Every time Halloween comes around, it seems as if my Instagram feed becomes flooded with playboy bunnies, angels/devils, and sexy construction workers. The fact that every girl dresses as the same thing for Halloween is humorous to me — in fact, I am constantly impressed by how many different variations of a "sexy (insert noun here)" can be made with the help of some fishnet tights.
However, along with festive costumes comes judging observers who have nothing better to do than to judge girls for having fun and feeling confident in their bodies.
In all of the joy and festivities of the holiday season, can we not simply leave the negativity and misogyny in the 1950's? In the past few weeks, I have heard too many veiled slut-shaming comments from both angry boys online, and even friends. Here is the thing: misogyny is ingrained in all of us. Without even realizing it, even I sometimes catch myself judging a situation based on the sexist mindset that I have been raised to hold. No matter how far we think we have gotten in the movement for women's rights, our patriarchal society still has a long way to go in changing the way we raise both boys and girls.
Aside from superficial rights such as equal pay, our mentality against women must be changed as well. People who I know are fully supportive of feminism and women's rights still make snarky quips about the clothes that a girl wears. Friends still blame themselves for being sexually assaulted or taken advantage of. The truth is, however, that these incidences are attributed to the control that society often takes of the decisions that a woman should have over her own body and life.
The root of the problem of veiled sexism is the mentality that almost all of us were raised with. Whether a person is born in liberal California or conservative Texas, our society as a whole has not gotten over the concept of "slut shaming" in America. It is about time that we learn to let girls wear what they choose to wear. Whether this means that they wear makeup every day, or decide to wear a crop top to class, it is a girl's decision to present herself how she wants. In fact, the entire concept of "slut" seems outdated and, quite honestly, makes me gag.
So, if a girl is a slut for wearing what she wants, then fine, she's a slut.
If being a "slut" is loving your own body, then OK, let's call them a slut.
Lastly, if being a "slut" is taking charge of the decisions you make for yourself, then fine, I hope that all women are able to develop the independent mindset of a "slut."
I urge our public to take a derogatory term that is meant to control a woman's body and redefine it in order to continue our movement towards a truly equal society.