Slut Shaming, Feminism and Tattoos

14 May

It’s only 10:30am and I have already read 2 tweets and 2 articles posted about Slut-Shaming. I’m familiar with the term, but it’s certainly not part of my everyday vocabulary. For those of you who don’t know, Slut-Shaming IS a thing. It’s a huge thing, and it’s everywhere. Women are constantly judged on their appearance and dissected into pieces. Those pieces are then objectified, we make assumptions, and before you know it, the finger is being pointed back at women for issues concerning equality, rape, and sexuality that have been socially constructed.

Ever notice that a dozen men can walk around with a barbed wire tat on their arm and although they’re occasionally made fun of, no one says anything? Then a woman walks by with a tattoo on her lower back and it’s labelled a “tramp stamp”, or the newer version, a tattoo on the ribcage, a “skank flank”. Oh society, you dirty little devil. The double-standards that exist between men and women are so apparent and so widely used in mainstream society that no one blinks twice to think about the implications this has on a young woman’s life.

I myself have BOTH a tramp stamp and a skank flank. Yes, I’m your run-of-the-mill whore who decided to get tattoos on my body in places that apparently dictate your sexuality. The meaning behind both of my tattoos is irrelevant because of their placement too. I’ve received a lot of grief over my tattoos, and not just from my mother. The stereotypes that go along with tattoos are completely ridiculous. A dude gets tattooed and he’s a badass, I get tattoos and I get the nickname “patchy-Patty”. Okay, so maybe that has nothing to do with the fact that I’m a woman with tattoos, but my point is that because there’s an assumption that as a female my body should be “pure” leads a whole lot of people to question my tattoos, why I have them, and whatever will I do when I’m old and wrinkly?

These issues revolving around Slut-Shaming and tattoos made me question my own ideas about feminism. I’ve always considered myself a feminist. For me, this means I believe in gender equality, I will speak up for myself, I won’t conform to someone’s ideas of who or what I should or should not be. I feel empowerment as a woman, with so many strengths connected to my intuition, the magic of my body and what it can do; this is my basis for feminism. But how far or how deep do I go?

One of the articles concerning “Slut-Shaming” had to do with some schools in the states creating dress codes for female students that included the amount of chest and legs showing, banning tights and short skirts. My first reaction was disgust. The main reason behind these dress codes was because the clothing was apparently “too distracting for the boys “and “they needed to be able to focus on their academics”. It’s absolutely absurd but completely predictable that females would be blamed for men being distracted. Nevermind educating young men, and society as a whole, not to look at women’s bodies like slabs of sexual meat. No, make women change their ways. However, in the back of my head, I also thought that I didn’t feel comfortable with how revealing some young girls clothes are. As an Auntie, the last thing I want to see on my nieces are any articles of clothing where their butt cheeks or boobs are showing. As per usual, I’m a walking contradiction.

I think that women have increasingly become overtly sexualized. There’s still a spectrum of clothing to choose from, but a lot of clothing seems to accentuate the most sexualized parts of our bodies – breasts, tummy, butt and legs. So society creates this facade of acceptable dress, what is sexy, what is not, what will get you the guy, what won’t, and then we punish women for conforming. It’s a complete catch 22.

I think that women should be able to wear whatever they want, but I do still feel that by making your wardrobe choices, you’re making a statement. I know that when I wear a lower cut shirt, I expect people to look at my chest (both men and women). My motto has always been, if they’re looking at me, I’ll look back. I’m conscientious of what I wear; what I’m looking to say about myself, who I’m looking to attract, etc. Do men do this?

I’ll continue to align myself as a feminist and you can call me whatever names that perpetuate why I choose this label. But I do get confused over my own viewpoints sometimes. I suppose awareness is key – as it usually is.

6 Responses to “Slut Shaming, Feminism and Tattoos”

  1. bodysensei May 14, 2013 at 9:26 pm #

    Reblogged this on BodySensei® and commented:

    http://bodysensei.wordpress.com/bodysensei/

    Like

  2. Rosie May 14, 2013 at 10:22 pm #

    Reblogged this on FEMBORG.

    Like

  3. Jada M. May 14, 2013 at 10:34 pm #

    I was juggling over this too. I think it comes down to what Slut-Shaming is. Slut-Shaming no longer makes a woman human, or even a person, but a sexual object that is rapeable. When a person is seen as a slut, she’s seen as an object “deserving” of bad treatment. But no human is an object. This is why the treatment of sex-workers really bugs me, especially when people justify crimes done against them, or try to make up a sad story for them justify their job. Not all sex-workers were molested, do drugs, etc. some are just University girls who are trying to pay for school.

    Love this piece!

    Like

  4. Servant June 11, 2013 at 7:33 pm #

    “I’m conscientious of what I wear; what I’m looking to say about myself, who I’m looking to attract, etc. Do men do this?”

    Good, exactly right. Men, men are predictably disappointing – but so is mankind. People will pretty much ?always? disappoint. You will attract a man easily with what you wear, obviously, as you know. …and he will stare at the next girl the same way etc. etc. Women intoxicate men, their rational capacity malfunction … almost. Almost, since principled men do exist, but I don’t know what motivates the secular-minded men to give up what they are inclined towards. What motivates people to live unselfishly in general? Selfishness makes “evolutionary sense” right? …but a divorce stat as it looks doesn’t & the generation coming from these homes have some scars to show for it – …or is that a non-politically correct conclusion. I think the social sciences makes it plain. How’s that for a tangent? :-)

    Like

  5. Servant June 11, 2013 at 7:39 pm #

    “I’ll continue to align myself as a feminist and you can call me whatever names that perpetuate why I choose this label. But I do get confused over my own viewpoints sometimes. I suppose awareness is key – as it usually is.”

    Clearly, worldview matters. Often the consequence & full picture isn’t obvious. Confrontation is likely necessary to have to defend & test worldview I think.

    Like

Share your thoughts, comments and opinions!

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 )

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 110 other followers

%d bloggers like this: