Slut-shaming

A key that opens many locks is a master-key; a lock that gets opened by many keys is a shitty lock.

– Glaswegian proverb.

I didn’t know what slut-shaming was until a few days ago. I had heard the term used but I hadn’t put thought into what it meant or why it was being said. I honestly would never have thought slut-shaming would apply to something involuntary such as rape or sexual assault, but this is exactly what people do when they victim blame by saying she was “asking for it”. I assumed the slut-shaming I have lived thought was just another facet of the classic victim-blaming that I have endured since I was attacked. Slut-shaming is much deeper than I initially thought and is proof of how messed up society is. It is a clear double standard in our society, as shown in this adapted definition below.

Slut-shaming is the experience of being labeled a sexually out-of-control woman, in other words, a slut. This is commonly followed by being punished socially or iso for possessing this identity. Slut-shaming is sexist because mostly girls and women are labeled for their sexuality, whether real or imagined; men are typically congratulated for the exact same behavior. Except in the few cases where the male equivalent man-whore is used. This is the essence of the sexual double standard: Boys will be boys, and girls will be sluts.

– Adapted from HuffPost

So how does someone become a victim of slut-shaming when they have been raped? It is sadly quite simple. As things between myself and Ahmed got a bit strange I started cutting myself off from everyone in the house. After my attack, I really started avoiding them. I didn’t realise that while I was isolating myself from the other housemates by avoiding them that this gave Ahmed a very good opportunity. He started by inventing stories about how I was gagging for sex, portraying me as overly sexual. He then added in a few disgusting and degrading excuses such as because of my appearance nobody wanted me. He claimed I have poor personal hygiene, remember when Myra said I should wash my pussy? I admit I cope badly with humidity in the summer but this was in the winter. He made himself out as charitable by being the only person willing to sleep with me. He promised threesomes with two separate housemates, which could have put me in danger. He had me as his submissive and was trying to pimp me out with them. He made up encounters saying I liked being beaten and strangled.** He said that I liked pretending I was saying no even though afterwards I would beg him to stay, this worries me because when he promised threesomes with the other housemates it looks like he was planning another rape. Nobody batted an eyelid that he said that I pretended to say no. He also explained my absence as his doing, he said he didn’t want me talking to everyone else. He also said that I was his submissive, a term I am not entirely sure of and I don’t think I want to know the meaning of. He had portrayed me as this person consenting to no strings sex, no matter how violent it was. His version of me is the kind of girl we commonly see slut-shamed. Overly sexual, keen on no-strings sex. Not really caring about the consequences, at least from the outside view. This is not at all who I am.

On the evening when I told Myra and Emily they listened. From what I could gather from what they said was that he was making out this was a regular situation with consent. Myra just said she knew I had participated in oral sex, she thought it was consensual. She didn’t tell me all of the gory details then and there, but not long after Myra started slut-shaming me to the other housemates. I heard it in my bedroom because they were talking loudly. That was the first I really heard about consensual acts between myself and Ahmed, I was shocked because for me it wasn’t comprehensible that he was telling everyone I consented. Especially after I had told her what had really happened. Myra and the others were downstairs talking about how much of a whore I was. Myra disgusted me which her actions, a woman accusing a rape victim of being a whore is just painfully inaccurate and downright deplorable. Another time I had Myra bluntly tell me I should have known better, that as European I am considered a whore. Especially to Ahmed and the other Arab housemates. To me that’s racist, judging me as European and then saying they’re all whores. Then there’s the fact that Ahmed was born in France and raised in French foster care, he should know full well Europeans are not whores. I feel rather than apologising he was just finding excuses for his behaviour and where I was being made into a slut by them my words as a victim lost all meaning, transformed into the words of a slut. People in the house were thus more interested in the fact that I was a whore than they were about Ahmed potentially being a rapist. Their slut-shaming discredited me as a victim.

**While writing this I was wondering if it was worth going into this much detail. I don’t know everything he said, this was all secondhand. Some of it was from eavesdropping and other bits from Mike. A neutral housemate who I could count on for chargers and stuff when I drunkenly lost mine. I was in the kitchen and I’d been crying, I was drunk and he said he didn’t care if it was consensual or not, it shouldn’t be gossipped about so extremely and if there’s the slightest doubt the victim should be the priority. He was a decent person.

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