl and get some sense that they are the ones spreading decease and ruining marriages.

    please tell me where did you get the logic that promiscuous people have short attention spans?

    Should be pretty obvious. A girl or man can’t be satisfied with one dick or pussy so they get bored get another one. Generally you can’t trust people like that. Very sneaky people.

    And yes good looking persons can get away with it even if the ugly cows are usually the village cum dumpster. Until the other women in the village get a clue about what the good looking one is doing with their husbands and beats her with a stick. After cutting his manhood off.

  13. This article seems bias. Some women are exactly just that, a slut. Although, I do believe we should be compassionate and tolerant there are just certain things that are morally wrong. Like the writer’s mom doing the writer’s friend cuz she needed a man, or some BS like that. The REAL problem with slut shaming, which this article did not articulate, is when adolcents or men belittle women just to get laid, simply for the purpose of getting laid and nothing else. Also, i do agree slut shaming is wrong when people do it to belittle simply to belittle others, and do it my mimicing slut shaming. However, relationships are complex. Situations, psychologies are complex, too. Please, let us refrain from over simplification and one sidedness of topics such as slut shaming. Or at least make sure slut shaming is fully articulated.. That calling your partner a slut is not wrong for she went out of her way to sleep with your friends, but that calling a woman/girl a slut for the wrong reasons is wrong because of etc. etc. etc.

  14. Sherry: These silly folks believe that feminism created this scene where women try to act like men in the sexual arena and that has ruined it for everyone because
    2) men have been spoiled by easy, early sex and will not wait for a woman who wants to take her time, thereby putting pressure on women to give in before they are ready.

    Well I do believe that 2nd one is true. Guys that are use to getting it whenever they want dont just stop to wait on the woman he really likes. If you arent exclusive with him, he may be sleeping with someone else while he’s “getting to know to you” and virgins or girls that want to wait a long time use to be the girls that you marry so guys would put in that effort but I dont really see that anymore. My ex best friend was a virgin until last year at age 28. I think whatever reasons she was waiting just didnt make sense anymore nor did they ever benefit her in the relationship realm. She never had even one LTR because as soon as guys would find out they arent getting anything it was onto the next. You could say well if they really liked her then they wouldve waited but realistically there are a number of people they could really like and have a connection with so why wait for her when they can find someone else they like who’s also gonna give them some at least relatively early?

    So yeah guys are definitely spoiled now and all this casual sex has changed the game considerably but I still dont think women should ever slut shame other women because of that because its simply none of their business. If it isnt against the law and they arent directly hurting anyone, keep your nasty opinions about someone else’s life to yourself. Thats how I see it.

  15. But they are directly harming others. There wouldn’t be any STDs if people kept it in their pants and only had a few partners. Most people don’t think they will get aids until they get it.

    Maybe it’s because aids is a pretty distant and foreign idea to you guys..

  16. Nkosazana, Im friends with a few gay guys who are HIV positive and I also had a friend in elementary with the disease who was born with it. Its not a foreign idea at all but there are people who dont sleep around and get HIV so its not just slutty people. Sure theres a higher risk when you have sex with alot of people but the risk is there regardless no matter how low the number is even if its with your husband and there are alot of shocked women out there who got it from men who they thought were totally faithful so these “pure” women are also taking a risk. STD’S are a reality and the only thing anyone can do is get tested regularly and use protection to lower the risk or not have sex EVER if they want to keep themselves 100percent safe.

  17. I bet it’s still pretty much surreal for you people since it’s not like you guys don’t get help but never mind that. Plus having babies while being HIV positive is about as irresponsible as you can get.

    And you pick a husband with a good past. Promiscuousness is still a problem because it’s your husband that is that. Frankly if you stuck with one of those husbands there’s only one cure. The Al Green treatment. Heat up some hot oil and pour it on him and make him see Jesus.

    And people should always remember when they are sleeping with a person they are sleeping with all of the people they slept with, that count for that essence I spoke of and all the other messiness.

    But hey, if people want to pick a husband or a wife with such a past then go ahead. You only got yourself to blame when you discover that she/he been sleeping with half of the village or got bored with you and simply divorced.

  18. Nkosazana: Plus having babies while being HIV positive is about as irresponsible as you can get.

    Well thats not necessarily true anymore at least not in the west where with the right treatment HIV isnt a death sentence but just a chronic illness like any other and a very low chance of passing on the disease to a child. My mother was born with an enlarged heart as well as had a few other chronic medical problems and had 3 bio children (and even though all our hearts our fine, we do all have at least one chronic medical problem) and no one said that was irresponsible but since it doesnt have the stigma AIDS does, no one says anything even if some other illnesses are technically worse but thats another topic and yes I know in other parts of the world, getting the disease is a death sentence so what I said doesnt apply to everyone.

  19. But they are directly harming others. There wouldn’t be any STDs if people kept it in their pants and only had a few partners. Most people don’t think they will get aids until they get it.

