I would like to start off by saying I rarely use the term “slut-shaming.” Here’s a couple reasons why:
- Not every person who has sex and enjoys it has reclaimed the word “slut.” It assumes everyone is comfortable with referring to themselves as such, but that’s not true.
- People have negative connotations with the word “slut,” which makes them less receptacle to accepting “slut-shaming” as a bad thing. Yes, this point coddles people who are ignorant and generally controlling when it comes to people’s sex lives, but it’s true. People are more willing to admit they are shaming a person for sex if they are shaming a person who’s a “slut.”
- “Slut-shaming” only encompass one aspect of the sexual spectrum. The cis female hetero side. There is a whole wide range of sexuality and sex habits that get bashed and shamed; this is only representative of one.
This is why I like and use the term “sex-shaming.” “Slut-shaming” only provides a narrow view of a bigger but equally perpetuated problem, that problem being narrow mindedness about sex.
From what I’ve observed, people who “slut-shame” do not just shame women who have lots of sex; there are usually other “unacceptable” sexual acts that they shame. Here’s some that I’ve noticed on Tumblr and out and about in “real life:”
- Teen sex*
- Homosexual sex
- Premarital sex*
- Sex between legally married homosexual couples
- Sex not for procreation*
- Sex that is not “vanilla”*
- Anal sex*
- Sex with multiple partners*
- Sex with multiple partners at once*
- Oral sex*
- Sex resulting in unwanted pregnancy, which may or may not result in abortion*
- Sex resulting in multiple unwanted pregnancies, which may or may not result in multiple abortions*
- Sex without protection*
- Sex with protection*
* indicates that this category is applicable to any gender identity and any sexual preference.
When I see someone who “slut-shames,” I see extra reasons behind the shaming, like the ones listed above. It’s not just female sex (though it is attacked more often, and I can see where that leads to the term in question) but there is so much more to “slut-shaming” then what is discussed.
It is often rooted deeply in a misguided moral compass, which points to ONE type of sex as being “acceptable,” and anything outside of that specific set of qualifications is deemed “unacceptable.” Normal sex between a married, heterosexual couple for the means of procreation is what is set as the “acceptable” parameters for sex. People who sex shame often shame people who are not married, not intending to create children, and usually do not accept any kind of sexual relationship between homosexuals. This opens multiple categories of sexual experiences to be shamed or deemed “immoral,” and there’s usually a combination of two or more included in the reasoning behind why a person is shaming sex.
Slut-shaming is definitely a problem, one that we on Tumblr and in life should be and usually are willing to address. Women should not be shamed just because we like and have sex. But in addressing the evils of slut-shaming, we cannot forget the evils of the shaming of sex in general, and the harmful nature of the way that it is perpetuated in everyday life; no one should be shamed because like and have sex.