In other words, if you are a heterosexual girl or young woman, you are damned if you don’t and damned if you do. If you refrain from any expression of sexiness, you may be written off as irrelevant and unfeminine. But if you follow the guidelines, you run the risk of being judged, shamed and policed.

Slut-shaming is certainly not new. Monica Lewinsky was called “a little tart” in a Wall Street Journal editorialin 1998. White radio show host Don Imus referred to the black members of the Rutgers University women’s basketball team as “nappy-headed hos” in 2007. Rush Limbaugh called Sandra Fluke a “slut” after she advocated for no-copay birth control in 2012.

What is new is that slut-shaming has become normalized and omnipresent. I have yet to meet an American woman under the age of 25 who has not been called a “slut” or a “ho” at some point in her life. Acts of slut-shaming are easier than ever to accomplish in the age of social media. Young men can anonymously take photographs of naked, unconscious women with their phones and post the pictures on Facebook without the women’s consent — as the members of the Penn State fraternity Kappa Delta Rho recently did. A university student can blithely and publicly call a 13-year-old girl a “slut,” as has happened to the rising talent in baseball, Mo’ne Davis.

Slut-shaming is far more harmful than simple name-calling — although being denigrated publicly in itself can be traumatic, as the suicides of a number of slut-shamed girls attests.Once a girl or woman is regarded as a “slut” or “ho,” she becomes a target for sexual assault. And if she is sexually assaulted, she may be assigned the “slut” or “ho” identity ex post facto to rationalize the crime and to protect the assaulter. The girl who was raped at a party in Steubenville, Ohio in 2013 was vilified by strangers and peers on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube; they could make sense of the horrible crime only by assigning the “drunken slut” label to the victim.

http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/7054162?ncid=edlinkushpmg00000042