“Sex is not a tool to bully or manipulate, it is OK to sleep with someone when you very first meet them. False promises to get sex is not ok. Slut shaming is not ok. Don’t let it be.” – Constance Hall, an Australian blogger and self proclaimed freedom fighter (2015).
It’s 10pm, I’m a little drunk and I’ve found myself in a pantry with a guy. Now before you think, what are you doing in a pantry? Let me explain. One of my best friends held a party, that let’s just say didn’t end well for a lot of people but at least the night started off great. The girls and I were dancing and interacting with people that I would most likely never speak to if I saw them around school because I’m a socially awkward teenage girl. That’s when one of our friends walked in with a plus one, now these two boys were not complete strangers due to the fact that I worked with them both. Although I knew Taylor a lot better than I knew his plus one Jack. When Taylor walked in he gave me a short hello and continued to the outside where him and Jack sat with some of the other boys.
Jill and I decided to go and mingle outside due to the large amount of people that had gathered there and this is when I was properly introduced to Jack for the first time. We got talking and soon realised we had the same weird sense of humor and a passion for hating where we worked. I didn’t feel like I had to try with him because the conversation flowed so easily. It was different then what I was used to and it was extremely nice. In this short space of time I did not realise how touchy and clingy Jack had become. I most likely did not realise this due to the fact that I’m a 16 year old girl who is obviously naive. This is when I found myself in only his company and in the kitchen with a large number of people surrounding us. We started getting closer and closer to the point where he dragged, an extremely giggly me, into a pantry. At this point I had believed that he had no other intentions but to properly hear what I was trying to say. This, however, was not the case. We were talking and he suddenly stopped. This was where he leaned in and kissed me. The kiss got a lot more heated but that’s where I stop with the description.
I don’t how long we were in that pantry for but thank god for Cal walking into pantry with a shocked expression, exclaiming “I just wanted some sugar for my cuppa tea!’ This is when we exited out of the pantry whilst Cal got his sugar. As we were standing in the kitchen, he gave me some talk about how “I will learn not to get feelings” and “to not get obsessed with him”. He left after this small chat and that’s when the realisation hit me. Jack was four years older than me. I was told later that he also had hooked up with my sister in the past.
I didn’t regret what happened with Jack until I returned back to school. I should have expected this because it’s high school and word travels fast. But I felt the judgemental eyes, the snide comments from friends and the words that had suddenly labeled me.
It’s unfair. If I was a boy, I would of been called a legend for hooking up with a with a girl that was four years older. But instead I was called a “hoe” and a “whore”. For a while this upset me a little because I didn’t feel like I deserved those names. Little did everyone know, this was actually my first kiss and I had been labelled names that are extremely derogatory towards women. I have always been someone who is passionate about women’s rights and the slut-shaming culture that has become prominent within today’s society. It’s upsetting to say that slut-shaming culture has become so harmful that projects like The UnSlut Project had to be created. The UnSlut Project was created by Emily Lindin in 2013 after her own troubles with being sexually bullied and slut-shamed. Lindin created this project to demonstrate how damaging and harmful this culture has become. Just reading through some of the stories shared on the website explains how detrimental the culture is and why projects like this need to exist. (http://www.unslutproject.com/)
I have always had the opinion that women can do whatever they want with their bodies as long as consent is involved and it’s safe. Women have power over their own bodies, not you or some name you give to label them. Women are not objects or toys. Women have power over their actions, thoughts and feelings. Society does not get to control them.
People immediately give girls rude comments or names just because they’ve kissed or hooked up with a lot of people but when it’s a boy that hooks up with a lot of girls it’s the exact opposite. Not only is this hypocritical, it’s double standards that exist in every part of life. The life of genders has never been equal as stereotypes created by different cultures and the media. Gender roles exist with occupations and domestic behaviours. Women are expected to have a nurturing and compassionate side that exists to create their occupation boundaries. With the different expectations and differing roles, these double standards exist because people move on with their lives if the incident is with a male. But if it’s a female she’s forever haunted by it because society won’t let her move on. She’s shamed and made fun of for something she might not even regret. The shaming is what makes her regret the act because god forbid she actually enjoys herself.
According to Raul Felix’s article “Skill Vs. Serendipity: Why Men Are Studs And Women Are Sluts”, these double standards exist because men have to put in ‘effort’ and women simply just have to show up and look attractive. Not only does this article make my blood boil and my eyes roll, it’s a stupid excuse for why there is a difference in labels. They say they put in all the effort but if the situation was flipped where the woman makes the so called ‘effort’, males wouldn’t say it’s endearing. They’d complain about how they feel emasculated. The article is pure filth due to the amount of sexism within it.
I don’t regret what I did with a Jack, even though he hooked up with another girl in the same night. We haven’t spoken since that night and we probably never will. I don’t really care. I had a good night of laughs and memories that I don’t want to forget and that shouldn’t be taken away from me. What I care about is the fact that women are made to feel regretful about acts that having nothing to do with society. Yet, we are pressured into believing they should be regrets.
If you’re a woman who was labelled by manipulative words that should never be used against anyone, do not let your actions become regrets. You have power over your own body. You are in charge of your actions. If you want to have one-night stands or want to have a serious relationships, they’re your actions and you made them. Don’t be pressured. Don’t be manipulated. Just you do you, gal.