As a social campus, talking amongst and about our peers is part of the territory. From dining in Anderson Commons to sitting in class to waiting in line at the coffee stop, socializing is an unavoidable part of the Cobber day. Being such an integral part of life, how we talk to and about each other is important especially when talking about slut-shaming.
It is not a secret that weekend get-togethers often involve alcohol and that students on campus mingle. The events of the weekend spread as Monday comes around and weekend hookups are followed by giggles, whispers, or frustrated roommates. Surprise, Cobbers have sex! Why are we still labeling our female peers as sluts and warning our friends about guys who had sex with so-and-so? The language of such conversations is degrading for all parties involved and frames the girl as guilty of moral wrongdoing.
Consensual sex, whether it be with one or many persons, does not make one of your peers a bad person, inept student, or unfit friend. It might mean that they have some complicated love triangles to deal with or a lack of hobbies, but who are you to write someone off for their physical pleasures? The people who most often use these degrading labels are typically insecure about their own sexual history or find themselves in a jealous position. These reasons are not valid defenses for the usage of such stigmatized and harmful words. When talking about peers, no matter how comfortable you are, using words that incriminate and further degrade females such as “slut” only allow for microaggressions to seep into our campus culture and strip people of their respect. Not to mention, as Cobbers being bred to have mature outlooks on the world, degrading and downright offensive assumptions about females is not a great place to start.
If a woman wants to sleep with someone and does so more often than you are comfortable with, they should not be shamed or plastered with a red ‘A’ for doing so. It is important to realize the repercussions of our actions and the social norms we perpetuate on a campus that attempts to make its students aware of deeper internal issues. There are times when these words come into conversation out of frustration. I am guilty of it too, but when really thinking about it, yelling the “B word” in response to something is degrading to all of the powerful women (and female dogs) in my life.
Utilizing both respectful and progressive language is not an explicit rule at Concordia, but that does not mean the behavior is any less promoted by the college. Using crude names and assumptious slurs to those around you is not a value the college promotes. Many students feel that these words are normal in the sake of expression or as a method of gossiping with friends.
Hookup culture becomes more and more prevalent as Tinder culture blossoms on campus. It comes down to being as easy as swiping right on your phone. Why are people who utilize this app branded with caution signs? There are many reasons people use the app, whether to talk to others, goof around or use it to find partners for sex. But even if it is used for consensual sex, who are you to judge? The plague of calling names and making assumptions on campus is wrong. Realizing the repercussions of the words you say is important on a campus where word travels fast and the community can be aggressive about who is allowed in (that is a whole other issue). It is time to think before we run our mouths and realize that other people’s lives do not have to be justified by you at the end of the day. It is time to stop slut-shaming on all its varying levels. C’mon Concordia students, you are better than that.