A few words

I used to be naive. I mean, I still am, but to a lesser extent I'd like to think. I used to use "gay" as an adjective, and not in a good way, and I frequently engaged in "slut-shaming." And sometimes I still do, until I catch myself and remind myself that nothing will change if I don't change. 

The internet has taught me three things: (1) there is a lot of hate in this world, (2) this hate is what sustains and continuously re-builds the social hierarchy that puts us above one another, and (3), nothing will change until we realize this. In light of this, I've been telling my brother that "gay" is not a word that can be used lightly -- in fact, it merely reinforces the fallacious idea that homosexuality is inferior to heterosexuality. I used to call sexually active girls "sluts." But now, I recognize that one's sexual preference is completely none of my business. Why am I to judge a person on their sexual activities when they are capable of making her own life decisions? Why am I to maintain the gender dichotomy that says sexually active females are immoral while sexually active males are normal? Not only does this dichotomy reinforce the contentious idea that sexual abuse of sexually active girls is not as abominable as the sexual abuse of "normal girls," it again puts us females in a stratification that demeans some and prizes others. It's funny because sometimes we are our own enemies.

If society spits out newer and better computers at a rather incomprehensible rate, why do we have to bask in the shadow of our modernity and fail to change ourselves? When do we get past our hatred for everything that is different and come to accept that we are no better than those other people who look, act, or dress just a bit different. If we are to get rid of racism, why not stop perpetuating racial stereotypes and reiterating racially ignorant jokes that we shouldn't be finding funny, but really do. I've had certain frustrations with the internet for a while but have never voiced my thoughts. I know there is no perfect solution to absolving our societal melancholies, because let's be honest, some of those memes are pretty darn funny. But one way to start is by acknowledging our imperfections and seeking to correct them. Instead of telling jokes that merely perpetuate racial stereotypes, why not tell a knock knock joke (they're just as funny, I promise). Instead of "slut-shaming," why not realize that how a person dresses or does with her free time is completely their choice (I should say right now that labelling someone a "slut" based on their clothing is absolutely bogus). I don't know if the internet will become a nicer or less hostile environment, or if the societal boundaries we place on ourselves will dissolve, but the least we can do is try.

Anyway, if you have anything to comment on or disagree with, do go ahead and let me know. If you're interested in the subject of "slut shaming," I highly recommend these two videos: "revolutionized feminist" Jenna Marbles caught in the very act of "slut-shaming" here (I could barely watch it myself) and a fantastic video response to her video here by Haley Hoover.

Also, this song has been stuck in my head for the past 12 hours or so.

7 comments:

Yasmeen said...

I remember seeing the title of Jenna's video and getting worried and rightfully so. She's a very smart girl though and I think she'll really think about the idea of slut-shaming, maybe even create an apology video next week. What worries me is the tons and tons of comments of girls (probably too young to have thought about it much) that are saying, "OMG I totally agree" and all that. It's hard to see the problem when girl culture revolves sooo much around girl hate/girl envy.

Nice to see bloggers writing on this. I was contemplating doing a post myself :)

Yasmeen
Castle Fashion

Babble said...

I understand what you're talking about, about I think you may want to rethink suggesting replacing "gay" with "lame" because it is just as bad an adjective for something. Being lame refers to a disability (i.e. an inability to walk.) So by using "lame" as an adjective to refer to something as bad or boring or of less worth, reinforces and perpetuates that image that having a disability is socially undesirable. In turn this creates a social stigma around the condition of being "lame." It's very similar to the problem with the use of the word "gay" as an adjective for something that is bad.

Alyssa said...

@Babble, that's a very good point. I hadn't thought about that.

Jenny Zhang said...

Great post! I was really disappointed when I saw Jenna Marbles' video, too; I couldn't even get through it all before I started cringing and was just like "no, no, stop." One of the ways that a patriarchal society keeps women down is by promoting so much competition and hate among females, so it's really important to recognize that in order to move forward.

It was really nice to see content like this on your blog! :)

Jeline said...

These are great words, Alyssa and I couldn't have agreed more. I saw that certain video of Jenna Marbles and I didn't even bother watch it. The title just didn't appeal to me at all. I honestly wish that this kind of attitude (or whatsoever) would end. It's definitely not doing any good to our society anyway.

thedamselinadress.blogspot.com

Sydney L. said...

i don't know what to say about jenna's video cause she has some good points as well and wow hayley is really wise and smart but imo afterall this issue is just a very personal thing as in if you don't like someone's action well just don't comment and don't go around and implant the idea that "this certain girl is a slut" in other peoples head cause that's normally how people see others - if majority of people around them make negative opinion about someone they agree with them in the end it's kinda like brainwashing? i think it's really important to not preach your own view on others

Valentine T. said...

i looooooove your blog, i discovered it thanks to lookbook, and i really fell in love! great pictures and looks

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