9 Surprising Instances Of Slut Shaming In Movies You Love

“Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” may have been a clever taunt to throw back at a bully on the playground, but it’s not really true. Insults do hurt. Whether they’re told behind your back or hurled right to your face, they have an impact. Words can be even more hurtful than physical violence. One word that’s had a lot of negative stigma associated with it the world “slut.” People have been shaming girls so-called “slutty” behavior since practically the beginning of time, and as much as we want it to end, it still hasn’t. Slut-shaming is alive and well, in real life and in fictional worlds like our favorite movies.

Being a slut means you’re dirty, you’re easy, you have no self respect. Having sex makes you gross, used, unworthy. At least, that’s what the people calling you slutty want you to think. Calling out slut shaming has become more prevalent in the media today, but so has slut shaming itself. With all of the social media platforms we have now, it’s easier than ever to insult people – even strangers – for their appearance or behavior. Slut shaming can be a sneaky undertone, too, which can be even more dangerous. Don’t believe me? You probably never even noticed these surprising instances of slut-shaming in some of your favorite movies. That’s proof right there! Check ’em out, and start to see slut-shaming in a different light:

1. Mean Girls

For a movie written by and featuring two incredibly strong, empowered women, Mean Girls has some shockingly ridiculous slut shaming moments, from making fun of peoples’ sexual activity in the Burn Book to calling an entire cafeteria clique the “sexually active band geeks.” Halloween is a time when girls can dress as slutty as they want without being called out for it – which could be “pro” slutty except the connotation is that any other time, she should be shamed for it. And of course, Regina says Karen should be spring fling queen except “everyone forgets about her because she’s such a slut.” Harsh. And sure, Tina Fey was probably being satirical and trying to make a statement with this stuff, but some of it just felt off.

 

2. Clueless

Sure, this is a funny joke, but dang Dionne, way to call a girl out – in front of an entire gym class, no less – for having an active sex life. How would you like your private activities presented to everyone at school?

So this is actually virgin shaming, but still pretty messed up that Tai’s insult is related to the state of Cher’s hymen. Which has nothing to do with her loyalty as a friend. Or her driving abilities.

 

3. Grease

Rizzo’s entire ballad is about how there are worse thing she could do than be sexually active. Amen, Rizzo! Everyone at school talks about Rizzo behind her back for being “slutty” and those whispers get under even her thick skin. Of course there are worse things she could do than go to bed with a boy; why does that even need to be said?

 

4. 40 Year Old Virgin

This entire movie is about a group of guys trying to get another guy to open up sexually. Yet, when confronted with a woman who clearly knows what she likes and is open about it, they call her a freak. Double standards, anyone?

 

5. John Tucker Must Die

The plot of this movie is female friends uniting to take down a man who wronged them. So okay, maybe revenge isn’t the most moral concept, but at least it features strong women working together. Yet…they still insult each other for being with the boy of their affections, like when Heather calls Beth a “hippie slut” even though Heather hooked up with John, too. Why call someone else a derogatory term for doing something you’re also doing?

 

6. Trainwreck

Amy Schumer is legendary for being pro-slut, and this movie supports her agenda. It also shows the judgment still given by many women – when Amy and another guest at the baby shower share details about their sex lives, the other woman express looks of disgust and horror.

 

7. Silver Linings Playbook

Even though they’re both dealing with mental health issues, after Tiffany opens up to Pat about her activities after her husband’s death – namely, sleeping with multiple people in her office – he judges her and essentially says that she is crazier than he is. His history of violence and mental illness isn’t crazy, no way, but her sluttiness? That’s real crazy. WTF.

 

8. Easy A

So, this movie is clearly commentary ON slut shaming. Admitting we have a problem is the first step. Maybe if there were more films pointing out the ludicrous prevalence of slut shaming, there would be less slut shaming.

 

9. What’s Your Number

This entire movie premise is that women have a limit on the number of men they can sleep with before they lose the possibility of marriage. Are you kidding with this? Not only can we not be the ambiguous “slut,” there is a specific number of sexual partners we can have if we ever want to find love. I’m appalled. No one can dictate how you live your sex life.

Which of these movies have you seen? Did any of these surprise you? Let me know in the comments.

 

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