Slut-Shaming in Romantic Relationships: It’s Not On Unless It’s Not On.

Last week I upheld my tradition of throwing a Halloween party for my birthday.

Ahh, Halloween: the penchant for flesh-baring costumes has emerged as one of the most enduring aspects of the American holiday in recent years, heralding it, perhaps more appropriately, Slut-O-Ween.

Now, everyone (should) know that just because a woman wears a “slutty” or sexy costume, doesn’t mean she’s easy or is “asking for it”. It just means she likes her body and wants to show it off or is—consciously or not—buying into the whole sexy-feminine debacle modern women are so often faced with, or sometimes both.

You’d think this way of thinking would be abolished in long-term relationships, in which one of my friends who attended the party is embroiled in. I think she’s been with her boyfriend for about three or four years now, certainly before I met her two-and-a-half years ago.

All her friends and family knows she’s pretty shy, a bit quirky, and has been known to attend costume parties in full drag king regalia! If anyone has trepidations about dressing sexily, it’s her.

So her costume this year was a bit out of the ordinary: she was showing more skin than I was, and that’s saying something!

But this obviously upset and threatened her boyfriend, who I’ve made no secrets about not liking, and the feeling’s mutual. He accused her of dressing like a “slut”, and being one, essentially: he thought she cheated on him at my party, and that I was egging her on!

Now, I’ve had people dislike me before, but this takes the cake!

My friend had recently added a new male colleague—who, in the interest of full disclosure, is gay—to her Facebook friends. This, coupled with her “skanky” outfit and attending a party he wasn’t invited to and didn’t want her to attend, is enough ammo to jump to cheating conclusions in his mind. Anyone else think this is a bit out of whack?!

Firstly, there are obviously major problems in their relationship, which I’ve voiced to my friend. The problems are mainly his, but she’s enabling them by accepting his apologies when he realises he’s stuffed up. The amount of times I’ve witnessed her crying over him are too numerous to count…

And, as I mentioned above, if anyone should know her inside and out like the back of their hand, it’s her significant other. Clearly he knows nothing about her to think that just because she wore a revealing outfit and dared to have some fun, it automatically means she cheated on him. There’s a sexual assault defence if ever I saw one.

Furthermore, he has no idea about women, relationships and intimacy if he jumps to jealous conclusions like these.

Perhaps he’s threatened because she’s going out and having fun to celebrate someone’s birthday he doesn’t like without him. This is one of the first times my friend has dressed so risquély, and costume parties were a thing of far off, mythical lands before she met me. So, friend he doesn’t like + Slut-O-Ween + coming out of her shell + doing it without him = CHEATING! Hmm, I can see a few holes in that analogy.

But there is one outcome of the equation that I didn’t see coming: he gave her an ultimatum. Choose him and fix their relationship (although how he expects her to do this is beyond me. SHE DIDN’T DO ANYTHING WRONG!), or choose me. Now, I know which one I would choose (;)), but this is eleven kinds of wrong.

Clearly, he has mental problems (and, in all seriousness, he actually does. Fast forward from this calamity and he’s agreed he acted like a douchebag and will get professional help.) that aren’t representative of men today, I don’t think.

His attitudes reflect a bygone era, where men shackled their women to them (when they weren’t shackled to the kitchen, of course), and having sex with the lights on was the most suggestive a woman was allowed to get.

Now, not all modern men have eschewed these archaic attitudes, but almost none of the men I have in my life and of a similar age to me think like this. Costumes and short skirts are just a way to have a little fun and act (be?) a little sexy.

Whether the options are open to making a little love and getting down tonight is entirely up to the consenting adults involved, regardless of what they’re wearing.

Related: Slut-Shaming as Defence Mechanism.

Ain’t Nothin’ Gonna Break My Slutty Stride.

 

One thought on “Slut-Shaming in Romantic Relationships: It’s Not On Unless It’s Not On.

  1. Pingback: Happy Slut-O-Ween: The Hyper-Sexualisation & -Feminisation of Costumes for Women. « The Early Bird Catches the Worm

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