Historically, the word “slut” derives meaning from the concept of dirt. The word denotes a “woman of dirty, slovenly, or untidy habits. A now obsolete meaning connects it with a kitchen maid, whose life was lived in soot and grease. The corner she left unswept was the slut corner; the fluff that collected under the furniture was a “slut ball.”
There are several discourses one can be involved in when it comes to slut-shaming and sexism. It will take us years to talk about everything, but here are a few things every girl goes (or could go) through that should never make her feel any less of a woman.
Some behaviors are easily tagged as sluttish by a highly misogynist society. But you have a right to do these things without facing a slut-shaming campaign. Here are some of the things you should never feel ashamed to do.
1. Wear revealing outfits
Every girl has heard an unwelcome comment about the way she dresses. Whether it’s a dress that bares too much skin for Sundays, shorts that are too short, or necklines that plunge too low, women have been spat at for wearing “revealing” clothing. A girl can even be reprimanded for wearing short-sleeved blouses that revealed her shoulders, because it might provoke men. But let’s get things straight: women should be able to wear whatever they want to wear without fear of being called sluts or teases. Of course, we’re not saying plunging necklines are appropriate for the office, for example, but if what you are wearing makes you feel good, you should be allowed to wear it.
2. Flaunt your curves
Women blessed with emphasized curves and plump girly parts always suffer accusations of using these to get what they want. A week ago, while lining up for the train, a woman with a pair of rather voracious breasts walked through the special lane usually meant for senior citizens, disabled persons, and pregnant women. A lady who was standing beside me exclaimed in disgust, “Ay grabe! Malaki lang, pinadaan na? Siguro kabit yun ng guard.” Come on, that’s genetics. They’re body parts. It’s even more appalling when women with enviable chest and bum areas are blamed if they get sexually victimized. Ladies, be proud of your curves. Well-endowed or not, you shouldn’t be ashamed of the body you were born with.
3. Have sex, whether you’re married or not
Too many people are quick to label a girl who engages in premarital or casual sex a slut or a whore. Meanwhile, a guy who does the same, even when he’s married, is an alpha male. Worse, it’s celebrated in popular culture. And everyone shrugs their shoulders because you “can’t blame a man for being a man.” But the truth is, this conservatism when it comes to sexual relations is as antiquated as the concept of Maria Clara—pure, virgin, modest—as the ideal woman. As much as values should be preserved, we are in the 21st century. Women have the right to vote, the right to bear arms, the right to determine their bodies and sexuality. And while promiscuity and casual relations necessitates safe sex practices, both women and men have a right to seek their pleasure, so long as nobody gets hurt by it.
Women should not be made to suffer for making their own choices about their lives and bodies. Girls should have the privilege of embracing their shapely lady parts, wearing flattering clothes, and well, having sex without constantly looking over their shoulder to check what other people think.
Screw slut-shaming; empower yourself and show the world what a strong, fabulous girl you are!