An open letter to slutshamers

Dear slut-shamers,

Women are incredibly complex, fascinating, beautiful humans. But for some reason, the world insists on commodifying them, on making the private choices of women an open debate. You’ll hear it from your mother, your well meaning best friend, even the boy who texted you at 12:47 am last night. You’ll hear it from the police, when you try telling them what happened, how he touched you. As a woman, you’ll heart it over and over again, until maybe you start to wonder if its true.

“That’s slutty”

“Maybe you shouldn’t sleep around so much”

“What else can you expect? It was a hookup”

“I mean, you were wearing that dress”

And what you’ll hear over and over, like some sort of demented mantra, “have some self respect”. Hey, I never had any problems with self respect until you reduced my entire worth as a human being, all my talents and gifts, my work ethic, my smile, my compassion, to my choices regarding sex.

Slut-shaming is what destroys a woman’s self worth. It’s what leads them to accept less than they deserve. It isn’t sex that ruins a woman, it’s society’s response.

People will slap a guy on the back and commend him on his “game” with the same hand they use to point fingers at women who do not adhere to their archaic moral code.

I have friends that, by popular definition are “sluts,” and I have friends who haven’t kissed a boy. And they are all equally worthy of respect and all the love in the universe.

To everyone reading this, a person’s choices regarding sexual activity or lack thereof (as long as they are safe and consensual) are cause for no one’s concern but their own. Let’s stop reducing women to sexual objects. Let’s stop promoting oppressive patriarchal standards that shame women and congratulate men for the same act. Let’s stop shaming people who aren’t interested in sex, or haven’t had the experience yet.

love,

Sydelle

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