    Even if you’re in a monogamous relationship you can still get STD’s, in fact a lot of African American women here in the United States who are HIV positive had gotten it from their boyfriends or husbands. Even if they’re husbands weren’t sexually active in their past, there’s the issue of infidelity which you seem to ignore. They probably didn’t become sexually active until they got married and cheated on their wives. Also (if you like I can link some studies for you) that many African women who are HIV positive also were faithfully monogamous and got HIV through there husbands. I highly doubt these women just picked their husbands on a whim as you seem to think.

    Maybe it’s because aids is a pretty distant and foreign idea to you guys..

    AIDS is very real to us and we know what the risks are. We also know that AIDS isn’t only transmitted sexually. Part of the reason why it spread so quickly in the United States was through blood transfusions.

  20. Fine then. I spoke to a Nigerian ladies a while back and she says Nigerian women expects their husbands to cheat that is why Nigerian men and white women never lasts. We should all adopt that mindset. Expect to be cheated on and you wont get disappointed.

    I highly doubt these women just picked their husbands on a whim as you seem to think.

    We all know how good black women are at picking men when it comes to black men.

    If it was so real and in your face, why support promiscuity then?

  21. If it was so real and in your face, why support promiscuity then?

    It’s not about “supporting” promiscuity it’s about being realistic about the fact that people (no matter how many sexual diseases are out there) will engage in sexual activity. No matter how much you think people should conform your own morals about sex, they won’t. In a perfect world, people would wait til they’re married to have sex, in a perfect world people wouldn’t cheat on their significant other, but we don’t live in that world. The best thing you can do is educate people how to be responsible and protect themselves both emotionally and physically hope they make the right choices.

  22. RenKiss: No matter how much you think people should conform your own morals about sex, they won’t. In a perfect world, people would wait til they’re married to have sex, in a perfect world people wouldn’t cheat on their significant other, but we don’t live in that world. The best thing you can do is educate people how to be responsible and protect themselves both emotionally and physically hope they make the right choices.

    Exactly.

  23. Ja.

    Don’t get near me with that propaganda of unconcerned sex. Protection should be taught (and it is) but not encouraging kids to have sex as people do (you just did). That is how it starts. Then you end up with have 73% OOW kids who will rob me in 16 years.

    Oh it just happened. And shame me for shaming them? Great. Just bloody great. Sluts should be shamed both men and females no matter what you think about married women having a greater chance of getting aids than a woman/man who sleeps with a new man/woman every month.

  24. Well I don’t know where you got the idea that I was encouraging people to have sex as there was nothing in my comments to suggest such. I said that people are going to have sex whether you want them to or not.

    I also didn’t shame you for shaming them, I also don’t know where you got that. I simply just said you can’t expect people to conform to your views about sex.

  25. My main problem with slut shaming is that a person’s sexual behavior is used as an indicator of her character. (Similar thing, though not that prevalent, is used for virgin men).

    I mean, wtf?

    Also, it’s a common technique to elevate your own status and make yourself seem morally superior without actually having to bother with being genuinely good, nice, or a decent person.

  26. I agree Mira. This society places too much importance on sexuality period when its only one aspect of who someone is. A woman could cure cancer but if she lets too many men into her own damn vagina (based on other people’s standards) then that means she’s a bad person?! Thats bullshit imo. Its her freakin body for crying out loud and unless she puts a gun to the mans head, he is consenting to it as well so whatever risk she is taking, he is taking it with her and that is their decisons as adults. People can do what the hell they want with their own body.

  27. The funny thing is, the women who are slut shamed don’t even have to be promiscuous. I’ve seen so many cases like this, including mine. All you need to have is to reveal your opinions that don’t match the socially acceptable mold. Or you have to wear “provocative” clothes. Or you need to be stupid enough not to keep your mouth shut.

    Also, at least in case of my culture, certain things are seen as far worse than the others. For example, a woman who’s had one partner, but it was an one night stand or fuck buddy, is seen as a major slut, as the opposite of the one who’s been with 8 men, but in long term relationships.

  28. And people wonder why they don’t marry.. And even if they do it don’t work out. People have the morals of hmm.. What’s the word.. umqwayizi.. Oh yeah of a prostitute. Only different is that a prostitute is smart enough to get paid.

  29. Jess,

    ‘What I want to know is how some famous women get away with being a so called “slut” while others are talked about so bad?… Can exceptionally beautiful women get away with being “slutty” more so than less beautiful women?’

    Probably so… And likeable people can get away with it as well; if people like you they’re more likely to forgive things they otherwise wouldn’t if they didn’t like you.

    “I still dont think women should ever slut shame other women because of that because its simply none of their business. If it isnt against the law and they arent directly hurting anyone, keep your nasty opinions about someone else’s life to yourself. Thats how I see it.”

    Oh, Amen and Hallelujah. 🙂

    Nkosazana,

    “But what about the women who don’t sleep with many people?”

    “Well they should not be shamed then.”

    Well, they are. If people so much as think you sleep with many people, or suspect you have the inclination to, slut-shaming can ensue. So do you have any solutions to this?

