THE SLUT SHAMING TRAP

CAN WE STOP FEELING ASHAMED OF OUR SEXUAL PAST?

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Slut shaming is very common in our society. The “worth” of a woman, still gets measured in the number of people she has slept with. This mostly happens in cis, heterosexual relationships, where cis men shame cis women – but it’s also very common between women. And even if we know it’s wrong, we still have a hard time not falling into the slut shaming trap. By this I mean it’s hard for us to not feel bad about our sexual past if people shame us for it, even though we know we shouldn’t.

WHY? Because we have been taught, that as a woman, it is wrong to be a sexual being, that’s it’s wrong to sleep with the number of people you want to, that it is wrong to have casual sex. 

 We feel guilty about our sexual past, even if our counterpart might have had sex with ten times more people, simply because we have a vagina and it is expected from us to be innocent and pure. The tale of the man being a ladies man, a man who prides themselves with the number of women he has slept with, in contrast to the slut, who gets shamed for the exact same thing is a very old one. They call women’s vaginas worn out, because of the men she has slept with.

Newsflash: It doesn’t matter if the vagina gets penetrated by different men or the same one for 50 times, it’s the same thing.

Also: We can push a human being out of there, so you’re penises are not exactly able to damage or wear anything out in there.

Dismantling the concept of slut shaming is something we can only do for ourselves. And for other women. Like mentioned before, also women shame women. Hearing women call other women sluts, or saying they have been “around the block” hurts, because they are actively contributing to the stigma, even if it hurts themselves. I’ve once watched a Beyoncé documentary, I think it was the one from her Beyoncé album. And don’t get me wrong, I am the biggest fan and for me she can practically do no wrong, but in that documentary she said something, and the way she did felt wrong, it made me cringe. She said that she has always been “very, very choosey” about who she gives herself to and she said it with a kind of superior laugh, a laugh that implicated that it made her worship herself more, than women who are not the same. I know she has to be choosey, because well, she’s Queen B, but still – felt disappointed. It is exactly this type of tone, that makes women constantly feel bad about themselves, that makes them afraid to be open about the number of sexual partners they’ve had in their lives. And when it comes from a woman, it’s even worse.

So how can we help ourselves? First of all, realize, that you are allowed to enjoy sex and that there is no shame in it (no matter if it’s 5 or 50).

Choose a partner, who does not make you feel guilty, but who respects and supports you.

Speak up about the subjects and educate the people around you. Call out slut shamers (male or female). Celebrate your womanhood. If you’re on a first date with someone and feel like sleeping with them, don’t let the little voices in your head shame you! There is absolutely nothing wrong with it, if the other person treats you differently because of it, they are wrong. Don’t let people tell you, that a certain number is right and a certain number is wrong. Be open about your sexual preferences, without being afraid that the other person might find them weird.

In order to dismantle slut shaming, we have to start with ourselves. Don’t let the little voices in your head get to you. You and only you decide what you do with your body. There is no right or wrong. And if anyone tries to tell you otherwise, let them go.

 
 

by Jana