Wednesday, 21 November 2012

The Walk of Shame


Congratulations ladies!

For the low low price of $34.99 you can walk home from a night of potentially fabulous sex without anyone knowing! I can't tell you enough how things like this just drive me up the wall. I know on the surface it might look like a great idea, but this stuff is more detrimental than you might think.

Here's how I look at it, and of course I welcome any discussion around the topic. Why is it called a walk of shame? Why is it shameful to look like you just had sex? Why don't men get a walk of shame kit?

I'm just sick of this notion that we should be ashamed of our sexuality. There shouldn't be anything wrong with walking home with your hair a mess, makeup not super tidy, and in a party dress that is clearly from the night before. Rather than shaming women for having sex celebrate it, or better yet don't make a big deal of it at all. I've seen this concept time and time again, this idea that's it's ok to make fun of a woman for having slept with someone.

 Have you seen that 90s movie, Sorority Boys? Here's a clip from a scene where after a night of partying a girl leaves this guy's dorm room after having spent the night with him. All the frat brothers line up down the hall, and chant to shame her. Why is this ok?

The point of the matter is, women are shamed no matter what they do, it's the Madonna-whore complex. First coined by Freud, it's the concept that men can only marry the virgin. But if she chooses to remain a virgin till marriage, she's the woman who's cold in bed and unlovable. He may lust after the women he sleeps with,  the woman who decides to have pre-marital sex, but he can never marry her because she's too easy. He might conflate love with lust but he would never stoop so low as to marry the whore. Women can only be one or the other, and they're shamed either way.

Part of what I've learned in my time as a support worker is a concept called Sex-Positivity. Be proud of your sexuality, no matter what it is, and accept others for theirs. I think waiting till marriage is a great idea, if that's what you want. Wanna have sex prior to marriage? Go for it! Be safe, be open in your communication about likes, dislikes and make sure you discuss boundaries and STIs and testing and there you go. In fact I'd apply this to anyone having sex, pre marital or otherwise.

Women don't have to be the Madonna or the whore, they can be both if they so choose. Slut shaming is a concept we need to re-think in this society and I hope this post helped to provide a little insight.


  1. I completely forgot about that movie! So funny, I definitely remember this clip.

    I agree that female sexuality shouldn't something to be ashamed of or even remotely embarrassed about. However, having done the walk of shame myself- the reason I'm embarrassed is not because of anything I may (or may not have) done the night prior, it's because I look like complete sh*t. I would have preferred to plan my night better and at least grabbed some workout clothes for the walk home because walking home in a mini-skirt on a November morning doesn't look good on anyone :)

  2. Hey Caitlin,

    I totally forgot about the movie till i was writing this actually. I had to go through an entire process of finding a way to get google to find the title for me! lol

    I hear you about walking home in Nov with a party dress from the night before. I've done it myself a couple times, and in heals? My feet hate me. Alot of the time it has nothing to do with sleeping with a guy, i was just not in the mood to take the 45min bus ride home from Downtown so i'll crash at a friend's. I guess for me it's more about the general perception of what it means to society as a whole. The implication, especially in this "Walk of Shame kit", is that there's something to be ashamed of and there's something to hide from walking home the morning after a party or having spent the night with a dude. I totally get the whole feeling like you'd love some sweats or workout clothes to go home in, because you feel like you look like shit. I just dont like the thought that there's something shameful about that walk if another person decides she's totally cool with going home in the party clothes of the night before. I hope that makes sense...

    Thanks for the comment!