Slut-shaming, part two. Yes, humiliation works.

20 Jan

JudgyBitch was recently on a radio panel discussing slut-shaming, and while the show has yet to air, I think it will be interesting.  It was a lovely set-up – four feminist panellists against me, but I like to think of myself as the lone voice of reason in a sea of straight up craziness.

http://judgybitch.com/2013/01/17/voice-of-russia/

One of the topics that came up was whether or not shaming even works as a strategy to change behaviour.  The idea is that even if we can agree that young girls should not be walking around dressed like mini-hos, calling them out for that behaviour, and subjecting them to public ridicule isn’t going to work in terms of affecting any change.

That’s an interesting idea.  Does shaming work?

There has been one huge public health triumph in the western world over the past 20 years that strongly suggests shame, combined with information and useful strategies for affecting change does indeed work:

-1

Smoking used to be the hallmark of coolness.  James Dean smoked. Madonna smoked (still does, I think). When Sandra Dee wanted to ditch her good girl image and hook up with the cool boy, the first thing she did was light up a smoke.

-6-7-10

So what happened?

Well, first of all, the very real harm that smoking can do a human body became increasingly evident. For years, the tobacco lobby refused to admit that smoking was in any way dangerous.  Why, even doctors smoked!

-4

Despite mountains of evidence, it took decades for the public health organizations in developed nations to acknowledge that there was a problem with smoking.  Smoking was framed as just a choice, with no real consequences.  Sound familiar?

Eventually, reality kicked in, and campaigns began to encourage people who DID smoke to quit, and to prevent people (especially young people, who tend to lack the maturity or experience to truly consider the implications of their choices) from taking up smoking.  What did those campaigns look like?

Smoking is ugly.

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Smoking will make your dick limp (if you have one, that is).

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Smoking makes you look old and wrinkly.

-8

Smoking makes you lame.

-2

And hey, all of those things are true.  By making people feel ugly and stupid and sexually inadequate and wrinkly and just plain old GROSS!, smoking rates have declined dramatically across virtually all western cultures.

-9

Shame works.  Public health officials are now trying to tackle obesity with the same tactics, much to the chagrin of the Fat Acceptance movement.  Does shame work to reduce obesity?  These people think so:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2085246/Travel-agent-weighed-21st-shamed-losing-half-body-weight–pictured-size-8-sister-joint-wedding-day.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/02/13/sharon-holden-obese-woman-bath_n_1272557.html

http://swns.com/news/fat-father-shamed-losing-weight-stuck-roller-coaster-28954/

The simple reality is that shame is a powerful motivator to adjust human behaviour.

 

http://www.futurity.org/society-culture/shame-motivates-better-than-subsidy/

“Slut-shaming” is a way of making young girls and women feel socially unacceptable, based on their clothing choices.  Slut-shamers are resisting the idea that it is OK, or socially normal, for women’s bodies to be displayed in overtly, inappropriately sexual ways.  They resist the idea that their value is some function of their bra size and fuckability.  Slut-shamers are sick and tired of their worth being equated with their physical assets.

Do slut-shamers always engage in appropriate shaming tactics?  Nope.  They don’t.  They will often engage in total character assassinations, be relentlessly critical even after a girl has succumbed to their shaming tactics, cross the line from shaming into straight up bullying.

Know why?  Because they’re teenagers and they lack experience and maturity and emotional development to constructively and appropriately critique their peers.  And that is exactly WHY they shouldn’t be wandering around dressed as hookers.  Because they lack the experience and maturity and emotional development to understand what messages they are conveying and what the consequences of early sexualisation will be.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2264781/Corrupting-generation-In-new-major-Mail-series-renowned-psychologist-Steve-Biddulph-argues-daughters-facing-unprecedented-crisis.html

 

The fact that teenagers feel the need to slut-shame one another is a testament to the fact that there are no reasonable, rational, sane adults offering guidance to young people who simply don’t know any better.  No girl should get slut-shamed, because no girl should be leaving her parent’s house dressed like this:

Flo

Girls who have to live in slut culture WILL fight back.  One of the most effective weapons they have is peer pressure, and they will use it.  The fact that they have to because all the grown-ups have pissed off and just left them to fend for themselves?

Now that is a fucking shame.

Lots of love,

JB

19 Responses to “Slut-shaming, part two. Yes, humiliation works.”

  1. Liz January 20, 2013 at 20:57 #

    “One of the topics that came up was whether or not shaming even works as a strategy to change behaviour. The idea is that even if we can agree that young girls should not be walking around dressed like mini-hos, calling them out for that behaviour, and subjecting them to public ridicule isn’t going to work in terms of affecting any change.”

    Good analogy with the smoking. I can think of another…drinking and driving. Remember where the term, “One for the road” came from. Funny the question would even come up at said panel though. Social conditioning is the feminist modus operandi for peddling their ideology and they had the stones to try and claim it doesn’t work anyway?

    Well done confronting them, JB. Don’t know if I’d have the intestinal fortitude (I do hate vomiting, even in the interest of a good cause).

    Like

  2. robertcrayle January 21, 2013 at 09:16 #

    But…you can’t slut shame anyone JB! That’s almost victim-blaming! And don’t you know teenage girls are perma-victims of their existence!?

