The real shame of slut shaming

The real shame of slut shaming

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If you’re a strong female, you don’t need permission!


I believe I was in my first year of university when a friend introduces me to a song, I can’t remember the artist or even the lyrics but a sentence got stuck in my head forever, “If you’re a strong female you don’t need permission.“ It was a strong sentence with a very familiar meaning that speaks to the heart of every woman.

We know that society nowadays wants us (women) to be strong, independent, cultured, hot, financially stable and educated. On the other hand, we also must be good mothers, wife’s/girlfriends, know how to cook, clean, sew and all those others domestic qualities. Because let’s face it, if we don’t know how to be a good domestic wife, what are we doing with our lives? It’s with no surprise that I say that we live in a double standard world, you know it, I know it and even my grandmother knows it.

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against men, but we all know that if a guy doesn’t know/like to do domestic work it’s perfectly normal, because “boys will be boys”. I always hated that sentence, it’s like what does that mean? That boys, even when they are grown ass men, will always be like children? Or that they will never learn or like to do certain things because it isn’t in their nature? News flash, women also don’t like doing those things either.

But the truth is that today more than ever we see men acknowledge their responsibilities and we’re living in a world where women’s work or men’s work doesn’t exist, just things that have to be done and either side of the species can do it. Still we have to deal with men being praised for doing the simple things that woman have been doing since forever. I’m sure that at some point a women heard “your husband cooks / cleans for you? You’re so lucky!” and I think to myself, why are we lucky? If we do the same thing it’s just normal, it makes no sense to me at all, but still this is all very normal (unfortunately) to hear.

What is not normal is when we hear about two dead girls being slut shaming for traveling alone. Not long ago two Argentinian girls were traveling in Ecuador, the two were murdered and put inside black plastic bags on a beach. The news was everywhere and it wasn’t till long before the slut shaming comments emerged. A woman named Guadalupe Acosta wrote a poem impersonating the girls in a self-defence way.

Part of the poem reads:

“I refused to let them touch me and with a stick they burst my skull. They stabbed me and left me to bleed to death.

Like garbage, they put me in a black polyethylene bag, wrapped with duct tape, and I was thrown onto a beach, where hours later they found me.

But worse than death, was the humiliation that followed.

From the moment they had my dead body, nobody wondered where the bastard was who ended my dreams, my hopes, my life.

No, rather they started asking me useless questions. To me, can you imagine? A dead woman, who cannot speak, who can not defend herself.

What clothes did you have?

Why were you alone?

How could a woman travel alone?

You went into a dangerous neighborhood. What did you expect?

They questioned my parents for giving me wings, for letting me be independent, like any human being.

They said that for sure we were on drugs and we were seeking it with something we did, that they should have watched us.”

Because who you do is your choice and no one else should police it. Because rape is not the victims fault. Ever.

The poem continues talking about the differences as to whether those questions would have been asked if it was two young men, pointing fingers about the double-standard of the whole situation. My question is, why do women have to deal with this kind of interrogations? There’s no excuse for this kind of violence, so why the need to know what kind of clothes they were wearing? Or why they were traveling alone (which they were not, because they had each other)? Or does a woman need to be with a man to not be alone?

These kind of questions are the perfect example of why so many women don’t travel alone, things like this keep happening raising all sorts of fears in women. This is why we will always be afraid of walking alone at night. The constant fear of being raped, kidnapped, or even killed will cross our minds facing a group of men by ourselves. I’ve personally never traveled alone, it never really crossed my mind but it’s probably these fears that helped me on that not making that decision. I’m not saying that men don’t have to face those issues, but it’s a fact that we as females cannot ignore the possible as a reality.

At the end double-standard will unfortunately always be a part of our lives, luckily most of us will continue to live life by our own book without giving too much attention to those kinds of labels, but when it comes to women’s safety and life-or-death situations we should all stand together and fight, and as it is written in the poem “one day we’ll be so many that there won’t be enough bags in the world to shut up us all.”

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