    “The man and woman sluts should be ashamed and beaten with a stick until they howl and get some sense that they are the ones spreading decease and ruining marriages.”

    Huh, this isn’t KwaZulu-Natal. 🙂

    “Fine then. I spoke to a Nigerian ladies a while back and she says Nigerian women expects their husbands to cheat that is why Nigerian men and white women never lasts.”

    Ummm… I know plenty of these couples who are doing fine. I guess that applies to men who marry for naturalization in whatever country they’re residing in, but it doesn’t apply to the others.

    “We should all adopt that mindset. Expect to be cheated on and you wont get disappointed.”

    What? Weren’t you against the idea that cheating is inevitable in the open question not too long ago?

  30. Nkosazana,

    Who is encouraging promiscuity?

    Personally, I’m simply not concerned who is sleeping with who and how much. Why do I care? Unless I’m also involved with them, it really doesn’t affect me. And people shouldn’t feel like they can’t go about their private business without people constantly judging them.

    I understand why de facto laws are given for a group of people, and in some cases they are even helpful. But you have to weigh the costs and benefits: does the benefits of slut-shaming outweigh the cost of it in more modern societies?

    It’s good to have personal morals and I encourage everyone to have them (well, ethics rather than morals, but let’s just call them the same for the sake of this conversation). However it’s a completely different story to expect, or attempt to guilt or force, other people into abiding by them.

  31. Hi Dayan,

    “This article seems bias.”

    It is — all articles written by a person are biased. 🙂

    …I just find it interesting how many people write comments like that (which aren’t published because they don’t add to the conversation), as if this is Wikipedia or a similar site. I do write some articles just for information purposes and without opinion, but it’s usually clear which ones those are. This is not one of them; here I’m giving my views on slut-shaming.

    “Some women are exactly just that, a slut.”

    And what are the men?

    The word “slut” (and similar words) is inherently disparaging, and sexist. It’s not as if it’s a neutral descriptive term.

    “Although, I do believe we should be compassionate and tolerant there are just certain things that are morally wrong.”

    There goes that word “moral” again…

    Morals are personal thus they differ from person to person. So what is morally wrong/right to you (general you) may not be to the person you’re condemning.

    “The REAL problem with slut shaming, which this article did not articulate, is when adolcents or men belittle women just to get laid, simply for the purpose of getting laid and nothing else.”

    That’s the only real problem with slut-shaming? Just that?

    Hmmm…

    “Also, i do agree slut shaming is wrong when people do it to belittle simply to belittle others”

    Okay, so we agree. 🙂

    “However, relationships are complex. Situations, psychologies are complex, too. Please, let us refrain from over simplification”

    Well…

    “Some women are exactly just that, a slut.”

    This statement doesn’t agree with the previous.

    “at least make sure slut shaming is fully articulated..”

    I’m sure you can help me with that…

    “That calling your partner a slut is not wrong for she went out of her way to sleep with your friends, but that calling a woman/girl a slut for the wrong reasons is wrong because of etc. etc. etc.”

    That’s all a matter of opinion isn’t it?

  32. Alee, see it like this. Would you want your son or daughter married to a woman or man who sees sex as not that special of a thing and with a very dubious background with one night stands and boyfriend/girlfriend after boyfriend/girlfriend?

    Or marry one who values and see sex as a very special thing and not to be given lightly to just anyone and seek a special connection with just one person?

    Because the first one is becoming more common because people are sending out the message that it’s ok to be like that. In fact it’s more than OK.

  33. Alee: And people shouldn’t feel like they can’t go about their private business without people constantly judging them.

    So true. Take me for instance. I want to sleep with SG NOW but because ive been conditioned by this disgusting sexist slut shaming society, I have to make him wait (yawn) so I wont feel bad or he wont look down on me SMH.

  34. Nkosazana,

    Well, what I want is basically irrelevant in regards to people I have no dealings with. My own personality inclines to sex as a special, magical, powerful thing but I more than know that everyone does not see it that way. It’s not my place to judge the way people view intimacy and the way they go about it; I wouldn’t want them to judge mine.

    At the end of the day it’s my opinion that people should (be able to) go with what’s natural to them and not worry about others’ opinions either way.

  35. Jess,

    “So true. Take me for instance. I want to sleep with SG NOW but because ive been conditioned by this disgusting sexist slut shaming society, I have to make him wait (yawn) so I wont feel bad or he wont look down on me SMH.”

    Lol at the yawn.

    I wouldn’t assume he’d look down on you; lots of women I know slept with their boyfriends/husbands within the first few dates and their relationships are fine. It’s just the emotional/psychological effects I’d worry about: if you’re not okay with possibly becoming attached to him early on or him possibly going on to someone else soon after, then I’d wait until I knew him better.

