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Slut Shaming – Stigma or Provocation

What do you think about Slut Shaming – is it a stigma or a provocation on the name of shaming a person or a gender?

Shanti was just a little girl when her maternal uncle in the name of ‘secret playing’ abused her, repeatedly year after year when finally her parents realized she’s not a little girl anymore. Family wanted to keep it under wraps and told uncle to keep away from them, and everyone acted as if nothing has ever happened in that house. Shanti took it on her personally, thinking it was her mistake, her father keeps a distance from her and mother is always keeping a close vigil on her activities. Till date Shanti is fighting with her inner self to come out in open and talk freely with opposite sex.

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Slut shaming

Radhika never accepted the gender differences society has created, she was as cool and open with her elder brother’s friends as she with her own buddies. Her mother explained many times to behave in front of her brother’s friends but that would always fall on deaf ears… for the whole family she’s the youngest, most pampered kid, specially her brother who loved her more than anything in this world. Her world turned upside down when her brother’s best friend abused her and blamed it on her to provoke these feelings in him by wearing such provocative clothes and with her smiles. Her brother and father stopped talking to her and mother kept on repeating – I told you to behave. Some days later they found Radhika hanging from ceiling in her own room, where she was born, took her first step, played hide n seek with her brother and was abused.

We all know about Nirbhaya, how she was brutalized to later die just because she accepted help from some unknown people. India woke up to that news and many voices together made a revolution… however how much we gained from it still a question. So why I am talking about all these Shantis, Radhikas and Nirbhayas here? What is one thing common in all these or many such victims –  Double Standards from the Society. Yes, instead of finding out the crux of the problem we easily find fault in least expected places and slut shame the survivor. Slut Shaming – yes a stigma of our society, a provocation where we characterize a women without even giving a thought, an iota of doubt on why have we just called her a ‘slut’. Be it in corporate world or day to day life, slut shaming is something which has come very handy to us now…

As per Oxford Dictionary Slut Shaming is – “The action or fact of stigmatizing a woman for engaging in behavior judged to be promiscuous or sexually provocative.” But are we actually leveling there charges on someone after doing our research? or it’s just slip of tongue??

If you are a Harry Potter buff, you are well aware of Emma Watson, isnt’it? This beautiful young lady has achieved so much in her life that too in such young age plus she is an appointed UN Women Goodwill Ambassador but we people didn’t even leave her… just because she wore a particular dress (due to some xyz reason) we slut shamed her on all social media channels…. may I ask why??? because it’s easy to character assassinate someone saying she’s a slut. EUREKA moment of achievement. When a women in office gets continual promotions and appraisals – why do we think it has something to do with her personal favors to bosses and not look into her capabilities.

a little disclaimer here – I am not a FEMINIST, nor i belong to any such groups. these are my own personal views without having any hard FEELINGS for any gender.

If a woman goes out clubbing with her male friends, drink and have some fun (categorically fun) why is she slut shamed by peers? It really splits me to laughter when someone says height/length of dress is exactly proportionate to my character as a woman… are you even listening to what you are saying?? We do not even leave a new mother who’s feeding her hungry baby in public risking herself to be Shut Shamed later by prying eyes. According to me these are just the double standards of our society where we tag anyone and everyone based on our personal views.

Slut Shaming
Image source- https://onsizzle.com/t/olo

A women is doing something beyond our (read society) so called rule book – She is a SLUT and needs to be SHAMED. But if the same thing a male/Man does he’s okay to do that because that’s his nature. (Ah haa.. so did God directly hot dialed you to tell that)

It’s time we take a step backward and look where are we heading as a society! We must introspect today, if we wish to have a sane, wiser future.

I am writing this post for Slutylish.com for their Think Different Program, who are on a mission to make word SLUT appear on a different note. A Fearless Style of Positive Living.

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33 thoughts on “Slut Shaming – Stigma or Provocation

  1. Slut-shaming is far more harmful than simple name-calling although being denigrated publicly in itself can be traumatic, as the suicides of a number of slut-shamed girls attests. Once a girl or woman is regarded as a “slut” she becomes a target for sexual assault. And if she is sexually assaulted, she may be assigned to that identity ex post facto to rationalize the crime and the assaulter gets protected. 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. Our media is awash with stories of females being slut shamed in many differing and perverse ways; Taylor Swift for having ‘too many’ boyfriends, Kim Kardashian for posting naked selfies and many more examples to quote. Society is far more accepting of sexual exploration from boys than girls, which is indicative of the damaging gender inequalities still at play today. Slut shaming also goes hand in hand with rape culture; blaming survivors of rape and sexual assault for the brutal attacks they have experienced. A woman’s current sexual activity, past sexual encounters, preferences, orientation is her business and no one else’s. It is reductive and repressive to judge only one gender in this way; it impacts negatively on our ability to implement positive societal change and create a society that is fair and equal for all.

