We all like sex… but why do people slut-shame?

Words by Bernice Danielle Castillo

Human beings are animals, yes. It’s not just your ex or your backstabbing best friends. People have an innate need to procreate with each other because it is what evolution has designed us to do. However, due to heavy moral and societal expectations that exist solely in the human species, this urge of ours to have sex is highly suppressed and, to some degree, forbidden.

‘Sluts’ or ‘whores’, in the textbook definition, are people who have many casual sex partners. Although the term ‘slut’ is more or less universal today and does not pay attention to the gender of the person, it wasn’t always this way.

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The word ‘slut’ referred to sex-positive women in the past. They were considered to be one of the lowest kinds of human beings in society. This kind of branding and treatment of sluts was painfully reflective of a misogynistic society whose ideas of women were perverted and fetishized. Although the feminist movement has come along way, slut-shaming is still a problem of the past that annoyingly pervades today’s society.

So why is slut-shaming such a big deal? Why do we have to make such a big fuss over it? Well, the answer is incredibly simple and perhaps even a bit childish. They started it! It was society who made such a big deal about women getting pleasure from sex in the only way that they can–exploration. Women were held to unfair standards. Where men were entering whorehouses in broad daylight, women were kept inside their houses all day long–forbidden to engage in any sexual acts, be it personal or with someone else, in fear that it may lead to their indignity or social demise.

Didn’t think people actually believed in this from IncelTears

The root of slut-shaming lies in the belief that women are less than men and that they are properties of their male partners. Due to this perpetuated dynamic between the two genders, any perceived degree of bodily autonomy from the woman’s perspective becomes a rebellion.

Females owning their sexuality threatened the image of docility and innocence that men had of women before. It was a revolutionary statement that said that women were people with real feelings, not mindless dolls who came in pretty packages. However, rebellion is often met with violence from the side of the oppressors.

The act of slut-shaming got worse as time passed by. The word ‘slut’ no longer referred to women with numerous sexual partners. You could have only one sexual partner your whole life and be a ‘slut’. You could be raped and be a ‘slut’. You could be a virgin and still be called a ‘slut’. Where sexual exploration was needed before in order to be condemned into ‘sluthood’, now you only have to show the slightest interest in sexual activities and you would be called one. Somehow, feeling good in a naturally pleasurable activity is so sinful for women that it warrants them automatic humiliation and ostracization, courtesy of society.

Slut-shaming is good from IncelTears

As is with most derogatory words, ‘slut’ became overused. While originally intended for insulting women, it is now also used to insult men. However, the context of when men are called ‘sluts’ is still indicative of the presence of misogyny in today’s society. Majority of male ‘sluts’ are non-binary–non-adherent to the masculine idea of a man. This implies that there still exists an oppressor-oppressed relationship between society and its non-male members. On the other hand, a lot of heterosexual males who do engage in lots of casual sex are more commonly referred to as ‘jocks’ or, in the Philippine context, ‘masters.’ Instead of shame, these men receive praise for their sexual conquests.

While we can mostly blame toxic patriarchal culture for birthing the concept of slut-shaming, we must also consider the effect of little education on matters regarding sexuality. In fact, a lot of misconceptions surrounding these sexually-active men and women can be easily corrected. The most harmful one, in my opinion, is their ‘inability to get raped’. Shallow understanding pushes us to define people in dictionary terms. We have to remember that ‘slut’ is only a descriptive word. It does not summarize the entire life of a human being. Sure, you can like sex and be called a slut. However, it does not, in any way, mean that you are game to do every kink, every position, anywhere, anytime.

Their lack of scientific understanding and empathy is truly mind blowing. from IncelTears

In conclusion, slut-shaming is largely an effect of the old misogynistic culture that we have yet to shake off completely. That is why we must do our part. One thing we can do to help our sexually active friends is by spreading the message of acceptance to our peers. There is also the option of ‘owning’ the derogatory words. There’s nothing wrong with being a ‘slut’ so might as well show the world that you are not afraid of your sexuality, right?

What do you think about slut-shaming? Share your insights in the comment section!






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