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Slut shaming is the deplorable act of eroding the human honour of a promiscuous and sexually active woman by insisting that she’s eroded her feminine (virginal) honour. Slut shaming is the gender disproportionate act of berating female sexuality in a world where male sexuality is extolled. Slut shaming shapes sexual behaviour but ought not to. Slut shaming resonates with many men and women, but ought not to.

Here are the 5 most common slut shaming fallacies:

1. Being a Slut degrades and objectifies other women.

This particularly sanctimonious argument is the logical equivalent of saying that any expression of female sexuality is shameful because these women expressing their sexuality in this way leads to her and all other women being viewed solely as sex objects. No. Because, let’s be clear, there are oceans of difference between individual women behaving in sexually vibrant ways, and a woman insisting, through her actions, that her sexuality is the only dimension along which her identity manifests itself. This is almost never true, because each individual has their own intellectual identity, artistic identity, artistic identity, moral identity, aesthetic identity, and sexual identity. Most people happen to be more focused, or vibrant, or aggressive within certain spheres of their lives, but that doesn’t imply that the others don’t exist. Heterosexual men are societally afforded the luxury of having their sexuality viewed as one of many important human characteristics, whereas female sexuality is viewed as taboo and peculiar no-go area. Most women are deterred from venturing into this area, and thereby denied necessary, enjoyable, and wholesome life experiences. And if they do venture there, they’re equated to the simplistic, airbrushed caricature of what a sexualised woman is supposed to be, as conceived by male fantasy, and perpetuated by a hypermasculine media culture that fetishises large breasts, white skin, a round (but not too round!) butt, small labia, and, for some reason, seems to want to render pubic lice extinct. Society vilifies and degrades these women for the choices that they make and then insists that they ought not to make those choices because they’re degrading.

2. She’s sleeping her way to the top.

I’ve got major issues with this. More often than not, this presumption is a disingenuous attempt to discredit her achievements that threaten male dominance within politics, business, law, entertainment, and pretty much all human fields. It is also a reflection of the fact that people often find it difficult to comprehend the rather simple idea that ‘attractive’ women can be good at things other than sex. But what’s more disturbing is that this is a rather vulgar form of victim blaming. The casting couch is a patriarchal set-up intended to force women to choose between the lesser of two extremely undesirable evils. Men who use their power to attain sex that is partially consensual (at best) are subject to a lot less slander than women who use sex to attain the power that they legitimately deserve.

3. Slut shaming would stop if sleaze shaming did.

Sleaze shaming is the practice of calling someone sleazy when they act sleazy. Many people (mostly pick-up artists) believe that castigating men who are direct and brasen while making sexual propositions is the moral equivalent of castigating women who consent to being promiscuous. This might have been true in a gender neutral world. This might have been true in a world where women didn’t have to doubt whether their prospective sexual partners actually viewed them as a person and not as a fungible sex object. This might have been true in a world where sexual propositions and courting techniques were aimed at asking for consent, rather than circumventing it. Sleaziness needs to be shamed so that sex can be an activity where two (maybe more?) people engage in mutually pleasurable and potentially intimate intercourse (and of course, other fun stuff), not where a guy ‘scores’ a girl.

4. It’s easy to be a Slut; it’s hard to be a Stud.

One of the most common responses to the slut-stud dichotomy. Prima facie fallacious because there’s no reason for the human dignity and societal respect of an individual to be contingent on the ease with which they go about sexual activity. But moreover, the very same social stigma that is the subject of this argument is something that makes open promiscuity rather difficult for most girls. The fact that men who want to engage in sex with multiple partners are a lot less likely to find said partners than a woman who wants to do the same, is but a manifestation of the fact that societal slander and regressive gender norms regarding sexual aggression and passivity have made women more cagey, and men more proactive, in this regard.

5. She’s someone’s daughter! And someone’s to-be wife!

This outrage at the loss of her limited-edition hymen is more common in the developing world where the only reason many people see to break a hymen is to make way for fresh products to exit the baby factory. But of course, this argument leaves a woman bereft of her sexual identity and essentialised to her reproductive identity. The notion that being a slut undermines this naive and myopic girl’s ability to perform her familial and maternal functions in the future, is a common one, that presumes rather than argues, that motherhood and family are imperative, not optional.

Here are 5 stupidest arguments I’ve heard in favour if slut shaming:

1. All publicity = good publicity because slut = attention whore.Stop bestowing your attention on her and mind your own fucking business.

2. Promiscuity = Prostitution without the money.
Read up about consent. Alternatively, fuck off.

3. More Sluts = More Rape/Assault
Read up about consent. Alternatively, fuck off.

4. More Sluts = More STDs and unwanted pregnancies
Read up about condoms. Alternatively, fuck off.

5. Does she really need to be a slut?
Do you really need to be a dick? No, right? You just want to. Same reason.

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One thought on “The Slut, the Stud, the Sleaze, and the Shame : 5 Slut-shaming Fallacies

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