Slut-Shaming Hurts Everybody

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Slut-Shaming Hurts Everybody

Becky Munoz, Contributor

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Upon returning from summer vacation, I enjoyed being reunited with classmates. We exchanged stories of trips taken with families and the disgusting summer jobs we were forced to work in order to fill up our gas tanks. 

However, not all stories were as enjoyable to hear as others.

Listening to one of my peers blab about all the girls he had slept with this summer to his friends was hard. But to hear the praise that he received disgusted me. So did the high fives and questions about which girl had been his favorite. 

Then, all I could think about was that would not be the same reaction if he had been a girl.

There is a huge difference in the expectations of how young women and men should act when it comes to sex. This double standard and norm of sexual-shaming that we have embedded in our nation is hurting society. 

I asked Paige Faulkner, a junior at SR, for her reaction to the story of my classmate, and she responded with, “If a girl were to say that they’d probably be slut-shamed, if they’re open about their sex life or personal life at all.” 

Throughout history, women have been given a different set of rules from men for their sexual behavior. It sickens me to think that women cannot explore their sexuality or have multiple partners without being called disgusting names like slut, skank or whore. The fact that for so many years it was normal for men to enjoy their bodies, but women couldn’t, that’s bull

When surveyed, many male SR students agreed that men aren’t as impacted by slut-shaming themselves, but it does teach them that it is okay to objectify young women and make certain nasty comments. 

Henry Denberg, a senior at SR, shared his view that allowing slut-shaming to be seen as normal gives young men the impression that they can do whatever they want and not have respect. “It promotes rape culture and just makes rape seem like the womens fault,” stated Henry. 

When interviewed, sophomore Natalia Davidson stated that she believes slut-shaming creates insecurities in young women and makes them feel as if they need to hide more about themselves. She also said this issue relates back to how kids are brought up by their parents. The environment that a child is raised in highly impacts their ideas and actions.

Natalia also made the point that, perhaps people who slut-shame don’t fully understand the effect their words have on others. There are various studies and articles written that show the negative effects of slut-shaming and other forms of shaming have on the human body. 

The effects of sexual shaming have been traced to depression, lack of self-worth, eating disorders and anxiety. In cases like those of Amanda Todd, Hope Witsell, and Felicia Garcia, young girls resorted to taking their own lives due to the sexual-shaming they endured. 

Organizations like The UnSlut Project are fighting against slut-shaming through sharing powerful stories, providing support and age-appropriate sexual education for all. The fact that groups like this exist, supports the claim that slut-shaming is an issue in our country that needs to be addressed, whether some people are aware of it or not. 

We shouldn’t be shaming anyone for the choices they make with their own bodies or really anything else. We are all people and everyone should be allowed to make their own choices with their bodies, without the fear of being shamed or ridiculed. 

By allowing any type of shaming to be a norm, we are establishing a society that does not respect or care for each other. That creates one more aspect that makes life harder for people. Slut-shaming damages young women’s mental and physical health and it teaches people, especially young men, that it is okay to treat women like objects. It has created a culture where it is okay to be cruel to one another. 

Let us all remember that very simple rule we were taught back in grade school: If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all.  

People feel uncomfortable talking about issues like slut-shaming because it forces them to admit that they might have done something wrong. But, if we don’t own up to our mistakes and talk about the hard topics, how will we ever address important issues, not just as individuals but as a nation? 

We, not just here at SR, but as a nation are lacking common courtesy and respect. This is displayed in many ways, not just slut-shaming. People have stopped caring about one another and frankly with everything going on in our world, this is the time to bring caring back.