Slut Policing

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Slut policing is the act using slut shaming as a method of controlling someone else's behavior.  But what exactly is slut policing and how does it work? Slut policing is a way to rein in someone else's sexuality by shaming them and making them fear being labeled as different and inappropriate. In highschool this is the ultimate taboo. So let's take a closer look at it.

'Slut' is probably the most feared term that a girl in highschool could get labelled with. Nobody wants to be known as the school slut.  'Slut' is the female equivalent of being a 'fag' for a guy...at least in the high schools of less progressive areas of the world (I hate the word 'fag' personally and the use of it by young men is quite disgusting and makes me envision these immature little fuckups being paddled till they cry. Then again, American culture is full of slurs that blind them to boorish culture they live in.  I grew up in Canada and Americans introduced me to new offensive phrases I'd never heard like, 'sand nigger' for a Arab (actually, it was an Arab man who claimed we called them that and I said, 'truthfully, I've never heard that phase before', 'wetback' for a 'Hispanic...man?' and "Zipperhead" for Asians...I assume the last one refers to the fact that all Asians have zippers on their heads??? No idea. (If you find any of these really offensive, realize that they mean nothing to me and I might as well be calling you 'chumpy' or some other sound.  Anyway, both the terms "slut" and "fag" try to police people into behaving within a certain social 'norm' by letting people know that they are behaving inappropriately and could suffer the consequences.

slut_policingCalling someone a slut simultaneously marks them as socially low on the totem pole, undesirable, and lets girls know that sexually aggressive women are unwelcome. For this reason, I think girls are much more likely to use the word 'slut' to police girls just as males are more likely to use the word 'fag' to police male sexuality (but I may be wrong as guys definitely use the word slut --but I think they use it as an excuse for deplorable behavior on their own part -- where girls use it for power.)

As adolescence rolls around, our awakened sexuality becomes hyper-aware of newly forming identities.  And for girls, this identity becomes tied with her sexuality in a bizarre way: she is always to look sexy and beautiful but she's never supposed to actually have sex. Girls actively discourage other girls from behaving in overt sexual ways -- and I suspect this has to do both with limiting the competition and establishing a pecking order. Those that break away from the established heterosexual norms are verbally and often physically abused by their peers in a form of bullying that attacks the very core of one's sexual identity. In short, we police each other to behave as expected.

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Pressure to look good often trumps practical needs
But where do these fucking expectations come from and why the fuck are they so damn important?  Slut policing often begins at home with fathers 'guarding' the purity of their daughters by threatening unwelcome suitors, not allowing her to wear clothing that is too tight or revealing and generally trying to control female sexuality.  Which is WRONG. No one has the right to tell another human who they can or cannot fuck (assuming everyone is consenting, of course).  Dads need to get over themselves and stop trying to control their daughters as SHE has the right to choose.  Just like dads should not be 'worried' about their boy being gay and trying to subtly influence this outcome as all this does is make your gay kid into a neurotic and self-loathing gay kid.  But adults and teachers often contribute to this, because we all know that 'sluts' are not respectable and so the bullying is probably ok, right?

Fuck no.
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Slut-shaming is always wrong.  Trying to control another's sexuality and make them behave 'pure and proper' limits who she is at the very core of her sexual being.  No other form of verbal abuse is as damaging. Fear of being labelled a slut has created a epidemic of serial monogamists in North American culture because 'sex within the context of a committed relationship' is the only from of sex that is OK. Why?? (oh, and that sexual relationship better be heterosexual too.)  And being labeled a slut doesn't seem to ever go away in high school. One act of sexual misconduct is all it takes to have a giant flashing sign over your the rest of your high school days, acting as a warning to all other girls to keep their desires concealed.  But girls get called sluts for wearing certain outfits. Girls get called sluts for dating several people. And girls get called sluts for having sex experiences. This is sexual policing through slut shaming -- and it has to go.

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For some unknown reason to me, girls who are sexually experienced are seen as completely undesirable. Ok, I do have a theory on why: when men started farming and sowing seeds in the land to grow crops they invented the idea of owning land.  When men realized that they also sowed seeds in women, they invented the idea of owning women. And a man who owns a woman should not 'allow' her to be sexual with any other man because he alone owns her...and he doesn't want to raise the child of another man. So sexual inexperience and chaste behavior became the order of the day.

But for myself, being with a girl who has not the foggiest idea of what she is doing or how to please me...yet is nervous and awkward at the same time...well, give me a confident and sexually empowered woman every time.

My point here is that Slut policing, slut shaming and general use of the word slut to dis-empower someone else is an extremely common form of bullying.  Sexuality should never be forced into a mold...or the result will always be tainted and toxic. It is time for the 2nd Sexual Revolution and it begins with ending the concept of 'slut'.

End slut shaming.

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