Slut Shaming and Youtube’s Reaction

Trigger warning: discussion of slut shaming and mentions of rape

This week Jenna Marbles, a youtube personality who I had previously liked and found quite funny, posted a rather problematic video called ‘Things I Don’t Understand about Girls: The Slut Edition’. The video (imbedded below, although only watch it if you want to get really angry) contains a lot of slut shaming and perpetuation of stereotypes that occur within rape culture.

The video says things like ‘a slut is someone who has a lot of casual sex’ and ‘I hope you realise some day that it feels so much better when you’re not having so much sex’ which is definitely slut shaming, telling women that they cannot do what they want with their body, and that if they are promiscuous they are inferior to other women. The worst part of the video for me, was when Jenna suggested that if a woman is ‘blackout drunk’ and being taken advantage of by a group of men, you should help her because it will stop her acting like a slut, not because it will stop a case of sexual assault, I could go on…

However, something that is helping to soothe my anger at society is the responses from other youtubers. Laci Green postponed her planned video to post a response to Jenna Marbles. She discusses slut shaming by breaking down the idea that ‘sluts don’t respect themselves’ and showing the double standards of promiscuity within society.

Hayley G Hoover, a youtuber whose channel isn’t centred around sex positivity and feminism, made a response to Jenna Marbles’s video talking about how slut shaming leads to rape culture. Her audience isn’t predominantly feminists, so when she says ‘if a man has sex with a woman who is incapacitated, too drunk to know what she’s doing, unconscious, asleep or otherwise incapable of making a sober decision, that’s rape every single time’ she’s educating some of her youtube viewers on what is and isn’t consenting sex.

Finally, a feminist society member Megan Fozzard posted this video by John Green to the facebook discussion group:

Admittedly, when talking about slut shaming, John Green compares women to cereal, in a way that commodifies women; however, the point he makes to a large youtube audience is still sex positive and arguing against slut shaming.

While there will always be youtubers who will make problematic and misogynistic videos, due to the state of the society we live in, youtube does have a good sex positive and feminist community and the response to Jenna Marbles’s video illustrates this.

Jenny Grimes

Our Week Summary: 08/12/12

Here at the blog we like to roundup the best posts made on our discussion board every week because sometimes it they get buried under piles of even more great debate.

Firstly there’s the depressing tale of the Hallmark birthday card pictured below. The patronizing and sexist text reads: “You’re 13 today! If you had a rich boyfriend he’d give you diamonds and rubies. Well, maybe next year you will-when you’ve got bigger boobies!” The response both on our discussion board and on twitter with the #notbuyingit was so quick, organised and livid that Hallmark had to issue an official apology. Kudos to them for their quick and appropriate response but let’s be honest, gift card shops aren’t a great place for feminists. They’re structured around colored gender binaries, old-fashioned ideas of romance and it’s all overpriced tat anyway. Seriously society, stop buying cards.

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Elsewhere Hattie Grünewald posted some hilarious Josie Long stand-up as a warm up for next week’s Tuesday and Thursday meetings on feminism and humor. It promises to be a great session so do come along.

Building upon the themes we discussed in the reproductive rights sessions a fortnight ago, Beth McKensie shared the bizarre pro-life argument pictured below. Text reads:

“Between 16 and 20 weeks a baby girl’s ovaries form millions of eggs. None form after birth.”

and was accompanied by the comment :

“Those who favor abortion rights often talk about a woman’s reproductive freedom, but a little girl’s reproductive system is forming long before her birth. By the mid-point in pregnancy, her ovaries will develop all eggs she will ever produce – the promise of future generations.”

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I think Mike Adams summed it up pretty neatly when he wrote “They’re just grasping at shit now” and Alice Johnson added “PERIODS ARE MURDER”. A really interesting discussion unfolded around the logical fallacies and disconnects that often accompany pro-life argument, check it out here.

Finally Hannah Dunlop posted this collection of misogynistic t-shirts. Trigger warning: awfulness.

Ollie Balaam

Our Weekly Summary: 01/12/12

Here at the blog we like to roundup the best posts made on our discussion board every week because sometimes it they get buried under piles of even more great debate.

This week we held a photo session in the Hive for the “Who needs feminism?” campaign which went brilliantly. The pictures are now up on our Facebook discussion page, check them out here.

Charlie Goodkind gave us all a laugh with the latest nonsense from Fox News. If any feminists have missed the memo, misogyny is over and women are currently waging a war on men.

Annie Mary-Kate Kelly started a really interesting discussion on the use and reclamation of the word misandry by feminists. For example, does using it more frequently legitimise it as an equal and opposite force to misogyny? Interesting debate about the etymology of the word continued in the comments.

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The Tab Norwich have done it again. Ellie Reynard posted a link to the article The Worst Kind of People, a sexist and hateful article about women using men’s toilets. Victoria Finan, Culture editor at the Tab Norwich, has specified this is only the opinion of one individual writer. She cast light on the fact that articles can be cross published from other Tab sites seemingly without editorial consent. It’s a continuing and systemic problem, indeed Ellie herself admitted she quit the Tab last year over offensive and sensationalist articles such as this one.

Rosha Georgia posted this year’s Asda Christmas advert after she felt irritated on first watch. The advert, which carries the tagline “Behind every great Christmas there’s a mum,” re-enforces harmful ’50s gender stereotypes such as that women should happily and single-handedly do all the housework. Commenters agreed that for the 64% of the UK with non-nuclear families, this advert was alienating and perpetuating an idealised family norm. Robyn Sands articulated it well when she said “[I]t’s really not that hard to understand that advertising and the media in general often create a dominant ideology that reinforces stereotypes and gender roles which contributes to oppression” and Charlie Goodkind suggested the alternative “behind every Christmas there are great parents.”

Tilly Wood