Slut is a four letter word.

Three weeks ago, Kim Kardashian West posted the featured image on to her personal instagram account with the caption; “When you’re like I have nothing to wear LOL”. It garnered 1.6 million likes and sent the whole world into a social media meltdown, causing many people, including those of a high profile to jump behind their keyboards and criticise the reality star/entrepreneur to no end. Kim later released an essay on international women’s day, hitting back at the critics and speaking out on the issue of ‘slut-shaming’, using herself and the backlash she has received over the past 13 years as a leading example of the problem.

I found the debate and discussion which occurred in the aftermath of Ms Kardashian-West’s selfie interesting as it seemed to demonstrate the hugely varying stances people held in regards to this topic and so, I felt it would be only natural to base my research project around the prominent issue of ‘Slut-shaming.’ My only problem being, which exact angle or approach to take.

What are the social impacts of slut-shaming upon females in Australia.

The hardest part about discovering the right approach to take in regards to this project was figuring out what was more important for me to investigate. Questions such as; ‘How prevalent is slut-shaming in today’s society’, and ‘How does slut-shaming impact on female empowerment’, sat with me for a while but these thoughts didn’t seem to capture specifically what I wished to unearth in terms of the research I would conduct. I didn’t want my leading question to unethically induce biased results or skew my research in any way and so I have chosen to lead with a broad question which will hopefully allow for me to explore the concept in further detail through my research methods; (survey questions, case studies etc.) I feel that my target question will allow me to delve into all of the aspects of the problem. I will be able to ask questions concerning the sexual double standard in regards to male sexuality vs. female sexuality; The idea that slut-shaming promotes sexual violence, The notion that it is women, who in fact perpetrate much of the ‘slut-shaming’, questions about the exact words and terms which are used to degrade women as well as a whole array of other pressing issues regarding the topic at hand.

giphy-2

Tina Fey in the movie ‘Mean Girls’.

In terms of secondary sources which I have looked over in preparation for this task, I have found that this particular issue seems to be one of hot debate. Recently, there have been countless investigations carried out by universities as well as independent social justice movements such as; the ‘UnSlut Project‘ and Amber Rose‘s ‘Slutwalk‘, revolving around this topic.  A piece of Research conducted by the University of Kingsville, Texas; published in the Higher Education Journal  during May 2015, outlines findings concerning the ‘College students’ perceptions of slut-shaming discourse on campus’. An article posted on a Gender Society blog in 2014, titled ‘The link between Slut-shaming, Bullying and Femininity’, which was endorsed by the University of Massachusetts, identifies the different impacts slut-shaming connotations can have upon women of different economical calibres. An interview published by Complex Magazine with American Rapper ‘A$AP Rocky‘, titled “Jewels from A$AP Rocky” involves him speaking about the sexual double standard that applies to women which men seem to be immune to. This interview is quite interesting as it perfectly sums up a lot of the elements which make up and fuel the culture of slut shaming. These are just some of the dozens of sources I consulted when deciding on a worthwhile research topic.

download

An image taken from Amber Rose’s SlutWalk campaign.

In regards to my Research Methodology, I intend to conduct an online survey which will feature a number of questions concerning many aspects of the slut-shaming issue, in order to gain a fuller understanding as to What are the social impacts of slut-shaming upon females in Australia. The survey will be distributed through social media platforms such as facebook and tumblr, making sure that I take care to ensure that the subjects fit the demographic (i.e Australian). I also plan to conduct interviews with a randomly selected few people in order to delve further into personal experiences concerning the topic. I will endeavour to ensure that my work will remain ethical at all times, by disclosing to all subjects the exact nature of my research and gaining their full permission to use any information obtained in my final project.

In conclusion, by conducting my own primary investigation into the social impacts of slut-shaming in Australia, I hope to shed some light on to the many elements which contribute to this largely contemporary issue.

tumblr_static_51t41dlkvs84s4ccwkowgksso_640_v2

 

 

 

Advertisements

7 thoughts on “Slut is a four letter word.

