Friday, January 24, 2014

From the Home Office In Ogden: Taboo Talks Discusses Shame Culture.

Weber State Confessions is a Facebook page where users anonymously post their secrets, rants or just random thoughts about their personal lives or issues on campus.

When a woman posted  that she thought she was pregnant and didn’t know what to do, the first response read in part, “Maybe you should stop whoring around . . .”

The Weber State University Center for Diversity and Unity’s monthly Taboo Talks discussed this comment, and other forms of “shame culture,” on Wednesday afternoon.

Shame culture is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as a culture in which conformity of behavior is maintained through the individual’s fear of being shamed.

“One way to look at shame culture is a way of controlling the boundaries of what’s acceptable,” said Pepper Glass, a professor of sociology who was on the panel.

More shame.


  1. Whether shaming is good or bad depends on you view of the shamed behavior. There are behaviors, such as showing respect to your spouse or taking care of the poor, which we almost universally admire but would not consider codifying in law. Shaming helps maintain good behaviors too.

  2. Taking care of the poor should be codified in law, particularly since shaming doesn't seem to be working there. If it did, a lot of Wall St bankers would be looking very ashamed of themselves and donating 90% of their obscene salaries to homeless shelters.

    I am dubious about anonymous shaming, or anonymous commenting generally, though. I think the asshole 18 year old who posted "maybe you should stop whoring around" would not have done so if they'd had to give their name. (I hope.)

  3. I had a dream last night that the proffie named Pepper Glass had children named Salt, Shot, Pillow, Shatter, Mustard, and Google.