"I decided to wear every derogatory word you can possibly call a woman because people call us that all the time."
Ever been insulted, made fun of, or verbally attacked by someone? I'm gonna take a wild guess and say yes. Now imagine tens of thousands of people doing that to you on a daily basis. Would you be brave enough to have a response like this?
Big Thank u to @thesepinklips and @brittanydeshields for making our Fits for the #VMAs #YoungTalent 💋
A photo posted by Amber Rose (@amberrose) on
The MTV Video Music Awards featured feuds, boobs, and everything in between. But before the show even started, two celebrities made a serious statement against slut shaming that a lot of people seem to have missed.
Amber Rose and Blac Chyna decided to strut the carpet wearing clothing covered with hateful terms that are used against women.
Call me crazy, but I think women are more than the clothes they wear, so I personally hate how people fixate on what female celebrities wear on the red carpet. But this is a rare occasion when "What are you wearing?" is an important and necessary question.
Why? Because they're words that Amber Rose and Blac Chyna — along with countless other women around the world — face every day. It's called slut shaming, and they decided to do something about it.
"I decided to wear every derogatory word you can possibly call a woman because people call us that all the time," Amber Rose explained.
In case you haven't come across the term, "slut shaming" is the practice of criticizing a woman for engaging in certain sexual behaviors whether it be actual or presumed based on her manner of dress, speech, or personality — and it's bad.
Slut shaming is crazy-making. Think about it:
There isn't one, young Abigail Breslin.
And that's part of the problem! Women can't express themselves sexually without being scrutinized. There's a clear double standard when Nick Jonas can grind up on multiple women on stage at the VMAs and be praised while Miley Cyrus is attacked for wearing pasties over her breasts. (Um, seriously — what is folks' problem with the female breast?)
Participating in slut shaming or even just allowing it to go on around you sends the message that girls and women who dress a certain way or have sex are sluts. And words have serious power. Slut shaming promotes rape culture.
The next time you hear someone use the word "slut," think about this:
Rape culture — a society in which rape is widespread because of views on sexuality and gender — is bred from slurs like those that Amber Rose and Blac Chyna wore on their outfits. It's bred from a culture in which we think it's OK to shame and police women. A culture where we blame the victim of sexual violence or harassment because "she was asking for it."
So what do we do about it?
We don't all get to walk the red carpet, but that doesn't mean that we can't take a stand against slut shaming. Here are a few tips:
- Think before you speak. Don't contribute to the problem. Make sure you're doing your part to ensure that you aren't shaming others. Ask yourself, “Am I saying something that Amber Rose would put on her next red-carpet outfit?"
- Educate yourself. Educate yourself and others about victim-blaming and rape culture. We all have the responsibility to be informed so that we can make the best choices and encourage others to as well.
- Shut that ish down. If you see someone shaming others, call them out on it. Ignorance is just a lack of knowledge, so go educate some folks.