Over the weekend pictures of a teenage girl engaging in an innocuous sexual act disseminated around the web. Subsequently many inevitably started to deride and chastise this girl for engaging in a consensual sexual act. One just had to look at the #slanegirl hashtag on Twitter to see how pervasive misogyny has become in Ireland. Many feminists publicly lambasted the hashtag and cowardly men spouted misogynistic slurs at them.
The perturbing thing is many people seem to think this contemptible behaviour is justifiable. Why is that a man is commended and treated as heroic when he engages in promiscuity, but a woman is vilified and demonised? This pernicious problem isn’t new of course but social media just magnifies its prevalence within society. The people who uploaded these pictures are the ones who are culpable, they wilfully posted these pictures online and surely had some understanding of the abuse they may instigate. This insidious abuse that some dismiss as “harmless banter” can be very detrimental to someone. The emotional effects it can have are substantial and could easily induce depression. Anyone who thinks there is a rational justification for this vitriol is misguided.
Many are incensed at this girl for her ostensible perverseness but that is negligible compared to the abuse she’s been inundated with. Where is the outrage for the people who uploaded these pictures? Where is the outrage for the adult men ridiculing her? Where is the outrage for the conspicuous hypocrisy? Where is the outrage for people claiming she warrants this vitriol?
This whole incident serves as an indictment of Irish society. It’s exposed the lack of empathy in many and our problematic attitudes regarding sexuality. It’s time people stop abusing the victims, and start admonishing the culprits.
“Slut-shaming” should be renamed “Arsehole-revealing”. Says way more about shamer than shamee.
— Tara Flynn (@TaraFlynn) August 19, 2013