  1. This is a very interesting and important piece of research. It will be interesting to see how your personal results from your primary research will differ or be alike the other pieces of research you have looked at. With your primary research, how many people to you intend to interview, and what sort of demographics will you be looking into. I’m interested in seeing how age, gender and cultural background will differ a persons opinion on ‘slut shaming’. Will you be looking into predominantly UOW students or other subjects?
    I am looking forward to reading the results of your research project. You have written this very well and it is engaging. Good job!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your comment Edwina! 🙂

      Your questions are really good because I hadn’t really thought about them too in depth before you mentioned them haha I think in terms of interviews i might limit them to between 3 and 5, only because I don’t want the information i collect to be too overwhelming. When talking about demographics, i think that receiving information from a wide range of subjects from diverse backgrounds would allow me to gain the best and most true results. Obviously, i will focus more on a younger generation of subjects so age range will probably be 18-35, but I won’t focus exclusively on UOW students. In terms of gender, i’m not too particular with who answers my questions because even though female input is very important, male perspectives on the topic will be very insightful as well as crucial to the final results. Cultural background doesn’t really matter in this particular case, although i may include a question regarding this point because socio-economic background could definitely have an impact on my findings.

      Thanks again for your insight, I found it really helpful 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. A very noteworth project to have taken on, and one that is going to be incredibly interesting to research I am sure. You might want to really consider what it is you want to ask people as a lot of it is going to be personal opinion and fairly hard to put into numbers and graphs. Might I suggest getting a few case studies that currently exist then basing your questions off, of those first. Keep the questions as simple as you can, and do your best not to make them leading so that you’re not directing your audience to respond a certain way (even by mistake). You might also want to consider the corelation of what peoples opinions are when it comes to rape and how a woman dresses, or what she was doing at the time. There are multiple surveys that have already been conducted on this. http://www.aic.gov.au/media_library/publications/proceedings/20/esteal1b.pdf I simple found with a simple google search.

    I thought you might be interested in this article as it is an interesting case study on the shaming of women in social media, and the stance that Facebook made in regards to a woman standing up for herself when she was trolled.
    http://www.pedestrian.tv/news/arts-and-culture/facebook-bans-clementine-ford-from-own-account-for/fd1f105b-a0c8-4465-825b-f55b19eb0bb2.htm
    Also, Destroy the Joint is an interesting movement that often covers multiple womens issues and you will most certainly find many articles in regards to the topic you have chosen to research.
    https://www.facebook.com/DestroyTheJoint/

    There are so many angles that you can take with this, in fact it might be a project you can continue further should you wish to do so. Good luck

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Nyssa, Thanks for your comment! 🙂

      Your sources are awesome and so relevant, I really appreciate you including them in your comment and I will definitely be citing them in my project 🙂

      I agree that it will be hard to put my findings into graphs ect. because a lot of my data will end up as qualitative, particularly in regards to interview results – however i think that i might be able to work on collecting some quantitative data through my surveys. You’re so right though, i really do need to think about what exactly I’m going to ask and how I am going to ask my questions in order to keep the answers raw and true.

      Once again, thanks heaps for all the really great info and making me think harder about my research process. Good luck with your own research task!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great communication of the issue, the post was both entertaining and informative. It would be interesting to be able to compare and contrast male and female opinions/experiences about the matter. When conducting the survey it would also be interesting to find out the age and gender of the participants to further investigate the social impacts. Another source you could look at is journal article “Exploring Perceptions of Slut-Shaming on Facebook: Evidence for a Reverse Sexual Double Standard” (link: http://eds.a.ebscohost.com/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=61637433-8942-4fd8-8bc5-4b81aa0767e9%40sessionmgr4003&vid=10&hid=4113)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Heaps Allanah!

      You’re right, I agree that finding out the gender of each participant is important because it will definitely improve my results as well as make them more interesting.

      I love your source it will be very useful to me when looking at secondary research and thanks so much for sharing it with me! 🙂

      Good Luck with your Research Project!! 🙂

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s