    Btw, have you set up that date yet? You can’t get to anything without that date…

  36. I think I have the most problem with people judging others and presenting themselves as better people because of this. I never understood this. I mean, I don’t tend to view someone’s sexual behaviour as a sign of their character (in the good/bad sense). Ok, I do have my limits, and there are things I don’t approve, but as long as it’s something between consenting adults (meaning: no children, no animals, no corpses, etc.) I really don’t see it as a sign of your character. I won’t see you as a bad person for having sex with your bg on the second date, and I won’t see you as a good person just because you waited to get married to have sex, and I won’t see you as a bad person because you’re gay/bi, or because you’re a virgin guy waiting for marriage, etc.

    I don’t really understand the connection between the number of sexual partners and someone’s worth. I mean, my worth is definitely not between my legs, and I don’t think yours is either.

    And don’t get me started on the PERCEIVED number of partners and PERCEIVED promiscuity… I swear, at least 7 times out of 10, the women who are slut shamed have either less or equal sexual experience… The only difference between the shamers and them is that they’ve made some (non-sexual) mistakes, such as wearing short skirts or talking about sex, stuff that has nothing to do with the actual promiscuity. Not to mention there are many virgin girls who are slut shamed, or women who’ve been with only a few men in their lives who are slut shamed.

  37. Alee, yeah he’s taking me out next sat 🙂

    Mira: I mean, my worth is definitely not between my legs, and I don’t think yours is either.

    Damn thats a good quote.

  38. Mira,

    “I think I have the most problem with people judging others and presenting themselves as better people because of this. I never understood this.”

    Yes. It’s a rather interesting way of viewing things..

    “And don’t get me started on the PERCEIVED number of partners and PERCEIVED promiscuity… I swear, at least 7 times out of 10, the women who are slut shamed have either less or equal sexual experience”

    Right: One of the main things I was just trying to get at is that slut-shaming is often based on others’ perceptions of a woman’s sexual activity or tendency toward it, not any real evidence. Lots of slut-shaming is essentially, “Stop being so open about sex.” not, “Stop having so much sex.”

    Jess,

    “Alee, yeah he’s taking me out next sat :)”

    Really?! Yay. 😀

    Of course you know you must send me the details as soon as possible, either through the Clouds or email.

  39. Ja well. Eish, sluts man or woman don’t make good STABLE partners.

    Go out and sleep with whomever. Since there’s apparently no negative effects of doing that.

    I just feel sorry if you end up with one who thinks sex is special and want to be exclusive in a partnership.

    Last comment on this issue and I’m never touching this again since I’m so wrong and everyone should just sleep with everyone until we all get AIDS but can live with since we got medicine for it. Oh right only married women gets aids.

  40. Nkosazana: Last comment on this issue and I’m never touching this again since I’m so wrong and everyone should just sleep with everyone until we all get AIDS but can live with since we got medicine for it. Oh right only married women gets aids.

    LMAO!!! I love you Nkosazana seriously.

  41. ^Hah.

    Ummm, I’m thinking things are getting a little lost in translation: I don’t think anyone is advocating promiscuity. Just disagreeing with slut-shaming. Which is not the same thing.

  42. I wouldn’t assume he’d look down on you; lots of women I know slept with their boyfriends/husbands within the first few dates and their relationships are fine. It’s just the emotional/psychological effects I’d worry about: if you’re not okay with possibly becoming attached to him early on or him possibly going on to someone else soon after, then I’d wait until I knew him better.

    I agree with this and that’s what I’m worried about as well. I feel that if you’re going to make the decision to engage in sex early on you have to know very early on that

    The same with having casual sex, you have to know early on and there has to be communication between the two of about what type of relationship it’s going to be. That’s why I think people get hurt in these types of relationships, because there are situations where someone would enter into thinking that it could become something more or along the way they end up having feelings for that person. So essentially (IMO 🙂 ), know what you want and what you’re looking for earlier on.

    Last comment on this issue and I’m never touching this again since I’m so wrong and everyone should just sleep with everyone until we all get AIDS but can live with since we got medicine for it. Oh right only married women gets aids.

    I think you’re being unnecessarily defensive. You’re entitled to your opinion men and women who are promiscuous should be shamed. That’s fine, that’s how you feel, I just don’t agree with it. Not agreeing with you is not an attack on you or your beliefs. As Alee said, no one here is advocating promiscuity.

  43. Im sorry but I dont ever want it to go back to the puritan days. We still got a long way to go as far as the stigma surrounding sex but thank GOD its not where it was. I personally believe slut shaming has caused more STD’s to spread because people are too ashamed to even go get tested and thats how stuff gets spread, people not knowing they have something and then spread it. I cant tell you how many people have told me they’d rather not know if they had an std especially HIV so they dont bother getting tested. If there wasnt so much stigma and shame surrounding sex, then STD’s would be looked at like any other ailment and people would regularly get tested.

    I think its the responsibility of every sexually active person to get tested. I do once a year and its crazy when I request to be tested at the dr’s office (even at the gynacologist office where they are treating people constantly for std’s), the nurse or dr gives me this look of shame like I must be dirty for requesting it. I dont think they are consciously aware that they are doing that but that just goes to show how conditioned we are and why people dont even want to bother getting tested because of that shame. Here I am doing the right thing by making sure I dont have anything and unknowingly give someone something, and im the one being looked at as if im wrong.

