“Slut shaming” leaves women attacking other women

There seems to be a new phrase buzzing around the internet these days. It’s called slut shaming. Of course, the term slut shaming is not that new, it was used when people blamed rape on women for wearing skimpy clothes. Now I see the phrase being used for a different reason: Slut shaming is when women look at other women and say “how dare they be stripper/not wear many clothes, they’re representing women in a poor light”, etc. Women’s rights have come a long way, we’re now seen as (mostly) equal in society and we have the right to do as we please. But how far should we take that? Should we be involved in things we feel liberate us yet keep females in sex object category? More pressingly, do  women have the right to tell other women what to do?

Women tend to dress for other women and not for men, so I’m told. Women compete with each and want to look the best, it’s part of nature. On a standard night out we’ll see many women with shorter and shorter dresses, is this what feminists fought for? It’s an important question but a very difficult one to answer. On one hand, feminism has swung to an extreme – women feel powerful that they can do what they want, even if that’s sell their body for money or dress as scantily clad as possible. Is this a bad thing? Or is it about being equal in society. No one bats an eyelid at men walking around shirtless during the summer and men aren’t often frowned on for sleeping around, so surely women should be able to do the same.

Alas, women dressing in such ways make other women claim that females are making themselves seen as sex objects and so women in general will never be taken seriously. What we need to realise is this is not a woman’s problem. It’s a man’s problem. If men cannot see past even the tiniest bit of cleavage then women will never be taken seriously. In nature, the male of the species is often the pretty one, the brightly coloured one who goes out of their way to attract a female. I believe it’s the other way around for us. Women are made to attract men (visually, at least) and there’s no real way of getting around that. Women shouldn’t be punished for this. Even if a woman was covered up completely I’m sure men would be attracted out of mere curiosity. I had a personal experience of this when I was on holiday, I wore a long summer dress, not very revealing at all, and a man thought it was okay to come up behind me and lift the back of my dress right up. Disgusting behaviour I’m sure you’ll agree but it shows you don’t have to dress like a “slut” to get horrible attention like that.

In my personal opinion, I don’t agree with women who do go out dressed in very revealing clothes, it’s not classy and it often shows that you are not happy with your appearance so you need to get attention through what you wear. However, if a woman wants to burlesque dance because she’s confident with herself and feels empowered, other women shouldn’t be against that. We should be supporting confident women because being shallow and ashamed with your appearance leads to all sorts of mental issues, especially in teenage girls.

But there’s a war going on on the internet – those who say women should do what they want (sleep around, wear what they want, etc) and those who defend the dignity of women with such passion. You know what, both those points of views are fine and women need to stop fighting over it. I would never flash my cleavage at a man just to sell a product or get up in the world, if other women want to do that it’s got nothing to with me. If women want to cover themselves up completely because they feel protected – again, it’s got nothing to do with me so carry on. Everyone’s different so you can’t tell other people what to do.

I think people are still in shock – women have changed a lot over such a short period of time. It’s now considered “normal” to see an everyday girl topless in a magazine, fifty years ago everyday women were very modest. Perhaps we are still too prude – is being naked all that bad? But then there’s a different feeling when we look at female models naked (people of prestige or we do not know) to when we look at everyday normal girls with their kit off. It seems wrong somehow even though models are people too. Maybe some women are jealous – I know I suffer from that massively from time to time but then I’m pretty sure no one’s jealous of the fake-tanned Oceana goers…Either way, there’s not much point in slut shaming when things will probably never change – women will always be sex objects, not because of us but because of society and men.

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2 thoughts on ““Slut shaming” leaves women attacking other women

  1. I think it all comes down to respect.

    Like you said, if a woman wants to dress in barely there clothing, then by all means, it’s her right to, and obviously the same thing goes for women who choose not to show off the most part of their bodies – as long as they are comfortable, are doing it for the right reasons and understand that anyone else’s opinion does not take credence over their own, then society will no longer see ‘sluts’ and ‘prudes’ and instead will just see women.

  2. This issue is so complex I don’t think any one will ever really understand it. Fundamentalist Muslims will claim covering women from head to toe is the only way to show respect, only a woman’s husband should see her. I think that leads to misogyny, like Osama Bin Laden (my spouse worked with nurses who treated him for kidney disease and apparently he had only contempt for women) but there are misogynists every where I suppose. But if we all went naked to swim, pool, beach etc attractive would still be attractive, not so hot would still be not so hot (for both genders) but would men still think of women as sex objects, or might that pass with puberty? Should a man be aroused with the woman he’s with because she’s “hot” or because he desires her? Should he desire her for her looks or her personality? If we had all seen our neighbours naked at all ages since we were born, how could it be a big deal? People would be people, “warts and all” as the saying goes. Naked, clothed, who’d care?

    Anyhow, that’s my take on it.

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