Controversy, Discussion

Discussion: Slut-Shaming in YA

meme-banner-template-1Hello everyone! I realized that my blog has been running for a few months now, and it’s about time I tried a discussion post! I was trying to come up with a topic, and then I realized: I should talk about the things I’m most vocal about when I’m off the internet.

Therefore, I chose body shaming. This post is going to be part of a little “Body Shaming in YA” series I’m going to tag under body-shaming so you can find it easily.

I’m literally always talking about the way our society forces people to be who they’re not and shames those who are different. It’s super important for young people like myself to gain consciousness of this and fight against the social stigma that’s attached to standing out.

First of all and for this edition, we’ve got slut-shaming. It’s the one I see most discussed – and it’s absolutely ridiculous.

g0zpmej

This is actually such a huge problem for women everywhere. The age at which girls start to get sexualised is getting lower and lower, and by doing this we’re destroying their self esteem when they most need it.

It’s so great when YA books focus on the topic of slut-shaming and call it out, exploring it and helping us understand it better. But most times, unintended slut-shaming happens right in front of us and we don’t even see it. When the “mean girl” or the “dumb blonde” gets called a slut, many readers don’t even notice how toxic the book they’re reading is.

Slut-shaming the antagonist is no better than doing it to the protagonist. An example:

In Rick Yanicey’s The Infinite Sea, minor character Grace gets labeled as an “extraterrestrial slut” by protagonist Cassie. And why, you may ask? Well, there’s no reason other than this: Grace used to be in a relationship with Cassie’s love interest.

You see my point? Things like these encourage girl hate, which I personally have spent a lot of time trying to avoid – and it’s hard, after being taught that other girls are your competition.

Fortunately, there are also some books with amazing female friendships out there! Take Throne of Glass. 16034235I’ve recently realised it’s an incredibly problematic series, but if there’s something it does right, it’s the relationships between its female characters. 

In the first book, for example, there’s a lot of girl hate. But then, we manage to see the character our protagonist hates, Kaltain Rompier, as what she is: just another scared, manipulated young woman.

In Assassin’s Blade, the collection of Pre-ToG novellas, Celaena Sardothien also hates on another girl: Lysandra, from the local brothel. Then, four books later, bam! We get an explanation and an apology and one of the most important bonds in the series is created.

xdax04tc5775b34faf6cb262436470
Mean Girls is actually a pretty important movie

In our society, the insults labeled most offensive insults are about sex – and they are mostly for women. There’s a huge variety of insults for a girl, but if you’re trying to offend a guy, chances are you’re going to say something about his mother.

Technically, we shouldn’t verbally abuse anyone, but it’s so incredibly unfair and frustrating that even insults are gendered.


What do you think? I purposefully left out other types of slut-shaming so we can discuss about more things, and so I can do another concise post like this one again.

Do you know any books about slut shaming? Do you know any books with unintended slut shaming? Let me know below so I can write a list. Let’s talk!

 

Advertisements

16 thoughts on “Discussion: Slut-Shaming in YA”

  1. YES TO EVERYTHING YOU SAID! Slut shaming is just a big red flag for me because it’s… degrading. Just like the gif you provided, it seems like girls would always do wrong. In Seven Ways We Lie one of the protagonist is… well, let’s say she sleeps around a lot, with guys who also sleep around a lot. But surprise, surprise, only SHE gets called slut even by her own best friends while the guys just get away free because boys will be boys, right? God I hate that phrase. Such a get out of jail free card 😦 anyway, I’d recommend you to read The Female of the Species if you haven’t (TW: rape, sex abuse), it’s kind of brutal but it calls out rape culture and slut shaming behavior in the most honest way possible 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for the recs! I will definitely add them to my TBR. I just hate it so much when girls get shamed and boys get praised! It’s no one’s business, really.

      Like

  2. Very nice post, and so so important! If there was one thing I enjoyed about the ToG books was the female relationships.
    Another great book where this is addressed is Weregirl by C. D. Bell. There’s no slut shaming or any instance of girls being pitted against each other. A very awesome read, full of girl power!
    I love the movie Mean Girls. It had such an impact in me, and did so with such clever writing and hearty comedy. Too bad it’s still incredibly underrated.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad you liked ToG, and thanks for the recommendation! I’ll add it to my goodreads 🙂

      And Mean Girls is treated like a dumb rom-com even when it treats really important things! It’s not exactly known in my country, but I watched it this summer and really liked the message.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is such an important topic – great post! (and fantastic use of gifs)

    It is incredibly important that we call out books that have characters who slut-shame with no consequences. I have no problem with a character slut shaming another character as long as that character is immediately shut down/corrected/educated by another character. Authors are missing a perfect opportunity to provide readers with sex-positive, body-positive dialogue. Especially in books that are marketed to YA audiences.

    I look forward to reading the other installments in this series! 🙂

    Like

    1. Thank you! I completely agree with EVERYTHING you said. Sex and body positivity are super important things that young people need to be taught about! I’m only fourteen, and I feel like books and other types of media affect my perception of the world and society quite strongly, and while I like to say I’m very much aware of slut-shaming when I see it, a lot of people my age (especially boys and girls who struggle with insecurity) don’t see things this way.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for this post! I think this is such an important discussion for ya literature and in life! We need to stop shaming each other and start treating each other like the lovely human beings we are.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! When I was little I was so brainwashed! Now I’m so glad I’ve educated myself (see, tumblr’s not that bad) and I can finally see that us girls have to protect each other!

      Thing is, I feel like I didn’t focus on books much – off the top of your head, can you remember any books that slut-shame girls or talk about slut-shaming in any way?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Not really, I’m realizing that I haven’t payed that much attention to it within books either. I really think that I should! My eyes will be much sharper now, because of this.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s