Slut shaming: the embarrassing uni trend that needs to stop

Let’s stop judging girls on how they act on a night out – this double standard is getting out of hand


A light has been shed on feminism lately – the ‘No More Page 3’ campaign and a new Facebook ‘Spotted: Sexual Harassment at Uni’ have been stirring the debate.  Now a new generation of students are speaking out against sexist behaviour, and rightly so.

But sexism isn’t just a drunken male in a club who can’t keep his hands to himself – it begins with what we say.

Does alcohol fuel this behaviour?

Does alcohol fuel this behaviour?

Firstly I’m all for freedom of speech: no one can tell you how or what to think, but I personally don’t count derogatory or offensive language as simply speaking freely.  But it’s amazing how often I hear the words ‘slut’, ‘slag’ and the particularly ridiculous ‘sket’.  And people of both genders are regularly referring to others in this way.

Here’s the deal with what’s now been dubbed ‘slut shaming’ – it’s about as far from feminism as you can get.  To use these words is not only disgusting and offensive, it implies that there is something wrong with a woman’s sexual freedom – because in my experience, 9 times out of 10 these labels are directed towards females. And if they’re not shaming the victim’s sex life, they’re shaming the way she dresses.  It’s incredible that in 2014, there are still people who believe that it’s their right to judge others on how much/little they wear, or who they happen to have slept with.  Surely it’s no one’s business but their own?

'The walk of shame' - a term used too often

‘The walk of shame’ – a term used too often

And there’s no denying it – this misogynist rhetoric is an huge issue among students.  The fact is, most young people come to University not just to learn – but for the entire student experience, and it involves a lot of drinking.  There’s something about nightlife culture that seems to perpetuate the idea that women are public property – they’re there for their outfits to be scrutinized and to be judged on their every move.  While for the most part, guys can do whatever they want without fear of judgment.  I love a night out as much as the next student (as anyone will tell you) but we can’t hide from this any more – there is a total double standard.

This photo quickly went viral - millions of young people could relate to it.

This photo quickly went viral – millions of young people could relate to it.

I may just be speaking for myself here, but when I hear others throw out comments such as ‘Look at what she’s wearing, she looks like a slag’, it leaves me wondering why they didn’t leave this childish bitchiness behind at school.  Whatever happened to ‘if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all?’  Feminism should be about respecting women, not judging them.  I am by no means trying to preach, but in my opinion derogatory language – against ANYONE, no matter how they choose to live their life – is just another form of hate.