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Laci Green on slut-shaming

This is a fantastic video — and, honestly, Sex+ is a fantastic series as a whole.

What gets me about it is how apologetic Laci has to be to Jenna Marbles while criticizing her for engaging in slut-shaming, just to prevent a blood feud between them. I suspect that’s exactly what we’re seeing in our skeptical and atheist communities — we are insufficiently deferent while criticizing ideas and attitudes, therefore we are creating “witch hunts”. Here, Laci takes issue with Jenna’s slut-shaming, and says so, and I’m pretty sure there’s been no real blood feud to speak of. Nobody is crying that Laci is making Jenna a “witch”, nobody’s claiming that she’s trying to drum her out of the community. It’s like people can disagree on things without trolls getting all hyperbolic!

The funny thing is, she stopped posting atheism videos when the community kept disappointing her over and over again. She’s still an atheist, and we approached her to join Freethought Blogs a while back because she’s awesome, but she declined because, I guess, she’s over the atheist community. You know, like how Natalie Reed and Jen McCreight have been let down so often by these communities and have stopped trying to take part in them. Considering both of them are still blogging here, and are still atheists, even though they don’t explicitly blog about atheism any more, I might want us to ask Laci again.

Of course, even if Jen and Natalie aren’t really part of the atheist “community” any more, the assbags in said community have no problem with approaching — and attacking — both of them. Because how dare they be atheist and talk about feminism or trans* rights or intersectionality. It really makes me sad that asking Laci to join us here at FtB would probably get an “I have enough trolls of my own, thanks” sort of response.

Besides, why would she want to invite the sort of troll who would call her “Sex+” title an attempt at co-opting the entirety of sexuality to her dogmatic religious movement?

Comments

  1. Nepenthe says

    It’s interesting that she defines slut shaming as “when we insult a woman because she expressed her sexuality in a way we don’t like or approve of” and then ignores the entire opposite side of the coin. “Sluts” aren’t the only women shamed in our culture. Expressing sexuality in “ways we don’t like” can include pretty much anything a woman does.

    Have a ton of dicks in you? Slut. No dicks at all? Lesbo or frigid.
    Lots of sex? Whore. Only a little sex, but still sexual? Tease. Sex with only one person, not “sexy” in public? Uptight. No sex? Defective, bitter, man-hater, etc.
    Look “too” sexy? Bimbo. Don’t look sexy “enough”? Cow, landwhale, dog.
    Too kinky? Out of control. Too vanilla? Prude.

    Note that a woman can fall on both sides of one of these spectra. Look at the number of people criticizing Rebecca Watson both for daring to express some sexuality in public and for not wanting to express that sexuality with every bloke who waltzes onto a lift.

    Annnd this is why I’ll never call myself sex-positive. We can’t say we’re about women choosing how to express their sexuality when the “not at all” route isn’t a respected option.

  2. says

    Hmm. That is an excellent point. I agree that sex-positivity does put a lot of emphasis on “don’t shame us for liking what we like” but forgets to also protect people who DON’T like sex, or just fall on the opposite end of those sexual spectra.

    Yeah. Hadn’t thought of that. Will endeavour to keep it in mind in the future. Either way, it’s a shitty bit of shaming, whether it’s shaming people for being too sexual, or not sexual enough.

  3. says

    Good for her for tackling sexism after all the crap she has been put through. I am sharing this with any intelligent female that I know who doesn’t like feminists.

  4. says

    Hmm. That is an excellent point. I agree that sex-positivity does put a lot of emphasis on “don’t shame us for liking what we like” but forgets to also protect people who DON’T like sex, or just fall on the opposite end of those sexual spectra.

    Well, I would say that “I like not to have sex” is completely in this as well.
    In don’t give a flying fuck (no pun intended) on what consenting adults do in their bedrooms that don’t contain me. That includes sleeping. It also includes your bathroom, your kitchen, your living room and any other private room or designated area in which you are doing what makes you happy and doesn’t infringe on anybody else.
    But I don’t think that Laci falls short on that point in the video, I think that it just wasn’t the point of the video.

    BTW, I hate the word Bimbo. Not only because in English it hurts women, in German it’s a slur for a black man. Makes me cringe.

  5. Nepenthe says

    But I don’t think that Laci falls short on that point in the video, I think that it just wasn’t the point of the video.

    No, it wasn’t the point of the video, but she still defines slut shaming in a way that erases the shaming of sexual behavior that isn’t “slutty”. If she defined slut shaming as “insulting a woman for having more sex or kinkier sex than we think is okay”, I would have no quibble (aside from the ubiquitous focus on fucking as awesome vs. not fucking as awesome), but she doesn’t. Slut shaming is just shaming of women for having the wrong sexual behavior.

    Another relevant pull quote from the vid: “If we want to respect women that can’t just be ‘I only respect women who do sex the way I would do it.’” Which is very well phrased but that insight needs to go way beyond stopping slut shaming.

  6. Riptide says

    The original video also said that “it takes logic to decide to be only with one person”, which one could see as non-monogamy-shaming as well as slut-shaming. (Unless, of course, all non-monogamous people are just slutty sluts slutting it up for sluttage.)

  7. Francisco Bacopa says

    I never understood slut shaming when I first encountered it in my early teens. We dudes were supposed to be made into honored super-studs if we “scored”. And then there were some girls who supposedly sexually active who were called sluts, which I inferred was apparently a bad thing. It didn’t make sense. If we were supposed to want sex, why would we impose any social cost on any girl who might want to have sex. It seemed counterproductive.

