Women’s sexuality has always been under a microscope. How a woman is perceived sexually can ultimately define her before she has a chance to define herself. Society and it’s unbalanced gender roles persecute women every day. The term slut shaming is so refreshing because they’re the perfect words to call attention to sexist beliefs.
Slut shaming is real, and I recently had to advise my teenage daughter of ways to protect herself from being affected by it. I warned her to watch how she interacts with boys at school because no matter what happened it’s always his word against yours. Slut shaming isn’t just the act of criticizing a woman for her real sexual acts. It’s judgment about presumed sexual activity, based on a woman’s behavior.
There is no magical number of sexual interactions that keep someone from deeming a woman slutty. Anytime a woman’s sexuality steps outside the boundaries of any random onlooker she can now be labeled as a slut.
Recently what has appalled me is how damned women and their sexuality is. Celebrities, Ciara and Megan Good, admitted to practicing celibacy and were subsequently mocked. I recently read an article on hellobeautiful.com titled, Unpopular Opinion: I’m Not Buying This Abstinent Ish, Ciara & Russell Wilson Should Just Have Sex. After reading the article, I thought this isn’t slut shaming this is good girl defaming.
From my feminist standpoint, sexual freedom for women is to be able to operate sexually without judgment. If you aren’t free to have sex on your terms then what is the point? If sex is a package deal with a committed relationship what is wrong with waiting? Women are subject to be ostracized whether we do or do not have sex, so we’re damned if we do and damned if we don’t. Why can’t a woman’s right to own her sexuality be supported?
I wanted to look at the issue of slut shaming and good girl defaming from both ends of the spectrum. I wrote a post almost a year ago about, Keeping My Cookie In the Jar, I expressed my views on casual sex when you are seeking to be in a long term relationship. I noticed that people were being made uncomfortable by that fact that I was willing to sacrifice casual sex. When I was more active, I would get a high five for spilling the juicy details of a late night rendezvous, but the notion of going without sex seemed preposterous.
I didn’t acknowledge my part in slut shaming until someone else called it to my attention. I was upset about memes that were being shared on social media that put down women. Initially, all the memes seemed like they were in good fun but eventually, I noticed men were using memes to attack women and disguising it as a joke. When I expressed how I felt about it to friend she let me know that I had said similar things. From that moment I started to pay attention to how I labeled women because I was making hurtful comments based on superficial appearances of women, that I barely knew. It’s not fair of me to demand men to respect women when I am not exhibiting the highest level of respect to my fellow woman.
Amber Rose was recently interviewed on It’s Not You, It’s Men where she discussed sexual consent. Amber stated that she is sexually assaulted all the time. The co-host of the show, Tyrese, tried to reduce her experiences by saying her energy is inviting people to grope and touch her. I understood why he said what he said but in his response he was wrong. Society has always viewed women as property, and the misconception about women being property is that we are public property and not private. Women are the only property that can be mishandled based on appearance.
If a Lamborghini is sitting in a parking lot with the keys in the ignition, you can’t steal it. If the owner of the vehicle caught you mishandling their property, you would not be able to give the excuse that you felt the cars energy, and it was asking for you to steal it. You wouldn’t be able to drive a car that you don’t own without the owners consent. A man trying to minimize sexual consent to a misunderstanding is just as ridiculous as a thief explaining why they stole a car.
I also read The Wait, written by Devon Franklin and Megan Good. I read it with the hope of the story being told from both of their perspectives. The book is mainly written by Devon and has insight from Megan in each chapter. The principals outlined in, The Wait, are Christian faith-based, so it is a religious lifestyle enhancement.
The Wait makes great contextual points that I would consider relevant aside from its religious views. What I took from Megan’s point was she was tired and that she needed a change in her life. Women changing how they view sex based on their individual outlooks is healthy. Why is the media quick to scold women for changing their sexual activity? Being the polar opposite causes you to be slut shamed. When a man decides to become a reformed playboy he is celebrated, and it is viewed as a coming of age. That same notion is not extended to women.
There is ridicule on both ends of the spectrum for women. We, as women, need to give each other room to choose. Enforce sexual freedom by acknowledging that all sexual choices are equal. No one act will make you any less of a woman. You can change the way you exhibit your sexuality at any time for any reason. There is power and boldness to making the choice for yourself.
I stopped slut shaming because it is not an effect way of expressing how I feel about another woman’s actions. There is no perfect mathematical ratio of sex that keeps you from being a hoe. To change the perspective of women’s sexuality, women have to extend grace to each other and call attention to sexually bias standards. I think good girl defaming is coming from a place of fear in an over sexualized society. It is more than clear that searching for a man in an hypersexualized atmosphere is increasingly difficult. If women are merging spirituality and sexuality to attain life balance it is just as logical as any other healthy lifestyle adjustment. If abstinence and sexual activity are neutralized it evens the playing field for real sexual freedom among women.
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