A Call to End Slut Shaming and Rape Culture

A Call to End Slut Shaming and Rape Culture

It's a societal issue, not a feminist issue.
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With rape culture and the double standard about sex becoming more prevalent, students at the College of Charleston decided to protest. The Post and Courier explains "The march is a protest against sexual assault and the double standard that extols promiscuous men for their conquests and shames women for theirs.” On November 30th students walked on campus wearing “provocative” clothing to raise awareness of rape culture and the double standard. The students were escorted by campus security to make sure they were safe and then after, they met in the Cistern Yard to read poetry. "Slut Walks" originated in Toronto about five years ago and have created a trend where women mobilize and attempt to end rape culture and the double standard.

Slut shaming is defined as judging a woman based on her past or current sexual relations or promiscuous-ness. It is seen in high schools, colleges and even at work places. The part that is not seen or talked about is the emotional and mental torment these women feel. Slut shaming directly correlates with the double standard. A man has more freedom to act sexually than a woman. A man can sleep with someone and get high-fived while a girl can be ridiculed and labeled a “slut”. This also correlates with rape culture and the fear that women feel about coming forward and reporting sexual assault. When reporting sexual assault, women are often asked if they were drinking and if they were wearing skimpy clothing. This unfair judgement has become a part of society and we all need to come together and be the ones to change it.

Thought Catalog asked women about some of their experiences with slut shaming and the results were eye opening. Tessa, who is two years old, explains “One of my best friends called me a slut when I told her about my first one-night stand”. Nicole, who is twenty four years old, explains her own experience, stating “Once I was walking home by myself after a late shift. These drunk guys sitting across from my apartment were screaming obscenities at me as I fumbled trying to unlock my front door; calling me a slut and a whore, asking where I was coming from so late at night. I ended up crying in the shower over it.” She ended up crying because society thinks that just because a girl walks home late it constitutes that she was acting promiscuous. In college girls experience this daily. Caroline, who is 19 years old, explains she was “Literally was just leaning against a wall at a frat, waiting for my friend to come out of the bathroom. Some random guy walked by me and coughed ‘slut.’ Have never been back.” She was out with her friends and was simply leaning against a wall minding her business, yet she was still subjected to slut shaming.

Even asking for a girl the number of men she's slept with can be considered crossing the line. Hannah, who is 22 years old, explains, “I’ve experienced this a couple of times now—where a guy will ask me what ‘my number’ is, I’ll tell him, it ends up being higher than his, and so he tosses me aside as a slut because he’s insecure. Now if anyone asks me, I just lie.” Typically, men are not judged for having a high number of former partners, but women are. Women have to protect their image.

Two cases were seen in two separate high schools where girls who were harassed and called sluts ended up committing suicide because of the harassment and abuse they received. Prince, a 15-year-old girl, just started at a new school and was harassed after a few short relationships with two boys, one of which was a popular football player. The current girlfriends of these boys started a campaign aimed to slut shame Prince; she was harassed in the halls and at lunch. She could not escape and the bullying spread to her home. She was sent messages over social media calling her “slut” and “whore”. They went as far as saying she should die. She was ostracized and harassed everywhere and with no escape she committed suicide.

Another girl named Hope committed suicide at age 13 because she was being called a slut and whore in middle school. Slut shaming starts young and with no one stopping it, kids think it is okay to continue. They grow up thinking that it is okay to shame a girl unless told otherwise.

Slut shaming, a common action, appears regardless of age and causes consequences that no one sees. Suicide is becoming a more common consequence of slut shaming along with loneliness, depression and isolation. This is not a feminist fight; it is a societal fight. Times have changed and so should opinions on women and promiscuity.

Cover Image Credit: myticketsnyc.com

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5 Perks Of Having A Long-Distance Best Friend

The best kind of long-distance relationship.
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Sometimes, people get annoyed when girls refer to multiple people as their "best friend," but they don't understand. We have different types of best friends. There's the going out together best friend, the see each other everyday best friend and the constant, low maintenance best friend.

While I'm lucky enough to have two out of the three at the same school as me, my "low maintenance" best friend goes to college six hours from Baton Rouge.

