The UnSlut Project: Challenging Slut Shaming One Diary Entry at a Time

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Emily Lindin (pseudonym) created the UnSlut Project based on her experience of being labelled a slut when she was just 11 years old. She was bullied for years by her peers at school, after school and through instant messaging (a completely new technology in 1997). During these years she kept a diary, documenting her experiences of slut shaming*.

Through the UnSlut Project, Emily now shares her diary entries online in an effort to challenge slut shaming and to create community amongst girls and women who have or are experiencing this type of bullying. Her site encourages others to share their stories, challenging the idea that instances of slut shaming are isolated and rare. Instead, the conversations which have emerged from her project demonstrate that slut shaming is pervasive in our culture.

A diary entry from the UnSlut Project

A diary entry from the UnSlut Project

Her project is also a response to recent media stories which place the blame for bullying on technology. Writing about the UnSlut Project, Stacey Speer asserts “While there is no doubt that bullying happens online and through text messaging, Emily’s diary shows us that it isn’t because of social media and texting, it’s because of the culture in which we live”.

Although the means for this harassment may have changed, Emily’s project shows us that shaming girls and women for their sexuality is certainly nothing new.

What is new, according to Emily, is the access girls have to online communities which can provide them with support. She hopes her project is one such support, giving girls hope that “it gets better”. Speaking about the purpose of her project, Emily says “I’m glad to be able to use social media to turn my preteen experience – something that has always been humiliating and private – into something positive”.

A diary post from the UnSlut Project

To read Emily’s diary entries and to learn more about the UnSlut Project, visit  http://www.unslutproject.com/. You can also find the UnSlut Project on facebook and twitter or use the hashtag #unslut.

*Emily’s provides an excellent description of slut shaming in an interview which can be found here. She defines slut shaming as “…denigrating a woman or women generally for perceived or real sexual behavior. It ranges from something like one teenager calling another teenager a “slut” for wearing a short dress to mainstream media coverage of rape that puts blame on the victim or victims. It is closely tied to the practice of sexual bullying and the concept of “rape culture,” which refers to society’s dismissal or even condoning of rape.”

— Lisa

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