Why, “Slut Shaming” Is A Kind Of Misogyny

I hear sex workers and people, in general talk about finding, “slut shaming” offensive, but the reason Sex Positive Feminists find it to be worse, is that we usually refer to women as sluts and not men. In some countries, if a woman is raped, she is the one who is cast out of society, her family, and out of her social group. There is often no distinction between rape and consensual sex, and the man walks away and is treated as if nothing bad happened. There is often not even a trial. The victim has no rights in court, and she is re-victimized by all of this. Women can even be stoned to death for being victims of rape. If they survive the incident, or if they decide to then sleep with more than one man, again, there is no chance they will live without the condemnation of even their own family. This is an extreme example that I am using to juxtapose with what American women go through in our country. We are considered to be more civilized than these countries who treat women as if they are little more than property. When men indulge themselves in having sex with more than one woman over the course of their lives, it hardly goes noticed at all. Men have never faced the kind of hatred that women have for doing what many of them see as their right. I have met men who say they have slept with as many as 1,000 women. If I were to do this, though, I would be treated as a criminal. Even other women join in the fun. They call us sluts and cannot seem to find any way to relate to us as human beings, which has the effect of alienating us from the group. Not that many of us want to be associated with a group of people like that, but it hurts, until you finally realize that you have to ally yourself with another group. This double standard makes many of us feel that major change needs to occur in order to deal with what is blatant hate, and specifically, misogyny. What determines a person’s worth has precious little to do with how many men or women someone sleeps with. This is not the 1950’s, and we know that sex is healthy, fun, silly, and entertaining. Despite efforts to do away with Pornography, it is legal and is often used to educate people on how to have better sex or to try something new. To base someone’s value on the number of sex partners someone has had over their lifetime is distracting, when most of us have contributions to make to society that go beyond who we are having sex with. As a cam model, I get called a slut all the time. Our industry encourages us to embrace the word, and I see it as a part of what I do. I liken being called a slut to when black people use the word, “nigger” to greet each other. We try to take the power out of it, because it really is just a word, and no one has stoned me to death over what I do. Think about that, though, the next time you talk to your friend about how many women or men they have slept with. Consider that you may be talking to someone who has slept with over 10 people, and imagine whether you think less or more of him or her because of just that, or do you like that person for a lot of reasons and do not really care about those details.

Thank you,

Stephanie J. Golden, B.S.W., M.S.R.C.