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Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Women of Western: Slut shaming

As I enter the small classroom, the words “Don’t measure a woman’s worth by her clothes,” are projected in the front of the room on a screen.

Slut, an event organized by Western Students Against Violence, allowed students to discuss and share personal experiences with slut shaming and gender violence.

According to Western Students Against Violence, slut shaming can be defined as the act of perpetuating and attempting to make a person feel guilty or inferior for sexual behavior.

Why is this happening? Out of a crowd of approximately 40 people, a few people had some possible answers.

One attendee mentioned that patriarchy, or a male-dominant society, could contribute to normalizing gender violence. When a female is promiscuous, she is labeled “slut.” When a male is promiscuous, he is labeled a “stud.”

“Slut” has the negative connotation of being wrong and disrespectful. “Stud” has a positive connotation of being a successful and proud male, the attendee said.

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Another person raised their hand, “What about the term man-whore?”

The term addresses to be simply a whore is connected to females. By placing the word “man” in front of

“whore,” it displays how unique the individual is male and acting like a whore is relating himself to the

female action of sexual promiscuity.

 

If a woman were to wear a sports bra while running outside during her time of exercise, would this give

you the permission to whistle as she jogs by? Standing up to your friend’s commentary on how she

should cover up because “she is asking for it” could help minimize slut-shaming comments in the future.

 

How is it a college student’s concern to be worried about slut-shaming? What can we do to prevent it?

“Rather than standing by and letting acts of violence and words contributing to acts of violence happen,

students can speak out and support one another,” senior Becca LaMarche said. “We should really ask

questions where these words are coming from so we can work together towards a safer community.”

 

In some cases, male dominance allows for blaming the victim in sexual assault cases to become a part of

our everyday lives.

 

SlutWalk is an event held around the world to rally against sexual violence and challenges the way the

term “slut” is used. Check out the video below to learn more about the impact SlutWalk has made on

addressing victim blaming.

As community members and fellow students, we can take care of each other by taking a stance against

shaming others and educating ourselves on sexual violence prevention.

Sexual violence is a serious issue. Western’s Consultation and Sexual Assault Support (CASAS) is a safe

place for students, staff and other readers to talk about their experiences confidentially. Regardless of

your identity, call (360) 650-3700 or visit their website for further resources and help.

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