  2. Well said Dipika… I agree with you on each and every words.. I feel upset when the women slutshaming the fellow women.. Lets hope atleast the future generation may better than us..

    1. Thanks a lot for connecting Shivi, yes you rightly mentioned it feels sad when women talks ill about other women. Hope is all that we have and yes imbibing good sense in your kids. Thank You 🙂

  3. Discussion needs more thought .I however don’t like the word itself somehow .It’s not pleasant .But your take on the topic is thought provoking. Victims of abuse should never be shamed into feeling it’s their fault .It never is .

    1. Absolutely Amrita, this is something which needs to be triggered and then to be irradiated. This is worst one can do to a survivor of abuse or acid attack victim- “she deserved that” is something which is so commonly used in such cases. But who give them this right to name tag or slut shame anyone.
      Thank You for your feedback.
      Thia anger is beyond the coverage of words.

  4. Your post reminds me of the movie PINK released earlier this year. As correctly stated in that film that no matter whatever maybe the lifestyle of a woman, one cannot take her for granted. A no is a no! !

    1. Absolutely Geethica I so much believe in this. Women’s choice is something society so clearly refuse to accept. Hopefully one day this positive change will also come… thanks for reading and ur comments darling

  5. A thought provoking article Dipika! The sad part is slut shaming has insanely blended with our culture and mindset. Even before this modern era slut shaming has been silently taking away some innocent lives. I am very glad you have written about this topic. It’s hightime we need to shout out and spread the wisdom.

    1. Thanks a lot dear for linking and connecting to the thought. Indeed it’s a long battle but yes, we have to keep on fighting with such mindset for our future generations.
      Gratitude.

  6. You just hit the right chord, for such low thinking people in society,
    I felt like u slammed them with correct note.

  7. You rightly said, Dipika, that it’s a time to introspect if we wish to have a sane and wiser future. I also agree with Janani that it’s about mindset – you only see what you want to see. According to wikitionary, slut also means bold, outspoken woman.

    As you mentioned about corporate world or day-to-day-life slut-shaming, I’d like to tell that excellence of women in any field is acknowledged by the word slut whether in cinema or sports or politics; even queens were called sluts, for example Cleopatra, Draupadi, etc. Goddesses are also not spared. Durga, who is revered as Goddess of Power, is also called slut by some. The issue was raised by Smriti Irani in the parliament. So, it seems that women empowerment and slut-shaming are the two sides of the same coin.

    1. Absolutely Ravish, it’s indeed two sides of the same coin…. my view to it is that patriarchy doesn’t accept dominance by bold, strong, outspoken women and hence it’s like naming or slut shaming them. It’s time to bring about the change.
      Thank you for connecting: )

  8. My thoughts on the topic absolutely resonate with you. I too know of a friend who got abused by a distant cousin, but never had the courage to tell her family. She said, “Who would believe me?” I can’t forget the helpless look on her face.
    Thanks for this write-up.

    1. Thanks a lot Anupriya, yes i have read n heard abt many such instances where females take blame on themselves just due to this ‘hypocrisy’ of any social culture. Thanks for connecting

  9. A very well written and thought out piece. Thank you Dipika for writing about this. Yes, it’s such a pity we still live in a society where slut shaming is a sort of norm, despite the fact that we have grown leaps and bounds in technology, economy and so on so forth.

    More power to women like you who stand up for the rights of women who are slut shamed. We need more of your kind Dipika ❤ ❤

    My latest post:

    http://isheeriashealingcircles.com/happy-natasha/#comment-832 on Happiness

  10. Why we are always ready to label women…be it any age or any profession or any status. Slut shaming is not just a label but kind of treatment we give to females. Its high time to shun these labels and stereotypes and get out of this.

  11. good article and like your thoughts and the way you wanna change the mind of people through this slut shaming dipika

  12. It is the years of conditioning and the patriarchal way of life that is responsible for this attitude of Indian men. I think, it should be added to the list of cultures and traditions of our country!
    Slut-shaming is an insult to the women who are revered as goddesses and used and abused for trying to live a life the way they wish!
    Great post, Dipika!

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