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"Smack A Slut Week" is No Laughing Matter

These days, the only way I can get my friends together is through Facebook. That handy little "Events" section has really helped organize my social life. So, imagine my surprise when I logged on today to see“Smack a Slut Week” as an event I was previously invited to. Smack a Slut week, if you aren’t privy to such information, lasts from October 3rd to October 7th and can be celebrated “anywhere you like,” by, you guessed it, smackin’ sluts.

Most of the comments were your standard derogatory jokes about those darn sluts and their slutty, evil ways. Some of my more enlightened folks bravely attempted to battle this obviously sexist malarkey. But then I saw this gem from one of the event’s attendees. She said, “Nobody realizes the levels of both sarcasm, and 'non-seriousness' to this. LOOK AT HOW MANY WOMEN ARE ATTENDING THE EVENT. It's not like men are going ‘oh man I can't wait for that one week in October, I'm gonna hit so many bitches.’ They're going ‘LOLOL THIS IS BETTER THAN HUG-A-POLE DAY.’? Everyone overreacting about this is overreacting like FUCK.”

Ah, the old, “LAWL GAIZ, IT’S JUST A JOKE,” excuse. Clearly it’s just a joke, so no one’s taking this seriously. No one slut shames women who choose to publically explore their sexuality. Especially not women and young girls. It’s not like the creator of this event is a man who chose a rather tasteful picture of Christina Aguilera to depict his idea of a slut. It’s not like guys have been posting all over the boards things like, “Man, I hate sluts,” or, “I really hate these dumb sluts!” No one takes jokes against women seriously, right?

Think again. A study done by Thomas Ford at the Western Carolina University found that sexist humor does impact the way we view women, subconsciously. It found that men discriminated against women more often when exposed to sexist jokes than both non-humorous sexist statements and neutral, non-sexist jokes. Ford had this to say on his findings: “We believe that this shows that humorous disparagement creates the perception of a shared standard of tolerance of discrimination that may guide behavior when people believe others feel the same way.”

And it’s not just that sexist jokes subconsciously manipulate how we view and treat women. It’s the fact that we even consider women who are sexually active a joke in our society, as if to say, “Ho ha, silly female, don’t you know you’re supposed to keep that vagina of yours a secret?” The slut is never the good girl in stories or movies. The slut is always Taylor Swift’s enemy in her songs, the troubled girl in a family sitcom, or the simple-and-sexually-available archetype in movies. Sluts are shamed, to a great degree, by females themselves. Just ask any high school girl what her go-to insult is about another girl who stole her boyfriend, a girl who wears revealing clothing, or just a girl she doesn’t particularly care for. Women participate in slut-shaming and women-hating as much as anyone else.

The debate about Smack a Slut Week shouldn’t be "is it or is it not" a joke. It shouldn’t be about how many girls are in the group. It should be about whether the message being sent to and about women, especially sexually open women, is positive or negative. If there is any positive aspect to Smack a Slut Week, I certainly don’t see it. All I see is yet another way men and women alike gang up on women who dare to live their sexual lives outside the societal norm.



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