|Screen Shot from "The Breakfast Club"|
The women in advertising and media are usually viewed as “sexy” and girls in their teens or even younger see this and want to be it. But where is the line drawn between sexy and slutty? Young girls who are impacted by slut-shaming are often seen dressing or acting a certain way around boys or others. The word “slut” isn’t only used to torment or degrade people, but to also police their actions. If a girl is called a slut, she is less likely to freely express her desires or experiences and is more likely to regret them and feel shame about them. This kind of self- hatred or self-shaming, can affect her ability to relate to men and it will impact the kind of relationships girls have with them. Also, once a girl is labeled a slut or whore, she is more likely to experience sexual assault because men are assuming she will accept it.
Kim Kardashian’s “Break the Internet” is another example of a woman being objectified and sexualized even if she feels comfortable with it. Kim was accused of “overexposing” herself. I think that if Kim felt comfortable in this ad then she shouldn’t be being slut-shamed. Women in advertising are over-modified and have unrealistic body images and set too high of standards for women to uphold. Slut-shaming isn’t all about a woman's sexuality, but also about the fact that men get to announce their sexuality and women do not.
On the other side of things, men in particular may agree with slut shaming or sexism because it gives them power and also gives them the ability to express their sexuality freely without being held back by a woman’s also freely spoken experiences. Men like to be given power and by slut-shaming people, they gain power over girls because it makes them feel small and as if their wants don’t matter. Issues such as this tend to lead to bigger issues like domestic violence and rape. Many people say that rape is the victim’s fault for “dressing a certain way” or acting “somewhat suggestive”. They want an excuse to be sexual with someone who doesn't want it, that’s why they call girls sluts. Instead of no means no, we should live by yes means yes, a lot of people say that they didn’t know it they didn’t have the victim's consent, but you only have consent if they say yes directly.
Another reason for men to agree with sexism or slut-shaming, is because they like to look at the over-sexualized women in magazines and on tv. Men are sexual creatures, as are women. But they tend to overpower and take over the media. Social media uses women to draw in the attention of men, and other women because of the looks of the models. Yes, the body imagery is unrealistic for the average American to achieve, but if they use good looking models, more people will buy their stuff because they think it will look like that on them.
I disagree with this because it is not acceptable to shame women for their sexuality when men can openly express it. If a woman feels comfortable wearing clothing that is “revealing” she gets called a slut, and that is a major issue in society. Both women and men slut shame and it can lead to suicide and depression. Sex is a big part of society and our world is dependent on it and shaming people for doing what is idealized as an important aspect of our normal lives. It is far too hypocritical to shame people in taking part of something that is critical to our race.
Sexism causes women to think of themselves and others as less than men because they are objectified and sexualized. Women are pressured to look and present themselves as sexual beings. This issue of slut-shaming puts a burden on women to perform as sexual aspects of society. Women are used as a means of attracting men in advertising and television. The over objectified image of women in our society builds the mindset that all women need to be sexy, but with this double standard comes slut-shaming, the repulsive act of discriminating against women who are just trying to fulfill the social norms.
Conclusion updated 28 May 2015
In the journey of writing, editing and posting a blog, I have learned a few more things from my readers than what I had intended my post to contain. I learned that many people agree with my opinion on how women are over sexualized and objectified in the media, but also in our homes and just through what their parents and others say to them and teach them. I have also learned that many people, including myself, think that men have a great deal of sexism tied onto them in the media as well. Although my post was more focused on the female side of sexism, my opinion was altered a little bit because I thought more about the male side of it. I feel as if my initial argument could have been more appealing to readers if I had brought in the male aspect of sexism.
Along the way, I have discovered many more sources that informed me more on the subject of male sexism. The question of why girls are pressured into being sexy but aren’t supposed to be sexual and are shamed for it when they are, still stands. This is important because it lowers girls self esteem and makes them think there is something wrong them, even though they are doing exactly what society tells them to. It also teaches girls from a very young age that they should always look sexy. Furthermore, it continues to let the media think they can keep teaching young men and women to objectify themselves and others.