Stop the shame

Estefany Gonzalez, A&E Editor

I was raised Catholic and told that I should wait until marriage to have sex and that virginity was important. Sorry mom, that went out the window in my teens. 

Being sexual was seen as inappropriate in my family. I was told it was wrong to dress sexy. It’s sad to say this just showed me how societal norms repressed my mother, just like her mother and her mother before her. These core values are passed on from generation to generation whether or not they are meant to be. 

If you see a picture of a woman wearing sweats in the park walking her dog during the day or a picture of a woman coming out of a club wearing a mini skirt, high heels and a crop top, which one do you think is more likely to get raped?

If you said the latter, guess what, you’re slut-shaming. Actually, you’re victim blaming too. 

A women’s clothing does not justify rape, nothing does. Revealing clothing doesn’t mean a woman is inviting rape. Not only does no one deserve to experience such a horrible, barbaric act, but to blame them by saying their fashion choices brought it on is simply ignorant. 

Slut-shaming is when women are forced to follow dress codes because showing their skin and curves is considered inappropriate. Slut-shaming is when women are told that it’s not OK to embrace their sexuality.  Slut-shaming is when women get told that getting birth control or carrying a condom in their purse is being too sexual, as if they are crossing a certain line.

Outdated social ideas of how women are supposed to behave perpetuate these shamings. Society has repressed woman throughout history. It wasn’t until 1920 that American women gained the right to vote and World War II that women largly entered the work force. 

The invisible line of what society considers appropriate behavior for women is holding women back, even in the 21st century.  Women are still mocked and degraded for being sexual. 

The list of shameful terms women are called is long. Terms like whore, easy, hoochie, skank and hoe. None of these hurtful words apply to men. 

These messages are everywhere. When I was in middle school, I was sent home for wearing shorts that were too short on one of the hottest days of the year. I was told it wasn’t OK to wear them because they were too revealing, that I was being provocative when I only wanted to not have sweaty jeans sticking to my legs during math class. 

I was not the first or last girl in my class to be sent home for wearing inappropriate clothing, nor the last girls to be sent home if something doesn’t change. 

Instead of shaming women for expressing sexuality, schools should spend more time teaching respect, consent and equality. Instead of training women to dress conservatively lets train society not to hold women to different standards.