The Significance Behind Slut Shaming

In today’s university climate, labels such as “slut” and “hoe” are not uncommon; used frequently by both male and female students. However, when we use such words, whether to be funny or derogatory, they still carry with them subtle yet significant connotations. This article aims to delve into those connotations. Many people have already stumbled onto the “Why am I a slut if sleep around, but he’s a player?” argument, and intriguing as that it is, lets venture a step deeper. First, what makes someone a slut? For you it could be sleeping with more than a certain number of people, for others it could be dating multiple people at once, and for some it could be walking into the inner city library in red stilettos (really, why though?). Despite the spectrum of possibilities, the core of the word essentially reduces a woman to her sexual prowess; her handicap in repressing her role as the ‘temptress’. The female being synonymous with the ‘temptress’ has been perpetuated and propagated throughout history; from Adam and Eve, to the Sirens in Greek mythology, to the Victorian image of the respectable woman, and today in almost every single society; Western or otherwise. So, what is it exactly that makes the matter of female sexuality and female desire so typically androcentric?

Women have always been perceived as having more control over their passion than males, and thus have been attributed an innate responsibility to not lead men astray. Women who succeed in this are deemed ‘respectful’, ‘pure’, and ‘virtuous’, whereas women who do not, are seen as ‘used’, ‘immoral’, and ‘unworthy’ of more than physical attraction. People will sleep with the hoe, but no one wants to date the ‘slut’, no one wants to go back home and introduce a ‘slut’ to their mothers, no one wants the mother of their children to bear kids as well as that label. This directly links to the discourse of self-respect, and more essentially a female’s alleged ability to ‘suppress’ her sexual appetite. Collectively, and in today’s times perhaps more subtly, society perceives the sexually active woman, or, the overtly sexually active woman as one who has ‘lost her way’ or has suffered a loss of dignity to the point of daring to be proud of her sexual exploits.

Although this discussion may register with some as just another person looking too far into things, the text has a significant message behind it; a woman goes further than her body and deeper than her pussy.

Aincre Evans