• B. Bean Will

Part Three - Women Stop Slut/Survivor Shaming - Treat Your Sisters With The Respect They Deserve


For a long time, I was one of the millions who divided women into categories based upon their sexuality.

There were sluts, whores, teases, and good girls (the kind you marry). This is what everyone did, we all knew that men didn't really fall into this category because men weren't capable of controlling themselves, therefore they weren't responsible for their lustful feelings.


There was no one to dissuade me of these ideas, I was in the norm and anyone who disagreed was ridiculous. We all knew that women were responsible for breaking up homes, relationships, for enticing a man to cheat. Without womanly wiles, men would behave themselves. Maybe they would occasionally fall into indiscriminate sex but that was to be expected. It was the women that we held to the highest standard and when they fell it was a harder, more unforgivable fall from grace.


I don't think like this anymore but it took decades for me to see that I had been programmed by an antiquated system to see my fellow sisters in such a callous light.


It was a slow roll for me, I fought the change not even realizing when I did. I made all sorts of excuses for why women were really at fault for the dalliances that both parties participated in.


But change I did, and now I'm nearly militant about not letting any of my friends and family "slut shame" a woman. Just try and speak ill about a woman who has taken responsibility for her own sexuality around me and see what happens lol. I become like an attack dog, don't get me wrong I don't absolve women of the mistakes they make in regards to sex simply because they are women. But I also hold the other party up to the same light.


Here's how I look at the responsibility factor. If you're an individual who's in a serious committed relationship and going around trolling for unsuspecting victims. You never reveal your relationship status, then in my mind you bear the brunt, if not all of the responsibility. This also goes for people who actively seek out people who are in relationships. I've heard all the excuses, my least favorite comes from people who have been cheated on and then they justify this behavior using their circumstance to condone the destructive choice.


Let's Start With The Double Standard -


Is there a sexual double standard?
Typically, women are judged more negatively for engaging in various types of sexual behaviors and men are viewed more positively for participation in the same sexual activities. Consequently, men are allowed greater sexual freedom and agency. The specific behaviors that invoke judgment against women have shifted over time. For example, a review of 30 studies published since 1980 found evidence for the continued existence of sexual double standards; however, the sexual revolution has instilled more permissive attitudes and made sex before marriage more normative for both men and women.
https://atlasofscience.org/is-there-a-sexual-double-standard/

For as long as I could remember there were definitive rules for male and female behavior. It didn't just stop at how we approached our own personal sexual revolutions but it bled out into our everyday lives.


Over time we have slowly moved away from overtly calling a woman out on her behavior but we haven't moved very far. You may no longer run up to a girl and call her a slut and make her wear a scarlet A, but you will definitely do so behind her back.


Mothers can be some of the worst, we do this weird thing where it's acceptable for our sons to be sexual beings, it's actually expected but in the same breath, we guard our son's innocence like a hawk. If our sons start to explore their sexuality we immediately see the female as the aggressor.


Why can't we seem to shake this? We can't shake it because this kind of discrimination is passed down from generation to generation it is clearly evident in media, political policies, how girls are valued.


Girls grow up feeling dis-empowered from the start. They are very often given one mission; to guard their virginity on the other hand we turn around and give our sons the completely opposite mission. They aren't real men until they have had sex not once, not twice but several times. So how do we reconcile this juxtaposition? We create a third group of people so that our girls can continue to maintain their virginity and our boys can become the conquerors they are meant to be; we created SLUTS.


Sluts have one purpose and one purpose only, they are the bearers of all of our sexual repressions. Without a slut how would a society functions? How could we maintain a girls purity and a mans virility? These are still the rules in which most cultures raise their children. So the thought of letting rules like that go, would mean the very destruction of generations of thought processes.



We Women Slut Shame As Much As Men Do - Why?


Why Women Slut Shame, According to Science
In a controversial article called “The Evolution of Bitchiness” that was published a few years ago but has recently made the rounds across social media, The Atlantic explored what it is about being around skimpily dressed women that drive other women to be, well, bitches.
It turns out that there’s actually quite a fascination with the topic, even among prominent social scientists. From lab studies observing aggressive behavior to data analysis of the cultural suppression of female sexuality, the psychology behind why we slut shame is a hot topic not just on the streets but in the ivory tower.
https://www.bolde.com/women-slut-shame-according-science/

We could give a myriad of reasons why we do, and this article definitely does but I believe that at all comes down to one thing; self-esteem.


Studies have been done on the subject, papers and articles have been written on it. They all say the same thing; as we age women's self-esteem decreases while a mans increase. This goes hand in hand with how we are valued in our world. How can you possibly feel good about yourself when every where you turn you're being told that you are less than? When even your own parents, the people who are supposed to make you feel secure; tell you that your value is not as much as a person with a penis and testes.


We carry that dim feeling of our own worth into our daily lives. But no one wants to feel worthless, we all want to be valued so what do we have a tendency to do? We go out of our way to prove our worth, and very often part of that proof is in how we value other women. But it's not enough to sit on your stoop and call the girl that raises your hackles, a slut. You know which girl, the one to whom all the guys seem to gravitate towards. We instead have an unending need to validate our dislike. So we have a tendency to seek it from the men around us. Especially the men we want to notice us the most.


We truly go out of our way to show that we are different, that our value is more. I touched on it in another post, but it never gets old; the need to make a man see us as different supersedes the need to elevate the women around us.


