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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  • http://www.facebook.com/krhema Kendall Emily Rhema

    Thank you. Very well put.

  • http://twitter.com/fakemarcadler Marc Adler

    “There is no correlation between where women get tattoos with their sexual habits.”

    Where is your data for this statement?

    • http://www.facebook.com/rburger Rachel Burger

      According to Texas Tech, location of tattoos have no predictive power over sexual behavior. However, the number of tattoos can correlate with “risky behavior;” more specifically “were substantively and significantly more likely to report regular marijuana use, occasional use of other illegal drugs, and a history of being arrested for a crime. Less pronounced, but still significant in many cases, was an increased propensity for those with higher incidence of body art to cheat on college work, binge drink, and report having had multiple sex partners in the course of their lifetime.”

      Source: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S036233190900127X

    • pashafisk

      Saying the number of tattoos a woman has makes her more promiscuous is like saying her haircut affects her bowel movements. There is nothing to back it up. Even if there are women out there with lots of tattoos having a large amount of sex, there are also women with no tattoos doing the same thing.

    • http://www.clichegames.com Anthony

      I think the onus should be on showing data that there IS a correlation not on proving that their is not one.

      • http://www.facebook.com/john.shroff.5 John Shroff

        Very true

  • Mr. Sick and Tired

    So now it’s Mr. Adler’s turn to find some other study to contradict Ms Burger’s, further proving that he is missing the point of the commentary.

  • http://www.facebook.com/brendan.morse Brendan Morse

    Nicely put.

  • Jack

    Flank is a pretty standard term for describing the body, not sure what you’re on about with that part of the article

    • http://twitter.com/sandrasanchez sandra sanchez

      True but we mainly associate it with animals. But even if we’re referring to a human flank, then with this term it is anatomically incorrect. A flank is between the hip and the last rib. These tattoos are actually above that.

      • kaiser

        “Flank” is usually associated with “side”.

  • Mike

    “Tramp Stamp” is not the term for the woman who is tattooed but for the tattoo itself.
    Also, using “Slut Shaming” without quotations (as you employ with “tramp stamp” and “skank flank”) connotes that the women you are talking about are sluts. Just a technicality, but an important one.
    Thirdly, while I think “tramp stamp” has not only completely lost it’s edge after almost 15 years of usage and is hardly offensive anymore, it is at least slightly clever. “Skank flank” simply rhymes and is barely logical. Ie, it’s stupid. Strictly speaking, and I fault those who created/employ this term, not the author, “skank flank” indicates the part of the body, and can’t be correctly used to describe either the woman or the ink.

    • Emma

      Are you retarded, or just a troll? Slut shaming is a common paradigm in our society, and using it in quotes would “connote,” as you so eloquently put it, that it’s not real. Your “technicality” here is a made-up one, and therefore is not important in the least. She puts “tramp stamp” and “skank flank” in quotes because she does not condone the phrases’ usage.

      Secondly, using “tramp stamp” and “skank flank” as descriptors for tattoos on women labels those women as “tramps” or “skanks.” Therefore, it’s not only outdated but offensive. I, personally, would not enjoy being called a tramp or skank for having tattoos. Maybe you don’t understand that, being a man who apparently doesn’t understand what “connotation” means.

      • Mike

        How much of a hypocrite are you? You are deeply offended by these terms and labels (understandably so) and yet you open your own comment by referring to another commenter as “retarded”. Show some consistency in your advocacy.

      • Alexis

        I would have taken your comment serious, until you used the word “retarded” I have a mentally challenged sister, and people called her that nasty name all of the time, if you want someone to take you serious, stop with the grade school name calling.

    • Cara Simon

      * “…lost its edge”

      We thank you for using the appropriate form of “its”.

      - The Management

  • Guest

    I would just like to point out that there is really nothing wrong with being promiscuous if you are responsible about it.

  • Ellie

    It’s also incorrect – the flank lower down, not the rib cage it’s self. So the “lovely” people who thought this one up, couldn’t even get the insult right..

  • asdfaxscdfasdfasdf

    Flank also simply means side, as in “We’re are going to flank their main forces with the calvary.” or the flank of the mountain. Do people not own dictionaries anymore…

  • http://www.facebook.com/john.shroff.5 John Shroff

    The terms are jokes, get over it. Girls will always be held up to greater scrutiny than males when it comes to promiscuity because girls are generally in the position of choosing. Its a biological thing. Guys will fuck just about anything. You do see plenty of guys getting blasted for sleeping around though so I think all this “slut shaming” crying is way overblown. Its true you will never have terms like tramp stamp applied to males. That doesn’t mean that guys can’t still have trashy, and classless tattoos though, and be called out for them. I think modesty and prudence will always be a virtue, regardless of sex. The opposite of those qualities will always be a vice. This article is ridiculously stupid.

  • http://twitter.com/Cesar8Saenz Cesar Saenz

    i think you should stop being a pussy. only reason why people come up with these things is because they know it gets to people like you which makes people like them smile. this shit is hilarious.

  • dan

    @jack and whomever else is questioning the use of the term “flank” please read : The Sexual Politics of Meat, by Carol J. Adams….there are definitely some parallels….

  • Smashy76

    To the women who are even bothered by this or “Tramp Stamp”. Do the people saying these insults even matter? Do they hold any bearing or weight in your lives? No, they don’t, so don’t defend, or even worry about feeling any shame, instead, own it, take it away from those who try to use it against you, don’t let them have it and don’t let them take anything from you, even if it’s only words.

  • Jim

    “French psychiatrist Nicolas Guéguen conducted a study…printed in Psychology Today… surveying tattooed and pierced women in France, found that they did have sex earlier than women who had no piercings or tattoos.”

    Sorry to burst your angry bubble, but apparently there IS a correlation womens’ tattoos and their sexual habits. Study the data first, then pontificate.

  • unethika

    Of course there is a jump to conclusions associating the term “flank” with a piece of meat. Yet “flank” refers to *sides* as well, such as being on one side or another. The military specifically refers to flanks in such a fashion, such as outflanking an opponent or performing a command such as, “left flank, march,” where an entire unit will simultaneously pivot 90 degrees to the left and march in that direction. This immediate “piece of meat” equation is a type of pathological misandry that gives feminism a bad name.