You Should Be Ashamed If You Slut Shame
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Politics and Activism

You Should Be Ashamed If You Slut Shame

Slut-shaming needs to come to an abrupt halt, like yesterday.

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You Should Be Ashamed If You Slut Shame

I think I’ve always known that slut-shaming was wrong and that I would never take part in it. However, it wasn’t until recently that I felt the sting of being slut-shamed myself. I have always been a relatively modest person. Not because I believe that all women should dress modestly, but rather because I felt comfortable that way. Recently, however, I got a second job at a very popular bar right by campus. Our uniforms require that we wear short plaid skirts, T-shirts and tall socks. We all wear shorts underneath the skirts and honestly, I have never once felt uncomfortable.

When I got hired, the judgements started to come in waves. One of my coworkers at my first job referred to me as “rachet” for working at the bar. When I was told this, I was in shock. I have worked with him for years. He knows me personally, knows my work ethic, knows that I haven’t even been on a date since my last breakup. I immediately felt shame start to wash over me and I started trying to shake it off. After that, I started to get nervous. Most of my original coworkers looked at me differently, a few people that I dated before even dared to ask, “What are you doing? Why are you working there?” like I had started to sell drugs or my body. I am done. I am done being ashamed because honestly, I am not doing a damn thing wrong.

I have two jobs, an internship and I’m a full-time college student. I’m working on getting two bachelor’s degrees. The girls who work alongside me in that “dive bar”? They’re beautiful, brilliant, funny and kind. Most of them are students as well. Some of them just enjoy the work. They operate as a family and they were all so gracious in accepting me in immediately. They are genuinely good people and the fact that so many people will constantly think less of them because they wear skirts to work is pathetic. It says so much more about the judges than it does about the judged.

To the men who think my skirt means I am easy: I am not. I work to put myself through school. I have self-respect and I am not a slut. You are not entitled to my body just because you can see more than 25 percent of it. I am a waitress; I am not a piece of meat. In fact, you are not entitled to any woman’s body, ever. Not when you first meet her, not when you’re dating, not even after you’re married. Marriage and relationships are valuable because they require a constant decision every day: she has to choose you. Over and over again, she has to choose you. Your job is not to look at someone like a sex object, it is to learn how to respect women regardless of their clothing. Work on it.

To the women who look at me differently: I don’t know why, but you offend me more than the men do. You are a woman, you should understand that self-expression, whether through your words or through your clothes, should not be belittled. Half of you come into the bar in far more revealing outfits than what I’m wearing, and I have never once judged you. You are entitled to your own body, your own choices. I am a good person and I have feelings. Maybe my skin is not thick enough, but I promise, I won’t let you change that. I would rather you hurt me constantly than let your actions change me. That’s on you. I won’t let life, or people, callous me. I love, too much, and I care, and I won’t stop because not everyone understands how to respect one another. I’ll always see the good in people, and to me, that is true strength, not weakness. Just because I do not act rude to you when you treat me like trash does not mean you have won. I pride myself with handling my life with grace and I refuse to spend my life angry. So even if you forget to ask for an apology, I forgive you.

So next time you go into a bar or out in public anywhere, maybe you should stop and think before you judge the girl who you think is revealing too much. Who are you to make decisions for her? What do you know of her life? MLK once said, “They will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” For me, those words cover so much more than racism. Every single person should remember that each person has a story, not just an outfit. Do not judge anyone by ANYTHING that is not the content of their character.

I am a person; I am more than the length of my skirt.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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