#1000Speak for Compassion–The Tragedy of Cyberbullying and “Slut-Bashing”

I Am Not A Slut: Slut-Shaming in the Age of Social Media

Recently I read a very interesting book. It was written by Leora Tanenbaum, who first coined the term “slut-bashing” in her book Slut!: Growing Up Female With a Bad Reputation, published in August of 2010. Having been labeled a “slut” in high school merely because she developed early, Tanenbaum wrote an article for Seventeen Magazine and was later motivated to write her first book.

With the proliferation of “slut-bashing” on social media, Leora Tanenbuam took another look at “slut-bashing” in the age of social the Internet. Her new book, I Am Not A Slut: Slut-Shaming In The Age Of The Internet, was released by HarperCollins in January of 2015.

Quote from I Am Not A Slut: Slut-Shaming In The Age Of The Internet
Quote from I Am Not A Slut: Slut-Shaming In The Age Of The Internet, by Leora Tanenbaum

Traveling to several locations and schools in the US, Tanenbaum spoke to female teens, young women, and educators about how the Internet has escalated the problem of “slut-bashing.” While her own research is largely anecdotal, she cites many research cases regarding the situation. She also explains why she believes that current attempts to “reclaim” the term “slut,” such as she witnessed at the NYC SlutWalk, will ultimately fail, being an option only for those privileged to be white.

If you have a female child, educate her before puberty, which for many girls these days occurs at an early age.

Some Helpful Links

Thanks to author Leora Tanenbaum for the inspiration and much of the information provided in this article. Check out Lizzie Crocker’s review of Slut!: Growing Up Female With a Bad Reputation in The Daily Beast.

This post is for the victims of cyberbullying and slut-shaming who took their lives rather than live a life of shame:

Amanda Todd–Coquitlam, BC, Canada (15)
Megan Meier–O’Fallon, Missouri, United States (13)
Phoebe Prince–South Hadley, MA, United States (15)
Jessica Logan–Cincinatti, OH, United States (18)
Alexis Pilkington–Long Island, NY, United States (17)
Rachel Ehmke–Mantorville, MN, United States (13)
Audrey Pott–Saratoga, CA, United States (15)
Felicia Garcia–Long Island, NY, United States (15)
Hannah Smith–Leicestershire, England (14)
Gabrielle Molina–Queens, NY, United States (12)
Rahteah Parsons–Cole Harbour, HA, Canada (15)

 There are many others whom the system failed. Let’s not fail any more!

For a better understanding of cyberbullying and a call to action, check out Anderson Cooper’s blog post: An Anderson Cooper Special Report – Bullying: It Stops Here.

8 thoughts on “#1000Speak for Compassion–The Tragedy of Cyberbullying and “Slut-Bashing”

  1. I like sluts! Men can come on to women… Why shouldn’t women be able to express themselves in like fashion? That doesn’t have to mean they’re flighty. It takes courage to risk rejection. And where there’s courage, I see a woman willing to tackle life head on! There are exceptions to the rule which goes for men too: part of the risks we take in life is all. ‘Nothing ventured, nothing gained!’ If you fancy a man, let him know…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great attitude about female sexuality–your point is a good one. Your language, however, is problematic. What you laud suggests you like strong, courageous women. Maybe you even like adventurous women. The word “slut” does not have those connotations, even in the self-referential usages. Whether future use of the term can be ‘bent’ like what’s happening with the word ‘bitch’ in some cases, remains to be seen.

      The sexual revolution was supposed to have made it “ok” for women to accept and express their own sexuality and sexual desires. Correspondingly, it was supposed to make it less incumbent upon men to initiate sexual encounters–allowing the terms ‘feminine’ and ‘masculine’ to be prized apart from the imposed, sexualized social roles of women and men. Unfortunately, the movement’s central lessons were at fundamental odds with puritanical influences in American society, hence the shaming.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I am familiar with far too many of the cases you listed here. Hopefully they are making a difference, a dent in the problem, even after they can no longer speak up for themselves. We will continue speaking up for them and so nobody ever forgets.

    Liked by 1 person

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