Wednesday, September 11, 2013

"Slut-Shaming" in American Media

This past summer a 17-year old girl was ridiculed very publicly all over the internet for performing a sexual act in public. The incident occurred at a concert in Ireland and became worldwide news through the internet and social media.  Pictures circulated all over the place of her with different partners until they were stopped with charges of child pornography since the girl was underage. However, the shame she was given can not be reversed. This story broke across the nation as a huge sex scandal. This girl will no doubt be the target of bullying for years to come. The emotional and psychological effect this will have her is something she will have to deal with for the rest of her life.

It seems that there are always new scandals breaking in the media. Many of these involve a young girl and her personal decisions regarding her sex life. The media tears apart girls who are rumored to be sexually active and the public follows suit. Why is this kind of reaction still happening in today's society? While there are many movements now pushing for equality and freedom to make decisions, why do we still put young girls in this position that tells them it's not ok to make their own decisions regarding their sexuality? The "Slane Girl" makes this one mistake and suddenly she is a worldwide target. To clarify, I do not think performing sex acts in public as she did is an acceptable thing to do. However, what I find more offensive is the media's treatment of this girl. People do things that are wrong, people make mistakes, we don't need to ruin their lives for them.

What is even more appalling to me in situations like these is that it is still very obvious that women are held to a double standard. When scandals like this break there is hardly any word of the male partner involved. In the case of the "Slane Girl" there were two male partners. Neither of them have been harassed like the girl has been. Instead, they are seen more as heroes. This is a story that repeats itself over and over again. Women are shamed, men are applauded. Why is this misogynistic perspective still such a strongly accepted way of life in America? Why can the media still get away with this without anyone noticing?

Maybe it is because of other women who take advantage of this double standard. Celebrities and artists are well known for causing scandals. And sometimes it is obvious they cause them for attention. Recently, the internet and social media have been blowing up about Miley Cyrus and her provocative music videos and MTV awards performance. People are in uproar that she is "going crazy" or hitting "rock bottom" but what I see is a meticulously planned PR stunt to get the public's attention and keep it. With the release of her "Can't Stop" video we got out first sight of this new provocative Miley. Just as we started to accept the song and our thoughts began to move on, her performance on MTV shocked us all again. Following just a few weeks after her new music video "Wrecking Ball" came out featuring many shots of her naked on a ball and chain. In just a couple days this video broke the record for Vevo's most watched video. Miley knew what she was doing. She is taking advantage of the media and using it's "slut-shaming" to benefit her and her career. She is catching the world's attention and people cannot stop watching and talking about it.

If only normal girls like the "Slane Girl" could make millions of dollars off of their scandals. INstead she will have years of hard times ahead of her. If we are ever to have equality between genders  in this country, this double standard needs to end.

Friday, September 6, 2013


My name is Caroline Dill. I am currently a Sophomore communication major with a minor in business at Texas A&M University. I was born and raised in Austin, Texas. My entire life I have lived here in the Lone Star State but interests expand far beyond this state. I love travelling and exploring other cultures. I am very interested in this great big world around me and all the people in it- the way we interact and live together, the ways we can work together and build each other up. I want to work in either public relation or for a non-profit organization. I am creating this blog as my way to express my views on the things I am seeing and hearing. There is so much going on in our world and so many opinions, I am only a piece of that crazy puzzle.