ChoiceWords Blog

Posts Tagged: slut-shaming

Virginity is a Myth

Virginity, a hymen, and purity. What do these things have in common? Exactly. Nothing. Virginity is a concept that mainly regards a woman who has had sex as disposable. This is especially apparent in the chewing gum analogy where a ‘chewed up’ piece of gum, or a woman who has had many sexual partners, should be discarded for a ‘fresh’ piece of gum. Society’s fixation on preserving virginity in women and eliminating virginity in men has essentially created false meanings when it comes to sexuality. Society has created the term “purity” as a state that mainly aligns itself to the female sex. In Jessica Valenti’s book “The Purity Myth: How America’s Obsession with Virginity Is Hurting Young Women,” she argues that chastity and abstinence-only rhetoric places a woman’s worth on… Read more »

“Sexual Purity” and STDs

    The first time I heard about sex on my college campus was during my freshmen orientation in a session titled “Sex, Drugs, and Rock n’ Roll,” which covered the university’s policies over premarital sex and drugs. It was during that session that students were told about the sexual stewardship section in our student handbook where “all students were expected to maintain a lifestyle of sexual purity” while attending Abilene Christian University. This lifestyle of sexual purity was enforced by a midnight curfew on the weekdays, male and female-only residence halls, and visitation night where the door had to be open as your RA periodically walked by to ensure students were not sexually tempting one another. If it was discovered that a student was not maintaining a sexually pure lifestyle,… Read more »

Thoughts on Kim Kardashian’s Nude Selfie and Reproductive Justice

This week Kim Kardashian West posted a selfie online in which she was naked with black bars covering her breasts and vagina. Of course, slut-shamers everywhere saw this as a chance to attack Kim and reiterate their belief that she is a bad example for young girls, her daughter, etc. Several celebrities took to Twitter to shame Kim also, people who call themselves feminists told Kim she is bad for women and children. Which seems pretty counter-productive to me. There are a lot of issues feminists have to worry about and fight to change — Kim’s nude selfie is not and should not be anywhere on that list. It’s her body, and therefore her decision to share or not share.Thankfully, Kim took to Twitter and her website to clap back at… Read more »

Amber Rose is Still Not Asking for It with Los Angeles SlutWalk

This past weekend model and artist Amber Rose hosted a SlutWalk in Los Angeles to speak out against slut shaming. There are a few key lessons we can all take from it, especially as members of the reproductive justice movement. But first, a brief history lesson. SlutWalk was established in 2011 after a police officer at a school in Toronto told people they should not “dress like sluts” to avoid getting raped or other forms of sexual harassment. This is problematic for many reasons, but here are two big ones: 1. Everyone has a right to their own body and their own choices. Whether it’s their right to a safe abortion or contraception or simply what they want to wear. There is no reason society should ever police someone’s body… Read more »

Culture of Shame: What Duke’s First-Year Porn Star Says About Us

There have been about a million posts about Belle Knox, the Duke first-year and self-proclaimed porn star, over the past couple of weeks.  From the apparently shocking news that there is a current porn star actually pursuing her education (!!) to the immediate and incessant slut-shaming and double standards, to the conversations around porn consumers and producers, to Stoya’s beautiful and eloquent piece on sex-workers and privacy in the New York Times, it would seem that there is not much left to add to this conversation.  But I feel the need to add a few of my own words to all of this. Part of the critique against Knox inevitably comes from the fact that she is relatively young.  At eighteen years old, her work in the porn industry is entirely… Read more »

Slut Shaming on Halloween and Why Your Voice Matters

Halloween weekend(s? – my college had two for some reason) is officially over but the controversies surrounding Halloween costumes persist.  October is always an interesting month to be a social activist on the internet – the volume of posts on the racist or sexist nature of different costumes is astounding and the important conversations that develop out of them commendable.  And today I want to draw attention to another unfortunate American Halloween tradition: slut shaming. You may have seen the image currently making the rounds of a young woman from ASU who attending a Halloween party in the nude.  While the reasoning behind her costume (costume?) is interesting (did she just not prepare early enough and threw this together last minute? Is she making an avant garde statement about bodies?… Read more »

Rape Culture: A Case Study

Rape culture. Even if you’re not familiar with the fancy new wave feminist lingo, you’ve probably witnessed at least example of it somewhere in day-to-day life. Simply, rape culture is an environment where sexual violence is taken lightly and seen as the norm. When rape culture is present, we may be told that assault is an inevitability or given, or even–get ready, here’s the real kicker–that someone may be “asking” to be raped just by dressing a certain way. Marshall University’s Women’s Center offers the following, super concise definition: Rape Culture is an environment in which rape is prevalent and in which sexual violence against women is normalized and excused in the media and popular culture. Rape culture is perpetuated through the use of misogynistic language, the objectification of women’s… Read more »

Don’t Slut-Shame Halloween

  As a free-thinking woman living in the 21st century, I am deeply offended by the slut-shaming that coincides with the arrival of Halloween. Finally Feminism 101 defines slut-shaming as shaming and/or attacking a woman or a girl for being sexual, having one or more sexual partners, acknowledging/acting on sexual feelings. This message implies that sexuality is bad, and as a society we have the right to objectify women based on their clothing (or lack thereof.) The disdain expressed for some costumes is something I would usually expect from the conservative medium, not from fellow women. Let me tell you first that I realize that there is a great divide on this issue of the portrayal of women, sexism, expectations, etc. I come from the belief that “If you got… Read more »

Pop Goes Sex Positive: Now With 0% Slut Shaming

When Christina Aguilera’s new single “Love Your Body” dropped several weeks back, I made the point to check it out. The artist has gone through as many unique phases as a chameleon, from teen pop royalty to blue-eyed soul icon. I was interested to see what the artist formerly known as Xtina had up her sleeve this time around. What I discovered was not just a really catchy pop song, but one with a sex-positive message. httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6cfCgLgiFDM