Her Name Was Hope

12/03/2009

This is about the slut-shaming suicide of a 13 yr old girl who killed herself. Hope Witsell sent some naked photos, they got passed around like naked photos always do, her school, students and teachers alike, slut-shamed her mercilessly.

This is what sex-positive feminism is all about. It’s not about liking sex, it’s about teaching that sex isn’t shameful. Teaching that sex, and that nudity, is “positive” is the opposite of teaching that it’s shameful. We can’t teach “not shameful” without teaching “positive”. It’d be really great if we can, if you know how, please let us know.

Passing around photos that you do not have permission to pass around or use should be a criminal offense, or at the least, you should be able to sue for damages. Of course, you can sue – unless they are pictures of you naked and you’re not a celebrity. Then you and your case isn’t just about the picture, it’s about sexual conduct. Un-consensual, consensual, what have you, and this tragic case shows the terrible price we pay, and will be paying more often, the longer we continue to make this about the “sex” and not about the “consent”.

This girl got the same shaming in the hallways of her school, from boys and girls both, that so many bloggers heap on playboy centerfolds. I know, we don’t call them sluts anymore so much, we know something doesn’t feel right about that, so we say they promote “rape-culture” and women’s oppression, if the centerfold happens to have said that she feels “empowered” by it, we tell her she is confused, possibly brainwashed. Delusional, stupid, childlike, “doesn’t get structure”, weird. That is shaming.

The idea that sex is not the most important thing is what, I think, all feminists want to teach girls. I understand the perception a lot of people have of what “pro-sex” feminism is; that it’s about liking sex, and thinking that sex is great, but “pro-sex” feminism is just a different way to teach girls that sex isn’t the most important thing.

Yes, I know about rape-culture.

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  1. 12/04/2009 at 8:27 PM
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