could you be a “slut-shaming” bully?

Lena Chen for Peace

all lena's saying, is give peace a chance

Ask yourself: do you think you’re a bully? You’re a gURL, so of course not. Let me ask you another question. Have you ever called another gURL a slut? Then you’re engaging in a form of bullying. Let me explain.

Just because you don’t shove someone into a locker doesn’t mean it’s not bullying! Bullying can be verbal, physical, or virtual. Writing on a girl’s Formspring that she’s a “putrid dirty f*cked up wh*re” is sexual bullying, and so is teasing a gURL for being a virgin in front of the entire cafeteria. Like all kinds of bullying, sexual bullying intimidates the victim and causes shame, but what makes it different is the focus on sexual behavior, orientation, and reputation.

| Wanna know which of your fave celebs were victims of bullying? Find out here |

When Jezebel’s Anna North recapped the past year’s worth of crimes and suicides attributed to bullying, one thing stuck out to me most: many of these teens were being attacked not for their sexuality, but for their perceived sexuality. These bullies weren’t

phoebe prince was subjected to bullying, and killed herself. rip

only targeting gay students; oftentimes, the suggestion that one might be gay was enough to set them off.

Along the same lines, a gURL doesn’t even have to be having sex in order to be “slut-shamed” to the point of killing herself. Take, for example, bullying victim Phoebe Prince, who hung herself at age 15, after being tormented for dating a popular upperclassman.

And then you get the opposite. In the case of “prude-shaming”, not having sex can make a gURL just as a big a target as having too much sex. (This is what we call a double standard, since boys are not subject to the same ridiculous expectations.)

Get the DL on how to deal with online haters. |

Bullying has always been around, but it’s only recently that the media has begun to pay more attention to its consequences. Not only does bullying cause fear, but it also contributes to low self-esteem and social isolation, factors for depression and suicide. So what does sexual bullying look like? Here are just a few examples:

  • Making fun of someone for their sexual orientation (or for their perceived sexual orientation)
  • Calling someone a slur word (“slut”, “prude”, etc.) for their perceived sexual activity (or lack thereof)
  • Speculating about someone’s sexual history, repeating rumors, or
  • Pinching, grabbing, slapping, or touching someone in a sexual manner without their consent
  • Making sexual advances toward someone who has made it clear that they’re not interested
  • Threatening someone as retaliation for behaving too sexually or not sexually enough

| Tegan & Sara gave their advice to those who deal with sexual discrimination |

You’ve probably witnessed at least a couple of these things happening or maybe, you’ve even participated in some of the above actions yourself. Who hasn’t, after all, called a random celebrity a “slut?” Some of you have left messages on this blog judging Miley Cyrus and Taylor Momsen for being “trashy” or “dirty”. Those are the types of words that bullies posted to the Facebook page of gURLs like Phoebe Prince. Does knowing what happened to Phoebe make you think twice about using words like that again?

Have questions? Share them below! Or, send them to me at askanexpert@gurl.com!!

Love,
Lena

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Posted in: Ask an Expert, Health, Sex & Relationships, In the News, Sucky Emotions, Virginity
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  • LilMissMimiXx

    I don’t know, you could say it gently, or not. When my friends look kind of… overly exposed, I say something like: “Hey… Umm, can I say something? Please don’t get mad, and I totally understand if you want to leave it like that, but… you have a bit toooooo much skin showing… If you get what I mean.” They normally understand me 😛 Hope it helped! x

  • Alishia

    When gurls at my school wear low cut shirts they get called "slutty" and "whoreish" is there a nicer way to tell someone there shirt is showing too much?

  • readerhi1234

    Alot of girls at my school call girls sluts behind their backs. 🙁