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Sex Education and Slut Shaming

We’re all aware that climate change is happening and that it would be good if we all became a bit more sustainable. The whole sense of impending doom and the planet getting hotter and hotter evokes ideas of the world imploding of erupting into a ball of flames. It can get a little overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be! There’s something you can do.Buy. Vintage. Clothes.

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Making small changes to our lifestyles can have a big impact and changing the source of your clothes is one of them. The era of fast and cheap fashion has lead to some pretty unethical situations. Using shit tons of natural resources, medications sweatshops, viagra 60mg underpaying staff, factories that pump out polluting gases…looking at you Primark.

I’m not hating on affordable and fashionable clothes (I buy them myself). And let’s be honest some thing you just gotta buy new, so this isn’t about renouncing shops altogether but just branching out a little. We can’t ignore the negative effects of the mass production of clothes. Buying second hand and vintage clothing can help to counteract this pressing problem. And, no, this doesn’t mean buying itchy jumpers from charity shops with questionable looking stains. Not-so-new clothes can be cool.  Honestly.

If we buy pre-loved clothes, shoes and accessories we don’t have to feel guilty about funding  a shady corporate giant or wonder if it was a poorly treated sweatshop worker that made our new PVC trousers. Second hand clothes are almost always cheaper, meaning you get way more stuff for less money. With the trend for that vintage and retro look going strong, now is the best time to get in on ethical shopping.

But how? Here’s a few ideas.

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DEPOP

I cannot express my love for this app enough. Sell your old clothes, buy other people’s. Literally loads and loads of really fucking amazing and often very cheap clothes. You name it, it’s on Depop. There’s even a lot of brand new unworn clothes, it just about things not going to waste. It’s super easy to use and 100% apart of the ethical clothing agenda.

CHARITY SHOPS

You never know what you’ll find. Yes, there can be some dodgy stuff but amongst the crap can be a piece of gold. Vintage designer for a fiver? Yes plz. And obviously, you’re giving to charity so that definitely raises you to angel status.

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VINTAGE SHOPS

Have to admit, I’m not always a fan of these. They can be a bit overpriced and the salespeople a bit judgy – but I’m not ruling them out. Amazing one off pieces can be found and not always with a hefty price tag. Worth a look for sure.

CAR BOOT SALES

You just can’t beat a good car boot. By far the most cheap and interesting on this list. Just wait for warmer weather and the car boot season begin (usually April/May but differs from area to area)

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VINTAGE KILO SALES

A kilo of clothes for £15!!! These sales happen regularly, pretty much everywhere, usually in student unions. There’s basically a bunch of vintage clothes and you get a kilo of it for around £15. Search ‘vintage kilo sale’ into google or Facebook to see if there’s one near you.

THRIFTING (if you’re in America)

Honestly, Goodwill sounds like the place of dreams. I’ve only heard about it, but it sounds amazing.

Adding any of these things into your normal shopping route can make a difference so get on it gals. Save money, get cool clothes and save the world.
By KLB
A few weeks ago I sat around a table with some  university friends eating chicken enchiladas, online drinking wine and joking about the size of a girl’s vagina, drugs sorry let me get that right, this “her gaping whole.” Across the table I made eye contact with my friend as the table burst into laughter, I went back to my plate and two minutes later the conversation had changed.

I stayed quiet, even though at the time I was uncomfortable and annoyed, I didn’t call them out on their behaviour. What made me so infuriated by that conversation? These are the same people that denounce Trump and his misogyny and supported the Women’s March. These are people that have mothers, sisters, friends and girlfriends and would never dream of talking about them in such a derogatory way but apparently this girl was fair game.

giphy (33)The sexual activity of a woman is something that has always been discussed, for whatever reason it’s deemed a topic that anybody and everybody can have an opinion on. Whether it’s magazines discussing a celebrities latest boyfriend or a group of girls shooting daggers at the girl who’s leaving the club with the guy she just met. We all do it, we make a judgement and we give her a label, a label that she doesn’t deserve and we have no right to give to her.

“Slut.”

“Slag.”

“Whore.”

“Hoe.”

“Slapper.”

I’ve done it, I’ll hold my hands up and say that a few years ago I probably would have joined in, let me try and explain why I don’t now.

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We all get sex education at school right? At 14 we sit there and laugh as the teacher awkwardly puts a condom on a banana and tells us that we must never get pregnant because a baby will change your life. Of and don’t catch an STD. We are told that as women your first time* will definitely hurt and that there will be blood. Of course, you have to be in a steady relationship with someone you trust and most importantly, you must be ready. Whatever ready means, how do you know you’re ready for something that you have only ever seen represented in the media?   

One hour later you are now apparently equipped to enter the world of sexual activity because you’ve been told everything you need to know. Apart from one vital piece of information…

“You can have sex just because it feels good!!”

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At no point was I told that although sex is biological, a lot of people have it purely for pleasure, and that I could too.

Speak to the majority of women and they will tell you how society makes us feel that having sex is for the pleasure of men. We are constantly told, “don’t wear this”, “cover yourself up”, “don’t show off too much” or people will think you’re a slut. I’m made to feel that I am a sexual object there to please and then used and exploited. I’m trying to be sexually active in a society that is fundamentally uncomfortable with women being sexually active of their own accord and for their own pleasure.  

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So, to any woman sexual active woman who is not in a relationship, I applaud you. It takes a very long time to feel comfortable and secure with your sexuality in a world that is telling you how your actions will be perceived before you’ve even made them. It can take a very long time to own your pleasure, but never feel ashamed for doing so.

*Virginity is a social construct so I refuse to use the term.

Also, I am in no way condoning underage sex, non-consensual sex or saying to women to go out and have lots of sex, just do what you want to do, when you want to do it, this is just my opinion.

Written Tomiwa Folorunso

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