After she read my last post on useless emotions, my 70 year old mother and I got to talking about slut shaming and how ridiculous we both think it is. She comes from an era where good girls remained virgins until marriage (or until engagement at least), but men were supposed to be experienced upon entering the marriage bed. Who, may I ask, were men supposed to get that experience with? Women were not even supposed to admit that they enjoyed sex in that era.
The sexual revolution of the 1960’s in North America, started to change that attitude and the advent of the Pill helped women on a path of sexual self discovery. We were embracing our sexuality throughout the 1970’s and into the 80’s, but then AIDS came along and that changed things. Women who slept around were now being judged more frequently than in the decade prior, but the genie was already out of the bottle and women had gotten used to being sexually free. There was no going back to the good girls don’t model.
We talked about how men spend their entire single life trying to get a woman to be a slut for them. One would think that sluts would be held in much higher regard by men. Alas this is where the male ego comes into play. It’s fine to be MY slut, but don’t you dare come to the table with anywhere close to the same number of sex partners as I have amassed. There are some men who aren’t afraid to admit that they like a woman with experience, but most don’t want to know that THEIR woman is more experienced than they are. Guess what guys, WOMEN LIKE SEX and we shouldn’t be made to feel bad about that.
Unfortunately, in the game of sex, women must play defense. We are the ones who run the risk of pregnancy, so we must be far more discriminate about who we sleep with than men. So while, we like sex, nature dictates that we must be more sexually responsible. We are the ones (for the most part) who are responsible for making sure the sex act will not end in pregnancy or disease. Then there’s that pesky serotonin and dopamine we produce during sex that gets our emotions all tangled up in the act of sex, whether the guy is boyfriend/husband material or not. Let us not forget the whole fairy tale culture that has been shoved down our throats since birth that teaches us that we are nothing without a man to complete us. Oh, and magazines like Cosmopolitan that tell us we should be having hour long orgasms while we are sexually pleasing those men, morning, noon and night, all the while, pursuing a fulfilling career. The thinking woman has a lot on her plate to consider before saying yes to sex. Then once we do, we are forever branded sluts, unless we marry the first man we sleep with.
In my last blog I branded shame as a useless emotion. “Women are made to feel shame for everything from natural bodily functions like menstruation (the curse) and menopause (the change) to our sexuality (slut shaming). It’s a wonder we can leave the house at all.” Men are allowed the luxury of pride after a night of sex. Women must do the walk of shame.
I see no reason why we shouldn’t strut down the walk of shame like it’s a runway. If we start to change the way WE feel about our sexuality, then maybe we can own the word slut. It’s only by owning the word that it will stop having power over us.
Events like Slut Walk are a great way to sexually empower women. Not to mention to get the point across that no matter how we are dressed, we are never saying yes to being raped.
We must, as women, not be afraid to teach men what is and isn’t acceptable behavior, both in and out of the bedroom. That sex isn’t about power or revenge, it’s about pleasure. There are still far too many places in the world that don’t understand that women NEVER want to be raped, abused or beaten. It’s only by raising the bar that men will rise to meet it. It’s only by not allowing ourselves to feel shame over being human that we will finally be treated as equal.