Slut-Shaming: The Worldwide Epidemic

From a young age, girls are taught to judge other girls. On their hairstyle, their clothes, the bands they like…it’s human nature to judge, everyone does it, but the way in which girls are pitted against one another is taking it to extremes. And by the early ages of thirteen and fourteen, girls are slut-shaming amongst themselves. To quote a life-altering film (yes, it’s Mean Girls),

“You all have got to stop calling each other sluts and whores. It just makes it ok for guys to call you sluts and whores.”

We’re told at school ‘don’t wear short skirts’, ‘don’t kiss a boy who’s not your boyfriend’ and the list goes on. There are numerous cases of girls being suspended from school for wearing too short skirts, or even being told to leave school dances because their dresses are ‘provocative’. And schools are more concerned about girls’ uniforms than their education. The classic ‘it may distract male students or teachers’ excuse is ridiculous – for one, if you’re hiring an adult male teacher who cannot control himself around minors, then he shouldn’t be teaching in the first place, and for another – boys (not just boys, I realise, but for the sake of ease, I will generalise) are always going to look at girls and be ‘distracted’, whether they are wearing a bikini or full-body winter coat. And what’s worse, it all leads back to rape culture, to victim-blaming. It all leads back to ‘well, you were asking for it if you were wearing that’ and yet women wearing anything get raped.

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The double standard here is laughable: if a man sleeps with several girls on consecutive nights he is a ‘lad’, and he’s praised and worshipped. If a woman does it she’s a ‘slut’, a ‘whore’, and ‘easy’. She loses all her respect, where the man gains respect. And why? Just because she can express her sexuality and embrace the same urges that almost everyone gets. Why should she be punished for being open and honest?
The Breakfast Club came out in 1985, and today, this quote is still relevant.

“It’s kind of a double-edged sword, isn’t it? If you say you haven’t, you’re  prude. If you say you have you’re a slut. It’s a trap. You want to but you can’t, and when you do you wish you didn’t.”

It is the same for clothes – the way a woman dresses does not reflect on her intellect, her kindness or generosity, or the level of respect she deserves. The subject of clothing in public places is difficult because on the one hand, yes being ‘scantily clad’ in a public place can be construed as inappropriate because of young children, however it is as easily arguable that there is nothing shameful about the human body, so why hide it from children or anyone? This is a personal decision, in my opinion, as to what is ‘appropriate’ clothing for a public place, however, just because it is a personal decision does not mean you can go around shouting your opinion at others and shaming those who believe the opposite.

Everyone, women specifically, has the right to dress how they want, and do what they want with their body, without being shamed or mocked or abused for those choices.

“‘Slut’ is attacking women for their right to say yes, ‘friend zone’ is attacking women for their right to say no, and ‘bitch’ is attacking women for their right to call you on it.”

Riot ❤
Lorelei

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