Letter to the Editor: “Slut-Shaming”


By CHELSEA FAISTCENTRE STUDENT

Editor’s Note: This letter is in response to this Letter to the Editor.

Dear Editor,

I would like to say a few words about a previous letter to the editor, titled “Reaction to the Gray Area.” My issues here are not with the policy discussed; I am not particularly concerned with whether it is or is not outdated or enforceable – though I will say in all my years here at Centre, not one RA has ever mentioned that rule to me. My issues are with how Mr. Donald dealt with the topic in his letter.

Donald comes across in his letter as highly condescending – saying he knows many students “who believe they are mature enough to handle relaxed visitation policies.”

I emphasize “who believe.” Perhaps it is just poor phrasing, but it seems that Mr. Donald is insinuating that anyone who feels comfortable with having an overnight guest of the opposite sex is not capable of making mature and responsible decisions as an adult.

Beyond that, Donald states: “Our visitation policy means that Centre can have a social atmosphere without becoming known for a high proportion of pregnant students and weekday walks-of-shame.

“This policy allows parents to send their sons and daughters to a place that does not force them to do things that they do not want to do.”

There is no proof to the assumption that making overnight visitation legal would lead to an increase in pregnancies among students.

Realistically, most students I spoke to didn’t even know it was a rule until the “Gray Area” article was published, so even if the rule were abolished, I highly doubt anything would change.

Especially if the concern is pregnancy – people can have sex without their partner staying the night in their room. Unprotected sex is unprotected sex regardless of whether the partner stays the night.

I especially take issue with the term “walk-of-shame.” It is a problematic term that promotes “slut-shaming” and the perpetuation of rape culture. It implies that a person that has a one night stand should be ashamed of their actions.

Why? As long as they do it responsibly, and they weren’t coerced into acts that they were not comfortable with – there is nothing wrong with one-night stands.

As long as they take place between two consenting adults, it is really none of your business, and not your place to judge.

All of the issues that Donald raises in his response make overnight visitation of the opposite gender are about sex.

As it stands, not only are overnight romantic liaisons prohibited, but a sibling, friend, etc. of the opposite sex can’t stay in a student’s room, and so they have to pawn them off on a friend of the same sex (making what should be their guest and their responsibility someone else’s problem).

Nowhere does Donald address that issue, the only thing he brings up is the issue of sex. Granted, that is probably the most common violation of the rule, but it is certainly not the only one.

Overall, Donald’s response to this issue is entirely about “slut-shaming.” True, there are one or two merits to the rule as it stands, but Donald only seems concerned with students having sex.

So if sex really is the main issue here, as it seems to be, perhaps there should more concern about educating students on safe sex and communication between roommates about when it is and is not acceptable to have an overnight guest of the opposite sex – instead of “slut-shaming” and defending this rule.

Sincerely,

Chelsea Faist


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