    We are sexual beings men and women alike. This society needs to move away from stigma and controversy surrounding it.

  44. Well, I’m certainly not a slut shamer, nor do I wish to “slut shame.”

    However… I think that what women (and I say women because we’re the ones most likely to be judged for our sexual behavior) need to understand is that whatever decision one makes, she is never going to escape being judged for it. And that can include a decision to not be sexual…

    So knowing that, make your sexual decisions based on what’s best for your emotional, mental, spiritual and physical health and sense of security. If you honestly feel that sleeping with a dude on the first date because you’re “feeling it” is the best decision, I’m not going to stop you. But, in doing so, be ready for the possible risk involved with that decision, and if the decision turns out poorly, don’t come crying to folks about how it’s “unfair” that the guy wasn’t interested in something more serious… because again, life is about owning the decisions you make, and living with the results, positive or negative.

    No one has to affirm one’s decisions, and too many women want validation for their choice to be sexually “free.” That’s not going to happen, nor should it have to happen. But if YOU are happy being sexually free and if you are happy with your dating/relational life as a sexually free person, then hey, outside validation or condemnation shouldn’t matter.

  45. I don’t know. I never felt pressured to be more sexual or sexually free in my life. On the other hand, I was pressured to wait and be less sexual.

    But then again, there are girls in their mid 20s who are virgins and who feel pressured to have sex, because it’s “weird” to be a virgin in your 20s.

    Also, nobody waits till marriage to have sex here. So I don’t know.

  46. Well how do you define being “sexually free?” That’s something that I’m curious about, because that can mean a variety of different things, it can also fall under choosing to be celibate.

  47. Bunny, I always like your level-headed responses. You have a pragmatic approach to this whole slut-shaming business and I agree with it. Frankly, I don’t care what or who people do in the privacy of their own bedrooms but my opinion is not the norm in our society so it is better to deal with the situation as it is rather that what it should be.

    Slut shaming to me is different than being a “slut” (I dislike that word because it is used exclusively to deride women and nothing equivalent is stated for men). Slut-shaming is a method of controlling women and like someone said above, is based on perception. Someone like Mira who was a virgin but voiced unconventional thoughts (for her society) was slut-shamed because her society thought she was out of line for VOICING AN OPINION. Is that fair? Absolutely not. She still bore the costs from the thought-police though.

    In addition, who decides what is a slut?. What is the defining criteria?. Who sets the definition and why?. Can everyone agree on what a slut is?. Is the criteria the same for men and women?. Can we also agree that being a “slut” is not the same as being a cheater?. I don’t why that is getting conflated in these threads.

    Really though, is this all even relevant? Is a woman’s worth really between her legs, to quote Mira?.

    If women want to enjoy similar sexual advantages as men, then they definitely can. We live in a place and time where a woman can do so without serious societal reprisals like having a scarlett letter sewn on her dress, being ostracised, or being stoned to death.

    In addition, if women are to wait until marriage as some people advise, then people will need to get married very young, very likely while in college. That should be fine but looking at the divorce stats, the younger a couple is the greater the likelihood for divorce. Check the divorce rates for Southern states, where they tend to get married right out of high school or college, versus the Northwestern states, where they tend to get married after getting an education and establishing themselves in a career.

    However, there are still risks for women to sleeping indiscriminately with many partners and as Bunny said, women need to be aware of these risks:

    1.: Reputational risks: It’s a risk if she, or the men she chooses to sleep with, aren’t discreet. This risk is biggest in small communities and during high school/college years. It can be mitigated by not saying anything and moving around a lot or living in big cities.

    2. Health risks: If she isn’t careful she might catch something fatal, although my impression is that women who have a lot of sexual encounters tend to be much more saavy about protection than women who don’t.

    3. Emotional risks: This for me is the biggest risk. I sincerely do believe that most women (not all) are wired differently from men and we tend to attach to a man after sex. Too many casual encounters hurts the soul, to be prosaic about it.

    My concern is not about slut shaming a woman but about her reputation, health and emotions if she chooses to sleep with a lot of men. Most people who slut-shame don’t give a damn about the woman and just want to get on their high horse to indulge in judgement.

  48. Sophia,

    “Frankly, I don’t care what or who people do in the privacy of their own bedrooms but my opinion is not the norm in our society so it is better to deal with the situation as it is rather that what it should be.”

    I don’t see why it as has to be either or. You can navigate the reality of slut-shaming without accepting it or tolerating it. Nothing has ever changed with people saying, “That’s the way it’s been, that’s the way it is, and that’s the way it will be. Amen.”

    I guess I always approach social issues with the same mindset that though we have to deal with negative situations as they are, we can make steps toward positive change.

