Who You Calling A Slut?

Back in 2010, when I decided I really, truly, legitimately wanted to make a go at this writing gig, I had zero clue what to do, who to turn to, where to even begin (okay, yes, I knew where to begin: on the page, writing the words. But then after that…No clue.). Fast forward to 2015, and I’ve not only figured out where to go next, I’ve also developed a solid network of wonderful author friends. These friends are from all over the world, come in all shapes and sizes, have varying senses of humor and beliefs, and write all sorts of different genres. And I love them all. I like to feature them on my blog, because I think you will love them too.

Today, I’ve asked Beverly Diehl to take over my blog. I told her she could write whatever she wanted. It’s not fair to put limits on creative people. When she sent me her post, I admit, I got a little excited about posting it on my blog. I love it when people bring a fresh, honest perspective to taboo subjects; when they talk about things many would often rather pretend doesn’t happen. But maybe, just maybe, if we don’t pretend, if we follow Beverly’s advice below, maybe those taboo things won’t happen. Someday.

Keep reading…

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3 Great Reasons To Be a Slut

So, why would anyone want to be a slut? Well, let’s take a look at who gets called a slut.

  • Sluts own their sexuality. They decide for themselves when and if, they will engage in sexual activity, rather than accepting that their fathers, husbands, or boyfriends should choose for them. Historically, women/girls have often been labelled sluts if:
  • They refused to have sex before they were ready (Anne Boleyn).
  • They chose to have lots of sex (Peggy Lee, Anaïs Nin).
  • Sluts speak up for themselves, and others.
  • From Eleanor Roosevelt, to the Empress Theodora to Hillary Rodham Clinton, women who consistently and repeatedly speak out for the oppressed and under-represented, are often labelled as sluts.
  • Attempts at slut-shaming are especially flagrant if women are speaking out for the right of other girls and women to control their own reproductive freedom (Sandra Fluke, Margaret Sanger, Joycelyn Elders). Or even their right to an education (Malala Yousafzai).
  • Sluts make up their own mind about what women “should” do, think, and be, whether that’s being a Queen or Empress (Catherine the Great), a nuclear physicist, a sex worker, a stay-at-home-mom, or an astronaut.
  • There’s a 4th category of “slut,” which is not really a choice. These are girls and women who are forced into sex work (Hwang Jini), displayed as curiosities (Sara Baartman), or perhaps were raped and then slut-shamed, as in the case of this pregnant 14-year-old, raped at 13 by a 17-year-old neighborhood boy who assaulted others as young as 12.

A former self-proclaimed “social bug” — she was a cheerleader and athlete — the young victim has become reclusive since learning she was pregnant.

“I can’t walk out the door without someone calling me a whore or slut,” the girl said. “I used to have a lot of friends, or people I thought were my friends, but as soon as this happened I just isolated myself.”

The repeated vandalism incidents at the family’s home — including the words “whore” and “slut” scrawled on the garage doors — were reported to police. But Green said no charges were filed because there were no witnesses to the acts.

Her daughter also has been the target of mean-spirited rumors and speculation that her pregnancy is the result of promiscuous behavior.

Green said she and her daughter were both opposed to abortion, but the topic came up after she learned her “baby girl” was pregnant.

“Under these circumstance,” Green said, “it would have been easier.”

But after a two-hour heart-to-heart conversation, her daughter held firm to her convictions.

“I just looked at my mom,” the girl recalled, “and told her I wanted to keep the baby.”

 

Tragically, too many women who have been victims of sexual assault and slut-shaming have taken their own lives.

Stop Slut Shaming 

What You Can Do

  • If you have a friend who is being slut-shamed, stand by her, not with those who would shame her. (Note: Males are rarely if ever slut-shamed, though girls and women often participate in slut-shaming another female).
  • If you are being slut-shamed, ask for help. If you are a young woman, ask your parents, or a friend’s parents, or a trusted school counselor or teacher, for help in managing the attacks and your feelings. If you are older and are being slut-shamed, ask your friends, and perhaps a trusted counselor, for help. My personal favorite response, when someone calls me a slut, is to look pleased and to say, “Thank you! The most amazing and powerful women in the world have been labelled sluts at some point.”)
  • Do not slut-shame, do not allow slut-shaming in your hearing, even if you know the girl or woman really is a “slut” who is trying to take your boyfriend or your friend’s boyfriend. You may not know as much as you think you know.
  • Read up on slut-shaming, on who is shamed, and why. You’ll quickly see a pattern: shamers are usually afraid of the “slut” and her perceived power, and seeks to “put her in her place” by trying to make her feel ashamed. If possible, they enlisting their social network to help them do so. Because to many people, sexuality is a source of shame, confusion, and embarrassment, slut-shaming can be a very effective weapon. However, like rape itself, slut-shaming really is about the power over another person, not so much about the sex.

Always be who you choose to be. Even if some people would call that woman a “slut.”

Beverly Deihl Author Pic

 

BEVERLY DIEHL… writes on the wild side.   

FB Fanpage: https://www.facebook.com/WriterBeverly

Twitter: https://twitter.com/writerbeverly

Blog, Featuring Slut of the Month: http://writinginflow.blogspot.com/

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13 thoughts on “Who You Calling A Slut?

Add yours

  1. I’ve learned so much from reading your series, Beverly, and I like seeing all these points in one place. It’s interesting (and disheartening) to see all the historical examples right up against modern day examples.

    1. Yes, we’ve come a long way baby…. erm, maybe not so long a way, after all. But I for one am going to keep battling to help people understand.

  2. Thank you for writing this, Beverly! Clear and concise, straightforward and directive (so people know what to do). Every time I read something that promotes a woman’s right to protect her body, own her own libido and take care of it and enjoy it, and love herself in all ways – well, I give myself more permission to do all of that. Thank you for being strong and brave for the rest of us.

    1. Thank you for standing up for yourself, too. Every time another woman does that, every time a woman refuses to slut-shame another woman, we all win.

    2. Thank YOU… the more we each stand up for ourselves, and each other, the more progress we make against slut-shaming.

  3. I would follow you and your sluts anywhere, Beverly! Seriously, thank you for all that you do for women’s rights and healthy sexuality.

    And thank you, Tami, for having Beverly guest post here.

  4. I was called a slut on Saturday. I said thank you! I am proud to own my sexuality. I think it’s shameful thing we do to ourselves and other women by slut shaming.

  5. It is just dreadful that women are taught to be ashamed of their sexuality. Rape is the worst form of slut-shaming; to blame the victim is an atrocious act.

    1. And blaming the victim, unfortunately, happens more than we realize. Which is why it’s a good idea to hold back judgment on a girl or woman’s sexual behavior, even if we don’t think it’s something we ourselves would do.

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