Why Slut Shaming Needs to Stop

Definition of the word slut—a woman who has many casual sexual partners. Yes, you read that correctly. A woman. Of all the words ladies get to call their own, it’s this lovely gem. Of course, it shouldn’t come as such a surprise that there’s a derogatory word specific to just women who enjoy sex with different people. Keep in mind, this is a world where women are blamed for their own rape and are strangled to death by their brothers for posting provocative selfies online.

Nonetheless, using this kind of language to put women down and shame them into fitting some prehistoric, biblical mold is not acceptable. For one thing, there are an astonishing 8,000 nerve endings in the clitoris (the only organ which sole purpose is for sexual pleasure) versus only half as much at 4,000 on the tip of a penis. So technically, sex is even more pleasurable for women than men, yet it’s frowned upon for women to enjoy the act.

Despite it being completely natural, this one pesky, little word continues to stand in the way of women’s sexuality everywhere. Calling women of any age hurtful names and judging their most of actions is not okay on any level. To put it simply, it’s no one else’s business what an adult, consenting woman chooses to do in the privacy of her bedroom (or anywhere else she chooses for that matter.)

Besides being cruel and detrimental to women’s self-esteem, slut-shaming contributes to the oppression of women. Young high school girls are sent home from school for wearing clothes that will “distract the boys.” This not only implies young girls’ educations are not worth as much as those of boys, but it also blatantly sexualizes women from a very young age. It teaches them that their bodies are things to be ashamed of and should be hidden—that they’re nothing more than something for hormonal young boys to ogle.

But after instilling such backwards ideas in the fragile, young minds of girls, society then proceeds to shame them for using the very bodies they made sexual objects in the first place.

Yes, being a young woman in this day and age is no easy feat. Instead of being so quick to pass judgement, critics need to relax and realize that it’s the twenty-first century now—women have minds of their own and are totally capable of deciding what to do with their bodies. As long as it’s safe, women having and enjoying sex isn’t hurting anyone. Sex isn’t melting the polar ice caps. Getting it on isn’t widening the hole in the ozone layer. Banging doesn’t cause famines. Fornication isn’t leading to the extinction of beautiful wildlife.

So, what’s the big deal? Why do so many people feel a need to get involved? I can understand some folks may still harbor some old school ways of thinking, and such negative notions of promiscuity were intended to protect young women back in the day. But things aren’t like that anymore—a woman’s virginity does not equal her honor or value.

Sex is one of the most natural things humans can do, both men and women, whether it’s with one person or 100. Having multiple partners is just another way to explore your sexuality and figure out what does it for you in the bedroom. There’s no shame in that. So let’s everyone quit it with the slut-shaming.

This single, flour-letter word yields the power to make women feel ashamed of their biological urges. It limits females’ social lives and dictates their attire. It gives judgmental people the ability to label and group women in a critical manner. Because everyone, even women, allow it. Part of what needs to happen in order for slut shaming to come to a screeching halt is un-arming this loaded “S” word. Yes, it’s an ugly, offensive word and most women wouldn’t appreciate it being used to describe them. But it doesn’t have to be. “Slut” doesn’t have to be such a deep cutting word. All it references are women who simply choose to partake in sexual acts with multiple partners. It should be something to be embraced. No stigma. No negativity.

Another important step would be for women everywhere to stop using the word against other women. Women calling other women sluts in a derogatory fashion is the worst kind of slut shaming there is. It may not seem like that big of a deal, but such harsh judgement of a woman coming from another only makes it even easier for everyone else to do it, too. Instead of hopping on the bandwagon and throwing the filthy word around so freely over skimpy clothes and one night stands, women need to band together and take a stand against this incredibly outdated double standard. This ridiculous word and what it has come to mean only has as much power as women choose to give it.

Don’t give everyone else the right to degrade women with a stupid label by using it. Don’t be the girl to stare and gossip about that other girl who got laid last night. Be the girl to go over and give her a high five instead. Celebrate your body. Celebrate your sexuality. Celebrate yourself and your freedom to do as you please. Celebrate womanhood with fellow women. There’s no shame in sex and shame on those who say otherwise.

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