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Western students provide positive and empowering discussion on slut shaming

Slut shaming and rape culture was discussed at the Western Students against Violence, WSAV, seminar Tuesday, May 12. WSAV is a program within Western’s Empowerment and Violence Services department, WEAVE. The event discussed the many ways that society propagates and maintains a culture that is degrading towards women’s sexuality.

One in four women will be sexually assaulted in their life was one of the many facts revealed at “Slut: A positive and empowering discussion on slut shaming and how it perpetuates gender violence.”

Slut shaming is defined as the act of making an individual, most likely women, feel guilty or inferior for their sexual behaviors or body parts. Rape culture is when rape is normalized due to societal opinions and attitudes about gender and sexuality.

Thirty to 40 students attended the event. The hosts presented their information on and gave audience members the chance to tell personal stories, ask questions and provide comments. It was a very active presentation. Participants snapped when someone said something that they liked or agreed with.

The seminar discussed the many ways that slut shaming is perpetuated. It can be perpetuated by patriarchy, slut versus stud gender roles, meaning a sexually active women is a slut and a sexually active man is a stud, the media and societies need for women to be “pure.”

Slut shaming relates and leads to violence, Dani Adams, a host and WEAVE member, said. Victim blaming and trivializing sexual assault is how slut shaming leads to violence, Adams said.

When the presentation ended Adams presented many ways to prevent and stand up to these societal problems. She recommended bystander intervention, educating yourself and others, and standing up to slut shaming whenever and wherever you see it.

“Educating people is really important in ending slut shaming, rape culture and any other type of systems that are oppressive,” Adams said.

Western sophomore Bridget Littlefield found the event very interesting.

“I really liked hearing everyone’s perspective,” Littlefield said.

The next event WSAV will be hosting is at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 14, titled “Rape Culture.”

To learn more about rape culture and slut shaming view these videos presented at the event.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HyhHYI-Pkk4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CCw2MzKjpoo

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