Slut-ShaminG

“The power of men to decide what the world is going to look like, what counts and what doesn’t, hasn’t really been terribly disrupted in a generation,” ~Kimberlé Crenshaw

A woman is half a person. A woman’s story and experience will never be believed until the people hear it from the man’s point of view. A woman is half a person because when she narrates her experiences to the world, she is insulted, ridiculed and her story has no weight unless a man comes into the picture to solidify her story and emphasize on its authenticity. I know the power of a man’s word and what it is capable of doing. It can damage and it can restore.

Slut-shaming is a pretty effective tool when it comes to damaging women’s credibility and their image, the act of slut-shaming and ridicule is only hung over the necks of women thus making it very misogynistic. We have attached unattainable standards, pressure and unnecessary value to the vaginas and bodies of women and all these actions aren’t taken place to please women but simply to make them a commodity for men. We never allow women to do as they please with themselves and live their lives based on what they think is best for them because if she’s doing something she enjoys that strays away from what is supposedly an acceptable behaviour for women, she is claimed to have lost her value and her “femininity”. Without women engaging in sexual activities if the words slut or loose is thrown towards the direction of one, she would be approached differently, treated differently and looked at in a different light. The reactions of women and men would be quite different when a woman is accused of being promiscuous, while the men look at her like they all can get with her (even the dirtiest/unworthy) thinks he can get with her because they believe she’s easy but the reaction of women could either be to protect or to compare.

Slut-shaming is a tactic used to gain superiority and that is why when women tend to go for higher positions i.e politics, or are abused and they’re willing to come forward to share their stories, they’re slut-shamed in order to make them less credible candidates and very much uncredible victims to their rape stories. In the MenAreTrash and Purity Culture , I talked about just how much we contribute to slut-shaming and aiding rape culture in the society and how it negatively affects the lives of women. Slut-shaming is a way of punishing women for refusing to stay in the background, it’s an effective way of punishing women from refusing to do what is expected from them because of their gender.

“The height of hypocrisy in this is, I might be the first sex worker to come into Parliament but thousands of clients have come in before me. ~Fiona Patten

The sexual desires of women has always been a thing to be monitored, controlled and kept in check. Women are not allowed to freely express themselves compared to the way men are taught and allowed to live their lives. While your mother may be advising your brother about not impregnating any girl, she would be telling you about how you should keep your virginity for your husband and just how much you would be seen as respectable by him because of your purity status. Everywhere you go – you are told the same BS and pathetic story, boys are told to have sex and the jobs of girls is to not allow them have it. Let me say this, if you want to wait till you’re married to have sex but you’re looking for a sexual partner who is ExpErIenCeD then you’re only mocking yourself, if you’re waiting until marriage before you have sex because you believe in having a spiritual connection with the person then go for it but if you’re being told that your virginity is a way of you to gain a man’s respect and that is why you’re keeping it, then I’m sorry. I’m sorry because you aren’t abstaining for yourself but you’re abstaining because you feel your gender is responsible for controlling the sexual desires of men, you’re abstaining because you want to be worth being respected by a man. I’m sorry, don’t do that to yourself. If the only way to gain respect from a man is your sexual status then is it really worth it? Are you really holding yourself back because you want to be at the service of man? Don’t. Your body belongs to you and so does your sexual urges but if you’re going to be putting in all that work to shut yourself out of sex and your needs, it shouldn’t be for you to end up with an ExPerIEncEd man neither should it be for respectability.

Heterosexual women really do spend most of their lives auditioning for men and taking calculated steps to be at the service of men. Men who aren’t placing you on a high pedestal nor making you an accomplishment the way you tend to do for them. You spend your time auditioning for men who have intentionally forced their way out of learning domestic skills, who refuse to place so much pressure and meaning on the number of women they’ve slept with, men who aren’t worth your planning and time, men who don’t deserve a seat at the table, men who shouldn’t share the same space with you, men who aren’t as eager to audition for you nor make you their top priority the way you have made them. Nah sis, don’t do that to yourself. We don’t deserve to kill off our desires and emotions for men who aren’t worthy of us nor share the same experience/ideas that we have. No.


Religion has got to be the most hateful creation for the lives of women, it’s the number one “how to be a slave” pamphlet for women to live by without men putting in as much effort. While men have higher positions in religion, they’re often given little parts to play and they rule based on the submission of women, women have to uphold strong values and standards whilst being submissive but the men just have to be men and they’re granted the highest form of power. Religion is that stumbling block that prevents women from having the autonomy they need to live a happy and free life. As much as we keep being progressive, the existence of religion and pastors, imams, popes refusing to address gender roles, inequality and violence, we would always be three steps back. I know of the bible passage that preaches keeping one’s self until marriage being directed towards man and woman and it’s completely denounced but we still hold this conversation of virginity over the lives of women and how they choose to live their lives.