This type of friend is special because no matter how long you go without talking or seeing each other, you're always insanely close. Even though I miss her daily, having a long-distance best friend has its perks. Here are just a few of them...

1. Getting to see each other is a special event.

Sometimes when you see someone all the time, you take that person and their friendship for granted. When you don't get to see one of your favorite people very often, the times when you're together are truly appreciated.

2. You always have someone to give unbiased advice.

This person knows you best, but they probably don't know the people you're telling them about, so they can give you better advice than anyone else.

3. You always have someone to text and FaceTime.

While there may be hundreds of miles between you, they're also just a phone call away. You know they'll always be there for you even when they can't physically be there.

4. You can plan fun trips to visit each other.

When you can visit each other, you get to meet the people you've heard so much about and experience all the places they love. You get to have your own college experience and, sometimes, theirs, too.

5. You know they will always be a part of your life.

If you can survive going to school in different states, you've both proven that your friendship will last forever. You both care enough to make time for the other in the midst of exams, social events, and homework.

The long-distance best friend is a forever friend. While I wish I could see mine more, I wouldn't trade her for anything.

Cover Image Credit: Just For Laughs-Chicago

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When Should I Eat?

You should typically eat when your body tells you to, not your craving or friend.

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Do you find that you are not hungry for dinner when you sit down at the usual time? How about lunch? Or breakfast? Or even when you snack? For me, it is usually dinner time when I feel this way. Perhaps after the first dish, you work up an appetite and go up for seconds. Later, you think, "why did I do that?"

We have been trained to eat three square meals at certain times of the day, at least I was. It is something our parents did and their parents. But here is something I have learned, not everyone should have the same eating patterns. Digestive systems differ per person and each individual requires differing amounts of calories for every day. For me, I have a sensitive digestive system. I have learned the hard way when I decided to eat seconds or eat when my body said it wasn't hungry.

Recently I have changed my eating pattern after reading Mark Divine's "The Way of the SEAL." To those who don't know, this book has heavily influenced my life and I wrote an article about it. In one section of the book, he gave a quick suggestion on eating habits. He said that the three square meals a day comes from the Industrial Revolution days when people had specific schedules. He said that the body should be fueled as needed through eating. Not only did it benefit his health, it freed up his breaks at work to focus on other things. At the same time, he states that it is okay to break the rule once in a while to enjoy life.

Even though his book didn't focus on nutrition or eating habits, this small section caused me to analyze my patterns. I realized that I was having calorie-rich meals when I wasn't hungry and that it usually caused indigestion. Plus his advice just sounded like common sense, eat when you're hungry. So I decided to start doing this. The result: I felt healthier and experienced less indigestion. And something seemed right about it.

If you consider it, our body sends us many messages on what to do. When to go to the bathroom, when you're cold, etc. People typically listen to their body in those situations, but not so much with food. The obesity epidemic in society is evidence of that. Obviously, there are other factors that have caused the obesity problem, but self-control with eating is not encouraged enough. Therefore, I believe people should check for a hungry message from their body before eating. As much as it will cause some odd schedules for meals or quick snacks, it will be beneficial for health. And checking the quantity you eat is important as well.

Another important part of eating is what you eat, which is one we hear about frequently. Another personal observation I have made is that when I eat healthier foods, especially fruit, my mood can get more positive. Probably because healthy fruits and vegetables don't give me the sick feeling after eating a sugar-filled brownie. Believe it or not, a healthier diet can improve mental health according to a study in New Zealand. So why not eat healthier to be in a better mood during the week?

I am not a health nut nor am I against enjoying life with a piece of cake once in a while. But I feel strongly about eating the right foods at the right time. I have gotten weird reactions from some people when I don't eat lunch for a long time or I talk about my eating patterns. I don't care since I know it is good for me and others. For some people, they need three square meals a day at certain times because that is when they are hungry. Like I said before, everyone has different eating patterns. Yet most of our eating should occur to satisfy hunger, not just for the sake of taste or socializing. If every person decided to eat healthy foods in the right quantities based on hunger, I think the health of the nation would improve.

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