“Slut Shaming” and Moving Beyond Labels

Walk Of No Shame with Amber Rose from Funny Or Die via “Slut Shaming” and Moving Beyond Labels

Viewpoint from a man…

I saw the light. It shone brightly yesterday afternoon. Even though I had always been aware of it, I chose to “ignore” it. Sometimes it takes a word, a picture, or in this case a Funny or Die video starring Amber Rose to bring to all the way around. First, I’d like to say that the concept and execution of the “Walk of No Shame” skit was very well done. Casting Amber Rose as the star was an interesting choice since she’s been seen on the VMAs literally wearing her anti-slut shamming campaign and has current plans for a Slut Walk in LA next month. The premise of this comedy short features Amber leaving the home of a one night stand and walking through a neighborhood garnering a warm reception for exhibiting her sexuality and not being shamed for it. The funniest part has to be the little kid saying to his mother, “Mommy, did that woman get fucked last night?” and she calmly replies “It seems as if she did”. I often wonder since sex is an essential part of our survival as a species, why is it viewed with disdain? How did it become taboo? And how can we shame someone for living the life that they choose?

After this video, I had to make the serious effort to stick to my guns and no longer feed into labeling. As far as the “Walk of Shame” is concerned, I was introduced to the idea after I started to live on campus. “The Walk of Shame” applied to girls, namely freshmen and sophomores who we would see walking back to their side of the campus early in the morning wearing the same clothes that they wore the night before. To all the wallflowers out there, wearing the same clothes from the previous evening is an implication of “boot knocking”. Let’s keep it a buck, the terminology and the meaning of that phrase are lame as hell. What’s so shameful about getting laid? If the sex was consensual and you enjoyed it, why should there be such a strong pretentious moral opposition? People should keep their brains in their own apiaries, you know “MIND THEIR OWN BEESWAX”… Bad joke? Really?! Everybody’s a critic! We live in a very opinionated (and that’s being nice about it) society and we are quick to label anything that we find to be too different or challenging to our system of traditional values. As long as you’re not hurting anyone while you’re doing what you’re doing then you’ll never hear a word of protest coming from me.

Now here’s where I come into all of this. I too have been guilty of labeling in my past. Now, I was never outright disrespectful nor did I ever walk into party with my esteemed colleagues and yell out “Where, I say where for art thou hoes? Are you by the bar? In a car? In a tree setting that ass free?” but I was under the very laughable assumption that if the woman in question was known as a “freak” for one dude that she’d be down for the same with me if I approached her. NOPE. Many young and dumb teenagers follow that idiotic logic. There’s a scene from The Woodstarring Omar Epps, Taye Diggs and Richard T Jones where the younger version of Richard’s character is sitting on a bed with a girl and he’s trying (and failing) to make the sex happen. At the peak of his frustration, he says to her “You let that n*gga Terry bone… I know I look better than that n*gga” as if that’s supposed to change her mind. Some of us never comprehend that women can do whatever they want and aren’t obligated to share their bodies with anyone because of a few kind words or mild flatteries. You better put on your hard hat, strap up your Timberlands or those Blue and Cream wallabees that Ghostface talked about on “Glaciers of Ice”and  work on your A-Game POT-NAH! instead of calling a woman a “slut” or a “ho” because she won’t give you the attention that you’re begging for. Also don’t try to damage her reputation either as I’ve seen that genius idea backfire many times and most importantly, it’s a bitch move.

I remember on twitter that a self righteous dweeb said that Maya Angelou was a borderline whore because of her past as a sex worker as if that totally negated her incomparable contributions to our culture. That’s what’s wild about male chauvinism, the idea that “man’s law” rules over all and that women have to follow them. Last night, a friend of mine said something to the effect of “you are equal to who you lay with” so if you’re fucking a “slut” then you are a “slut” by association. Sounds fair to me. I’ve heard reasoning for why it’s okay for men to have many partners and not for women. The sucker philosophy about a phallic master key opening many locks but if many keys open a lock then it’s not worth anything. Let’s be real, it all comes down to how you carry yourself and if you don’t maintain self respect – male or female – therein lies the problem. You have porn stars who have a long list of partners but still handle themselves with class. Now would I date a porn star? I couldn’t roll with an active actress especially after Lexington Steele gets his hands on her. Talk about trying to fill a void.

It really comes down to equality. When we think of rape culture and blaming victims because of their choice of clothing or perceived promiscuity, we’re really doing a disservice to ourselves. You can have sex with as many people as you desire. You could a have a laundry list of 100 people and that still wouldn’t give me the right to judge and belittle your existence like I’m entitled to a moral high ground. Hypocrisy in it’s purest form. So ladies wear what you want, do what you want, live how you want. I’m still attempting to grasp all that feminism is and I figure that this is a great way to start.

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