Reminds me of me when I was her age (if I’d been a badass)

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.)

(h/t Mommyish)

19 comments for “Reminds me of me when I was her age (if I’d been a badass)

  1. Celina
    January 24, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    Where the fuck were these girls when I was a youngin?

  2. January 25, 2012 at 1:17 am

    She is definitely intelligent. I’m glad she adds “if you are using proper protection.” This is the first person I have seen talk about slut shaming that acknowledges the importance of protection and the role it plays in the anti slut shaming argument.

  3. FYouMudFlaps
    January 25, 2012 at 2:23 am

    I’ve been interested in politics since 15 and what this girl understands didn’t occur to me until about 24. I’m a 26 year old student of Gender Studies and basically want to steal this video whenever I need to give a speech on sexuality. Thank you awesome chicklet.

  4. oh.holy.cats
    January 25, 2012 at 3:40 am

    I would be interested to know how this young woman came by her feminism.

    Plenty of us have what might be called a “feminist consciousness” when we are very young (i.e. a sense that something is wrong or unfair with gender relations, etc.), but we frequently don’t learn the language to talk about injustice until we are much older.

  5. nem
    January 25, 2012 at 5:42 am

    I just wish she’d stop calling herself “the idiot behind astrorice” who’s been making “dumb videos”. I mean, self-bashing is just that, aggression against oneself and the opposite of self-respect, isn’t it?
    I just don’t know how to tell her that, since I’m in no position to tell her anything, I’m just somebody on the internet. Also, isn’t telling a kid to stop hating on themselves kinda like telling somebody to stop self-cutting? I mean, they just might have deep reasons and unresolved issues and stuff.
    Still, she’s an awesome kid and it’s kinda painful to read self-hating messages on her channel description.

  6. Angie unduplicated
    January 25, 2012 at 8:13 am

    I’d love to see this mainstreamed as a public service commercial by suicide prevention nonprofits. This young woman is one fabulously precocious activist.

  7. Geoarch
    January 25, 2012 at 8:36 am

    I want this girl to be my best friend and I’m old enough to be her mom. Is that OK? Rock on, Astrorice. You’ve restored a small scrap of faith in the human race for me.

  8. Drew
    January 25, 2012 at 9:10 am

    I agree with everything she said, and I’m impressed with her maturity, given her age.

    Were it a conversation, I’d add in that I think *nobody* is socialized to have a healthy relationship with their sexuality, which, I think, is also a major cause of rape.

  9. WitchWolf
    January 25, 2012 at 9:42 am

    BRAVO – She kicks butt

  10. Verity Khat
    January 25, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    oh. my. GAWD. Astrorice is my new favorite real-life heroine. Seriously, I’m more than twice her age and I will NEVER be this badassly articulate!

  11. Carolyn
    January 25, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    As an educator, my first thought is: someone get this young woman a scholarship to the college of her choice, stat! Though, selfishly, I’d love to see her at a women’s college (Smith what!). She is amazing and this is exactly the kind of critical thinking and articulateness we should be rewarding as a culture.

  12. Drew
    January 25, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    I think it would be very interesting if someone did an experiment where they recreated the effects of “slut shaming” on animals. Say, everytime a female has sex, the experimentors punish her somehow.

    Have any such experiments been done? I’ve looked around google a bit but don’t seem to be finding anything.

  13. Sara
    January 25, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    Seriously, someone get this girl a scholarship. Keep being fabulous, eloquent, and kind, Astrorice!

  14. DragonBreath
    January 25, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    Oh Holy Cats; never thought of it as feminist consciousness just sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

    Nem; A lot people who are way ahead of the curve do that, it keeps the hounds off your butt.

    In regard to this young one as one of my anti heroes says “most impressive”.

    Another you tube channel to subscribe to, oh boy…. hmm…… correction Oh girl

  15. Iris
    January 26, 2012 at 10:23 am

    Like her message, her passion, her articulation and her courage. An amazing young woman, how fortunate we are to be able to see and hear her surprisingly mature take on an issue that is still a concern for far too many. Great job. Thank you for posting this.

  16. Heatherae
    January 26, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    She is everything I want my nieces and cousin’s to be at their age. It is one thing to take in society’s messages about female sexuality and it is another to process them and figure out how truly screwed up it is. FOUR FOR YOU ASTRORICE!!!!!

  17. Raja
    January 28, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    She is awesome

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