Stride of Pride: Calling for an End to Slut-Shaming

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Let’s salute our fellow cross-campus, early-morning weekend travelers (some of whom I have encountered on repeated occasions and hope to one day courageously approach in an effort to develop some sort of a friendship based on mutual sleep deprivation and the reprise of last night’s outfit, but my social skills are somewhat lacking) and offer them an alternative to the disgusting and extremely sexist use of the term “Walk of Shame.” I mean, let’s not try and sugarcoat it; sometimes the walk back to your own room after a night of adventure can feel a little shameful.

But it shouldn’t.

The ubiquitous “Walk of Shame” talk needs to stop. We enjoy the less common but much more empowering term “Stride of Pride.” It’s a gender-neutral way to describe a guilt-free sunrise walk back to one’s own room. It’s really unacceptable that women are still made to feel ashamed for expressing their sexuality or exercising their right to engage in casual, sexual relationships in a way men have been been applauded for doing for years. Everyone should have the freedom to feel proud of their choices, whether or not those choices involve any sexual activity. Also, you can be doing a stride of pride for any number of reasons! Just got a free cup of coffee? Stride of pride it up!

The Only Case Study
Our beloved and sometimes hopelessly clumsy Darwin once misplaced her pantaloons in the chaos of her lover’s boudoir. Let us just say that the resting spot of her clothing articles was not particularly on the forefront of her mind. Fortunately for her, the aforementioned lover was kind enough to offer her the use of his red basketball shorts for her stroll through SciLi. The basketball shorts and heels look actually turned out to be moderately successful, and she can now be seen working it on the daily! Just kidding, no one wants that. But even in an outfit that could be the next on Fashion Police, Darwin embraced the sort of gender-bending element that is quintessential Wes and went forth into the world with pride.

Moral of the story: No one should feel ashamed in such a situation. You have every right to your own sexual choices and unique fashion choices. Besides, curious clothing combinations can offer some much-needed morning entertainment for everyone! It’s really a win-win. Most importantly, it got Darwin a second date because she felt it was her moral obligation to return such a rare, and undoubtedly invaluable and irreplaceable, pair of shorts.

We don’t need to make potentially false accusations about someone’s whereabouts by ascribing a term like “walk of shame” to a morning return, no matter how sketchy it appears from an outside perspective. They could have been out with friends, in the arms of a caring partner, spending the night in SciLi hitting the books, or chilling by themselves because being alone is cool, too. You could be wearing yesterday’s clothes and shuffling home at 7 a.m. for countless reasons! Not every woman making a sunrise return was out having a meaningless, sloppy hookup. And so what if she was? Sloppy can make for some great evenings, and no one should be made to feel ashamed for having a fun, consensual hookup.

You (yes, you) have the right to embrace your sexuality and your decisions about your body without facing any judgment on your way home. So let’s all shed the notion that we have the right to shame our fellow morning travelers and let’s finally put a rest to the term “Walk of Shame.” Go get your stride of pride on.

Brought to you by Darwin Grey

11 thoughts on “Stride of Pride: Calling for an End to Slut-Shaming

  1. Anon

    I’ve always thought it was only called the walk of shame because you were getting out of dodge as early as possible because you woke up and realized the person next to you seemed a lot hotter when you were drunk the night before. That’s a pretty shameful realization. If I just had sex with someone hot, I’d be flaunting the fact that I’m out in night time getup in the morning, because I’m awesome. There was an entire Sunday morning once, including a brunch trip to Usdan, where I was in very formal gear from a party the night before. Doesn’t matter, had sex.

    So while slut shaming is bad (and I’ve never really understood it because shouldn’t guys encourage girls to have more sex because it will increase their own chances of getting laid?), I reeeeeally don’t think this is a good example of it.

    1. pyrotechnics

      This comment makes me rather unhappy. I take issue with the implications that:

      1. Sex is shameful if any participant is not physically attractive.

      2. Sex with someone “hot” is automatically acceptable, and worth “flaunting” over others.

      3. Men can be reduced to one generic pathology.

      4. Guys’ social lives revolve around sex and guys should try to “increase their own chances of getting laid” and should “encourage girls to have more sex,” thereby imposing guys’ sexual desires onto girls.

      5. The shameful part of realizing “the person next to you seemed a lot hotter when you were drunk the night before” is based in the level of physical attraction of the partner, not in the questionable consent of the participants given their drunken state.

      The language used in this comment also worries me for reasons I’ve written about here: http://wesleying.org/2013/02/12/shock-and-awe/
      and here: http://wesleying.org/2012/10/23/you-should-read-this/

      I hope that these implications were not the intent of the author, but I feel that I must call attention to them.

  2. WesKid13

    How is the term “walk of shame” even remotely sexist? I think “stride of pride” is a terrific replacement, don’t get me wrong, but there is absolutely nothing gender specific about the former. Everything you mentioned in this article is just as relevant to me as a straight male, I really didn’t understand the need to make this a serious gender issues thing. You’re allowed to write a good/funny article at this school every once in a while without mindlessly throwing in a Wesleyan vocabulary word (e.g. gender neutral, social construct, heteronormative, hegemony, etc.).

    1. Finkfoul

      Yeah, my roommates are all guys (and we’re all in frat) and we all call it the “walk of shame” in reference to ourselves and each other.

    2. Cameron Dawson

      The walk of shame isn’t a gendered term, I’m with you there, but it is usually far more obvious when a woman is returning home in last night’s clothes or wearing something borrowed from her host. I think most people associate the walk of shame with women for that reason.

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