BY SAVANNAH RHEINHART, Editor-in-Chief
Since the beginning of time, people have always judged each other. I’m sure cavemen judged each other based on who could bring back the largest animal to eat the same way that people today judge how much money someone makes. Someone will always have more, have better, and have it easier. For many, the easiest way to cope with this reality is to shame them for it to feel better about themselves.
With the popularity of social media, shaming others for their choices has become a worldwide phenomenon. Whether it’s calling someone fat, ugly, stupid, slutty, or a myriad of other things, it’s out there. And I think with all of the “leaks” online in the past year or so, it’s pretty obvious that nothing ever disappears from the Internet. So why do we put up with this? It is because it’s funny to us? Or maybe because we disagree with the choices others are making. Perhaps it’s jealously or maybe even boredom. Whatever the reason may be, it’s not okay. Shaming someone for their personal choices is cowardly, mean, and shameful in and of itself.
One of the biggest reasons to “shame” someone on the Internet is because of their sexual choices. Whether it be their identity, number of partners, or just honesty about sex, it’s constantly a topic of judgment and hurtful comments. I don’t know if I was out of class the day that we learned to make someone’s sexual life any of our business, but it’s disgusting. I don’t have room to judge someone for having 200 sexual partners the same way I don’t have room to judge someone for waiting until marriage to have sex. And neither do you.
It’s amazing how the accessibility provided by social media has given many people the belief of entitlement to not only infringe on the lives of others, but to also pass judgment. With Halloween coming up, it is only a matter of time before we see comments about costumes. “She looks so slutty” or “What a whore” comments are inevitable. And while the judgment is most likely unfounded, masochistic, and usually unintelligent, it is also dangerous.
Commenting on how women dress, act, who they sleep with, and anything to do with their sexual identity is just making room for unwanted attention. How many times has it been said “she was asking for it the way she was dressed” or “she sleeps with everyone, so it couldn’t have been rape”? This shaming isn’t just rude, but it can cause much deeper pain. The best way to get a handle on sexual assault in the United States is to change as a society. And the first step is to stop being judgmental and understand that shaming women, and men, for their sexual behavior only makes room for assaulters to gain sympathy and walk free.
Keep an active eye on who you judge and why. Remember, “let he who is without sin, cast the first stone.” Only when you have perfected yourself should you be judging others for their personal choices. Until then, focus on yourself and you might be surprised at the people you let into your life when you don’t judge so harshly.