Scenes from “A Harlot’s Progress” and “A Rake’s Progress” by Hogarth
I said it.
“Slut Shaming” is sometimes the right thing to do.
In human sexuality, slut-shaming is the act of making, or attempting to make, a person, especially a woman or girl, feel guilty or inferior for certain sexual behaviors, circumstances, or desires that deviate from traditional or orthodox gender expectations, or that which may be considered to be contrary to natural or religious law. Some examples of circumstances where women are “slut-shamed” include violating accepted dress codes by dressing in sexually provocative ways, requesting access to birth control, having premarital, casual, or promiscuous sex, or being raped or otherwise sexually assaulted (which is known as victim blaming). – Wikipedia
Let me explain myself.
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times, “WORDS MEAN THINGS”.
The dictionary defines “Slut” as:
1. A person considered to be sexually promiscuous.
2. An untidy, dirty woman; a slattern. (archaic)
and “Shame” is defined as:
1. A painful emotion caused by the awareness of having done something wrong or foolish.
2. A condition of disgrace or dishonor; ignominy.
3. To bring dishonor or disgrace on.
Taken at its core, “slut shaming” means to defame or belittle a person for being sexually promiscuous. And THAT is wrong.
What grown folks do with other grown folks is their own business.
The problem is, it has taken years for us to finally get to a point where “slut” is equally about men as it is about women (see the definition above), but, we now seem to want to have “slut” just want to refer to women again. And, the modern feminist adoption and definition of the term “slut shaming”, has left the door wide open to encompass a lot of things that the term does not mean. And to excuse a lot of individuals it should not excuse.
Being a “slut” is ok, when its between grown folks.
A young girl acting like a grown woman and portraying herself in a sexual manner SHOULD be shamed. Not because it is wrong for her to have sexual feelings, or for her to be curious about her own sexuality..those things are perfectly natural and normal. Puberty does that to a girl. But, as she is mentally unable to process the world that she is trying to insert herself into, and as yet physically and mentally unable to deal with the consequences of doing so, a dose of “shame” whether coming from the outside or internally is something that will protect her, at best, from life choices she isnt ready to make, and at worst, from harm.
It is likewaise perfectly natural and normal for a young boy, in the throes of puberty, to want to sleep with anything and everything that stands still long enough for him to find it. Puberty does that to a boy. But, as he is mentally unable to process the world that he is trying to insert herself into, and as yet physically and mentally unable to deal with the consequences of doing so, a dose of “shame” whether coming from the outside or internally is something that will protect him, at best, from life choices he isn’t ready to make, and at worst, from harm.
Mom shames 13-year-old daughter for racy pictures – CNN Video
The problem is not the music, or the movies, or the tv. Because, in truth, it is the job of every generation to shock the generation that came before it. I guarantee you that the parents of the 20’s were just as shocked by the flapper style their kids adored as the parents of today are for the adoration of Nicki Minaj. It’s pretty much their fucking job. Our kids will listen to music we don’t like, dance steps we don’t care for, and exhibit behavior that we find shocking. And we will stand and say, “These damn kids today!” and shake our heads.
That’s what teenage rebellion is all about.
But even rebellion needs a dose of shame.
Shame is natures way of sending up signals that you’ve gone to far.
Chances are, if you have a teen or pre-teen child right now, as you read this, that when YOU were their age, this whole internet thing didnt exist. The predators you feared were local: the creepy guy at the mall, the lady down the street who dressed provocatively every time you came to collect money for the paper route, or that teacher at school that was just a bit too friendly with the kids. Sure, bad things happened then, as they do now, but YOU as the prey of these predators had a better warning system in place.
Not so, today, in a world where any of us can find a picture of a cute teenage boy on Google, create a fake account on any of a number of social media sites, and lure in unsuspecting teens like light to flies. So, that picture of you in a bikini when you were 14, blowing a kiss and acting like a 25 year old? Today it would be shared online like a porn trading card. That shot of you at 14 and your boys in your board shorts with your washboard abs, being overtly masculine and thrusting your crotch out? Yeah, go to Google and look up “twink”.
Sometimes we HAVE to slut shame. To draw boundaries. To teach lessons. To keep kids safe.
