Slut-shaming | Wikipedia audio article


Slut-shaming is the practice of criticizing
people, especially women and girls, who are perceived to violate expectations of behavior
and appearance regarding issues related to sexuality. The term is used to reclaim the word slut
and empower women and girls to have agency over their own sexuality. It may also be used in reference to gay men,
who may face disapproval for sexual behaviors considered promiscuous. Slut-shaming rarely happens to heterosexual
men.Examples of slut-shaming include being criticized or punished for violating dress
code policies by dressing in perceived sexually provocative ways, requesting access to birth
control, having premarital, casual, or promiscuous sex, engaging in prostitution, or when being
victim blamed for being raped or otherwise sexually assaulted.==Definitions and characteristics==
Slut-shaming involves criticizing women for their transgression of accepted codes of sexual
conduct, i.e., admonishing them for behavior, attire or desires that are more sexual than
society finds acceptable. Author Jessalynn Keller stated, “The phrase
[slut-shaming] became popularized alongside the SlutWalk marches and functions similarly
to the ‘War on Women,’ producing affective connections while additionally working to
reclaim the word ‘slut’ as a source of power and agency for girls and women.”Slut-shaming
is used by men and women. Slut-shaming functions among girls and women
as a way of sublimating sexual jealousy “into a socially acceptable form of social critique
of girls’ or women’s sexual expression.” The term is also used to describe victim blaming
for rape and other sexual assault. This is done by stating the crime was caused
(either in part or in full) by the woman wearing revealing clothing or acting in a sexually
provocative manner, before refusing consent to sex, thereby absolving the perpetrator
of guilt. Sexually lenient individuals can be at risk
of social isolation.The action of slut-shaming can be considered to be a form of social punishment
and is an aspect of sexism. The social movement falls into the category
of feminism. This raises controversy because gender roles
do have a significant role in the social movement. The topic of slut-shaming sheds light on the
social issues that are associated with the double standard. This is because slut-shaming is usually toward
girls and women, and boys and men usually do not get slut-shamed. Slut-shaming is common in America because
it is such a high-context culture. Being in a high-context culture, it is easier
to be victim blamed. Slut-shaming is strongly associated with victim-blaming.Researchers
from Cornell University found that sentiments similar to slut-shaming appeared in nonsexual,
same-sex friendship context as well. The researchers had college women read a vignette
describing an imaginary female peer, “Joan”, then rate their feelings about her personality. To one group of women, Joan was described
as having two lifetime sexual partners; to another group, she had had 20 partners. The study found that women—even women who
were more promiscuous themselves—rated the Joan with 20 partners as “less competent,
emotionally stable, warm, and dominant than the Joan who’d only boasted two”.==Society and culture=====History===
There is no documented date of origin for the term slut-shaming; nor the act of it. Rather, although the act of slut-shaming has
existed for centuries, discussion of it has grown out of social and cultural relations
and the trespassing of boundaries of what is considered normative and acceptable behavior. Second wave of feminism contributed significantly
to the definition and act of slut-shaming. Tracing back to the Industrial Revolution
and the second World War, men’s gender roles were that of the breadwinner. Men made up a majority of the labor force
while women were socialized and taught to embrace the cult of domesticity and homemaking. Author Emily Poole argues that the sexual
revolution of the 1960s and 1970s increased the rate of both birth control use, as well
as rates of premarital sex.===Modern society===
Slut-shaming is prevalent on social media platforms, including the most commonly used:
YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Slut-shaming has occurred on Facebook in controversial
exchanges between users that have resulted in convictions to menace, harass and cause
offense.It has been reported by The Pew Research Center that the most common targets of harassment
on the Internet are often young women. Citing that 50% of young female respondents
have been called offensive names and or shamed online. In particular, those who were 18 to 24 years
of age experienced varying amounts of severe harassment at astoundingly high rates. Women who have been stalked online were at
26%, while the targets of online sexual harassment were at 25%.In the Women Studies International
Forum, researcher Jessica Megarry argues that harassment conveyed in a case study of #mencallmethings
hashtag found that it was a form of online sexual assault, on specifically Twitter. In this hashtag, women would collectively
tweet examples of harassment they have received from men. This kind of harassment included anything
from insults related to appearance, name calling, even rape, death threats, i.e., “slut shaming.”One
example of a character in literature has been described as being a recipient of ‘slut-shaming’
is the character Lily Bart in Edith Wharton’s House of Mirth.====Media====The SlutWalk protest march had its origins
in Toronto in response to an incident when a Toronto Police officer told a group of students
that they could avoid sexual assault by not dressing like “‘sluts'”. Amber Rose’s second annual walk in Los Angeles
in 2016 had “several hundred” participants. A similar event occurred in Washington DC
in 2014.The Slut Walk movement has embraced the slut-shame label and has engaged in an
act of resignification. Ringrose et al. call the Slut Walk a “collective
movement” where the focus goes back to the perpetrator and no longer rests on the victim. This act of resignification comes from the
work of feminist scholar Judith Butler. In her 1997 work, she argued that labels do
not just name and marginalize individuals to particular categories but language also
open up an opportunity for resistance.Krystal Ball characterized the comments of Rush Limbaugh
during the Rush Limbaugh–Sandra Fluke controversy as follows: “If you are a woman who stands
up for your rights, you are a slut and your parents should be ashamed of you and we should
all have the right to view your sex tapes online. This type of despicable behavior is part and
