A guy sleeps with 100 women? He’s “the man.” A woman sleeps with 100 men? She’s a slut. The social norm of shaming women for their sexuality is part of a larger social construct known as rape culture. Rape culture imposes restrictions upon the rights of women by shaming female sexuality. The traditional view of women as being “pure,” “virtuous,” and “submissive” has contributed to the oppression of half the world’s population. Now it’s time to turn that ideal on its head… one slut at a time.
Marshall University defines rape culture as, “…an environment in which rape is prevalent and in which sexual violence against women is normalized and excused in the media and popular culture.” The everyday use of misogynistic language and the objectification of the female body contribute to a society that undermines the value of women.
One of the most troubling aspects of rape culture is that it often involves victim blaming. In cases of rape or sexual assault, society often places the blame on the woman. Common reactions such as, “Well, look what she was wearing! She was asking for it!” or “Why was she in a dark alley by herself?” contribute to a society that is complacent with violence against women. Placing the blame on the victim is one of the biggest reasons why victims don’t speak out in the first place. Society teaches “don’t get raped” when it should be teaching “don’t rape.”
Safe, consensual sex is at the very core of SlutWalk belief. Women who chose to have multiple sex partners should never be chastised or degraded for their choices. In fact, SlutWalk seeks to empower women by encouraging them to embrace female sexuality. Freedom to express female sexuality is not shameful; it’s every woman’s right.
In recent years, SlutWalk has garnered so much attention to where it is now a global movement. You can become a part of the movement by joining the 2014 SlutWalk Seattle march on September 6th. Each year, hundreds of men and women fill the streets of Seattle to rally against rape culture. It is a unique opportunity where people from different backgrounds can find acceptance and become united in a cause. To learn more, visit slutwalkseattle.com.