Slut Shaming!

“Slut shaming is the act of criticizing a woman for her real or presumed sexual activity, or for behaving in ways that someone thinks are associated with her real or presumed sexual activity.”

Up until recently, I had never heard of Slut shaming. Fat shaming yes, but never slut shaming. I was curious obviously as I am somewhat aware of what people consider a slut but never slut shaming. Slut-shaming is the experience of being labeled a sexually out-of-control girl or woman (a “slut” or “ho”) and then being punished socially for possessing this identity. Slut-shaming is sexist because only girls and women are called to task for their sexuality, whether real or imagined while boys and men are congratulated for the exact same behavior. This is the essence of the sexual double standard: Boys will be boys, and girls will be sluts. 

body imageX feminismX slut shamingX Heterosexual femininityX Feminin proformanceX communicative clothing

Slut shaming

Girls and young women are encouraged, even expected to present themselves as sexually knowing and sophisticated. Being “hot” or sexy is part of the recipe of heterosexual femininity. But with one false step, it’s easy to cross the invisible and ever-shifting boundary between “sexy” and “slutty.” If she is perceived as “too” sexy, if she calls too much attention to her sexiness, if she lacks the sprezzatura that is compulsory to pull off the sexy-but-not-slutty performance; she faces a real risk of becoming labeled. 

In fashion that’s all we see. Women advertising a shirt but not wearing any pants, Women advertising a sweater and she has nothing underneath that sweater. I’ve seen girls walking down the street in a revealing top and mini shirt, that if she bent over you’d see it all, so does that make her a slut? I’ve been known to wear low cut tops but not because I was trying to show more skin but because I liked the top on me. 

The reality is that clothing has a communicative power and is therefore a language of sorts. Just as our words are not beyond criticism, neither are our clothes. Speaking freely, without regard for those around us, without considering how our words might affect those that hear them is both ill-advised and inconsiderate. So too is dressing in such a manner. I would never tell someone how to dress.  But I also wouldn’t tell her that how she dresses doesn’t matter, because that is simply bad advice.

body imageX feminismX slut shamingX Heterosexual femininityX Feminin proformanceX communicative clothing

Feminists protest

In high school I would hear about girl’s that were considered sluts. It wasn’t because of people were hearing that these girl’s slept around, it was because of what they were wearing. They would come to school in tops where you could see right through. They were called sluts because of  what they were wearing and not for any other reason.  Myself being a mom, I feel the need to dress as a “mom”. The fashion industry has made me feel that mothers need to dress a certain way. That wearing a low cut top isn’t acceptable for taking my son out to the park or even wearing a summer dress thats not past my knees – even in the summer heat!

Having a child has changed my wardrobe. I don’t wear clothes that look like I’m headed for a night out at a club, but why does it matter if I want to? If I wanna go out and feel sexy how does what I wear make me into a slut? What I’ve realized is that people will have their opinions no matter how incorrect or misinformed it may be. So I’ve learned to not take peoples opinion about myself to heart. It’s such an amazing feeling. It’s about loving who you are, owning who you are and knowing that it’s OK to live your life how you want to live it and express oneself through fashion. 

Related articles

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.