First and foremost, virginity is not a commodity and when viewed as such a woman’s sexuality becomes something to protect and own. A woman’s vagina is not what gives her value, and masculinity is not defined by sexual conquests. Policing a woman’s behavior and attire is an attempt to subdue women. It encourages male aggression and conquest while promoting rape culture, in addition to being a facet of father/daughter rape.
Shaming a woman for her attire is dehumanizing. Slut-shaming makes implications about a woman’s sexuality and worth based on how she chooses to express her sense of style. Women don’t get dressed for you. Slut-shaming projects what you believe a woman is thinking or intending by her attire and stems from a person’s sense of entitlement to a woman’s body, patriarchal beliefs, jealousy, and/or one’s own insecurities. A woman’s body is her business. Not yours.
By whose definition do we determine: promiscuity, modesty, and lady-like behavior? And why does this only apply to women? (Hint: See #1.).
Male exploration of sexuality is fostered, lauded, expected, and rewarded in our society while the same behavior is stigmatized in women. This is sexist. Further, it underscores the notion that women are inferior beings, stripping them of the right to explore and express their own sexuality. Men and women are sexual beings. Body parts aren’t evil or shameful and neither is sex.
The image women are meant to maintain is an impossible joke. Women are expected to be pure and chaste while at the same time being sexual and available.
Slut-shaming is based on the antiquated belief that sex is for procreation only and that only men enjoy sex. These notions promote male privilege and entitlement. Sex is for fun as well as intimacy and women enjoy it as much as men. Men are not expected to get married and make babies nor is their worth defined by purity. We don’t demand that men be aesthetically pleasing at all times (you look better when you smile). Not all women are nurturers and not all women want to be mothers. Women are not decoration nor are they baby factories or scabbards. Women are not sexual conquests. Stop assigning gender labels and roles. Just stop.
Slut-shaming can have damaging psychological effects on women and especially teens. We should all strive to encourage positive self-image rather than dehumanizing others and destroying confidence based on outdated notions of morals, our own insecurities or perversions, and the idea of virgin commodity.
Does the thought of a woman owning and enjoying her own sexuality repulse you? If it does, you shouldn’t be having sex. Period.