… because I’d rather be a slut than a victim.

This is one of those very rare moments when I have to blog something. It isn’t about my writing. In fact, some people might consider this to be one huge vent (which they may passionately disagree with).

I also should be studying for my exams as a bad headache has prevented me from doing so all day today but I have to, have to blog about this lest I explode and die or something.

A couple hours ago it appears as if Chris Brown wore his heart on his sleeve relating to his ex-girlfriend, Rihanna. He tweeted: She’s not mine if she’s everybody else’s.

Cue the internet. Rihanna was classed as everything on this planet from a whore to a slut. I found this ironic as none of us knows what Rihanna’s sexual history looks like. For all the barely-there clothing she wears, the marijuana she smokes and guys she has been photoed with (not that many to my knowledge), Rihanna might have well had only one or two sexual partners. Then I got thinking to myself: so what if she has had a hundred? What if she has sex and a lot of sex because she likes it? Should she not have that choice? Shouldn’t the only thing of concern be whether or not she’s being safe with it?

Rihanna is known for her bad girl ways.
Rihanna is known for her “bad “girl ways.

Slut-shaming has been going on for ever. It is the process whereby society attacks a woman who deviates from the gendered social sexual norm. Thus, if a guy has had a million prior partners it is something for him to be patted on his back for. When he finally settles for that one girl, she should be lucky that after racking up enough free miles to get them from Jamaica to Timbuktu that he’s chosen her. It is this same gendered stereotype that make men believe that having been used more than dish towels they have a RIGHT to a virgin and anyone less is a slut and undeserved. I find the media treats Taylor Swift in a similar way. If her songs are any indication, she has had a ton of boyfriends. Cue the statements like: “Taylor Swift’s vagina has seen more action than a [insert something that has seen a lot of action here]”. When she dated Harry Styles who hardly seems to be an innocent, everyone was all on her possible sexual history. The thing is we don’t know if she has sex with all or any of the guys she’s been out with. And, I asked myself again: why should it even matter? But, wait, this blog is actually not about the gendered inequalities. It is about something else entirely.

Having read and chuckled at a few tweets concerning the Chris Brown – Rihanna debacle and staring wide eyed at the tweets which suggested he beat her a la that famed pre-Grammy incident, I decided to get started on what I really should be doing now; which is study for my exams which start on Monday.

As I closed out my browsers, I noticed that one of the kidnap victims in Cleveland would be released from hospital today after undergoing mental health checks. Most of the news outlets have focused heavily on Amanda Berry and Gina deJesus. But there’s also the third woman, Michelle Knight, the first to be kidnapped. I read earlier this week that even before her kidnap she was a victim of a gang rape at aged 22.

Michelle Knight before she was kidnapped in 2002.
Michelle Knight before she was kidnapped in 2002.

We all know of the terrors the three girls endured in that house where they were treated as sexual objects and beaten. Michelle told the police that she became pregnant no less than five times for her captor but she was beaten until she miscarried each time. Amanda Berry fell pregnant during her fourth year of captivity, and gave birth to her captor’s daughter.

The Cleveland story isn’t the only one in the media right now about acts of sexual violence. In Fayetteville, North Carolina the trial of Mario McNeill continues. He stands charged for raping and murdering Shaniya Davis. If that wasn’t enough to make your heart weep, Shaniya was five.

Photo Shaniya taken shortly before her rape and murder.
Photo Shaniya taken shortly before her rape and murder.

Let’s not forget about the shocking news from Rwanda just a couple days ago that over 40% of girls in the school system have been victims of sexual abuse – including rape.

I could continue with tales of Syria, Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo and how rape has become a tool of war but I don’t have the time. But, try this for me… open your favourite search engine and click on the news panel, type in “raped” and hit search. What are the first four headlines you came up with? I used Google and I got the following:

  1. Trafficked, confined and raped in the heart of Dehli.
  2. Three captive women raped, starved and brutalized for a decade.
  3. Damien Hollis, NYC man, allegedly raped woman after showing a police shield
  4. UN Report: Girls as young as six raped by Congo troops

My search returned about 108 000 results in less than 30 seconds.

What is my point?

Regardless of my views of multiple sexual partners, who am I to make someone feel inferior or shamed for exercising the control they have over their body? Regardless of your views, what gives you the right to do this? Should it matter that I choose to exercise sexual control over my body in a different way? Should it matter that you choose to exercise control of your body differently? It reminds me of the conversations that rage about saving yourself for marriage. It took a while for me to realize that where a woman’s body is concerned especially with regards to being a sexual instrument the only thing that really matters is having a choice. Shaniya Davis, as she lay cowered on a motel bed, did not have a choice when her virginity was taken from her by a grown man who later suffocated her before dumping her body at the side of the road. Amanda Berry, Michelle Knight and Gina DeJesus did not have a choice in those ten years when Ariel Castro used them as if they were objects and not human beings. Hell, as you’ve read this blog post women have been denied the right to choose…

Every time you choose to have sex with someone; he could be someone you’ve known for your entire life or just a night the important thing is that you have made that choice. Of course with every choice there are consequences and we should try to be as wise as possible when exercising our right to choose. But, society really should have more on its mind that trying to force young girls into adhering to sexual constructs. Society should have more on its mind that shaming those girls who choose to live by their  own sexual terms. Society should be concerned with those girls who aren’t able to CHOOSE.

Credit: LiorakPhotography
Credit: LiorakPhotography

Tschuss,

Rilzy

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