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I was reading a book the other day that mentioned someone having to do a “walk of shame.” Obviously I, along with everyone that reads that knows what that entails, and the extremely shameful tones that are tied to it. And all I could think is why, in our time of fighting the patriarchy and taking down rape culture, do we still allow this one to slip through our lips?
The biggest problem with this phrase is the implication of “shame”, and the fact that it is almost exclusively used to describe women. As someone who has been involved in something that could be classified as a “walk of shame” let me be the first to tell you that I felt no shame. Literally none, absolute zero. Moreover, nobody I know who has been in this situation has felt any. We walked back from a fun time, in yesterday’s outfit, where nobody got hurt. Obviously, that wouldn’t be a fun name so maybe that’s why we continue to insist that they feel shame for enjoying their bodies?
This then begs the question of why a guy has never been accused of this. It goes back to the idea that when a girl has casual sex, she’s a slut, easy, or any number of derogatory words. But when a guy does it, he’s elevated to god-status. Naturally, an ideal solution would be to eradicate “walk of shame” from the cultural vernacular. But such a drastic step could never happen in our day and age, not when there is so much profit to be made off of girls feeling lesser than others, while boys are allowed to stand on a pedestal for doing the same thing.
Originally Published on www.bandersnatch.ca Vol.49 Issue 12 on April 1st, 2020