parcel of a time-worn tradition of Slut-Shaming. When women step out line [sic], they are demeaned
and degraded into silence. If you say Herman Cain sexually harassed you,
you are a slut. If you say Supreme Court Justice Clarence
Thomas sexually harassed you, you are a slut.”Slut-shaming has been used as a form of bullying on social
media, with some people using revenge pornography tactics to spread intimate photos without
consent. In 2012, a California teenager, Audrie Pott,
was sexually assaulted by three boys at a party. She committed suicide eight days after photos
of her being assaulted were distributed among her peer group.James Miller, editor-in-chief,
for the Ludwig von Mises Institute of Canada wrote a controversial article defending slut
shaming. The article was later taken down, but still
received criticism from some libertarians, such as Gina Luttrell of Thoughts on Liberty,
an all-female libertarian blog.Comedians Krystyna Hutchinson and Corinne Fischer of Sorry About
Last Night host a podcast entitled “Guys We F****d, The Anti-slut shaming podcast”. This podcast has over 200,000 listeners on
each episode that is on SoundCloud. iTunes originally did not make the podcast
available and “…would not comment on whether the show is subject to an official ban,” but
has since been made available on iTunes. The podcast exists to de-stigmatize discussing
sex so that slut-shaming becomes less of an issue, Hutchinson explains in an interview
with The Huffington Post: “We want to make people feel more comfortable in their own
skin. We just got a message from a girl from New
Delhi, India, about how she loves the podcast because it makes her feel like it’s OK to
be comfortable with your sexuality and enjoy sex. And that made me so happy.”==Activism==
Activism against slut-shaming takes place worldwide. Participants have covered their bodies in
messages reading “Don’t Tell Me How to Dress” and “I am not a slut but I like having consensual
sex” and march under a giant banner with the word slut on it. Activism has occurred in Vancouver, New York
City, Rio, Jerusalem, Hong Kong and others.In 2008, hundreds of South African women protested
the local taxi rank wearing miniskirts and t-shirts that read, “Pissed-Off Women” after
a taxi driver and multiple hawkers confronted a young girl about wearing a short denim miniskirt
and penetrated her with their fingers, calling her “slut” repeatedly. Protesters wanted to make their message clear;
they wanted men to stop harassing women no matter how short their skirts were and that
no matter how short it may be, it is never an invitation.After the gang rape of an unconscious
16-year-old girl in Steubenville, Ohio, August 2012, football players spread videos of the
assault to other classmates whom some of which posted the videos to Twitter and Instagram. The pictures and video were later removed
by authorities, however that did not stop people from hash-tagging “Whore status” or
“I have no sympathy for whores” in their tweets. Members of the collective Anonymous reported
names of the rapists and classmates who spread the footage to local authorities. They took to the streets and Internet requesting
help from the community to bring justice to the Jane Doe who was raped.Members of The
Arts Effect All-Girl Theater Company have developed a play, Slut: The Play, in which
they address the damaging impact of slut-shaming and slut culture. The creators note that their play “is a call
to action – a reminder” that slut-shaming is happening every day, almost everywhere. Slut is inspired by real-life experiences
of 14- to 17-year-old girls from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania. The play was shown at the 2013 New York Fringe
Festival.In her statement on the production, and of slut-shaming in general, author of
Slut! Growing Up Female with a Bad Reputation, Leora
Tanenbaum writes: A teenage girl today is caught in an impossible
situation. She has to project a sexy image and embrace,
to some extent, a ‘slutty’ identity. Otherwise, she risks being mocked as an irrelevant
prude. But if her peers decide she has crossed an
invisible, constantly shifting boundary and has become too ‘slutty,’ she loses all credibility. Even if she was coerced into sex, her identity
and reputation are taken from her. Indeed, the power to tell her own story is
wrested from her. The Arts Effect’s SLUT written by Katie Cappiello
vividly represents this irrational, harmful, terrible circumstance…This play is the most
powerful and authentic representation of the sexual double standard I have ever seen. After experiencing slut-shaming firsthand,
Olivia Melville, Paloma Brierly Newton and approximately a dozen other Australian women
founded the organization, Sexual Violence Won’t Be Silenced, on August 25, 2015. The association seeks to raise awareness of
cyber-bullying and online sexual violence. The founders also launched a petition to the
Australian government, requesting that they better train and educate law enforcement officers
on how to prevent and punish violent harassment on social media.==Among gay and bisexual men==
Gay and bisexual men are also victimized for slut-shaming because of their sexual activity. There has been research supporting that LGBT
students were more likely to be bullied and called sluts than heterosexual students. Researchers discussed how these negative experiences
of victimization by peers, friends and strangers can lead to “physical harm, social shaming,
and loss of friendships.” Unlike heterosexual people, LGBT people are
more likely to learn about safe sex practices from friends. The group most highly at risk of HIV infection
is young gay and bisexual men. Most of the education that young gay and bisexual
men receive about safe sex practices is learned from friends, the Internet, hearsay or trial
and error.Criticism of non-heterosexual men’s sexual activity can either be said in a humorous
context or not. Judgementalism happens when someone mentions
gay men’s sexual risk behavior or that they have multiple sex partners. This implies that their behavior is “slutty”
and dirty.A lot of slut-shaming occurs when non-heterosexual men are in public environments;
they may be street-harassed for their sexual orientation. Street harassment includes cat-calling, victim
blaming, and slut shaming. Judgmentalism is not a pejorative word compared
to women, and slut-shaming may have a positive connotation with men depending on context
and relationship.==See also==
Honor killing Madonna–whore complex
Post-assault treatment of sexual assault victims Sexual bullying
Victim blaming

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *