Monday, December 17, 2012

How Slut Shaming Leads to Victim Blaming

Trigger Warning.

The following video contains a discussion of victim blaming, slut shaming and rape.


the transcript is below the fold.


Franchesca Ramsey: I had intended on making a hilarious video on wigs with green screens, costumes and characters. I changed my mind and instead decided to make a response video to: Jenna Marbles, Things I Don't Understand About Women Sluts Edition.

Jenna Marbles: The first thing I don't understand about sluts is a one night stand.  A true one night stand where you meet someone, you're out somewhere and then go home with them just to have sex with them. This concept is like (make a movement like a bomb going off with a woosh sound). Maybe I'm at his house and you know he's got big plans of chopping me up into little pieces and keeping me in his freezer for awhile. Maybe he's got like ten roommates in the other room just like waiting to close me and gang bang me. Helpless sluts of the world, make less bad slutty decisions.

Franchesca Ramsey: Two amazing youtubers have already done responses that I completely cosign and think that they did a great job on explaining slut shaming and why it's bad and how it leads to a really slippery slope. So, make sure to check the videos by Laci Green and Hayley G Cooper. I will link them in the video description box. Laci did a really great job and so did Haley of adding a disclaimer that this is not an attack Jenna Marbles. This is really about a larger problem and she's just kind of opened the door to the conversation. I decided to chime in here because I actually have personal experience with this.  Awesome! Of all of the things I thought I would never be sharing on the internet, this was definitely one of them.

When I was 18, just past my 18th birthday, I was date raped. That is how I lost my virginity. That's my beautiful story about how I was deflowered.  For my 18th birthday, one of the girls that I worked with took me to a concert.  She bought me concert tickets and we went with her boyfriend and his roommate. Somewhere through the course of drinking all day and not really eating very much, and kind of feeling pressure to drink, because I was not really a drinker.  When it was time to leave the concert, I was like beyond inebriated - like stumbling, like slurring my words, like having a hard time, so clearly, I could not drive home.  In retrospect, I don't know if maybe there was like something in my drink, cause I've never ever gotten like that post the situation. I blacked out, like donezo, like no recollection - was not conscious. It wasn't until the morning when I had even realised that I had had sex and I was just like, "what, wait a sec, what happened? This doesn't feel right." I asked my girlfriend and she was like, "yeah you totally had sex with him; you are so bad."  I remember feeling mortified just thinking, oh my God, why did this happen to me. I mean just all of those terrible thoughts going through my head - blaming myself. I told her, I begged her, "please don't say anything about this at work." She told my coworkers. She told my manager and they said horrible things about me. They called me a slut and I was the running joke.  I was the running joke at work and because of that I didn't say anything.

I am making this video because there are women who speak out about experiences that have happened to them - about their rape experiences and time and again everyone tells them, "well it was your fault. You shouldn't have done this. You shouldn't have done that." No! Can we stop telling girls that they shouldn't get raped and instead tell men to stop raping women and to stop taking advantage of women?  And you see it all of the time. Most recently, there was a young woman who was 11 years old. I think it was in Texas, she was gang raped by 20 guys (11 years old) and the New York Times writes a story about it and for some reason the story continues to focus on how much makeup this young woman wore, how late she stayed out, and how grown up and sexy she dressed. She was 11 and 20 guys raped her and somehow, it's her fault. I will put the link in the video description box because you need to read it to believe it. You could be the perfect person and still get raped and it would not be your fault, the same way you could make tons of bad decisions and engage in risky behaviour on a daily basis and if someone rapes you, it's the rapist fault, not yours. I wish that someone had said that to me. I wish that I had someone who told me that it wasn't my fault and that I should speak up. My camera stopped in the middle, it was like you said enough.

It's just scary to think of how many women and girls have been in this exact same position and haven't said something and have been discouraged from saying something because they in some way or shape or form felt like it was their fault. Across the board the only constant, because there are so many different scenarios, where someone can be a victim of abuse,( not just women, men as well). The only constant is that person who makes the bad decision to hurt someone else. I do think that it is really great that Jenna touched on the idea of looking out for one another. If you see a woman that is in a potentially dangerous situation at a bar or what have you, is there a reason that you can't step in and try to help her out?  But, what I would add to that is that it should just be a woman's responsibility to look out for other women.  There's no reason that a guy can't step in at a bar and say, "hey did this girl is wasted, I don't think she wants to go home with you, let's put her in a cab."

One of the comments that was left on my Facebook fan page that I really liked was made by a young woman of the name Regina.  She said something along the line of, "it's important to help victims but it's also important to protect victims from happening," and I really liked that because it's probably not a good idea for anyone to get black out drunk and I say that as someone speaking from experience.

I hope that I have added another perspective to this conversation and just kind of explaining why it's important that we move away from slut shaming and  that we also promote being smart and being responsible to everyone, not just with a focus on women. There are people of all spectrums and walk[s] of life that are effected by sexual assault and abuse and the the best way to prevent it and to make sure that those who are responsible are held accountable is to stop blaming our victims and to continue being smart and finding way to protect ourselves and protect each other. I will see you guys later.

Links

Things I Don't Understand About Girls Part 2: Slut Edition (Jenna Marbles)
Laci's Response (Laci Green)
Hayley's Response (Hayley G Cooper)