Feminism | Posted by Christina B on 08/31/2011

Slut Shaming In High School: Wait Until We’re All On The Same Page

why does it have to be one or the other?

why does it have to be one or the other?

I honestly dislike judgmental people, but I am not going to lie – I have definitely judged people in my life. Hey, I’m not perfect and we all do it to some extent. What really bothers me is when people start to judge each other on how sexually advanced someone is. Prudes are judged for being very conservative (stereotypically) but I think girls that are more involved with guys are judged way harsher. I think slut shaming is stupid and pointless, especially in high school. I am only a sophomore but what I have observed is that girls are called sluts just for making out with boys that aren’t their boyfriends or if things go a little farther than just kissing. But the thing is that people become sexually active at different rates.

I go to a small high school where people in your grade know a lot about you. I grew up with these people, so it makes sense, but what doesn’t make sense is why we judge each other. For example, a boy in my math class let it slip that we hooked up a few times. Then his ex-girlfriend finds out and then people start saying awful things about you. As it turns out, if one person starts to call you a slut, everyone else joins in.

What I find annoying about slut shaming is that just because I might have made out with four guys in my life does not mean that I am going to have sex with any of them. Even if I did it would not be anybody’s business.  My point is that in high school you have boys and girls that have not had their first kiss yet or have only kissed their boyfriends/girlfriends but then you also have boys and girls that have don’t much, much more. It’s impossible to judge someone if you have not been in their situation. If someone is calling another person a slut or another nasty name, then they need to remember that almost the entire population of the Earth will at some point in their life be sexually active in some way. And when you look at it like that, this slut shaming business makes absolutely no sense at all.

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  • Ashley @ at 11:28 am, August 31st, 2011

    You bring up a very good topic and have very good ideas. I agree that slut shaming is wrong. One’s sexuality is no one’s business but their own. In my own opinion, I couldn’t care less how much sex someone is having, as long as they are being safe. And yes there is that stipulation of being safe, and here’s why: We have to be honest here and admit that a lot of people (teens and adults) aren’t having safe sex. This unsafe sex leads to the spread of STDs and unwanted children, which is an idea that everyone should be aware of and concerned about because it *does* affect other people.

    Now having that said, if someone is practicing safe sex, then by all means.

    High school and sex is tough, especially when you are dealing with kids who are under the age of consent, which in that case, there are other issues at hand than just slut shaming. Legal issues.

    I wasn’t worried about slut shaming in high school because I was a virgin on my graduation day, the only one out of my friends. They were *so* much more experienced and educated than I was. Some of them started having sex (not just kissing or oral) but intercourse at age 12. I don’t call them sluts. I call that idea unfortunate though.

  • Emma E @ at 12:36 pm, August 31st, 2011

    I love your last point, about how almost everyone will eventually be sexually active–I’ve never heard it explained that way. I’m going to use that the next time I hear someone slut-shaming. :)

  • Alexa @ at 2:53 pm, September 1st, 2011

    I agree with Emma that that last point is very interestingly put. Even though it’s obviously true, I don’t think I’ve ever seen it articulated before like that. The fact that there must be a virgin-whore dichotomy is so frustrating to me. It is so antiquated and, in my opinion, no longer applicable to our society whatsoever.

  • Kelly @ at 7:51 am, September 2nd, 2011

    This is a very difficult situation to be in, and it was very interesting to hear it explained this way – it gave me a whole new viewpoint:)

    I think that just like things such as what clothes you wear, what music you listen to etc., your sexuality is just another thing that teenagers are trying to express in a way that is socially acceptable. I agree that this sort of labelling is totally unacceptable. But whether it’s labelling someone a slut or accusing them of being a virgin, it all comes down to how teenagers are trying to fit in and how they deal with their own insecurities.

  • Liz @ at 5:14 pm, September 2nd, 2011

    Great post! It unfortunately doesn’t end in high school. A gay male acquaintance of mine recently wrote an article for our university’s student newspaper with tips for freshmen and included a tip that said something like, “Keep your doors open! But ladies, remember to keep your legs closed.” No… mention of … men? As if all sexual misfortune is only carried by women. Oh, my god!

  • Emma E @ at 8:27 pm, September 2nd, 2011

    I just saw this post mentioned in ‘On our Radar’ on Bitch Magazine blog! Congrats! :)

  • Emma E @ at 8:28 pm, September 2nd, 2011

    I just saw a link to this post in ‘On our Radar’ on Bitch Magazine Blog! Just wanted to tell you that, in case you weren’t already aware. Congrats!

  • NWOslave @ at 12:17 pm, September 5th, 2011

    The reason a girl is shamed for being a slut is because she is acting shamefully. If there’s a boy in your school who uses girls for sex do you praise him? You can’t simply say a girl shouldn’t be shamed for sleeping around unless you also praise the boy who uses girls for sex. They’re flip sides of the same coin.

  • Rainydays @ at 10:25 pm, January 5th, 2012

    I really liked this post mainly becuase I too, go to a small school and everything everyone does gets around. There’s a girl that I know and I consider really strong becuase people often make rude remarks about her, er, promiscuity. This is not to say I support sleeping around and I realize community controls such as slut shaming have a purpose (limiting STDs and pregnancy), but we could all be a little kinder. After all, the guys these “sluts” hook up with are pretty slutty too, and never bear the blame of rumours. Rumours and gossip always justify themselves because “it was her fault for sleeping with him”. Let’s not punish each other, but support insecure people who feel like they have to lose their virginity in high school.

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