There are certain characteristics that one would define as ‘slutty’, but just because you can shame things for supposedly being that way, does it mean that you should criticise it?
When I asked two people I know, “Do you think slut shaming is wrong?”
“I think girls should be called out for being slutty. Maybe some girls should sleep with a few less guys.”
The second responded with:
“I don’t think we should judge people for their sexual activities. It’s their choice whether they have sex with someone or not.”
Notice how the first response explicitly states that girls are the ones who are slutty, whereas the second response does neither. Why is it that girls are described as sluts? Why can’t guys be called sluts? The problem with slut shaming is that it’s a derogatory term applied mostly to women to criticise and stigmatise their sexual choices. It is rare that you will hear the word ‘slut’ be used to describe a male who has had multiple sexual partners; instead, he’s referred to as a “lad” or a “player”. Yet if we switch the genders around, women are called sluts and whores and shamed for sleeping around (not to say that it doesn’t happen to men, but the latter is far more common in today’s society.)
It’s one of the many double standards we have in society. People have the right to choose who they want to sleep with and who they don’t want to sleep with. Having multiple partners doesn’t make you a slut and having none doesn’t make you frigid or a prude. Who people sleep with doesn’t matter. How many people they’ve slept with doesn’t matter. It’s also none of your freaking business.
As a society, we fail to realise the detrimental effect that slut shaming really has on young women’s self-esteem. When young girls are brought up being taught that they’re sexual objects and should cover up and show less skin because showing more skin is deemed inappropriate, there is a problem. Slut shaming isn’t body positive. When you’re teaching girls that when they show more skin, they’re seeking attention, you’re teaching them to be insecure about their body. Wearing a skirt doesn’t mean that I want the attention of showing more of my legs. It means that I like the skirt, I like the design, I like the way that it looks on me and it makes me feel good about myself. It does not mean that I want to be treated as a sexual object because I decided to wear a short skirt, nor should I be called out for showing ‘more’ skin.
If men can embrace and explore their sexuality without being shamed for it, women should be allowed to do the same. After all, does it REALLY matter to you what people choose to wear or who people decide to sleep with?