Slut Shaming & Double Standards.

Via on Sep 24, 2013

 

Photo: Rob Knowles on Pixoto.
Photo: Rob Knowles on Pixoto.

How do we empower women? We stop slut shaming them!

Recently, a friend of mine ended her marriage. She was married for a long time and had no kids. The marriage had just run its course and it was over. She had married her high school sweetheart and she was young and inexperienced when she got married, back when marrying a virgin was preferred.

Now she decided to explore her sexuality and have a summer of love. She went out , dated a lot and had tons of sex with different people.

My first reaction was my conditioned response from childhood:

“What a slut.”

I was mortified by my reaction.

There is nothing wrong with what she did. It has no effect on my life. It’s her life to lead as she chooses. I started to think about reaction. Why can’t a grown woman explore her sexuality, with a handful of partners, during one hot summer?

Feminist Slut Prude Skirt Length
Photo: Rosea Posey on tumblr.

What’s wrong with women asserting their sexuality as they please? Men do it all the time. It’s a personal choice.

Actually, if I really think about it, maybe I was a little jealous.

I never explored my sexuality when I was young and single. It was considered a bad thing then.

The mantra of my life, left over from my mother’s generation was: men married virgins.

When I was growing up in the 70s and 80s, there was a great debate about the reasons for sexual assault.

I remember, in my 10th grade sociology class, debating whether women deserved to be assaulted if they were wearing skimpy clothes or walking alone at night.

The boys’ reactions in my class were terrifying and predictable, but girls’ reactions were even more disappointing.

They simply accepted the “boys will be boys” mentality.

Why is it that women don’t stand up for other women?

I remember my teacher saying women should be able to walk around naked and not be assaulted—she was booed.

When I brought the topic home to discuss with my Mom, she echoed the same sentiment.

“You don’t want to go around asking for it,” she said.

The thoughts in my 15 year old brain were,

“Oh my God, I am responsible if I am sexuality assaulted. I better not get raped because my mom will blame me and not love me anymore”

It made me fearful of my own sexuality and set me up for a whole host of body image and self-esteem issues later in life. It taught me that my own sexuality was bad! God knows I didn’t want to be a slut!

Now, I think we use slut shaming and suppressing female sexuality as a way to keep women oppressed. It builds these crazy ideas around sexuality. Even our sexual assault laws indicate that we are not okay with women’s sexuality. So much blame lies with the victims of these crimes. The men who perpetrate sex crimes don’t get sufficient punishment for their actions. Their victims go on to suffer for years.

Nothing unifies people like hate.

We love to judge, discriminate and lay blame on others. No one is ever responsible for their own actions. We pass the buck whenever we can. How do we stop hating on women and victimizing them?

We stop slut-shaming them.

The most recent slut-shaming incident is the Miley Cyrus debacle. We all know what happened and she will be famous for that performance, rather than her abilities as a singer. Hannah Montana is dead! I think that was the point of her performance.

Why are we so uncomfortable with sexuality?

Why is Miley getting so much heat? She is young and felt like she had something to prove. We all do crazy things when we are young—she decided to share that with the world.

I am more disappointed that Robin Thicke, a married father, felt this was a good idea. He disrespected his wife and family by allowing this stunt to happen. Why is he not being shamed like Miley? He was equally involved in this shocking transaction.

Why is it okay to celebrate his song “Blurred Lines?” Sure groove is good, but the topless video gives the message that women are objects for male satisfaction.

Why can’t we just celebrate female sexuality? Why is it not okay for women to enjoy sex and be sexual without everyone screaming “slut!” Men have been experimenting with their sexuality with little to no repercussions. Why is there still a double standard in 2013?

I leave you with this excerpt from a letter that author Ferrett Steinmetz wrote to his daughter:

“I Hope You Have Awesome Sex,” he says.

“Consensual sex isn’t something that men take from you; it’s something you give. It doesn’t lessen you to give someone else pleasure. It doesn’t degrade you to have some of your own. And anyone who implies otherwise is a man who probably thinks very poorly of women underneath the surface.”

This statement makes me think we have all been conditioned to think poorly of women.

How do we empower women?

We teach them it’s okay to celebrate who you are! If you truly love women and want to empower them, stop using their sexuality against them. We can all make mistakes and get messy; that’s what life is all about. We need to celebrate all parts of it.

 

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Ed: Cat Beekmans

About Dianne Bondy

Dianne is an E-RYT 500 with Yoga Alliance, the founder of Yogasteya.com, loves to celebrate yoga and diversity and is a contribuing author for Yoga and Body Image: A New anthology. She is a columnist for the Elephant Journal, love public speaking, runs yoga retreats, trains yoga teachers, has a devoted husband, two small boys and not enough sleep. Dianne is big, black, bold and loves all things yoga. Try to keep up with Dianne on Facebook, Twitter, and DianneBondyYoga.com or download one of her FREE podcast on iTunes

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One Response to “Slut Shaming & Double Standards.”

  1. vivies says:

    I was recently told I am a dirty old woman for expressing my appreciation of the male human body…..by my sister no less…..I agree with you…why do we shame people for their sexuality……be they male or female……gay or hetero or whatever turns you on. I grew up in the 70´s believing ¨men marry virgins¨ but I did manage to experiment a lot with my sexuality, despite what other people thought of me. Now in my late 50"s I would like to experiment a mature sexuality, but alas men my age come either with health problems or they want ladies with pert boobies, specially so in Latin America where I am at the moment. The prospects are……. what can I say. Thank you for a straight forward article.

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