    I soon figured out that slut shaming was just another tool among many for maintaining social dominance.

  8. says

    @ Nepenthe

    I’ve also been very reluctant to call myself a “sex-positive” feminist for many of the reasons you mention, although quite a few people who know me well have assumed that I would feel comfortable with that label.

    I’ve been very outspoken in my own life about the need for people to feel comfortable with their sexuality, but that includes saying “no” as well as saying “yes.”

  9. says

    Nepenthe
    I’m a bit lost as to what the point is.
    Sure we need to discuss this other side, the idea that seemingly there’s an ideal sexual behaviour that is neither too much (One Night Stands? NONONONONO!) nor too little (just one or even no sexual partner? NoNONONONO! Being happy with good old-fashioned vanilla sex in your bedroom? NONONONONO!), but I, and apparently Laci understood slut-shaming as a more narrowly. Yes, I guess her definition was rather colloquial and that there’s more to this, but I actually didn’t put too much into every sentence of that video.
    A quick look on her channel shows that she also dealt with asexuality and also the pressure on people to lose their virginity (although I can’t watch them at the moment to comment on them) and she’s always open to requests and questions. This video was about one very specific question, the slut-shaming of women who have “too many dicks in them”. So, yeah, context I guess.

  10. says

    You know, like how Natalie Reed and Jen McCreight have been let down so often by these communities and have stopped trying to take part in them. Considering both of them are still blogging here, and are still atheists, even though they don’t explicitly blog about atheism any more, I might want us to ask Laci again.

    Not only do Natalie and Jen not blog about atheism any more, they just plain don’t blog. Which is too bad, IMO – I really enjoyed reading them.

  11. left0ver1under says

    Over the past year, more and more I’ve seen a growing a lack of forgiveness in many online communities…or at least, an unwillingness to let people correct their mistakes. People do make mistakes, yet many of those who have been offended (or claim to have been) would rather burn bridges than accept an apology. They would rather escalated the situation into war than educate the person who is wrong (or listen and be educated when it is they who are wrong).

    This has nothing to do with trolls and trolling, this is about people who once corresponded regularly on a friendly basis before having a falling out. And many times, the “falling out” was over a single issue, on all else they agree. It’s happening on both sides of such relationships, whether email correspondents or blogger/commenter relationship.

    Worse yet is a growing intolerance by some to anyone who “dares” to disagree with others. More and more people have turned into reactionaries, acting as if only they alone could possibly be right. Do some people think that if their hit count reaches a certain number or they become famous enough that their opinions become unquestionable fact? I’m beginning to suspect that some do.

    In saying that, I’m not naming people or places it has happened. But it is happening, and it needs to stop or people will keep destroying communities instead of growing them.

  12. nakarti says

    “It’s like people can disagree on things without trolls getting all hyperbolic!”

    This word, troll, are you sure it means what you think it means?

  13. kbonn says

    Great Video by Laci, but lot of bullshit in your post Jason. You seem to be presuming a lot on behalf of Laci in regards to her motivations for not joining FTB and for not continuing to post Atheist vids. Worse, you use your “guesses” to make a statement about others. It looks like you don’t really know shit about it, and that is really sad.

    I am all for the way Laci handled things in regards to Jenna. It is exactly how everyone here and other places should handle things. The problem is, you don’t. You try to excuse your behavior by saying “they don’t either! and they didn’t first!!” As if it makes a fucking difference. Regardless of who started digging the hole, you all grabbed shovels and joined in. All of you(on both sides) can put them down any time you want to, but your all so deluded(and self righteous) that you think you can’t.

  14. says

    Really. Bullshit, huh? Good thing you’re here to shame us for being uncivil and for digging holes by being uncivil and digging holes. Perhaps you should do something about this other than attempting to stake the morally superior high ground above all of us.

    Laci’s disappointment with the atheist community came mostly from comments construed as islamophobic by some very hardcore haters, as well as someone finding an anti-trans slur in one of her earliest videos from three years prior and going on to ignore all her apologies after the fact. If anything, this description of the events indicates to me exactly why she severed ties with the atheist community. That, coupled with the reason she gave for refusing our offer — that she was, as I recall, “over” that community, is sufficient cause for me to say what I said.

    So what exactly did I say that was bullshit? And where exactly is your moral high ground?

  15. kbonn says

    Also. Not shaming you. You are blaming others for behavior you also do. Seems rather hypocritical. If you are going to judge others for something, at the very least, don’t do it yourself.

    Do as you wish, I was just saying hypocrits are rarely taken seriously.

  16. says

    No. The point of her tumblr post — YOU missed it. Unless you’re accusing me of some very specific behavior, which you’d better itemize preferably with links, I think I’m still completely right here.

    She was “witch hunted” in much the same way that some assholes on the Internet are doing presently to feminists within the atheist community — even while they themselves scream ” witch hunt” every time one of those feminists dares criticize their behavior. I think you really are coming at this entire parallel from a position perpendicular to the facts. The only way *I* missed the point is if you think the troll framings of these disagreements are the correct framings. And that’s a point I’m unwilling to concede.

  17. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    machintelligence – do you know how that company pronounses their brand name? I’m betting no.

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