  49. How does one go about finding out if a woman is a slut? So, you saw her with one man, and then the next day saw her with another man… Does that mean she is sleeping with both of them? Seriously – most of the time , women who I’ve heard being called sluts are victims of viscous rumors and hearsay. Why do we make it our business to talk about another individual’s sex life… This topic reminds me of the Movie Malena, starring Monica Bellucci – Very ironic and poignant movie which fits in very well with this subject.
    My personal belief is that when a “woman” not a girl, makes a decision to have sex, whatever she does with her sexuality is her business, so far as she is not sleeping with anyone’s husband or spreading diseases then I don’t care. If she asks for my opinion well then….Otherwise, what does it matter what I or anyone else thinks? I’m trying to really understand the whole point of Slutshaming – what does it achieve except “shame” the woman? How is that productive?

  50. But then again, there are girls in their mid 20s who are virgins and who feel pressured to have sex, because it’s “weird” to be a virgin in your 20s.

    Mira, I have so many thoughts on this too… 😉 But that’s for another thread!

    RenKiss, that’s a good question. For the sake of this thread, I’m only defining it as someone who engages in regular casual sex (sex outside of an exclusive, defined relationship). I put the word free in quotes for a reason, and that’s because there’s not really one true definition of it… and I agree, a celibate person/virgin can be more sexually free if he or she is acting authentically versus the person having lots of sex, but doing so out of a sense of pressure or a lack of personal boundaries, etc.

    Sophia, thanks for the kind words. I guess I just try to look at things how one might like them to be versus how they really are. Like you, I have no interest in pointing fingers at a woman and going, “Ewww, you have had 50+ partners, you slut!” However, when I met such a woman, I thought to myself, “Well okay, but it’s not for me.” And then the more I got to know her, the more I realized that she was NOT in control at all of her sexuality and that she constantly found herself in situations in which she risked her physical and mental health and safety. BUT, when I once attempted to tell her that maybe she needed to slow her roll a little (since she complained that men never stuck around to form relationships with her), then I was “slut-shaming.” WTF?

    That’s why I say that some of the outrage that some women have about slut-shaming is overblown, because these particular women (many are usually the very vocal ones I see on blogs) all but demand that no one say a word about their sexual behavior unless it’s in support. And sorry, but no one has to do that. It’s not slut-shaming to suggest that one’s sexual behavior is destructive and harmful. Real slut-shaming to me is holding a double standard for similar behavior done by men and women and only judging the women negatively.

    But I judge everyone. 🙂 As I’m supposed to as a human being. And it’s not slut-shaming for me or anyone to share a negative opinion — if I am asked — about someone’s sexual behavior.

  51. I guess I always approach social issues with the same mindset that though we have to deal with negative situations as they are, we can make steps toward positive change.

    I think we have in many ways though. We recognize that “no means no” and that acquaintance rape/date rape/marital rape is rape… not long ago, that idea would not have been accepted at all. Someone who suggests that a woman invites rape or other sexual aggression because of their clothing gets sanctioned/censured. In Western countries, there’s less and less judgment — if any — on a woman who’s not a virgin at the time of marriage… in fact, a woman who is one is seen as a rare bird and often faces a unique set of criticisms/challenges.

    It’s pretty much accepted in the West that women are sexual beings and do enjoy sex… and have the right to say no to sex. I think that’s positive change.

    But honestly, I don’t know if it’s positive change to drop all standards of sexual behavior for men and women for an “anything goes” kind of world. I know you’re not suggesting that Alee, but I do see that idea quite a bit from the anti-slut shaming activists… and I think that’s unrealistic.

  52. I’m just saying, a low number of sexual partners doesn’t equal a good person. It depends on her character. Similarly, a high number of sexual partners doesn’t equal a good person. It depends on her character. Same goes for men.

  53. Penny,

    “most of the time , women who I’ve heard being called sluts are victims of viscous rumors and hearsay.”

    Or conjecture.

    Like women who dress “provocatively” or talk about sex; people guess that they’re probably a “slut”.

    “This topic reminds me of the Movie Malena, starring Monica Bellucci – Very ironic and poignant movie which fits in very well with this subject.”

    Looked that one up… When slut-shaming goes off the deep end.

    “what does it matter what I or anyone else thinks? I’m trying to really understand the whole point of Slutshaming – what does it achieve except “shame” the woman? How is that productive?’

    Well, it gives the shamer something to talk and be concerned about, and a way to feel good about themselves. Those are apparently very important to humans because a lot of things we do come down to that, especially the last.

  54. Bunny,

    ‘I have no interest in pointing fingers at a woman and going, “Ewww, you have had 50+ partners, you slut!” However, when I met such a woman… I once attempted to tell her that maybe she needed to slow her roll a little… then I was “slut-shaming.” ‘

    Well, if someone asks for your input, that’s completely different. If you’re asked for your thoughts, then the asker knows beforehand (or should know beforehand) that your response may not to be to their liking. That’s a risk they take in asking, and that’s not slut-shaming.

    Now, if you went to other people and also told them your negative judgment of her actions, that would fall under slut-shaming because the only real purpose of that would be to make her a spectacle.

    “Real slut-shaming to me is holding a double standard for similar behavior done by men and women and only judging the women negatively.”

