The end of slut-shaming begins with perception

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Nothing can ruin a woman’s reputation faster than a naked picture. This happens again and again in our culture, and the way media handle victims is negative and needs to be corrected. Women are often shamed for sending naked pictures to a significant other, and are riduculed by the media and society for the photos that surface on public platforms. “Slut” is a gendered word, and has been applied to women of every size, race and age. Geekfeminism.org defines slut-shaming as, “The act of criticising a woman for her real or presumed sexual activity, or for behaving in ways that someone thinks are associated with her real or presumed sexual activity.” Naked pictures are common. So why does society tarnish women for sending pictures instead of those who publicize them? Why are the real perpetrators not prosecuted for submitting pictures to revenge porn websites?   “Often times we are content with sexually objectified pictures,” said Christia Brown, associate professor of developmental psychology. “Magazine ads, billboards and TV shows have lots of, basically, soft core porn on them.” Men who send nude pictures receive considerably less backlash than women. Why are we slut shaming women in particular? Shouldn’t media and the justice system hold accountable people who share pictures and videos of women without their consent and hack into their iCloud accounts to steal their private property? “We expect men to be sexually active,” Brown said. “So when nude photos of men pop up, there is never any shaming of that because the expectation is that they are sexually active, which is a positive thing for them.” As Brown stated, public figures and celebrities also receive backlash. However, women can send a picture to someone they are close with and later find that the photo has reached a large audience. According to Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, one in 10 ex-partners have threatened to expose risque photos of their ex online. About 90 percent of revenge porn victims are women, according to the CCRI’s sample. “I think for women we have to change the stereotype and get rid of that stigma. Women should also be allowed to be sexual in the same way that men are,” Brown said. “What’s tough about the slut shaming is basically we say, ‘We want you to be objectified, but we don’t want you to be in charge of your sexuality.’”   According to CCRI, 93 percent of victims have suffered significant emotional distress due to being a victim. Of women being slut shamed, 59 percent of the victims full names were leaked, according to the CCRI.

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