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School Scandal Targets “Her” Not “Him”

slut-shaming-candy-manBy Rebecca S. 

The sexual revolution has arrived. Women and men, alike, are free to enjoy sex, right?

Not if the school scandal that roared during my junior year is any measure.

“Janet” was popular, and a talented player on our school’s field hockey team.

Until word got around that she had filmed a sex tape with a guy from our school. Read the rest of this entry

Why Do Women Prioritize Men’s Pleasure?

Only want to please your man?

Only want to please your man?

A lot of women prioritize men’s pleasure over their own.

Instead of focusing on her own pleasure a woman may worry about whether she’s attractive enough. Or she may agree to do things she doesn’t like. Or she may give him a blowjob in his dorm room, or the backseat of his car, without expecting anything in return.

But why is that? Read the rest of this entry

Why Don’t Men Slut-Shame Men?

The sexual double standard.

The sexual double standard.

Women are more likely than men to slut-shame women.

Yet men don’t seem to shame men for having sex. Ever.

Instead, the sexual “conqueror” gets high-fives from guys who praise his prowess.

What’s up with that? Read the rest of this entry

Outside the Sex-Negative Box

Mae West: "When I'm good I'm very good. But when I'm bad I'm better."

Mae West: “When I’m good I’m very good. But when I’m bad I’m better.”

Girls who lack desire are good girls?

Pretty much all of my students have witnessed slut-shaming in high school, and many have experienced it.

Or just listen to the radio and you’ll hear desiring girls insulted as “hoes.”

Because apparently, a girl with desire is a bad girl.

Some young women even defend their virtue after being raped by explaining that they felt no desire. Like Audrie and Daisy: Read the rest of this entry

Men Fearing Women’s Sexuality

Fearing women's sexuality.

Fearing women’s sexuality.

By Jonathan Jefferson

Back in high school I was surprised at the amount of hatred that could be directed toward women in common, everyday conversation.

Guys talked about ex-girlfriends or girls they’d slept with in such a negative light.

If a girl had been with another boy — at all — anyone who slept with her later could do no better than “sloppy seconds.”  Read the rest of this entry

I Slut-Shamed Out Of Jealousy

End slut-shaming

End slut-shaming

By Bianca Martinez 

The younger me wore oversized sweaters and baggy pants.

And I avoided skirts, perfume, and the color pink.

I’d thought I did this because I valued “manly” over “girly.”

But really it was the opposite: To me, girly meant pretty, and I didn’t feel pretty. So I didn’t deserve to feel girly. Read the rest of this entry

Men Dislike Double Standard More Than Women?

slut-shaming-candy-manPlenty of women hate the double standard that rewards men for having sex, but punishes women.

But on average, men dislike it more.

Why is that? Read the rest of this entry

Punishing Girls for Pleasing Guys

Emma Stone, "Easy (scarlet letter) A"

Emma Stone, “Easy (scarlet letter) A”

Why are girls so often punished for pleasing guys?

Girls grow up to learn that both men and society like a sexy look. And then they comply and get slut-shamed.

They grow up to discover sex. They think it’s fun — or not: 43% of young American women have experienced sexual dysfunction. Yet they learn that guys want sex, and some feel pressured to be nice and give it to them. But if they do, they may be punished. And by the way, don’t expect to get pleasured, yourself.

That’s what San Jose Mercury News journalist, Sharon Noguchi, found in her investigation of Silicon Valley high school culture. All these years and the double standard remains alive and well, even in the progressive San Francisco Bay Area. As she put it: Read the rest of this entry

Women Slut-Shame More Than Men?

19TIER_SPAN-articleLargeStereotypes and evolutionary psych say men slut-shame because they want to know that their partner’s babies are not some other guy’s.

But women are actually more likely to promote the double-standard. Here’s one study of shaming in action:

McMaster University psychologists told college women that they were studying female friendships. They actually wanted to see how women respond to sexy vs non-sexy women, as pictured above. Read the rest of this entry

Slut-Shamed? It Gets Better

slut-shamingAt age eleven Emily Lindin was declared a slut and “harassed incessantly at school, after school, and online,” she says.

A diary entry:

Aaron said he had heard that Zach “ate me out.” I wasn’t sure what that meant, but I said it wasn’t true, just to be on the safe side.

Fifteen years later she recalls:

I have a very painful memory of watching an instant message window pop up from an account called DieEmilyLindin and reading the message: “Why haven’t you killed yourself yet, you stupid slut?”

Now, at age 27 she is publishing her diary (with names disguised) on a Tumblr she calls the UnSlut Project, hoping to serve as an ‘It Gets Better’ project for girls who’ve been slut-shamed.

I’ve been thinking about this amidst an onslaught of tragedies like these:

  • Fifteen-year-old Felicia Garcia of Stanton Island had sex with four football players, which was recorded and shared around her school. Two players began tormenting her and others joined in. Felicia jumped in front of a Staten Island train.
  • Four boys assaulted seventeen-year-old Rehtaeh Parsons of Nova Scotia, labeled her a “slut” and shared a photo online. Then, the whole school started harassing her. Rehtaeh hung herself.
  • Fourteen-year-old Samantha Kelly also hung herself, unable to withstand the taunting and harassment that followed a police report of her rape.

I’ve often wished that an “It Gets Better” project could help girls like them make it through and go on to live fulfilling lives.

Others’ opinions can have a big impact on how we see ourselves. Our personal identities can seem merely “subjective,” but when many others agree that we are “X” — for good or for ill — it can seem “objective.”

Still, each of us has more knowledge about ourselves than anyone else. And we can consider the motives behind the labeling. Kids who bully are trying to raise themselves up by putting others down. If they really thought they were so great, they wouldn’t have to make so much effort.

Luckily, it does get better because people grow up, mature and become more secure.

And, the ex-bullied may become stronger, more empathetic and deepened.

In the meantime, maybe Emily’s blog will help others to know that they’ve got support…  and that it gets better.

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