I spent a good twenty minutes trying to come up with some kind of commentary here so it would seem like I’ve made a personal contribution to the post, but it turns out when you have a thirteen-year-old girl who speaks more eloquently on subjects like slut-shaming and sexual double standards than a lot of adults I know, it’s best to just leave the talking to her.
Be my friend, Astrorice.
So, the 27th of August is kind of a big deal for me as a YouTuber. But why? Because as of then, I’ll have been on YouTube for two years. Two years! What?! Crazy, right? To commemorate this special occasion, I want to do the “Seven Days, Seven Topics” challenge. That title is pretty self-explanatory, but it basically means that every day up to and including the 27th, I’ll be doing a video on a topic that’s important to me.
Disclosure: I don’t know everything, and I’m not going to pretend to. If you disagree with me on a topic, that’s fine. Let’s just all try to stay mature, respectful, and classy.
Anyway, let’s hop to it! Today’s topic: Slut-Shaming, and Why it’s Wrong.
So first off, what the hell is slut-shaming? Slut-shaming is the unfortunate phenomenon in which people degrade or mock a woman because she dresses in tight, revealing clothing, enjoys sex, has sex a lot, or may just be rumored to participate in sexual activity. The message that slut-shaming sends to women is that sex is bad, having sex with more than one person is horrible, and everyone will hate you for having sex at all.
That message is complete and utter–excuse my French–bullshit. (Yes, I’m 13, and I said the word “bullshit.” Yes, I’m 13, and I’m talking about slut-shaming. Deal with it.) Anyway, if you’ve given your consent, if you’re emotionally and physically ready for it, if you’re using proper protection, and if you feel safe and comfortable with your partner, then sex is good! It is nobody’s business but your own how many people you’re having sex with or how much sex you have. And you don’t deserve to be hated on for being sexually active with more than one partner.
Slut-shaming also contributes to rape culture-slash-rape-supportive culture. Rape culture is a culture in which sexual violence against women is commonplace, and in which prevalent attitudes tolerate said sexual violence. Slut-shaming contributes to this by sending the message that it’s okay to rape “sluts,” because by having too much sex or dressing in tight, revealing clothing, they’re somehow “asking for it.”
Rape is caused by rapists, misogyny, structural violence, and institutional tolerance. Not by women’s clothing or makeup, not the way she talks or walks, not by her drinking, not by her “not being careful enough,” and certainly not by her being a “slut.”
Sonya Barnett and Heather Jarvis said, “Being in charge of our sexual lives does not mean that we are opening ourselves to an expectation of violence, regardless if we participate in sex for work or pleasure.” Slut-shaming takes away women’s rights to express themselves sexually without fear of being scrutinized by men and other women, and it objectifies women’s bodies.
What I’m getting at here is that slut-shaming is wrong at any age. I’m noticing a lot of other girls my age starting to say it, and it just shocks me every time. How could they use such offensive language in such a casual manner? It’s like they don’t even know the meaning behind their words–and that’s the thing: they don’t know.
So, if you’re watching this, know somebody that slut-shames, pass this video along. They could learn something! I mean, it might not work, but how awesome would it be to change the opinion of even just one person? Simple actions can have the biggest impact.
Tune in tomorrow for another topical video. Hasta la vista!
Her topic for Day 2 was Weight Issues Caused by the Media, and she talked with Anderson Cooper about double standards and the abstinence movement, and seriously, I’m trying to figure out how to adopt this girl as my niece or something. Then maybe we can do something about that potty-mouth.
(Kidding, of course. Keep doing your thing, kid.)