I have three kids, two girls and a boy, all teens. And yes, I am an overprotective father to all three…but not nearly as bad as I’d like to be in my head. Although I’d love to say, to any young man who wants to date one of my girls, “Son….keep in mind: I have a gun, a shovel and an alibi.” or “Young man…if you make her cry, I will make YOU cry.”, I don’t actually say these things. Now, I have been told by my girls that the boys they know already get this vibe from me (I’m ok with that), but, in actuality, all of my warnings go to my girls…and not to the boys they date. “Make good choices” and “Be safe” and “No matter what, if you are uncomfortable in any way, call me, I will come get you, no questions asked.” Because I have no ability to influence those young men, and only a marginal ability to influence my girls. So I leave an open offer of assistance, and then I hope.
I’m a bit more direct with my son….because, what he is now, I once was, so I KNOW what goes through his mind. To him, I say, as I have since he was a pre-teen and first “noticed” girls, “Son, always always always be respectful. To you, that is a hot girl….but to someone else, she is their little angel. So her the respect you would want boys to show to one of your sisters.” That gets through….he has FIVE sisters after all (2 on my side, 3 on his mothers – my ex-wife). The truth is, I have no ability to influence the young girls he meets, nor how they behave, so I can only teach him proper behavior, and then I hope.
At the same time, when it comes to sexual behavior….sluttiness if you will…I am equally harsh on all of them. Granted, bad things happen to all sorts of people….but the rule of thumb is, you get back what you put in. If you act like a slut, a whore, a rake,a profligate…..you will be treated as one by the majority of the world. Moreover, you have no reason to be upset when someone treats you as what you are acting to be.
Maybe we wouldn’t WANT that to be true. Maybe we would hope for a world in which every person is judge by who they are inside.
But thats not the world we live in.
Being a “slut” is ok, when it does no harm to others.
Again, if you are a grown up, and you are promiscuous, thats your business.
But, if your sexual activities do harm to others, you deserve some shame sent your way.
Far too often, the posts I see on Facebook from people saying “No Slut Shaming”, are from those who have no issues sleeping with someone elses spouse or partner. Yes, it does take TWO to tango, but, if you are a willing participant in someone breaking the heart and trust of their lover….then you are just as bad as they are. The idea of “Well, you should’ve kept your man at home” or “Hey, if she was getting what she needed from you, she wouldn’t need it from me” is just posturing. You allowed your genitals to bring harm to another human being.
You SHOULD be ashamed.
And you SHOULD be shamed.
Regardless of intent.
I don’t want this to devolve into some discussion of your feelings on marriage, or how swingers behave, because in the case of the latter, both partners (should) have consented, and in the case of the former, despite what you might feel or have been told, morality is not relative. If you are a true moral relativist, come over here so I can punch you in the throat. Because maybe MY morality says throat punches are completely ok. Seems to me, the only time you hear people say “morality is relative” is when people are trying to defend their own beliefs….not those of others.
And you KNOW this to be true.
Because if it wasn’t, you wouldn’t hide the fact that you were sleeping with this person, and neither would they.
You hid it because of shame and consequences.
Slut shaming IS sometimes the right thing.
We need to have some class, we need to have some tact, we need to have some consideration for others when we go out into the world…unless of course we live on a desert island alone.
The lady at the club in the bootie shorts that are so short you can see that she waxed today? Thats fine. She shouldn’t be slut shamed. Thats her business. These are grown folks.
The lady at the kids playground in the bootie shorts that are so short you can see that she should have waxed today? She should be shamed. Often. Have some class. Have some respect for those around you.
The guy in the bar, making moves on everything in a skirt, trying to get a little sumpin sumpin? Thats fine. He shouldn’t be slut shamed. Thats his business. These are grown folks.
The guy in the office, making moves on everything in a skirt, trying to get a little sumpin sumpin? He should be shamed. Often. Have some class. Have some respect for those around you.
There are times and places for behaviors, and the rule of thumb shouldn’t be, “Do whatever feels good baby!” it should be “Do whatever feels good, within reason.”
And so long as you are grown up and mature enough to understand the consequences.