The most confusing part of this is the fact that in our tight social circles we applaud each other for our sexual conquests. We sit around at Sunday brunch over Mimosas and want to hear all of the juicy details of our previous nights' sexual adventures. This sounds good, right? It sounds so progressive, we've finally got there, we revel in our girls taking control of their bodies! Yeah! But here's the kicker.......


These same girls that applaud each other are very often the same girls to see a female walk into a club, a store, their school or their work and decide on site that this girl is a "whore!".


Jealousy and low self-esteem go hand in hand and we have a hard time reconciling ourselves to the fact that we carry these feelings within ourselves.


It took me a long time to make peace with myself about the fact that, I too was guilty of this. I am still working hard to toss those thoughts out as soon as I get them. I have become willing to admit; at least to myself, that homegirl over there isn't slutty, or whorish. Instead, I'm jealous of what she has and the easiest way to deal with it is to downgrade her. I still have acquaintances that I feel less beautiful around, less worthy and I know that's how I'm seen by the men that drool over them. But that's my issue to work through. Why do I need be seen as desirable so badly? Does it change anything in my life? I'm engaged and I won't cheat, so what exactly am I trying to get from someone else's adoration? I'm trying to boost my self esteem and I want someone else to do the work for me. Because loving and valuing yourself is hard work.


I had a guy friend accidentally tell me how he had a mental list of all our "hot" female friends and I wasn't on it. As soon as he said it, I felt diminished inside. The old me would have asked who the girls were and then would have proceeded to tick off a list of reasons why they weren't all that great. But instead, I let him know that it wasn't cool to do that and then I proceeded to cry to myself as I drove home.


I'm growing but that doesn't mean I immune to insults. But it reminded me that to most men our value still lies in our looks and what lies between our legs, and with that comes women willing to denigrate their counterparts in order to not feel how I felt on that drive home.


Even Worse - When We Turn On Female Survivors Of Sexual Assault -


Over the past few years, our media has been bombarded with accounts of sexual assaults by men in power. It started with Harvey Weinstein and once the reports kept coming out one after another, it created a tidal wave of accusations bleeding in to every avenue of our daily lives. this snowball effect was encouraging to most but weirdly it brought forward a few notable female enablers.


Lindsay Lohan Defends Harvey Weinstein: ‘I Feel Very Bad for Him – Everyone Needs to Stop’
Lindsay Lohan took to Instagram on Tuesday evening to defend embattled producer Harvey Weinstein, who is accused of sexually assaulting and harassing several women over the past few decades.
“I feel very bad for Harvey Weinstein right now,” she said in the Instagram story, taken from her home in Dubai. “I don’t think it’s right what’s going on.”
Lohan also said that Weinstein’s wife, Georgina Chapman, who intends on filing for divorce, needs to “take a stand and be there for her husband.
https://variety.com/2017/film/news/lindsay-lohan-defends-harvey-weinstein-i-feel-very-bad-for-him-everyone-needs-to-stop-1202586659/


Donna Karan defends Harvey Weinstein: 'Are women asking for it?'
“I also think how do we display ourselves? How do we present ourselves as women? What are we asking? Are we asking for it by presenting all the sensuality and all the sexuality?”
Karan said women who dressed provocatively were asking for trouble.
“You look at everything all over the world today and how women are dressing and what they are asking by just presenting themselves the way they do. What are they asking for? Trouble.”
https://www.theguardian.com/film/2017/oct/10/donna-karan-defends-harvey-weinstein-women

I could go on, but their responses are nothing new. Women have always been some of the first people to deny another woman's claim of sexual assault. For God's sake, women have turned on their own daughters when they have come forward. As women, we know what it will mean in our own community when you step forward. We are very aware that the most vehement deniers will be other women, we know that we not only will have to tell our story but we also know that we will have to justify ourselves to our sisters, aunts, mothers, female cousins and girlfriends.


This is part of the shame that we carry with us. After we are assaulted we will go through our heads and think about many things and for most, we think about how to tell other women and which women to tell. We hear each other when we talk bad about the cute girl in the corner talking to the guy we all silently want. And if she steps forward someday to say that he assaulted her, we know that there will be those of us who will cluck our tongues, shake our heads and blame her for bringing it on herself.


When Should We Stop? - RIGHT FUCKING NOW!!!!!!!


Where Do We Go From Here -


The good news is, with every generation comes progress. My daughters are part of a generation that for the most part no longer sits silently by and plays these games. They stand up, they speak out but most importantly they hold each other accountable.


We have a lot to learn from them and it appears that we as older women are starting to learn to. I for one am not the same person I used to be, I was never happy with how I would treat and look at the women I considered to be my competition. But I never seemed to be able to pinpoint where my feelings were coming from. I now recognize when I am jealous and I remind myself that it's my issue not theirs. I now make sure to call my friends out as well. Just because I'm older doesn't mean I've left the conversation. I will continue to a part of the change, consistently working hard to see my world outside of the narrow view my generation had grown up with.


Ask Yourself This -

  • When I look at a woman who dresses in a manner that I find provocative, what are my first thoughts?

  • Am I teaching my daughters, nieces and the young girls in my life to value each other or to turn on each other?

  • Why can't I extend the love and respect that I crave to a woman who's sexual choices I don't understand?

Most Importantly Remember -


If you don't own your choices, your choices will own you

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