Professor Carolyn May
21st March, 2014
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, self-respect is literally defined as “a proper respect for oneself as a human being.”1 Respect, from the same dictionary, is defined as “a feeling or understanding that someone or something is important, serious, etc., and should be treated in an appropriate way.”2 Thus, it is fair to say that the act of respecting yourself is understanding that you, as a human being, are important and treating yourself in an appropriate way. However, society’s concept of self-respect has drastically altered this definition. The self-respect society preaches and teaches about is defined by society’s morals on sex and image, rather than a person’s own values.
Yahoo! Answers is a surprising place where this is clearly demonstrated. One question asked “Why do most women have no self respect about sex? Before or even during and after their marriages, the've [sic] opened their legs for just about anything and any reason.”3 Another asks whether or not strippers have any self-respect, despite showing interest in being one themself.4 Yet another asks what happened to “self respect and morals,” stating that “I never slept around like kids are doing these days. My parents stressed saving my virginity until marriage, and I am still a virgin today.”5 Of course Yahoo! Answers isn’t the only place we find this. The website Elite Daily posted an article under the Gentleman subsection of the Dating section titled “A World of Women Without Self-Respect.” Their basis of judgment on whether or not a woman has self-respect is pretty clear a few lines in: “Believe it or not, there used to be days when women respected themselves and their bodies by placing a moral value on sex. That is, they did not have sex for fun. They would abstain from licentious behavior until they were faithfully wed.”6 A review from website Examiner on a “self-help” book for girls...
Cited: 1. “self-respect.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, 2014.
Web. 21 March 2014.
2. “respect.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, 2014.
3. Stratec. “Why do most women have no self respect about sex?” Yahoo! Answers. Yahoo!. Web. 28 March 2014.
4. Cheryl. “Do you think strippers have no self respect?” Yahoo! Answers. Yahoo!. Web. 28 March 2014.
5. Cory. “What happened to self respect and morals?” Yahoo! Answers. Yahoo!. Web. 28 March 2014.
6. Waters, Preston. “A World of Women Without Self-Respect.” Elite Daily. Elite Daily. 15 June 2012. Web. 28 March 2014.
7. Wagner, Jennifer. “Self-help book for teen girls to gain self-respect” Examiner. Examiner, 7 July 2009. Web. 21 March 2014.
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