DefineSlutSlut Shaming. 

I recently read Peggy Orenstein’s best selling book, Girls & Sex, Navigating the Complicated New Landscape, and it brought me back to the movie — The Breakfast Club.

Why? Well, interestingly, even back in 1985 before social media or any smartphones existed, girls believed they had to fit into one of two categories: Prude or slut.

This is exactly what Peggy Orenstein discovered girls still believe today. There’s no gray area. It wasn’t only this book, I also read Nancy Jo Sales best selling book, American Girls: Social Media and the Secret Lives of Teenagers. After interviewing many teen girls, she noted the same comments, girls were pressured into sending nudes. Many feared being considered a slut but didn’t want to be considered a prude. Where is the balance?

It’s been over 30 years and we haven’t been able to break the chain of sexually labeling girls, and sadly it doesn’t end at adolescence.

Most have heard and read about revenge porn.  Slut shaming (sexual bullying) is different, yet some may confuse it with porn since the word slut is a slur for girls or women that are believed to have been engaged in many sexual partners.

Being bullied in any form is cruel.  Sexual bullying is only yet another form of cruelty that youth have no control over.  Like the telephone game, before you know it, the girl has slept with the entire football team or school for that matter — and has no way to defend herself. In many instances, in reality, she has slept with no one! It’s completely out of her control – it’s viral – and she feels completely helpless and hopeless.

The UnSlut Project, founded by Emily Lindin, is about giving young girls a voice — a voice that Emily herself offers to girls across the world that are sexually bullied.  Once a victim of slut shaming, she knows she was fortunate that she decided on her darkest days – not to take her life. Others, such as Amanda Todd and Audrie Potts, were not as fortunate.

Emily Lindin is continuing her voice not only with a best selling book about her life, but also the director of her documentary, UnSlut: A Documentary Film to help create more awareness, education and prevention.

Emily Lindin recognizes that shaming doesn’t end when adolescence does. In her TEDx speech, she said:

“We pretend it is only a problem for kids or teens and that it magically disappears once you reach a certain age but the truth is it doesn’t. Many adults continue to bully each other and sometimes adults even bully kids and teenagers. It can happen for a variety of reasons, but it often comes down to the fact that they haven’t discovered confidence.” – Emily Lindin, The UnSlut Project