If you wonder why I spend so much time on gender stereotypes and public shaming videos-gone-viral these days, take a look at this Google keyword trend:
Girls who fail to abide by some ambigious and often inexplicit standard for sexual modesty are still fair game in a country that fears sex more than the atom bomb, but which also loves to obsess over it. Watch a few Taylor Swift videos and you will understand that the world is binary. There’s no room for nuance. There are two types of people in this world: good people and bad people. Winners and losers. The two personality types available to modern American girls come in two stereotypes: mean whore and nice madonna. One will lead you to the altar with the prince in the shining armor, the other one to the strip club. Transgress too far over on the slutty side and you are no longer human in the eyes of your community’s bystanders who often claim to love Jesus – just not that Maria Magdalena part.
Slutshaming is the last bastion for acceptable bullying in America. We have come a long way since the days when children were bullied merely for being nerds (nerdiness is actually the new black among Homelander kids!) Picking on kids for their race, body weight and sexual orientation is no longer brushed away with kids-will-be-kids explanations. But in a society that still clings to reductionist Hollywood high school caricatures, girls who have overstepped the boundaries for their community’s local sharia laws risk severe retributions. When adults try to teach internet behavior skills they walk a fine line between protecting the youngsters and joining the mob against them. Adults actively participate in the slutshaming when they create or cheer on shaming videos that are bound to go viral and end up on the evening news. When we condone these shaming strategies we don’t only sanctify, but also use our adult authority to “seal the deal” on misogyny. Parents do. Teachers do. Preachers do. Journalists do. The comment sections do big time. And we probably haven’t seen the last teenage suicide as result of it.
If you have daughters, make sure they don’t stray from the narrow modesty course in this theater play called life, because one lapse of judgement, one untrustworthy boyfriend or one ‘sextorted‘ image can wreck her lifetime opportunities in a sexually OCD’ed culture that still feeds on medieval myths like fairy tale princesses, witch hunts and pillories. If you’re worried about your daughter’s reputation, make sure all privacy settings are on to at least contain her social media. Supervise, filter and confiscate her communication gadgets if you have to. But for goodness sake, don’t amp up her megaphone by creating your own slut shaming PR stunts to “teach her a lesson”! At least not unless you can accept that at best you will be suspected of using your child as a vehicle in fulfilling your needs for attention. At worst, you will be the person who caused her daughter to to be psychologically and digitally scarred for life.
But never mind. Troll on. LOL 😀
The following comment section is pasted from an article in NY Daily News regarding a 11-year-old girl being shamed by her own mother.
Slutshamed to death in recent years:
Some of these girls were harassed until minutes before their deaths and many of these girls have their legacy taunted even in their death. (E.g. photoshopped memes that ridicule their suicide methods.)
Phoebe Prince: November 24th 1994 – January 14, 2010: Suicide after being slutshamed and bullied for dating a guy who was still romantically involved. (Teenage triangle drama)
Rehtaeh Parsons: suicide by hanging April 17th 2013 after being ‘victim blamed’ and her gang rapists went free because of ‘insufficient evidence’. Evidence of the rape was posted in social media.
Hope Witsell: hanged herself in her bedroom at age 13 after being taunted when a topless picture went viral.
Jessie Logan: hanged herself at age 18 after a nude photo sent a trusted boyfriend went viral.
Images: Google, velociriot.org, NYDailyNews