Stop the Slut Shaming Already!

Women protesting

Few words irk me more than “slut.” It’s incredibly rude (and totally lazy) to use a crud word to police what a person does with her body. Sadly, though, slut shaming has already crept its way into America, and it’s being used to describe nearly everything a woman, or girl, does, says, or wears.

Unfortunately, grown ladies, such as myself, have probably experienced a few instances of slut shaming through our lives. Just recently, I was told that I looked “a little slutty” because I chose to wear platform sandals and a tank top on a late-spring night out. The horror!

Now, while I can take the comments and the sneering because I’m A) sadly, used to it, and B) an adult with a pretty decent self image, it troubles me that young women are having to deal with being called sluts more, and more often.

In the past few months, there have been more than a few instances where high schools have shamed young women into not wearing certain types of clothing because the young women’s attire could, potentially, distract young men. Come on.

Here are just a few examples of some of the weird lengths some schools have gone to, to censor female students’ attire:

  • It was recently reported that administrators at Wasatch High School in Utah decided to Photoshop some female students’ bare shoulders in the yearbook. According to XOJane, the school claimed that the students were dressed inappropriately.
  • According to ThinkProgress and Bust, a Minnesota high school’s principal sent an email to parents in which he asked moms and dads to discourage their daughters from wearing clothing, such as leggings, yoga pants and tight pants, that could be “highly distracting” to other students.

While schools are allowed to monitor what students’ wear, this obsessive form of body and clothing policing isn’t helpful to anyone, and it puts all the blame on the girl.

While the above examples may seem a bit trivial, they are not. This type of policing plays into a culture that teaches students that it’s a woman’s fault if she gets harassed. It’s that whole, she-was-asking-for-it, rape-culture problem that has reared its ugly head in American culture in recent years.

So, I beg of everyone – can we stop with the slut shaming already? Let’s just respect everyone’s bodies and get on with it.

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Resources

“25 Everyday Examples of Rape Culture,” EverydayFeminism

Image: David Shankbone

Abbie Stutzer

Writer, editor, and owner of Ginchy! Adores smart sex ed, sustainable ag, spooky history, women's health, feminism, horror, wine, and sci-fi.