Nicole is a 23 year old broadcasting major, who enjoys writing about the things she loves, including women's soccer, and various TV shows and actors.
Fictional female characters - whether they’re strong, powerful, and independent, or shy and meek in spirit - we can all identify with them on TV, in movies, comic books, novels, videogames, and on stage. We find comfort, safety, and courage in them; until things don’t go our way.
As a fan girl, I’ve noticed this in some of the fandoms I’m in. I’ve noticed it over the years, but felt now was the time to write this.
The "slut" shaming of fictional female characters, especially when they get into relationships, or even have a casual fling with, someone we may not want them to be with; or wear a dress or outfit that’s too short, too tight, too revealing.
I’ve heard everything from, “No X! Not Y!” “Don’t do this!” “Y deserves so much better than X anyway!” “X, how could you? Don’t you see how much Y loves you!?” “X needs to raise her standards! She’s too good for Y!” All the way up to, “Just kill them both and end the show, already!”
Then come the excuses, the putting those who do enjoy the relationship down and saying hateful things. Then, actors are asked about the relationship: How could this character do something that seems too out of character? How could the actress playing X betray her fans?
And then the blame turns to the writers: They’ve ruined the character and people hate everything they’ve done with the show.
I know, or at least hope, many of those who say things about these female characters wouldn’t ever "slut" shame a woman, a real flesh-and-blood woman, for her choice of relationship, or for her sex life.
But what many fail to realize is that the people involved, the people that are getting the blame for this, the people at the other end of the "slut" shaming, the actors, the writers, they are flesh-and-blood human beings, male and female and any other gender identity you can think of. They hear and see the words, the hate, the "slut" shaming, and although they are famous, although they hear hurtful things a lot, hearing hateful, vitriolic words from those who are supposed to be their fans is a different kind of hurt.
"Slut" shaming is a real life issue. It affects girls and women all over the world every day. If we have no problem "slut" shaming a fictional woman for a relationship, for an outfit, or for whatever reason the fans have come up with this week, will we stop and think before we say similar things to a woman or girl who is standing in front of us?
We, as fans, as friends, as people, have a right to dislike a relationship someone is in, or to dislike what they wear. But we do not have a right to call them names, or butt into a relationship, or control the clothes they wear. If the relationship is happy and healthy, and no one is being abused in any way it is none of anyone else’s business, whether you like the person’s chosen partner or not, and as long as someone is comfortable in the clothes on their back, in their own skin, then it’s not the job of anyone else to tell them to go change, that they look too — anything -- to be wearing what they’re in.
Instead of spreading negativity, we should spread positivity and love, because with everything going on in the world today, we could all use a little more love and a little more positivity.