THE SANTA CLARA
April 14, 2016
With all of the progress made for gender equality, you would think women would be allowed to express their sexuality as much as men can without being slut-shamed.
Slut-shaming can be defined as the act of criticizing and judging women for their assumed or actual sexual promiscuity. Regardless of your opinion on a woman’s actions, slut-shaming is never necessary and should not occur.
Most of the time women act just as promiscuous as men, yet their actions are scrutinized to an extreme.
Gender constructions cast women in a negative light with regards to sex and relationships.
A woman who chooses to display her confidence by wearing certain clothes or posting pictures of herself on social media is often labeled as slutty.
Men can choose to be as sexually expressive as they wish, while women can’t express themselves because they are slut-shamed into silence.
As long as consent is given, people can choose to engage in whatever sexual activity they please. What people do in the privacy of their own home is no one’s business, but their own.
In a college atmosphere, men are praised for the number of sexual partners they have and women are shamed for the exact same thing. Undoubtedly, slurs about “slutty” girls and “womanizer” guys hold different connotations.
However, these slurs are often overlooked and mindlessly thrown around.
For a moment, forget about the way males treat females or vice versa, and instead focus your attention on how women are treating other women.
In such a heterocentric world, we are quick to blame guys for slut-shaming, when we need to understand that women often slut-shame each other.
Whether it’s a result of personal beliefs, insecurity or jealousy, calling someone a slut is unacceptable. Personal boundaries and preferences are unique to each individual.
Some women choose to be more sexually expressive than others and I hope we can celebrate our personal choices rather than dismiss or judge them. Degrading each other only pushes women further apart, when—even if you cringe at the cliché—we should be sticking together.
I don’t expect every woman to gather peacefully in a circle, holding hands and sharing compliments with each other, but I do expect a little more camaraderie.
Words can be emotionally scaring, so it pays to check what is about to slip off your tongue before you speak.
How we represent ourselves to the world is powerful. Different identities keep society forward thinking.
We don’t have to agree with everything the person next to us does, we just have to respect it.
Some people cringe at Kim Kardashian’s nude instagram posts. So, unfollow her. I understand that not all people are comfortable with or condone nudity. But if posting a photo empowers a woman, let her do it. Contrarily, if covering up also empowers a woman, then let her wear whatever she pleases.
There are countless ways for women to gain respect in society, and while I agree that women should not have to gain respect and should simply be respected from the start, this is sadly not a reality.
Let us take a step towards equality by respecting each woman’s decisions judgment free.
The words silence, shame and sexuality should not find themselves so readily intertwined in conversations.
Stop handing out scarlett letters so freely, people being comfortable with themselves isn’t a sin.
Lindsey Mandell is a sophomore English and psychology major and is editor of the Opinion Section.