7 Ways We Slut Shame Women On New Year's Eve

New Year’s Eve should be a celebratory night with friends and family, but women still deal with a host of slut shaming on the holiday. By now, unfortunately, we're all pretty familiar with what slut shaming is — criticizing women for actual or assumed sexual activity, in a way that undermines women's autonomy over their bodies. It often has to do with how a woman acts, dresses, or presents herself overall — and the ways we slut shame women on New Year's Eve, in particular, show how ingrained this behavior is.

Most of us internalized slut shaming behavior at a young age — through dress codes, sex ed, and even Disney movies like The Little Mermaid. As adults, women face even more slut shaming: Our choices, from our clothes to our sex lives to our selfies, are put under a microscope by people in positions of power and used to determine how much respect we get — or don't. Slut shaming is a tool of rape culture, and often times, survivors’ sexual activity (or presumed sexual activity) is weaponized against them when discussing who is responsible for sexual assault (when the person responsible is always the perpetrator). Slut shaming can be straight-up dangerous, so it's high time that we stop.

With New Year’s Eve just a few days away, try to make a resolution to mindful of both the conscious and unconscious ways our society slut shames women — and you can start on the holiday itself. Here are seven ways we slut shame women on New Year’s Eve.

1We Shame What Women Wear

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Shaming a women's clothing choices is textbook slut shaming, and what women wear on New Year's Eve is no exception. Though many people spend the night out with friends at parties, dressed up as shiny as possible for the holiday, women are still shamed for their sparkly or revealing outfits. Even mega-pop star Mariah Carey was not exempt from slut shaming during last year's New Year celebrations because of her sparkly bodysuit.

2We Shame Their Makeup Choices

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Not only do people get hung up on slut shaming women for their style choices, but also their face beat. In fact, our society is so preoccupied with women's makeup choices that one man even created an app this year to remove makeup from women in photos. Sigh. Let's just agree not to make assumption about women's sex life based on their New Year's Eve looks — not their clothing, not their makeup, or anything else.

3We Shame Women For Drinking

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New Year's Eve is one of the only nights during the year when it's considered standard for even people who don't normally drink alcohol to toast to the celebration. Drinking alcohol on New Year's Eve is definitely common, but women are still regularly judged for choosing to do so. Consenting to having sex with someone after drinking alcohol is a routine source of judgment from others that needs to stop. Worse, women who are sexually assaulted are often victim-blamed if they were drinking alcohol. Whether a woman drinks or doesn't has no bearing on her real or perceived sexual activity, and no one should judge or shame women who drink alcohol — or have sex.

4We Shame Women Who Stay Out Late

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Women are constantly saddled with the responsibility to avoid being assaulted by dressing modestly, not drinking, and even walking in groups at night. New Year's celebrations typically last until midnight at the absolute earliest, but some people still take that as an excuse to judge women who come home late (or very, very early). Women aren't "asking for it" if they dare enjoy their holiday by staying out late — or at any other time.

5We Shame Them For Who They Kiss At Midnight

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Kissing someone at the stroke of midnight is a time-old tradition that stems from the Romans' group sex parties that took place during Saturnalia celebrations (yes, really). But historical and cultural roots don't stop people from policing women who kiss a loved one or stranger, or who choose not to kiss someone at all when the clock hits 12. Whether a women kisses someone or not, she is faced with the dilemma of potentially being slut shamed or prude shamed — when a woman is shamed for not partaking in sexual activity. Neither behavior is appropriate any day of the year.

6We Shame Women Who Party

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New Year's Eve is literally a holiday, but women are still routinely shamed for ringing in the New Year in a packed club. Newsflash: where you celebrate the New Year has no impact on your sexual activity, and it's messed up to judge women who choose to celebrate one way or another. Can we just let women rock out to "Dancing On My Own" in peace? Thank you.

7We Shame Women For Having One Night Stands

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In case it wasn't clear from this whole list, no one else is ever entitled to any details of someone's sex life — and that includes when, where, and with whom she chooses to have sex. Judging a woman for having a one-night stand on New Year's Eve, or referring to women walking home in the morning as a "Walk of Shame," is sexist AF. Let's make a resolution to retire misogynistic terminology, and not judge a women based on who she's having sex with.

New Year's Eve is all about looking forward to the upcoming twelve months, and celebrating that you made it through this past year. Women should be allowed to freely celebrate, party, or stay at home on New Year's Eve like everyone else — without being slut shamed for whatever they choose to do.