Stop Pretending You Care About A 'Slut's' Mental Health
All right babes, this little rant has been stewing inside of me for far, far too long, and I need to get it off my 32 B-sized chest or else...
See, I've began to notice something recently. Society at large -- women, men, bloggers, internet forums, professional writers, talk show hosts, bullies, whatever -- have all become a lot more "sex positive" in the past couple of years. And that's awesome.
It's not cool to shame a girl for having "a lot of sex" anymore. And it's not cool to make fun of girls for being "loose" or "promiscuous" anymore. Or to talk shit about a girl for dressing scantily. We don't call girls sluts unless we want to be taken down by the PC police, and who the hell wants that? No one. The PC police rules with force, and we're deathly afraid of them.
I agree that we shouldn't call girls sluts unless it's affectionately. I think girls (or boys) should be able to sleep with whomever they want to sleep with. Sleep with five people, or sleep with 5,000. You go.
I'm loving the newfound sex positivity sifting through the atmosphere. I've written a ton about it. Drinks with girlfriends always seem to turn into some sort of drunken sex empowerment rant these days. We like our orgasms and aren't ashamed of it.
However, there is a dangerous new trend that I want to discuss. We're still slut-shaming as much as ever. It's just that the conversation has changed. The language is different. It's all sitting pretty in the subtext now.
Let me tell you about a conversation I happened to hear the other day when I was drinking wine in Chelsea alone (the fact that I was drinking wine in Chelsea alone is indeed depressing, but we don't need to get into that for this particular article. We'll save my loneliness and rapidly declining mental health for tomorrow.)
"I mean, Lisa is sleeping with everyone because she's so not over her ex!" I overhead a 20-something girl with zebra-striped orange highlights gab to a 20-something girl with two fat, honey blonde French braids and piercing green eyes.
The braided babe took a healthy sip of her white wine. "She's not sleeping with everyone because of her ex. She's just really, really, really insecure and needs validation. It's SO sad."
The two girls stared smugly at each other as if they were the reigning Queens of goddamn Sheba or something, collectively smirking as they shared the same vicious thought: She's a loose slut, but we can't say that so let's pretend we actually care about her.
And suddenly, it hit me like a ton of hot bricks: This is the new slut-shaming.
Are the reasons for why any girl has sex anyone's business but her own?
We're not outwardly knocking a girl for sleeping with a lot of people, but judging her reasons for why she's doing it. As if it's any of our business. As if breaking down the personal reasons for why she's having sex would hurt her less than being called a "slut."
Look, the bottom line is, yes, sometimes we do have sex for the "wrong" reasons. I know personally, I've had sex because I fiercely wanted it, but also because I felt deeply insecure about my body and needed someone to tell me I was pretty when I didn't believe I was pretty on my own. I've had sex because I was in love. I've had sex because I was heartbroken and thought maybe my partner would love me if I put out enough. I've had sex because I was feeling incredible about myself and wanted to celebrate with some mind-blowing banging, and then, in the blink of an eye, I turned around and had sex because I couldn't feel anything at all and thought maybe if I had rough enough sex I could feel something, anything, please God.
But are the reasons for why any girl has sex anyone's business but her own?
I'm not buying this false concern. It's totally transparent, and it's just another way of judging a girl's sexuality. It's using fake concern over her "mental health" as a mask to hide behind. Because judgment is judgment is judgment. Bigotry is bigotry is bigotry. Gossip is gossip is gossip. Slut-shaming is slut-shaming is slut-shaming. No amount of psychology and sophisticated language can hide the bitter fact that you're still, in 2016, drawing conclusions about a woman's sexuality and keeping tabs on her private sex life.
We fat shame in the same manipulative way. We tell overweight people that we just care about their "health." But really, what a woman puts into her body, and the dress size she wears, is not really any of our business. It's between her and her doctor, so why don't we just shut up about it already? A girl sleeping with someone because she's sad is between her and her therapist.
The truth is we don't know why anyone overeats or overfucks, and it's not anything we should be concerned about. It's personal. It's not for us to break down. Because I can promise you one thing: Your fake concern hurts way more than it helps.