• Slut-Shaming

Slut-shaming is slang for using derogatory terms toward women, and occasionally men, for acting in a manner that violates the shamers’ norms or their interpretations of “norms” regarding sexually appropriate behavior. It may have nothing to do with any actual behavior, but is often meant to humiliate someone for how they dress or act to make them conform or to make them feel bad. Victims of sexual assault may even be told they were “asking for it” because they were wearing “slutty” clothing.

Some argue that some dress codes in public schools are disproportionally enforced against girls1 and use gender-specific language like “cleavage”2 or specific clothing item like skirt or dress. Girls and women are sometimes asked to change and conform so that they don’t “distract” the males or “provoke” sexual harassment.

Other forms of shaming include body shaming, fat shaming, period shaming, prude shaming, gender shaming and victim shaming. Anyone is susceptible to being slut-shamed or shamed in other ways.

The sourced articles below should provide more information on the act of shaming people into conforming to certain sexual behaviors and standards.

  1. What is Slut Shaming?

    “The definition of ‘slut shaming’ is: the act of making or attempting to make a person, usually a woman, feel guilty for certain sexual behaviors. Now most of you, including myself, are probably thinking, slut-shaming must be a concept perpetuated by men. Well, we would be wrong. Women, along with men, are strong contributors to the act of slut shaming. It’s shocking to know that ladies contribute to something that hurts our fellow ladies as well as ourselves. We need to change it. We need to better ourselves not just for ourselves, but for our future children, grandchildren, and for the next generations of young ladies.”

    Lady Mystery, sluttygirlproblems.com, 4/10/2019

  2. The Ongoing Problem Of Slut-Shaming And Dress-Coding

    “I’ve been tracking and writing about slut-shaming — the phenomenon of girls and women being policed, judged, and denigrated because of their actual or presumed sexuality — for over 20 years. Very often, school dress codes, like the one in North Carolina, play a role in perpetuating slut-shaming. Administrators typically defend dress codes by arguing that ‘revealing’ outfits are distracting to other students. Ironically, these codes result in the opposite consequence: Girls’ bodies become the center of attention because monitoring students’ clothes means paying close attention to their bodies and, by extension, their sexuality. Girls are simultaneously sexualized and punished for being sexualized.”

    Leora Tanenbaum, womensmediacenter.com, 4/1/2019

  3. Public School Dress Codes Perpetuate Rape Culture, Slut-Shaming, Victim-Blaming

    “Public school dress codes should be eradicated from the school systems. Treating each other with respect should be the main principle of any school, not body-shaming one gender into modest submission fit for traditional patriarchal values. It’s time public schools recognize girls and boys as equals, and begin to treat them as equals if this world ever intends to get better.”

    Jessica Dunker, easttennessean.com, 11/15/2018

  4. “It’s My Ass And My Instagram”: Amber Rose Is Over Your Slut-Shaming

    “Amber Rose is much more than how the world decides to know her—the 34-year-old model turned women’s rights activist has become a leading voice in the fight for gender equality since launching her first Amber Rose SlutWalk march four years ago. Rose, who coparents her 5-year-old son Sebastian with rapper Wiz Khalifa, first stumbled across the original Toronto SlutWalk in 2014. (It was initially founded in 2011 after a police officer told women to stop dressing like sluts if they wanted to avoid sexual assault.) ‘A lot of things pertaining to SlutWalk happened to me,’ Rose explains to BAZAAR.com. ‘I didn’t know how to articulate what was going on and why I was feeling this way. It was because I was sexually assaulted, I had been raped, and I was slut-shamed. I was victim-blamed, as well.'”

    Nadja Sayej, harpersbazaar.com, 9/25/2018

  5. Do School Dress Codes Discriminate Against Girls?

    “According to the American Civil Liberties Union, dress codes are legal as long as they do not ‘treat boys and girls differently, force students to conform to sex stereotypes, or censor particular viewpoints.’ (This includes protection for transgender, non-binary gender, or any other students who may choose to dress in nontraditional ways.)”

    Sasha Jones, edweek.org, 8/31/2018

  6. 30 Celebrities Who Have Fought Back Against Body Shaming

    “25 of 30 …. Kim Kardashian: The Keeping Up with the Kardashians star has regularly been a subject of body shamers—but it doesn’t affect the way she see’s herself. In March 2016, she penned a post on her website to tackle the issue. ‘I am empowered by my body. I am empowered by my sexuality. I am empowered by feeling comfortable in my skin,’ she wrote on her website. ‘I am empowered by showing the world my flaws and not being afraid of what anyone is going to say about me… The body-shaming and slut-shaming—it’s like, enough is enough.'”

    Alex Warner, marieclaire.com, 5/28/2018

  7. 6 Ways You May Be Slut Shaming Without Realizing It

    “So what words and actions count as slut shaming? To use Soraya Chemaly’s definition from back in 2011, before the term had come into popular usage: ‘It’s embarrassing, insulting or otherwise denigrating a girl or woman for her real or extrapolated sexual behavior, including for dressing in a sexual way, having sexual feelings and/or exploring and exhibiting them.'”

    Emily Lindin, teenvogue.com, 6/3/2016

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Footnotes

1. sluttygirlproblems.com, 4/10/2019

2. neatoday.org, 7/24/2018