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

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