    That double standard is implied because the word “slut” and its synonyms only refer to women. And no matter what they say, the reality is that very few people slut-shame men, and the few who do have a much higher threshold for men than for women. For one a woman doesn’t even have to be very sexually active in comparison to her peers to be considered a slut to be shamed.

    ‘We recognize that “no means no” and that acquaintance rape/date rape/marital rape is rape… not long ago, that idea would not have been accepted at all.’

    Correction: some of us do.

    Please know there are more than a few people even in Western society who do not consider boyfriend/husband rape to be rape and even more who don’t take it as seriously as stranger rape.

    See Crystal Harris’ story.

    “Someone who suggests that a woman invites rape or other sexual aggression because of their clothing gets sanctioned/censured.”

    A lot of people do think this though. A lot.

    But I won’t even get into the sort of mindset that causes people to think women are responsible for a man’s inability to control themselves.

    “It’s pretty much accepted in the West that women are sexual beings and do enjoy sex… I think that’s positive change.”

    Not as sexual as men though, and if they are, they should keep it to themselves.

    There’s been change, I never denied that. But there’s still a lot to be changed.

    “But honestly, I don’t know if it’s positive change to drop all standards of sexual behavior for men and women for an “anything goes” kind of world. I know you’re not suggesting that Alee”

    I’m not suggesting that. I’m suggesting that people try to be less judgmental of things that really aren’t any of their business and isn’t hurting anyone. Because when they’re not, that does hurt people.

  55. What bugs me to hear even more than the term slut is when people say “She cant keep a man” about a woman who’s had a few relationships but is still single. Its called dating idiots! Most people have to go through a few (or more) relationships to find the right one. I saw on some site where this guy compared Rihanna to Halle Berry saying they both cant keep a man and im like um Rihanna is 23 years old and especially with her fame and lifestyle, people think she’s suppose to be settled down already or that means “She cant keep a man”? Rihanna doesnt seem like the type that wants to settle down anytime soon. I noticed though it tends to be more black folks that say that cant keep a man bs. As if a woman’s worth is based totally on “keeping a man”. No one tells a man he cant keep a woman. Ugh that bugs me to no end. I notice that not alot of women challenge these sexual double standards.

  56. Jess,

    “What bugs me to hear even more than the term slut is when people say “She cant keep a man” about a woman who’s had a few relationships but is still single…I noticed though it tends to be more black folks that say that cant keep a man bs.”

    Other people say it too. Just not in those particular words.

    ‘As if a woman’s worth is based totally on “keeping a man”.’

    Uh yeah, it is. Well, about 1/3 of it is.

    There are three main things a woman’s worth is based on in society:

    1. Her beauty/appearance

    2. The men she is involved with (or not involved with)

    3. Her amount of or tendency to sexual activity

    If you didn’t know that, know it now. 😉

    “I notice that not alot of women challenge these sexual double standards.”

    It’s not their problem (they believe). Few people worry about things until it becomes a personal problem for them. If they’ve never been slut-shamed or don’t have a personal experience with it then most likely they’ll be generally apathetic about the subject. Even more they can’t see that it’s a problem because it’s so common.

  57. I’m just saying, a low number of sexual partners doesn’t equal a good person. It depends on her character. Similarly, a high number of sexual partners doesn’t equal a good person. It depends on her character. Same goes for men.

    I agree with this as well. I used to have this attitude toward people who were sexually active. The thinking is usually along the lines of; “those people just lack self control.” The lack of self control is viewed as moral failing.

    and I agree, a celibate person/virgin can be more sexually free if he or she is acting authentically versus the person having lots of sex, but doing so out of a sense of pressure or a lack of personal boundaries, etc.

    Yeah, I was wondering because of Mira’s comment that where she comes from women feel that if they’re still virgins while in their 20’s then they feel weird and for me that’s not sexual freedom either, because if they were to engage in sexual activity, most likely they’re not doing it because they truly, want to. IMO.

    But honestly, I don’t know if it’s positive change to drop all standards of sexual behavior for men and women for an “anything goes” kind of world. I know you’re not suggesting that Alee, but I do see that idea quite a bit from the anti-slut shaming activists… and I think that’s unrealistic.

    I don’t think people are advocating we all become Samantha Jones (because honestly who has the time and the stamina? :P) but I guess the issue lies in who determines those standards and to what degree.

  58. RenKiss,

    ‘I used to have this attitude toward people who were sexually active. The thinking is usually along the lines of; “those people just lack self control.” The lack of self control is viewed as moral failing.’

    I think you’re right about that. And I’d extend it even further to say that the thinking is that the person is lacking in something: self-worth/love, value, true desirability. And that their sexual activity is a way of attempting to replace that.