    Like

  3. Santana January 23, 2013 at 07:54 #

    I agree with you on slut shaming girls who dress inappropriately. I do. What I don’t agree with is slut shaming girls who actually have slept around. Like me. I don’t sleep around anymore, but I used to. My boyfriend makes me feel like shit about it every day and it makes me want to harm myself. I don’t deserve to feel like this over something that I didn’t really care about to begin with. Now I feel awful and wish I never met him so I would never care. Slut shaming really hurts, especially when you hear it every day from someone you love.

    Like

  4. judgybitch January 23, 2013 at 10:19 #

    Santana,

    Someone who LOVES you does NOT make you feel like shit everyday over something you cannot change.

    Get rid of that idiot boyfriend of yours, do NOT harm yourself, and for god’s sake girl, FORGIVE yourself for what you cannot change.

    You made an error in judgement. We all do, at some point or another. It’s called being human. Your boyfriend is an asshole and you should look around for someone who can deal with the fact that you are no perfect. You know, someone who understands they are not perfect either.

    And in the future, consider keeping sex as something you do with someone you love, who loves you, too.

    Like

  5. anonymous February 5, 2013 at 18:15 #

    any why pray tell, judgy bitch, is having multiple partners an “error in judgment”? smoking is bad for your health. sex is not. who are you to tell anyone the amount of sex they should or shouldn’t be having? i believe every individual has the right to choose to do whatever he/she wants with his/her body as long as it does not hurt anyone. and believe it or not, sex is great. maybe you should get that holier-than-thou stick out of your ass & try it sometime.

    Like

  6. judgybitch February 5, 2013 at 18:22 #

    Yeah, with three kids, I have clearly never had sex before.

    Hahahahahahaha!

    Have you heard of STDs?

    Sex with lots of different partners is an excellent way to spread disease.

    And like it or not, sex triggers the release of oxytocin in women, which causes them to bond with their partners.

    It takes a clear mind to have sex with lots of people and not be affected by that.

    Go ahead and do it, it you want to. But eyes open, love. Eyes open.

    Like

  7. princesspixiepointless February 5, 2013 at 21:37 #

    We did take that stick out one night, and fuck did we have a lot of fun. Thanks for the tip.

    now, fuck off.

    Like

  8. stopslutshaming February 14, 2013 at 15:26 #

    Shaming someone for how they dress is not even comparable to shaming people for choosing to smoke. Smoking causes many physical ailments, dressing provocatively doesn’t. Your argument doesn’t quite make sense.

    Like

  9. princesspixiepointless February 14, 2013 at 15:33 #

    yeah, it does. Because many courts of law and public opinion states that how women
    dress is the cause of rape. Shame as a tool.

    Like

  10. judgybitch February 14, 2013 at 15:39 #

    Yeah really. Rape isn’t comparable to a physical ailment?

    It’s not a question of whether you deserve to be raped. People who smoke and get cancer don’t DESERVE to get cancer.

    But they probably should have seen that coming, no?

    Like

  11. stopslutshaming February 14, 2013 at 15:41 #

    Oy, it’s attitudes and opinions like this that perpetuate rape culture. When a female wears a short skirt, she is not asking to be raped. Victim blaming does not solve the root issue of any problems.

    Like

  12. stopslutshaming February 14, 2013 at 15:42 #

    Smoking is the direct cause of physical harm. Shorts dresses or cleavage are not. Rapists are the cause of rape. Simple.

    Like

  13. judgybitch February 14, 2013 at 15:46 #

    There is no such thing as “rape culture”. It’s complete and utter nonsense. Repeating something over and over again doesn’t make it true.

    I love my unicorn
    I love my unicorn
    I love my unicorn
    I love my unicorn
    I love my unicorn

    See? Still no unicorn.

    Like

  14. judgybitch February 14, 2013 at 15:49 #

    That’s like saying drivers are the cause of car accidents. Simple.

    Uhm, nope.

    Lots of things contribute to car accidents:

    weather conditions
    faulty or missing signage
    animals
    mechanical problems with the car
    poor roads

    …car accidents happen. Sometimes it’s the driver’s fault, and sometimes there are a whole whack of mitigating factors.

    Not so simple.

    Like

  15. princesspixiepointless February 14, 2013 at 15:57 #

    yo bitch, what you saying about my unicorn?

    Like

  16. Ispeakthetruth February 28, 2013 at 02:08 #

    I was very much enjoying this post and the comments section as well until I saw that JB apparently has three kids.

    How sad.

    Like

  17. Mordecai Hunter July 10, 2013 at 04:22 #

    You’ve apparently never heard of condoms. With 3 kids that’s no surprise. Your bonding info is flawed, it only lasts for a few hours, hence the “female” need to cuddle after.

    No one should ever be shamed for their sexual past, especially by people who ostensibly enjoy the fruits of your experience.

    Like

  18. AvenueX April 22, 2014 at 16:25 #

    Another good point from JB.
    However, I have to differ with you about the way women dress “causes” rape. We cannot compare this to smoking because smoking has direct biological effects while people are able to control themselves who are responsible for their actions. So that is not an excuse for rape. Otherwise it would be okay to rape prostitutes.
    I agree that teenagers should be taught to not dress inappropriately but this should NOT be through condoning rape, because guess what? Most of sluts actually don’t get raped, they get wasted and for some and other reason(e.g the guy didn’t want to date them) regretted the sex and call “rape”. This is completely different to what actual rape victims(survivors) experience, my sister is one of them. Her long term partner and his co-worker had some problems apparently. The coworker threatened her long term partner with harming his close relations, and sent a bunch of goons to harass my sister. One day she was outside and they locked her up in a car and attacked her. She was wearing jeans.

    Like

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