RGM Blog 6 – Slut Shaming Women

Many women are familiar with the very common societal phenomenon of slut shaming. Growing up as a woman in our society can be hard because there are so many areas in which women are judged very unequally to their male counterparts and are subjected to punishment for things that are not objectively their fault.

Thoughout school, women’s dress codes are much stricter than men’s and women are told not to wear certain things that might distract their male classmates, instead of placing blame on the male classmates for not paying attention in their classes. “When speaking with Leigh Gaskin, a professor in gender and women’s studies, she said the way that women and girls are told to dress a certain way, specifically in high school, sets them up to be slut-shamed in a lot of ways.” By telling a women that their clothes distract men, educational institutions are basically saying that men can’t control themselves and their sexual impulses, and the women are the ones responsible for this. It also presents the idea to men that women are a sexual conquest. “When a woman has multiple partners, she’s labeled a slut, whereas men are seen as players, who have “scored,” so to speak. This is an example of the double standards that women are often subjected to.” More information on slut shaming and these examples can be found in the article linked here.

I believe slut shaming is part of our cultural history of male dominance and women being seen only for their beauty and virginity since ancient times. Although in our modern society, we have progressed far when it comes to gender equality, this double standard is still very much alive and can be very damaging.

“Slut shaming has a multitude of negative impacts on young girls ranging from inferiority complexes to alarmingly low self -worth and -respect due to the double standards that surround slut shaming. Brought on by a condemnation of female sexuality in a society enthralled by sensuality, slut shaming is an all too common nightmare for many adolescent girls.” More information about the effects of slut shaming can be found here.

It is important to understand that sex is a basic human need and we all have the right to decide what we do with our own bodies. If we stopped the dichotomy of judging girls and praising boys for sexual activities, I think we would see higher self-esteem in girls and a step in the right direction towards a more objective and gender equal society.

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