  59. I think ‘slut shaming’ of women is really all about ownership of women’s bodies.
    In patriarchal societies women’s bodies are meant to be owned by a single man. And the concept of women as property is a theme that runs throughout patriarchy even in the modern age.
    That’s why in the traditional christian marriage ceremony the father (the original owner of the woman) gives her away at her wedding to the groom (the new owner). And she is dressed in white, originally denoting purity, a guarantee that noone has slipped a penis in there before him and thus her future children would be biologically his (and until less than 100 years ago in the West, legally his as well as all her property)

    Promiscuous women are clearly not owned by anyone because they blatantly have sex for their own pleasure. SHOCKING!!
    They are seen as wild women, sexually untamed. They make the mentally domesticated women (i.e those who consciously or subconsciouly support patriarchy and male superiority) very nervous: in the same way pet dogs are nervous of feral dogs or wolves! Sluts defy what seems like the natural order to these people.

    Their independence and self agency isn’t acceptable to patriarchal mores. Because what if it gets out of hand? women might start thinking they’re full human beings just like men, with identical rights to pursue their own happiness in any way they see fit!

  60. Kat, lol.

    “That’s why in the traditional christian marriage ceremony the father (the original owner of the woman) gives her away at her wedding to the groom (the new owner). And she is dressed in white, originally denoting purity, a guarantee that noone has slipped a penis in there before him and thus her future children would be biologically his (and until less than 100 years ago in the West, legally his as well as all her property)”

    Well, when you put it that way… 🙂

  61. I haven’t read all the posts, so this might be repetitive. But, there are considerations about women’s choices about modesty and discretion. What s-shaming does is takes away the woman’s ability to control her own information and even though it involves speculation is aimed at her credibility. If a woman is truly free to do as she pleases, then that involves the choices of dressing modestly and choosing abstinence. People will slut-shame a previously promiscuous woman for choosing abstinence because she is seeking to return power and control back to herself in her own life. The underbelly of slut-shaming is that the people doing the shaming are vicariously living out their own fantasies through the behaviors of or through what is said about the shamed woman. If they would grow up and ‘own’ their own motivations and desires, there would be no need to tend to the woman’s personal affairs. Perhaps if men were s-shamed, they would begin to understand the kinds of rights upon which it infringes. Another note is that Christians are guilty of this shaming when Christ was the one person best known for preaching the opposite.

  62. Hi D,

    “What s-shaming does is takes away the woman’s ability to control her own information and even though it involves speculation is aimed at her credibility.”

    Yes, this is true. It’s similar to any sort of spreading of rumors/information.

    “The underbelly of slut-shaming is that the people doing the shaming are vicariously living out their own fantasies through the behaviors of or through what is said about the shamed woman. If they would grow up and ‘own’ their own motivations and desires, there would be no need to tend to the woman’s personal affairs.”

    Lol!

    I hate to play armchair psychologist but that might have some truth to it. 🙂

    “Perhaps if men were s-shamed, they would begin to understand the kinds of rights upon which it infringes.”

    Probably. Everything becomes so much easier to understand when you’ve gone through it.

  63. There’s hardly any real evidence that men slut shame. It’s primarily women who do it:

    http://www.femininebeauty.info/suppression.pdf

    “The view that men suppress female sexuality received hardly any support and is flatly contradicted by some findings. Instead, the evidence favors the view that women have worked to stifle each other’s sexuality because sex is a limited resource that women use to negotiate with men, and scarcity gives women an advantage.”

    In other words slut shaming is something women principally do to each other to minimize competition in the sexual marketplace. When women break this natural imperative they’re viewed as “low quality” because it drives down the value of female sexuality. When other women encounter this they tend to react at a visceral level.

  64. bobsutan,

    Men do slut-shame, even if the mode in which they do it is different than that of women. No study is going to convince any woman otherwise, especially if she’s been slut-shamed by men.

    I do think it’s amazing that anyone can say that men don’t slut-shame with a straight face when the incident which put slut-shaming on the map for this decade and caused a worldwide protest (SlutWalks) involved a male police officer shaming “women who dress like sluts”. You’d better believe he’s not the only man to ever make such a comment; he just one of the few to get called on it because of his position and the public way in which he said it.

    While women gossip about other women, men will flat out judge a woman negatively based on her actual or perceived tendency to sexual activity.

    Some men will not to engage with a woman if she has a certain number of sexual partners (including if their number is the same or even higher) or will treat a woman with disregard or less consideration because of her sexual history, or what they think is her sexual history. You’ve never heard a man call a woman a “slut”, “whore”, “sleaze”, etc? All of this is slut-shaming.

  65. Coming from both male and female siblings, I know slut-shaming all too well, from both perspectives. Hmmmmm, to shame or not to shame, that is a whole other context, to me, I just wish everyone had the same standard.

    Sure there are ‘nasty’ women out there, but are men so innocent themselves? No. It takes TWO to have sex, and it takes TWO to make a baby (hard to believe people would actually pick on a pregnant teenager, but yes). I also believe if a man engages willingly with a “lower quality” woman, than HE is also of “lower quality” himself and vice versa.

    In the idea of women slut-shaming one another, in a frail attempt to raise men’s standards of women: a woman who sells herself short, whether by sexual availability or social standards is still what a woman, imo, shouldn’t be, Desperate.

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