Sunday, July 17, 2016

A Slut Shaming Experience



This post is hard for me to start. It's a hard thing for me to talk about in general, but it's also very important to me and to a lot of people, so here goes. I want to talk about my experiences of being slut shamed. I want to do this because I hear people talk about bitches who need to keep their legs closed and about college sluts who fuck anyone. These women are shamed daily for living their lives how they see fit, and I don't think the people who judge really understand the kind of damage this shit talking does to a person. At least I hope they don't understand it, otherwise I just spend my life surrounded by terrible human beings. 

Let's be clear, if you're the kind of person who doesn't like having casual flings, are waiting till marriage, or just don't feel like having sex then I have no judgment towards you. It's the beauty of modern day feminism that we can all have different types of sex lives and still support each other! Personally, I've had a range of comfort zones when it comes to my sexuality, and at every single time in my life there has been someone around who disapproved, and made their judgmental feelings heard.

There was the time, in an attempt to get over my ex boyfriend, I slept with a younger guy at a high school party. Like all attempts to get over someone by getting under someone else, it failed to get rid of my lingering feelings. In fact, it further wrecked me because upon finding out that I'd slept with someone else my ex threw this judgment at my feet, "I'm disgusted". Yup. He was disgusted by me. And felt that it was an okay thing to tell me this. I couldn't sleep with anyone for two years after that without feeling some form of shame. Now my only shame for that period of my life is letting someone so inconsequential dictate my actions for as long as he did, first love or no. No one deserves to be treated that way and it took me way too long to realize that I needed to stop idealizing him. 

There was the time that a preacher's wife who showed up on campus told me I was being abused by every single man I'd ever slept with because they only wanted me for my body. Because apparently that's the only reason anyone, including the boyfriend I'd had for over almost two years, has ever desired me. It all had nothing to do with this ~super sparkly~ personality, dry wit, and my ability to sometimes be a really nice person. Nope. It was all about my body (admittedly this was sometimes the case, but using someone for their body on a one night stand goes both ways so I'm not mad about that). My response that I also enjoy using people for their bodies was shocking enough to her that she changed tactics to let me know my parents will definitely get divorced because there's no religion in their marriage and they're 30 year  marriage is a sham. 

And there was the time that I had to cut a friend out of my life because her toxic personality finally corroded the shiny mask she'd put on in my presence for the two years of our friendship. Her final act was to spread around a secret I've kept very close to my heart to our entire friend group and then give me the winning advice of "This wouldn't have happened if you had kept your legs closed, slut". People who say friends always deserve forgiveness have never felt betrayal. If someone is dropping bombs like this it is entirely reasonable to recognize that they don't deserve you in their life. That's what I realized, and I'm a happier person because of it. 

My point in all of this is that those who judge you, whether they're your friends, strangers, or partners; they don't need to have a huge impact on your life. I let myself be shamed for so many years because it's how things always worked and I didn't realize I was strong enough to let their words slide off like the slime they are. Now I don't put up with that kind of talk. Even if it's in the playful smack across the head to let my good guy friends know I don't like the word slut or the outright arguments I've yelled at those who need it drilled into their heads that I'm not going to put up with their hateful speeches, I let my feelings be known. 


I hope everyone, no matter their comfort or discomfort with sex, lets the world know there's no place for judgment in the conversation. 

-E.B