Public Shame Whores Program


In society, women are seen as less and more as something to be controlled. We are brought up to fit a certain image placed upon us by society, anything else is seen as wrong. Slut-shaming is used by people to “put us in our place” and tell us what we are doing wrong, and how to act. Although slut-shaming in reality has a different agenda. An example of slut-shaming is when we have confidence or find pride in ourselves, and are attacked for being too much or acting out of line. To a society created by misogynistic values, this confidence is dangerous. We are ridiculed and sexualized to become degraded and fear men, making controlling us easier and preventing pride of being a woman. Although women are a part of society, we are still under the foot of men, because men want to have power and authority over us. Women are also responsible for slut-shaming, but of the fear controlling them of not being accepted by society or facing similar treatment. Slut-shaming occurs because men are afraid. Men are afraid of strong independent women who cannot be controlled and are independent.
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Slut-shaming is the act of degrading women by calling them out on being too “sexual”, but in reality it degrades self-assertive women. It is a method of controlling and hurting women who know their self worth and don’t need society to know they are powerful women. In her article, “The Truth About Slut-Shaming” Leora Tanenbaum explains, “slut-shaming is not really about women’s sexuality. It is grounded in the belief that men get to assert themselves, and women do not. It may be getting a lot of attention these days, but slut-shaming is really just a catchy way to signify old-fashioned sexism.” Slut-shaming was never intended to bring attention to women who are sexually active “sluts.” Even women who do not partake in sexual activities can still be slut-shamed. The purpose of slut shaming is so men can reassure themselves and women of their position over them. Tanenbaum also wrote, “Clearly, sluttiness to some people indicates a woman who asserts herself, sexually or not.” A woman who is confident, bold, and knows her self-worth is seen as a slut only because she created her own confidence and does not rely on the opinions of society, which could not be permitted.
Women are the only victims of slut-shaming because it was created specifically for women only. It was brought up to oppress and ridicule women pushing them towards their minority role in society. In the journal, “‘Good Girls’: Gender, Social Class, and Slut Discourse on Campus”, authors Elizabeth A. Armstrong, Laura T. Hamilton, Elizabeth M. Armstrong, and J. Lotus Seeley argue, “…slut shaming is based on sexual double standards established and upheld by men, to women’s disadvantage. Although young men are expected to desire and pursue sex regardless of relational and emotional context, young women are permitted sexual activity only when in committed relationships and ‘in love.’” Why can women be slut-shamed but not men? The incentive is that this system of control and oppression was never intended to be used on men or boys. Its purpose was to place a gap on what women are allowed and not allowed to do, and show how men will never have to worry about these restrictions. It allocates the idea that men are free to do what they want because of their power, leaving women to their mercy.
In the blog written by the Institute for InterGroup Understanding called, “Women Have Been Oppressed and Disadvantaged With Great Consistency Back to the Beginning of Recorded History — and Probably Long Before” states, “We have strong patterns of men doing discriminatory things to women…The patterns of men with power taking advantage of women in sexual ways clearly involves both instinctive values and situational manifestations of behavior patterns that we need to directly address well if we want to enjoy a society where women are safe in all settings…” The values that lead to slut shaming are those implemented to not only men, but everyone to discriminate and oppress women. Women are victims of a system that keeps them at their stature in society, making it impossible for us to rise above it. This system secures the superiority of men above women and assures them of their position, with little empathy to how much they hurt women.
Due to the pain brought upon women, other women join in on the slut-shaming but not for the same reason. In a TIME article called “Study: Women Slut-Shame Each Other On Twitter as Much as Men Do” Megan Gibson says, “…the norm online includes a lot of derogatory language and harassment of women, it makes sense that other women would join in and pile on, even if only to fit in.” To fit in and prevent receiving similar repercussions, women join men in the hate speech. Going against what society says leads to consequences for women, even if it’s to protect other women. These women go along afraid of the same being done to them rather than standing up for themselves. It is deeply embedded in our minds that hurting women is acceptable to avoid pain inflicted upon us by men and their society. “Though it might seem reasonable that women would push back on every instance of misogyny they encounter for their own benefit, this terminology is so thoroughly woven into every corner of our culture, sometimes it can be hard to recognize,” Gibson relays. It has become so normalized and something women are taught to be afraid of that in order to protect themselves, they reflect the same pain as men.
Slut-shaming was never meant to call out women on their over-sexualization or sexual lifestyle, but rather as a system of fear to control them before their confidence becomes great. Women face repercussions and are ridiculed even if they aren’t sexually active to be more easily controlled and act accordingly to society’s perception of us. Despite having this image of being sexual and the existence of slut-shaming, men don’t face the same repercussions as women and are rather encouraged to engage in sexual activities. Unfortunately, due to the fear of being labeled as a slut and facing the consequences, women slut-shame and accept their role to protect themselves from society itself. This system was created to control women who know their self worth, by men who are afraid of strong independent women who do not need them.

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