WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU DISCUSSED SLUT SHAMING WITH YOUR SON?

by | August 17, 2018

Remember that time you had the conversation about how girls aren’t asking for it? or that time he retweeted an intimate picture of his female classmate. What about those times you went over exactly what ‘no’ meant, and how he was confused. Don’t forget the time you spoke to him about Brock Turner and the drunken rape in the news. What about the in-depth conversations about female reproduction, and period cycles? Or even, about how there’s no such thing as ‘slutty clothes’. 

Don’t remember any of these conversations? Not one? is it because you’ve just assumed that your son will automatically learn about consent, slut-shaming and sexual positivity from their classmates, who also are not having these conversations with their parents. 

What is Slut Shaming?

 Rebecca Sedwick, 12, jumped to her death after being tormented relentlessly about how far she’d gone with a boy she had dated.

Jessica Laney, 16, hung herself after being called a slut and whore online.

Felicia Garcia, 15, threw herself in front of a speeding train after rumors spread about her having sex with members of the school’s football team.

Amanda Todd, 15, hung herself after being blackmailed and called a slut over revealing photos an adult had pressured her to take years before.

Rachel Ehmke, 13, hung herself after the word “slut” was scrawled across her locker and other kids at school repeatedly called her a “prostitute.”

These are not the only girls that have died, been tormented throughout school, and they won’t be the last unless we start talking to our sons and daughters about slut shaming. The Me Too movement has been a powerful and eye-opening reality of the world we are living in. That men, any men, they don’t have to be powerful, or even men at all. To suppress, humiliate, sexually abuse and rape women. 

Slut shaming usually starts in junior and high school with students finding it funny to swap stories, group messages and private social media groups to bully and harass the ‘sluts’. That said, the fundamental brickwork of slut shaming begins much earlier, and it is because of the societal view on females. 

Ourselves and our daughters are taught to be ‘sexy’ from a young age, with beauty pageants beginning as toddlers and ending when their beauty ‘runs out’, usually in their mid 20’s. A study by psychologists at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois gave sixty female children the choice of a doll with ‘sexy’ clothing and a doll with less sexy clothing, revealed that the majority of the children picked the sexy dolls – researches pointed out that they saw sexy as being popular. 

slut shaming

According to Parents, Even if you limit your child’s media exposure to family and children’s films and TV, they’re still getting the same message. The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media revealed that nearly one in three female characters in family films wears “sexy attire,” whereas not even one in ten male characters is dressed provocatively. The message is clear: Girls are valued for their looks and their bodies, whereas boys can be valued for any number of things ranging from their bravery to their brains

The teen years are not any easier. Kids trying to copy their favorite singer or actress may copy their style of dress also, but those women are adults and can dress how they want, because they’re performers. cue sarcasm.  

Parents, in an effort to stop their girls from dressing like their idols, slut shame their own children. An example was of a story where a young girl was wearing shorts to a family outing, mom calling her ‘slutty’ and the dad, in an effort to carry on that slut shaming, cut his own shorts to match the length to the outing, to  humiliate and remind her of her ‘worth’  

So many, many questions. Her worth? Does her worth stop at her vagina? Is it her whole body. Does she have any body autonomy? and can decide what she wants to wear and if it is inappropriate or not. 

.Also, shorts are not by definition immodest. Modest? Sexy? Both? Neither? You tell me. Read this and have an idea about how the idea of the tyranny of modesty talk, which is really about control and the taint of impropriety women must manage at all hours of the day.

We also have mom bloggers, such as Kimberly Hall, mom of boys, who has since deleted her off the charts slut shaming tirade that went viral. Some not so stellar advice to her son’s potential partners included, 

“Did you know that once a male sees you in a state of undress [in a sexy picture online], he can’t ever un-see it? You don’t want the Hall boys to only think of you in this sexual way, do you?”

Slut Shaming Mommy Blogger, Kimberly Hall. 

Instead of raising sons who appreciate women as humans, with brains and bodies, and not objects.  She has put the onus on the women to not lead her sons astray. If they see women as sex objects, then that’s the females fault, not the men. 

slut shaming

We obviously don’t want our daughters to be preyed upon and know that not everyone is having conversations about how they dress isn’t a statement of how much they’re ‘up for it’ – but if we want to raise respectful men. We must start when they are boys. 

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