We’re launching a new campaign to raise awareness of slut-shaming and challenge people to stop using slut-shaming language. TULS stands for “Tufts Undoing the Language of Shaming,” and we’re challenging people to think critically before using words like “slut”, “whore”, and “bitch”.
Be sure to check out our op-ed, “Think Before You Shame,” launching the campaign, excerpted below:
The words “slut,” “bitch” and “whore” have become normalized into our vocabulary and therefore justified as fair game. I try my hardest not to say these words, and I also try to call out people who do. But that is not an easy task. So many people use the words in a casual or joking way: “That dress looks kinda slutty.” “You’re so rude, don’t be a bitch.”“Haha, you hooked up with three people that night? You’re such a whore.” I want to make people aware of how harmful their seemingly benign words can be.
There are four ways these words are harmful. First, they cause us to objectify and have less respect for the bodies and feelings of those labeled with these terms. Second, they make people ashamed of their sexuality. Third, when someone uses these words, it can be a sign that they might be violent in the future, but since these words are accepted as normal, we often fail to notice those signs. Fourth, they can be triggers for survivors of rape, sexual assault and domestic violence, mentally bringing them back to the moment of the traumatic event.
We hope that everyone participating in the TULS campaign gets something out of it. The goal is not to stop people from using three words for one week so that they can start up again right after. On the contrary, this is designed to get you thinking about how and why we use these words. You never know whom you may be affecting by your use of shaming language, even if that was not your intention. We encourage everyone to take on our challenge.
Do you have any observations or experiences you’d like to share? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!