Slut-shamers, sit down, it’s not your vagina

 Hey, you!

Yes, you.

Stop slut shaming. 


I recently read about the “top 50 Harare naughty girls” list while catching up on what was then the hot internet gossip about one Geraldine Baye that’s doing the rounds. Geraldine was one of the supposedly “naughty girls” on that list. I don’t know any of the women listed and the story wasn’t much of a read, but the fact that such a list exists bothers me.

In the mid-90s when I was in high school, femmes couldn’t walk in downtown Harare wearing spaghetti straps. To do that was to guarantee being stripped and traumatised. Copacabana was well-known for this. Never mind that spaghetti straps are only practical considering the heat in Zimbabwe! While not all pockets of Zimbabwean society embrace women wearing what they want yet, thankfully, we’re slowly evolving from that.

In the 90s, you also couldn’t buy condoms as a femme. I’m one of those women who just take their Durex, (I’ll pass on your side eye and running commentary) and leave, thank you.

When I was in varsity in Grahamstown, news of semester shenanigans were reported back to the motherland, and retribution was dealt out with a heavy hand during vacations. Reputations were ruined, and people’s private business was put out on the streets. That was over a decade ago, and we’re still there. The only difference is the internet, which explains how I, sitting 1 064 kilometres away, know who is ranked Harare’s naughtiest.

kermit-meme-112414png_1qq16n1pph2ky139ki81oqxxiwBefore I climb onto my soapbox, let me pause for a second and declare that I am no feminist. I do however suffer from a slight case of emancipation-of-the-mind syndrome, which in essence makes me a rebel. I’m not sorry about that.

So what bothered me about the list? First, the effort required to put this list together. Carefully selecting 50 women from Harare to name as the “naughtiest” is a lot. So much effort for something so inane! 50 people?! What criteria was used to evaluate? Was there a shortlist? Was there a panel? If so, who was in it? Was there a nomination process? Were the results audited? Equal rights aside, is there a corresponding partners list, because surely these girls were not sexing themselves or each other? Or were they…?

The second, and most glaringly ridiculous thing about that list to me, was the use of “naughty” and “girls” in the title. Naughty is a word used to describe a petulant child. Both wordfunny-pictures-auto-kids-thoughts-474108s are grossly inappropriate because these are grown women we are talking about. Grown women who CHOSE to have sex. They are not oversized children, so why are they being reprimanded? This, which is equivalent to ‘telling on you’, is as about as effective as giving them a smack on the wrist and sending them to the naughty corner for 15 minutes.

Personally, When I hear the word naughty being used to describe an adult, my default position is that they have bedroom tricks. Maybe my mind is forever in the gutter. But it’s lovely down here where the world is full of fun and possibilities. Join me? Become a teetotaler? Or maybe just get a hobby. Whatever your choice, you need to leave all matters pertaining to vaginas up to the individual on whose body they are found.

Some can argue that Zimbabwean society is ‘conservative,’ but even that makes assumptions based on individual values and beliefs. Conservative is not a uniform standard. To shame someone for what the anonymous collective deem an inappropriately large amount of activity, ergo promiscuousness is helluva judgment. You should consider getting off your high horse because the air up there is obviously so low in oxygen, you’re unable to function as a rational being. Why are we so consumed with something that is none of our business? And by we, I mean you and your judgmental self.

Adults can and do make their own choices. Slut-shaming them will not stop this. It just makes you look petty, jealous and scorned. And the reality is this: the ins and outs of a femme’s vagina remains the prerogative of said femme. It is not a collective vagina. So, before passing judgment, hate and scorn on another, ask yourself: how much of my business is this? Look down. Is it your vagina? No? Then the correct answer is none.if-you-are-going-to-have-opinions-about-my-life-then-i-assume-youll-be-paying-some-of-my-bills-no-then-stfu-74ed8

There’s been so much fuss around female sexual activity that most of it is now shrouded in secrecy. We’ve created and published lists upon lists!

We are doing ourselves a massive disservice by ‘naming and shaming’. If we want to be noble, and righteous, and proper, we should consider taking a different approach.

This one is a fail.

Has it stopped the 50, or anyone else from having sex? Nope.

And here’s why: Sex is nice. 

Instead, all it’s done is made the others who are not on the list better at hiding their activity so they too can avoid being slut shamed. Underground sex makes it easier for people to have multiple partners, which from a disease management perspective, is dangerous. We will not stop the scourge of society and the disintegration of morals and values by calling out women and trying to shame them into submission. FYI, it’s not working anywhere else in the world either.

You need to stop shaming women for using their body parts – ALL their body parts, for what they are intended for. Shift your thinking.

I’ll get off my soap box now. 

Rumbidzai Makina

badgerprimary

Rumbi is a human capital management consultant and delighted divorcée. A FOMO sufferer and lover of all things nice, Rumbi swears by the healing powers of a vigorous workout, vodka and red wine.

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