People in 2013 get mad, really mad, when gossip queens and tabloid ‘zines over-publicize or degrade women’s sexual transgressions. It’s both the invasion of privacy and the misguided idea that women who dress provocatively, or who enjoy sex outside relationships, are sluts that have earned this archaic degradation a 21st century name: slut-shaming.
Slut-shaming comes in many forms. It’s when gossip mags make naughty assumptions after a woman is spotted leaving a party with a man, or a man’s house after a party. It’s when ignorant people hate on single women and serial monogamists for dating, or sleeping, around. It’s when boys spread rumors, real or fake, about sleeping with girls. It’s when girls pick on each other for it.
Miley Cyrus has been slut-shamed, Jennifer Aniston has been slut-shamed, even America’s sweetheart, Taylor Swift, has been slammed for dating too many of the hottest men in Hollywood.
As if you wouldn’t do it too, people.
Every time a famous woman is burned, or even just exposed, under this misogynistic microscope, people, the media and social media stand up in their defense. They label it sexism; they blame it on favoritism; they use feminism as ammo.
But can’t guys be slut-shamed too? Why don’t we stand up for men when their sexual privacy and public reputations are on the line?
Why isn’t anyone defending Justin Bieber? (Besides his fans, many of whom would probably lick his un-wiped bum hole.)
Why isn’t anyone calling the Brazilian fame whore who filmed the superstar sleeping naked, put the video on YouTube, and told stories about his d*ck size to the tabloids a slut-shamer?
Or what about the media sites that are sharing and re-sharing the story? The same sites that went headline-crazy over The Biebz allegedly visiting a brothel and, also allegedly, leaving with prostitutes during the same controversy-ridden trip to Brazil.
“He’s well-endowed and very good in bed,” Tati Neves apparently told British tabloid The Sun, after a video of her in a room sleeping with Justin Bieber surfaced online.
If the same scenario were reversed — a female celeb and a male talking to the press about it — activists, feminists and just people on the Internet with opinions would immediately come to her defense.
Publishing a video of a private hookup then gossiping all about it (both Neves and the media are guilty of this) fall under any definition of the term slut-shaming. Making bold assumptions about someone sleeping with hookers: also slut-shaming.
But Google “Justin Bieber slut shame,” and what comes up? Old articles defending Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift.
You mean there isn’t a single person or media source out there that thinks Justin Bieber has been slut-shamed? And no-one willing to hold the slut-shamers accountable?
Maybe anti-shamers don’t stand up for men because they feel it’s time fellas know what it’s like on the other side of the double standard. But the point of activism and the very definition of feminism is to fight for equality for all — for the planets to align, not to stack Venus over Mars.
Maybe people think that slut-shaming has to be overtly negative. That’s fine. There’s no rulebook. Everyone can be right. However, I believe that grossly publicizing someone’s sex life or making grand public assumptions with no absolute proof is slut-shaming. Opening the door for haters is hating too.
For example, when someone sees two people leaving a bedroom at a party, concludes they slept together, and tells everyone about it — prompting school-wide chatter, good, bad or ugly: slut-shamer.
When Justin Bieber is photographed near a brothel with women, maybe hookers, maybe for him, but gossipers remove the “maybe”: slut shaming.
Justin Bieber rolls deep. The ladies could’ve been traveling with anyone in his multi-person crew.
I may not be a Belieber (I tried. It made me feel like a pedophile.), but I know slut-shaming when I see it. And it’s something neither women nor men, neither everyday people nor Hollywood superstars, deserve.
RYOT NOTE: What people choose to do with their bodies is up to them, all that matters is they’re safe. MTV’s It’s Your (Sex) Life teaches young people to take control of their sex lives, whether it’s by saying no to sex when they’re not ready or by getting tested and using condoms should they choose to say, “Yes.” Click the Action Box atop this story to learn more, protect yourself and Become the News!