  • Leviticus 21:13-14And he shall take a wife in her virginity. A widow, or a divorced woman, or a woman who has been defiled, or a prostitute, these he shall not marry. But he shall take as his wife a virgin of his own people.
  • Deuteronomy 22:20-21; But if the thing is true, that evidence of virginity was not found in the young woman, then they shall bring out the young woman to the door of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her to death with stones, because she has done an outrageous thing in Israel by whoring in her father’s house. So you shall purge the evil from your midst.

So, if we’re taking this passage literally the bible clearly says to kill non-virgins by stoning because they’ve been whoring in their father’s house. This passage is enough for religious women to denounce any form of sexual liberation and sexual expression. Women who have had sex don’t deserve to get married because there’s a high chance they would be killed for having sex if found out.

“Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people” ~Karl Marx

Now, there’s nothing wrong with having an organized fellowship or practicing a religion seeing as it gives hope to the hopeless and can also be responsible for finding something to live for but the negative part of religion is the way it prevents revolution, it hinders people from seeing class structure and oppression around them, what makes it worse is “religion refusing to be questioned”. The people are so adamant about asking questions and fuelling themselves with knowledge because they believe the holy books have given them a perfect guide on how to navigate life and live with it. Questioning religion and it’s harmful endorsements can tag you as hateful or going against the “right morals”, it scares me just how much people have been brainwashed into believing religion is responsible for the number of success and accomplishments one has had. People keep intertwining religion and morality together which is quite unnecessary and ridiculous to me, without religion I believe I am something and with it, I believe I still am something. We ended slavery without religion and the Igbo men and women who refused to be taken as slaves, gave their lives up without religion. When we talk about gender and sexuality, I believe religion preaches murder and rejection and you might say “but it has passages for love and acceptance” but how many times do we see people of strong faiths holding on to love and acceptance when an individual begins to live a life outside the religious beliefs of others? With gender, I watch videos of pastors emphasizing on the need for men to lead the home and how women should be at the service of their husbands, the pastors round up their service with praying about submission for the women *lol* isn’t that ridiculous? We have women being beaten, raped and bruised because of their refusal to conform to what is expected of their gender and we have Islam teachers preaching about the steps a man should take before hitting his wife, religion prevents revolution and disposes growth of both woman and man. Nah man. Religion is simply what it is, an organized practice where people set up certain cultural values and what they believe to be right morals, be practiced only with people who share the same beliefs and shouldn’t be used to determine the lives of other people who fall outside that category.

Making allegations about a woman’s sexual activity is such an effective “tool of degradation and abuse” because there are “unwritten rules and expectations about how men and women should behave sexually”. ~Dr Nichola Henry

Back in my secondary school, there was a lot of bullshit the girls had to put up with. We had to deal with boys who couldn’t deal with rejection slut-shaming and grading us, we had to deal with being sexually harassed and violated by the boys, we had to deal with their possessive claims on us, we had to deal with a lot. The cycle of slut-shaming and sexually harassing girls is a learned, permitted and unaddressed behaviour and young boys grow into adult men who hold onto this behaviour of possession, verbal harassment and abuse that shames little girls who grow into women believing that their bodies weren’t made for them but for the consumption of men or at least, one man. Little girls become women who place themselves under so much pressure to be valued by the opposite sex because we have learnt that their feelings and perception of us is what matters the most. I can’t count how many times someone whose presence I didn’t acknowledge in secondary school made mention of me having sexual relationships with them. It was annoying at that point in my life and the lives of my girlfriends but gradually it improved, we were blessed with the most knowledgeable principal/house master who always made sure to hear us out and investigate things for himself without jumping into conclusions and I loved paying visits to his office to air out my discomfort, may the lord bless his soul. (I digress).

Once upon a time I actually thought virginity was a big deal, if I had known I would be talking about the dangers of purity culture, I may or may not have believed it. I preached in my secondary school and I was responsible for coordinating the types of presentations the students were allowed to learn and one thing surprises me the most, I lifted virginity high to the sky in my personal life but I never told the students just how compulsory it was to be a virgin and I’m grateful that I didn’t give crappy advice to them neither did I make it my responsibility to tell them how valuable it would be for their future husbands.

When women of different classes slut-shame themselves, it is used to distinguish class and what a better woman the superior is. Slut-shaming by class is a way of telling women who are not from a top background that they are beneath the privileged women based on how they dress and how they approach sex. I’m not going to talk about this today but another day.

Slut-shaming is not only misogynistic, it can be creepily self-serving.

In conclusion, the only type regulations that need to be talked about should be, discouraging abstinence-only sex education, the need to practice safe sex with the use of contraception, access to information, going for medical checkups and creating environments (formal/informal) to educate the masses on planned parenthood.

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For Reference:

Purity Culture

The Sydney Morning Herald

MenAreTrash

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5 thoughts on “Slut-ShaminG

  1. Religion is, indeed, the self-consciousness and self-esteem of man who has either not yet won through to himself, or has already lost himself again. But man is no abstract being squatting outside the world. Man is the world of man – state, society.
    The rest of the quote 😊

    Like

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