There are so many types. Fit shaming. Fat shaming. Slut Shaming. Passenger shaming. Dog shaming. Kid shaming. The list goes on. Shaming is where a person is humiliated or embarrassed for actions/words that go against societal standards. As of late, there is a movement to stop shaming people, and just accept their actions.
I have grown to hate the word “shaming.”
Why you ask? Because this word is society’s new phrase for “don’t judge me.” I hate that phrase, too. I guess I haven’t answered why yet. So, here we go.
“Shaming” and “judging” are being used in a context to remove right and wrong. These phrases lend to the idea that we can do what we want with no consequences. I am not supposed to look at you in a negative light for (insert occurrence). No one should say one word to us about our actions unless it is to offer praise, and we should be proud of everything we do.
Well, that’s….. ummmm.. how do I say this nicely… wrong.
Yup, that’s wrong. We should not celebrate our every decision as the right thing to do because we all have been wrong in our lives. Ok. I’ll give you an example of both phrases at work.
Amber Rose has been blazing headlines for her work to increase awareness on gender violence and rape culture via a Slut Walk. During the event, she recounted instances of being slut shamed during adolescence, and in high profile relationships with Kanye and Wiz. Of course the media has eaten this up because these are hot topics. Essentially, Rose is saying a woman shouldn’t be judged negatively for her sexual choices.
So, if I can get this straight, no one is to speak negative against a woman’s sexual choices? Hmmm.. Here’s the thing, there’s a difference between falsely accusing a woman of being promiscuous, and her actually being such. The former is an accusation that can destroy a woman’s character. The latter is nothing more than taking accountability for your actions. Not parading them around wanting applause.
Ladies and gentlemen (Yes, men too), it’s time to take responsibility for our actions. If you’re running around sleeping with who you deem fit, then you should be able to handle the consequences of your choice. I find it interesting that Amber wants people to treat her like a lady when she doesn’t treat herself as such. However, I’m not supposed to judge her. Right?
Yes and no.
I’m not going to label her as a hoe or anything else. HOWEVER, she invites the label/judgement by putting herself in precarious positions. If you strip (Amber’s former profession), then men are already looking at you as a piece of meat. You are WILLINGLY putting yourself in a position to be disrespected. And now you want people to respect you? Well guys, you can’t disrespect yourself and demand respect from others. It does not work like that. Where judging comes in is not basing her present character on her previous lifestyle. People change. In this instance, Ms. Rose wants people to see her heart, as we all do. My judgement comes in as to the message she’s spreading. It’s not cool to be whoring yourself out. That goes for both genders. If you don’t want the judgement, then don’t live a life where the judgement is accurate.
Now, I used Amber Rose as an example, but this is by no means a shot at women. Men you’re in this, too. You can’t expect non-judgemental attitudes if you’re running around thugging, thieving, and hoeing. Yes, men whore themselves as well. Sadly, society has given a pass to men as “it’s their nature.” That’s nonsense. If you don’t want to be labeled, then do your part in not creating the label for yourself.
I’ll use myself as an example.
I am a 6’4 African-American male that is built like a football player. In light of recent police struggles with black men, I know I have to carry myself a certain way to LESSEN the burden of people approaching me sideways. Thus, I rock Ralph Lauren. I do it because I like the classic look. I also wear this brand because it makes me an unassuming individual. If I stepped out of the house with J’s, skinny jeans hanging off of my butt (STOP wearing skinny jeans guys!!), and doo-rag, then I would still be the same non-violent person I am today. I would have the same smile, the same bounce in my step, and the same outgoing personality. What changes is the outside perception of my character. People might judge me to be the “typical black guy.” Well, what is the typical black guy? It’s an abyss of stereotypical nonsense. Yet, the idea is still there. I can’t look the part and scream “DON’T JUDGE ME!!” because someone will undoubtedly do so. I understand how to keep myself out of that grouping by making sure I don’t dress the part. That doesn’t mean I don’t get slapped with stupid stereotypes. It does mean I didn’t invite them on my front porch.
Well folks, what shall we say then?
I say it’s a shame.
It’s sad that I look around and people are so centered on doing what they want. It’s ridiculous that we hide behind “I have a right” as an excuse for our behavior. It’s equally as sad that “judging” is used completely out of context. It’s the justification of actions that may need to be reviewed. Some self-reflection is never a bad thing.
It’s just a shame we can’t see that.