The Newest Form of Slut Shaming: Skank Flank

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Everyone has heard the term “tramp stamp” as a way of describing a woman having a lower-back tattoo. The term is a way to disapprove of choices that women make with their bodies. The common perception about women with tramp stamps is that they are somehow promiscuous.

Well, after thinking that I heard every form of slut shaming, I heard the term “skank flank” this past week. If you haven’t heard the term and don’t know what it means, don’t worry—I didn’t either. It means a tattoo on a woman’s ribcage. Yes, this is a term for only women. Soon enough women won’t be able to get a tattoo anywhere without it being “slutty” or “skanky.” Try finding a term equating men’s promiscuity to their tattoos; I doubt you’ll find one.

Now, there are two issues with this term. One, flank means a cut of meat, usually cow meat. The term already equates women’s body parts to animals. So basically, the tattoo is a skanky piece of meat.

My second issue is obviously with the word skank, which basically means a sexually promiscuous woman. We shouldn’t equate things that women do to their bodies to their sexual habits. A woman getting a tattoo on her ribcage could be for various reasons: the discreet spot, it’s easier to hide, it’s aesthetically pleasing, and, most importantly, because she wants to get one there.

There is no correlation between where women get tattoos with their sexual habits. Our society needs to stop arbitrarily determining women’s promiscuity by illogical factors such as tattoos. It seems almost bizarre that people are equating something so insignificant to a woman’s value. Terms like “tramp stamp,” and the new term “skank flank,” shame and demonize women’s choices, their body, and thus their value.  The term is used to control women and their choices, which is never okay.


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