Why “Slut” is Just Pure Hypocrisy

By: Mostafa El Said

Stereotype

/ˈstɛrɪə(ʊ)tʌɪp,ˈstɪərɪə(ʊ)tʌɪp/

noun

a widely held but fixed and oversimplified image of a particular type of person or thing

 

When you look at the human community as a whole, you will immediately notice two discrete sexes and (separately) two distinct genders: make and female. In an effort to make sense of the situation, your mind will automatically develop stereotypes and create vastly different definitions for masculinity and femininity. But why are men and women seen that differently? Why is there such a huge gap between masculinity and femininity and who decided what these terms should mean? Are men and women naturally different because of biology or because of socially-constructed gender roles?

Because almost 99.99% of human history was run only by men, male – as a gender – was the default one, and any other gender was a lesser version. Even though we do not live in ancient Greece anymore, deeply ingrained beliefs that men are the supposed default and women are some sort of reverse or sub-version to men still run our lives. That is ultimately why women can’t seem to be their own entity without being shamed for it.

 

Slut

/slʌt/

noun derogatory

a woman who has many sexual partners

 

Sadly, there exists no such ‘derogatory’ term for ‘a man who has many sexual partners’ because men cannot really be insulted for doing something our society actually wants them to do. For the sake of this article, let’s just assume the word ‘slut’ also works for men.

Take the media as an excellent model; all your favourite movies: Fast & Furious, Lethal Weapon, Die Hard and James Bond have stereotypical portrayals of men as sexually aggressive, dominant and engaged in exciting and adventurous activities from which they receive awards for their masculine accomplishments. The men are always ready to make the decisions and never really require help from anyone in doing so.

Women, however, are portrayed as passive distressed damsels, dependant on their males. They’re also always ensnared in housework or a relationship. You barely ever find a movie with a woman in the starring role having accomplished something extraordinary and unrelated to men, while men seem to always be focussed on themselves and their achievements and ambition.

The media is an excellent indicator of the stereotypes one human society has created for its men and women; for masculinity and femininity, so taking by it is very important. On the media, there’s always this limited binary image of a woman. The nice sweet (probably virgin) and sub-ordinate-to-men housewife, who is some kind of victim, angel or martyr. These women are even softened and feminised when they exceed their traditional role. This is done by making their career lives invisible on camera and instead emphasising on their life at home with the kids. The other end of the spectrum, the bad and evil stepsister to this perfect and saccharine good girl. This evil woman is often portrayed as the witch, bitch, whore, hard, cold or aggressive; qualities that are traditionally meant for men.

Women are always shamed for their sexuality. Sexual shaming embodies itself in slut-shaming, virgin-shaming (not very common in Egypt) and simply shaming women who do not abide by the traditional role set by society. When women are the bread-winners or successful CEOs, they are often shamed and called bitch, and often times other people feel it is their job to put them back in place. This issue is not only prevalent in the media, but in almost all societies, where men are praised for their sexuality, especially when it aligns with the ‘hypersexual’ stereotype associated with men as I had mentioned before. On the other hand, women experience shaming for their sexuality on a daily basis, where they are called sluts or whores when they are as sexually active as men. Men don’t receive the same label as women, even though they do the exact same thing. A man may be called a ‘player’, but the word does not convey a negative connotation or a derogatory meaning like ‘slut.’

Another form of praising men for their sexuality and shaming women for theirs, is victim-blaming. And in almost all movies or TV shows that have female leads, women start off as the bad sexually-enlightened tough woman who finds the right man and transforms. This might sound like an exaggeration, but if you pay attention to even the newest films, the idea still exists with huge magnitude.

So yes, if slut was a gender-neutral word, then almost every guy in my grade is a slut. The guy who wears his pants too low in an effort to show off his boxers is a slut. The guy who made out with god-knows-how-many poor girls is a slut. The guy who takes shirtless selfies and posts them on Instagram is a slut. The guy who smokes, drinks and does literally everything is also a slut. After all, if the roles were reversed, wouldn’t they all be sluts in your eyes?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.