Slut Shaming –According to the Huff Po, Slut-shaming is the experience of being labeled a sexually out-of-control girl or woman and then being punished socially for possessing this identity. Slut-shaming is sexist because only girls and women are called to task for their sexuality, whether real or imagined; boys and men are congratulated for the exact same behavior. This is the essence of the sexual double standard: Boys will be boys, and girls will be sluts.
Q: Hi, I would really like some advice, I find myself in a situation which I took as a joke at first, but now it’s been going on for a bit too long and is starting to hurt. One of the main reasons is because at the start of this school year I changed, I’m a bit more confident and I have moved on from my ex boyfriend and now have a crush on someone new. Anyway it all started when I got the snapchat of one of my step brothers friends and we started talking (we still do), over time I started adding other boys under the suggestion of my friends who said it would open new options for me. The problem is that all those boys that I added on snapchat now have become as my friends call it “my 30” boyfriends. My friends now on a daily basis label me a slut and announce it to the class all the time. They say that I like all of the “30 boyfriends” even though several times I have told them that I like the guy that is my stepbrothers friend.
This whole business of being called a slut is really starting to become hurtful though and they now think that I am going to have sex with the guy I like (my step brothers friend). They think that because he asks for nudes, I never have sent them though and I don’t plan on it because I’m so insecure about my body. The thing that bugs me most though is that I know that several of them have actually done all that stuff, yet they seem to think it’s all right to give me a hard time about all of it when I’ve never done it. My friends are saying that they are just trying to help me. Are they really? I don’t know if it’s because of my very jokey and outgoing personality that they think I like every boy I meet?
Could I please have some advice? Thanks!
A: What started out as an (unfunny) joke to begin with has definitely been taken wayyyy to0 far. I agree with you and I think you HAVE to speak up to friends and tell them how you feel. These are your friends, they shouldn’t be calling you a slut and should care if they are hurting you. I would suggest talking to them each one on one. Sometimes in a group people just aren’t as kind. Your friends may be a little concerned about your reputation, but they are going about it all wrong.
Here’s the thing-there is absolutely nothing wrong with being outgoing and friendly to these guys on Snap, but you have to understand that some of these guys may think you’re flirting and may get the wrong idea. Not your problem, as long as you know what YOUR personal boundaries are. For example, your crush asking for nudes. Girl, your ONLY reason for not sending him one is cause you’re insecure about your body?! From my perspective, that’s pretty ballsy on his part considering you guys aren’t even dating. And just imagine if that pic starts circulating around school. But ultimately, it’s YOUR choice to decide what is right for you. You have to look out for yourself as numbero uno.
My biggest piece of advice for you is that the most attractive quality in a friend or a crush is confidence and self respect. You’ve got an outgoing personality and have been working on your confidence, which is amazing. But I think you need to continue to work on it. And trust me, this process takes years. That’s why I want you to stand up to your friends and let them know it’s not okay to call you a slut. And I don’t want you to think that sending your crush a nude is going to make him fall in love with you. Honestly, if he is a good guy, he will respect you more if you don’t send it. Don’t be so quick to give your power away. If he loses interest cause you don’t send it, well, now you know what kind of guy you’re dealing with. Jerk alert.
You deserve friends and an eventual boyfriend who respects your feelings and body. But it all starts with you. We show others how to treat us through our words and actions. So, start showing ’em.