The Modern Scarlet Letter

Most of us have heard the story the Scarlet Letter where the woman is punished for having an affair. She is chastisted and forced to wear the letter “A” on her chest as a constant reminder of her adultery. 

The time period of the book is the mid 1600s. Nowadays when most people read the Scarlet Letter, they are shocked at the idea of her having to be labeled and embarrassed so harshly for her questionable choices. 

This got me thinking about the modern day equivalent to the Scarlet Letter “A”. Today it might be “S” for slut or “H” for hoe or “T” for thot. 

It is interesting how shocked people may be when reading that “old fashioned” story yet the harsh labeling of women for their sexual choices still very much exists today. 

Women and men alike label women sluts, hoes, thots, and many other derogatory terms. Social conditioning has taught us it is not only normal but encouraged to judge females for their expression of sexuality. 

It seems some men are very willing to have sex with these “hoes” then turn around and judge them for the same behavior they themselves exhibited. It has been engrained in men (especially through religion) that they should want a virginal wife and that there is more value in “virginal” women. However very few men or women are waiting for sex until marriage anymore. So what does this mean for the modern woman?

Should she give into sex before marriage but only with the number of men that is considered acceptable? What is the number before she is considered a slut?

Some of my guy friends have said it is not how many men she’s been with so much as how she acts about it? What the what? How should a proper woman act? We are all unique individuals not to put into a box of one and the same.

The labeling of women by other women is also common. It makes some feel like they are superior if they can somehow make themselves better than the other person. Women can be a bit competitive with one another so this is used as yet another way to try to make someone less than by calling her names. It also can make her fit in as “one of the guys” if she partakes in the labeling with her guy friends. 

As shocked as people are by the Scarlet Letter they should be just as disgusted by the name calling of women that still takes place. It is not our job to judge other women for their sexual choices. Nor is it ok to place intrinsic value on a woman based on her sexual experiences. Having a high (which is subjective) number of sexual partners does not make a woman less than or unworthy. Her value has NOTHING to do with her sexaul choices. Nor should anyone else be determing what her value should be and using misogynistic labeling. It is very unfortunate young women have committed suicide because of bullying due to them being labeled “slutty”. Words are powerful and we have placed on negative connotation on words like slut and hoe so when a woman is called that she begins to feel she is bad (as a person). Which is so far from the truth, but hard to understand when society tells you you are bad if you are a woman who has been with too many people. 

We are all on this earth trying to do the best we can to navigate through this crazy world. Let’s stop labeling and mistreating women for their sexual choices. 

Women are humans and we are all somebody’s sister,mother, daughter, friend, etc. So let’s be respectful. 

Let us stand up to friends who use derogatory terms towards women and make sure we are not doing it ourselves. 

We all have value so let’s treat each other as such!

Love and light 

MM

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