Friday, November 12, 2010

Sorry, "Stroppy" Is Not an Excuse for "Slut"

(h/t to boganette)

Apparently, you just can't say it enough: calling someone a slut is not okay. I really would not have thought that I would have to say that a school administrator calling a 14 year old a slut is not okay, but there it is.

I hadn’t intended to deal with the story about 14 year old Newlands College student, Amethyst Staladi, being told by dean Angela King to pull her skirt down because she ‘looked like a slut’. That was until I saw her mother, Kahira Marshall, onOne News last night telling the country that she considered Mrs King’s verbal apology a couple of days ago ‘doesn’t go far enough’ and that what she wanted was ‘a letter of apology to go on both Amethyst’s and the dean’s personal file’. At that point my blood began to boil.

Wow, my blood boils, too, though not for the same reason the writer's does.

Think about this incident for more than two seconds. Not only do we have slutshaming of a 14 year old girl, which is just totally out of bounds, but we have a serious power imbalance as well. The slutshamer is an adult and a school administrator. The shamee is 14 and a student at the school.

Suppose I stopped by the school to drop off a forgotten lunch for a neighbor's child and Ms. King told me I looked like a slut. As an adult unrelated to the school, I have options. Using that language in front of children is still unacceptable, but I can leave or read her the riot act. What can a 14 year old do? She can't leave. She can't retort. She is shamed, as Ms. King clearly intended, in front of her peers with no recourse.

I have no problem with her mother demanding a written apology. If I were her mother, I'd be demanding Ms. King's dismissal. Ms. King is a slutshamer, a power abuser and I am very uncomfortable with her remaining in charge of children. A written apology is the least she could do.

But no, sluts deserve slutshaming. Victims deserve blame.

Well, let’s look at the players in this mini-drama: a stroppy 14-year-old girl with behavioural, discipline and attendance issues who’s received previous warnings about breaching the school’s dress code; a highly professional teacher with an impeccable record, supportive of and popular with students, described by her colleagues as someone ‘who helps everyone really’. (The staff had sent her flowers because she was upset.)

I see. So it's totally okay to slutshame a 14 year old girl (cannot be said enough) as long as you are nice and popular and the girl in question is "stroppy". Oh, and I am crying a fucking ocean over Ms. King, Ms. King!, being upset over the incident. Fucking seriously? She called a 14 year old girl a "slut" and she's the one who gets flowers? You know what, I want a written apology from the entire staff after reading that.

So who needs to be taking a good look at themselves here – Mrs King or Amethyst’s parents? Which would be more appropriate – teaching Amethyst a little respect for her teachers and for the rules of the school, or encouraging her to be a smart-arsed little bush lawyer, trumpeting her 14-year-old rights on television.

You know who needs a lesson here? You, you ignorant asshat. Ms. King abused her authority and abused a 14 year old girl. There are few things worse in the world of a 14 year old girl than being called a slut and the one throwing that word around does not deserve my sympathy. Absolutely this 14 year old girl has a right not to be slutshamed by a school administrator and I don't care how "stroppy" or "little bush"* she is.

You know what, Brian Edwards? Fuck you. Seriously, go die in a fire. But don't get upset about that, okay? You totally deserved it, so I'm sure you'll be okay with me telling you to shut your twatting** mouth, you ignorant asshole. ($5 says he's more okay with 14 year old girls accepting abuse than himself accepting abuse.)



*Is it just me, or does all New Zealand slang sound a little sexual?

**I bet that's the wrong use of that word, but it felt right. Oh so right.

6 comments:

  1. pz myers does not exist…
    _______________

    http://richarddawkins.net/discussions/543672-inhertitance-of-acquired-behaviour-adaptions-and-brain-gene-expression-in-chickens

    atheists, we’re gonna cut off your heads…

    THE HIGH PRICE OF REVOLUTION

    http://www.youtube.com/user/xviolatex?feature=mhum

    ReplyDelete
  2. … I assume that was DM, above? And what, did Blogger crack down on his sorry arse or something?

    And, as not to appear off-topic: Ms. King is an ass.

    ReplyDelete
  3. how did i miss this one? i'm going to go have to find everything about, now...


    but, i've BEEN that 14-year-old girl. except, SPECIFICALLY in my case, what was good for other girls to wear WASN'T good for me to wear. more than once, i demonstrated that my skirt was LONGER than the guidelines required - to be told that they weren't "firm", but "dependent upon presentation". and, apparantly being 14 and looking like a fucking Barbie means NOTHING i could wear would "pass respectful muster". so OF COURSE i started being sarcastic and "mouthy" - at least once a fucking i week i was hauled to the Principle's office for some BS "lecture" on my clothing and how i "don't want people to think [i'm] a slut" so why don't i just wear a freaking BURKA!?!? no, really - the most memorable day is the *ONE* time [first, last, only, and eventually got me kicked off for "lack of school spirit"] i wore my dance/drill team uniform.
    the uniform that was COMPLETELY acceptable on EVERY. OTHER. GIRL. was NOT acceptable on me. i was accused of altering the skirt, making it shorting; turns out, i was the only member who HADN'T. i was accused of putting tacks in the top, to make it tighter and "display [my] over-abundant bosom". i hadn't - but several OTHER girls had.
    *I* was suspended from DT for a week - NONE of the other girls - girls who HAD, mind you, altered their clothing where *I* had not - were punished in any way.

    so, bcuz the SCHOOL kept calling me a slut, EVERYONE called me a slut - and when i complained, was told "what do you expect, given what you wear?" the fact that i didn't dress ANY differently - except, often, more "modestly", trying to NOT be called a slut - was ignored and/or ridiculed - everyone KNEW i dressed like a slut, even if i'd never been *CAUGHT* doing so.


    and i bet that's what this girl, Amethyst, is going thru.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I would like to think most New Zealanders don't agree with Brian Edwards. He's an elderly sexist who likes to claim that because his wife and daughters agree with him he's not a misogynist.

    Anyway - yes, our slang words are rather grubby I suppose. Though I don't actually know what a bush lawyer is? Old Mr Edwards seems to have imported his opinions from the better days (the 1800s?) so maybe he's imported his slang from there too. And that's why I don't know it.

    He tends to say "streetwalker" a lot too. Which to me is kind of funny. That's such an outdated and ridiculous term. It's like "Woman of the night" or something.

    ReplyDelete
  5. What I find particularly disturbing is his practically waxing poetic at the end there about her skirt riding up around her thighs. Sorry, but I'm *not* getting how that kind of imagery describing a fourteen-year-old is anything other than completely gross. Goes rather a long way to highlight the entire point*, which he has missed.

    *sexualization of girls' bodies; authority and submission in context, for starters...

    ReplyDelete
  6. That's an interesting use of the word "twatting", considering your article on female oriented pejoratives.

    ReplyDelete

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