Recently, I’ve been thinking more about who I am, why I am that person and what it means in terms of the way that I live. “Recently” is issue sensitive- some I’ve been pondering for a year, and others for closer to eight. Either way, this is what it culminates in: a series of posts concerning something vital to my being: identity.
Okay, so that title wasn’t what you were expecting.
To be honest, it wasn’t what I was expecting either. I had no clue I was going to write this post, until I scrolled down my own instagram profile. (Also, Shalom posting twice a week???? She definitely doesn’t have two serious exams in the next four days, like maths and physics!!! She’s so not procrastinating out of panic!!!!)
I was publically slut shamed for the first time twenty-two weeks ago.
Slut-shaming is a form of social stigma applied to people who are perceived to violate traditional expectations for sexual behaviors, commonly applied to women and girls. Some examples of circumstances where women are “slut-shamed” include violating accepted dress codes by dressing in perceived sexually provocative ways, requesting access to birth control,having premarital, casual, or promiscuous sex, or being raped or otherwise sexually assaulted (which is known as victim blaming).
Don’t get me wrong, it had happened before. Just never to this extent and to the point where I was affected enough to change something I did every week (i.e go to youth group) for five years.
I wore this outfit because I felt good in it. I liked the way my legs looked. I love that red sweater because it belongs to a gorgeous friend of mine (Sorry Shivs, you’ll never get that back, ily) and I think of her every time I wear it. I felt great, and I was going out to an event with a group of teenagers (13-19) and all was well.
Until I got told I was “asking for it”. That I was “distracting the younger boys” and “being irresponsible” with my body. Until I was informed that “you’re not supposed to dress like a slut at church”.
Yes, I went to church.
It’s safe to say that after that fateful Friday night, I didn’t return to Youth for weeks. “Matric is just so busy,” I’d tell everyone. It’s whatever. Onto the point of this post:
I was slut shamed because I was comfortable with myself for the first time in a long time and other people were not. I was slut shamed because I am a female and due to my gender I have been sexualised since my birth. I was slut shamed because my extreme “irresponsibility”, which was manifested in the exposure of probably 40 centimetres of leg and my stomach, is not appropriate around “the younger boys”. I was slut shamed for how I dressed and it is bullshit.
Here’s the thing about reclamation, people: once it happens, the people who once used the word in question negatively no longer have any functional power over it.
The word slut is being reclaimed. It’s happening,and there is undeniable proof: slutwalks happen all over the world, and Tumblr is having none of anyone’s crap. There’s a thorough description of what slut shaming is and why it’s not okay here.
In brief? I’m the slut of the hour. And I’m 101% good with that.
love and light