‘Shaming’ And Why Some Women Need To Stop Using The Term

celebs-with-crazy-body-piercings-amber-rosePhoto: Johnny Louis/WENN

Blame it on social media or the Internet as a whole, but we are in the age of outrage.

Anyone can stand on a soapbox before a vast audience of people and complain about a myriad of things they find offensive. The latest buzz word stemming from this catch 22 of internet protesting is “shaming.”

Now, I would be remise if I didn’t acknowledge the value of the internet for galvanizing groups to get involved in important matters. Black Lives Matter, Yes All Women and Why I Stayed are just three of the many coined phrases that social media created to bring awareness to national issues. They’ve literally changed the conversation and tone of approach to serious challenges we face daily.

But can we just discuss the fact people are completely abusing the term “shaming”?

The subject of shame is so prevalent that ELLE magazine devoted a full issue to the topic. There is “bottle shaming,” where women who choose not to breastfeed feel they are being shamed by mothers who do. “Body shaming,” where women of all sizes feel they are being shamed about their size. “Abortion shaming,” where women are fighting back against the stigma associated with the choice to terminate a pregnancy.

But the king of all kings of shaming is “slut shaming.”

This movement started off as a term used to describe women who had been sexually assaulted, enduring scrutiny for what they were wearing, what they were doing, and the ways in which their sexual history factored in to “causing their own attacks.” The movement became so huge that groups started to organize SlutWalks with the latest one being championed by model Amber Rose to take place in Los Angeles on October 3, 2015.

While I fully agree that this is something for which action needs to be taken against, the new meaning of slut shaming has taken on a life of its own. Slut shaming contributes to feminist issues of pay inequality, victim bashing, and overall gender inequality and is something that should be taken seriously. However, many women are now using the movement to garner support for their sexual proclivities, meaning that the actual issues have taken a back seat to women who are pretty much screaming to be accepted for having sex.

Newsflash ladies: you don’t need the validation of others to have sex if that’s what you want to do. Therein lays the power behind the double standard.

Shaming is turning into a way for people to get validation for things they have insecurities about. When it comes to things like body shaming, bottle shaming, vegan shaming (yes that’s a thing there’s a whole blog about it) is it really anyone else’s responsibility to make you feel good about yourself? As long as there have been people on this planet, there have been opposing opinions. What makes one woman feel empowered can be degrading to another, but it is your responsibility to own and be proud of who you are.

When you add the label of shaming to everything that makes you feel just a tad bit bad about yourself, you take away its power to cause change in areas that truly affect the wellbeing of others –like victims of crimes who are actually blameless.

I applaud Amber Rose for using her platform to promote a movement that can lead to significant change for women. It would be nice to see more celebrities champion things that matter. However, I wonder if she too has used this label as a means to achieve validation for her past and present, both of which she’s been very candid about. Her enthusiasm to be a part of this movement came after she was slut shamed by the Kardashian/West clan.


EXCLUSIVE PFW - Autumn Winter 2015 - Streetstyle Day 5Photo: The Styleograph/WENN

Last February, Kanye West was asked during an interview with “The Breakfast Club” if he found it hard to date following his relationship with Amber. His response was, “It’s very hard for a woman to want to be with someone that’s with Amber Rose… I had to take 30 showers before I got with Kim.” Amber retorted by pointing out that their family achieved prominence and success as a result of Kim Kardashian’s sex tape. This lead to Khloe Kardashian bringing up Amber’s past as a stripper, and the back and forth on Twitter and Instagram caused quite the controversy; inciting onlookers to question why it was OK for a wealthy family to profit from sex, but not for Amber who came from more humble beginnings.

It wasn’t until after this public display of slut shaming that Amber decided to champion this movement. There was no victim shaming, no talk of equal pay, or women’s rights.

Rose’s involvement came after she wanted validation for her past as a stripper, and her present as a divorcee who was on the prowl for new love. The thing that always made Amber so loveable was her ownership of her sexuality, so it was incredibly disheartening to see her security in that realm be rattled by a family who is practically American royalty for doing many of the same things she’s been judged for. The intention here is very good, but the reasoning has some selfish motives behind it.


AtmospherePhoto: WENN

Should we just be thankful that someone with such an audience is causing change? Yes. But please don’t follow the example and use the term shame to promote your own agenda. The best thing Amber did here was point out that “it’s OK” for women of prominence to be sexual beings but not women of minority groups. There is an exclusion of black women from many feminist issues because the white leaders in the movement don’t acknowledge the additional struggles that come along with being a black woman.

In fact, the organization Black Women’s Blueprint sent an open letter to the leaders of the SlutWalk movement in 2011 letting them know how they’ve excluded black women from the conversation because historically the “justifiable” rape of black women had nothing to do with what wearing, but more to do with us just being black and vulnerable to people who viewed us as less than. I wonder if Amber was aware of this when she decided to spearhead this latest walk.

The fact that slut shaming is now associated with women who want to be accepted for their promiscuity disassociates it with a deeper meaning. If you are a woman who has sex, that’s not something you should feel shame for, but you also shouldn’t seek acceptance from other people for being human and having human desires. When you seek outside acceptance for internal insecurities you open yourself up to allowing other people to define you, and we can all attest to the dangers of doing so.

If your own the shame of someone else’s opinion, this may be a really good time to look at yourself and evaluate why you are harboring this insecurity. Everyone who is sharing a thought or opinion about you is not trying to shame you. Rather they’re just stating their opinion. It’s up to you to make the choice to accept or not accept that, but for the love of all that is good in this world stop throwing that word around to hold other people accountable for your life.

The post ‘Shaming’ And Why Some Women Need To Stop Using The Term appeared first on StyleBlazer.

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