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Bonnie: On slut shaming



In high school, I was the “slut” of my friend group. This may be because I was sexually active a year before any of my other friends were. It may be because I spoke openly about my sexual experiences. So, they joked that I was “slutty” and whenever they did anything that could be perceived as “slutty” in any way, they would tell me about it because “well, it’s not like I could judge them.”

I took the entire thing as a joke. Nothing that I should be insulted by. To me, being a “slut” was just who I was in their eyes. I was good friends with a boy a couple of years younger than me that I would confide in about my sexual escapades. I trusted him enough that I would tell him about these things that I didn’t tell my other friends. He responded by calling me and I quote, “the town bicycle,” which is probably the most inaccurately insulting thing I have ever been labeled as. I responded to this by dating him for almost 2 years.

By the end of high school, I hadn’t slept with a high number of people, but I was ashamed of it because of this boy’s and my friend’s responses to it. I was called derogatory names so many times that I started to believe them. I started calling myself a “slut.” That was my label. What’s worse is that I used to think it was okay.

I used to also think it was okay to call celebrities sluts as well. One of these celebrities was Amber Rose, who was a stripper at fifteen in order to help provide for her family. I used to judge her for this fact and clothing that she wore, and thought that she was trashy. Now, I realize that slut shaming anyone, even celebrities, is wrong. Maybe I thought it was okay because it is what was done to me. I now look up to Amber Rose. She has become a huge advocate against slut shaming and a progressive feminist who wants women to embrace their sexuality. She is a strong woman that should be looked up to, not shamed for embracing her feminine sexuality.

On October 3 in Los Angeles, Rose spoke to a crowd at her SlutWalk about the slut shaming she endured from her old lovers, Kanye West and Wiz Khalifa. The SlutWalk was an event that she created that gave people, particularly women, a safe environment to rally against slut shaming and the harm it can cause. The purpose of the event was to combat the idea that when women dress a certain way, they are inviting men to take advantage of them sexually. During her speech, she broke down and addressed the comments that the two rappers made about her.

Back in February, Kanye West said on a radio show, “It’s very hard for a woman to want to be with someone that’s with Amber Rose… I had to take 30 showers before I got with Kim.” Rose’s ex-husband, Wiz Khalifa, added to the slut shaming by reportedly singing about her in the Juicy J song “For Everybody.”

During the Amber Rose SlutWalk, Rose addressed the hurtful, sexist comments made by her exes. She said, “I decided to have this SlutWalk for women that have been through shit. And even though I’m up here crying, I want to be the strong person you guys can look up to.” At the end of the speech, she forgave West and Khalifa.

There is a difference between men and women in regards to the way we are perceived in sexual contexts. Men are celebrated for having multiple sexual partners, women are ostracized. It is unfair that if a woman has multiple sexual partners she is seen as unclean, hence West’s shower comment. It is also unfair that the words “slut” and “whore” are derogatory comments that are against women. There are no derogatory terms for a male that has a lot of sexual partners. This is a huge reason why slut shaming is such a prominent issue. Women are looked down upon for embracing their sexuality, and this is what Amber Rose’s SlutWalk is attempting to combat. Strong sexual women, such as Amber Rose, should not be shamed and neither should I.

 


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Hannah Bonnie

Hannah Bonnie