Voice America with Cynthia Brian

Wednesday, February 26th at 4:15 PST listen in!

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So someone asked me to define “slut” for an interview on slut shaming

What is a slut?  I suppose if I had to define that word I would say it is someone who is sexually active with several partners or perhaps has sexual encounters of opportunity in addition to ones based on relationships. 

This word holds no power over me.  Perhaps it’s because of my experience of being called one as a rape victim at 13 years old.  Perhaps it’s because I grew up in the 70s, so I am pretty sure that I was one and do not hold that label in low esteem.  Back then the boys liked the girls that would fool around and treated us well, because, you know, they wanted to keep on fooling around.  I believe if someone calls you a slut in high school, they are either jealous that the boys they like are hanging out with you, or because you are hanging out with the other boys, not them.  But times have certainly changed.

I had hoped the horrible experience I had with the media and our community back in 1977 was a thing of the past.  But it seems that if you are a victim of sexual assault or just a woman or teenager who isn’t afraid of your sexuality, it’s a lot worse today.  Maybe it’s the different attitude towards sex.  I remember sex being thought of as a normal natural part of life you were meant to enjoy.  Today it seems sex is treated as a shameful and dirty act which leaves you damaged.  That’s a pretty unhealthy attitude.

The nature of this is sexist and based in conservative religious beliefs.    I have to wonder why any parent would want their sons and daughters to grow up with such damaging attitude towards sex.  I know we can’t go back to the days before AIDS and unbridled sexual freedom.   But human sexuality is a healthy and necessary part of life, making it ugly doesn’t make any sense.  So before you slut shame anyone, you should think about why you would want to hurt or judge anyone to begin with. 

And, if someone is slut shaming you, hold your head up high.  Own your own sexuality and don’t be ashamed of who you are or what may have happened to you.  You aren’t the one who has to go through life experiencing something that can be enjoyable and even beautiful, as something shameful and ugly.  Lucky you!