Thursday, May 5, 2011

Slut Shaming on "Beyond Scared Straight"

Just as I was going to go to bed last night, a show caught my eye: Beyond Scared Straight. Intrigued, I tuned in. And it was a great show, about at-risk teenage girls shown the horrors of prison life. But one thing turned me off: they lumped "having sex" into the list of things the girls were doing wrong.

I get that stealing is illegal, doing drugs is illegal, vandalism is illegal, but sex is LEGAL, so why did it matter if they were having it? They didn't specify that the girls were having sex with lots of guys, or older men, and they certainly weren't having sex for money. A teenage girl having sex isn't necessarily out of control. What was worse was that the girls were yelled at for having sex, one girl was told, as she was trying to cover her bra straps "you wanna act like a slut? if you come in here, I'll make you my slut!" To me, that was going just a little too far.

We need to stop equating teen sex with illegal activity, or some gateway activity that leads girls to do bad things, or as some inherent "out of control" behavior that only bad girls do.

5 comments:

  1. So... threatening a girl with rape is now considered an appropriate method of dissuasion?

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  2. That's a prisoner, they aren't . . . for lack of a better word "normal". Always take that stuff with a grain of salt. The camera's want you to see something they'll make sure you do. Think of fox news :D

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  3. ah I see, so because they're prisoners they're crazy and their words aren't valid. gotcha.

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  4. Its a TV show. The prisoners themselves are likely compensated actors hired by people with a specific agenda to push. The purpose of the show is to try to control potential crime through fear. As such, the idea of crime is downplayed to an almost childish level and the idea of consequences of crime is simplified as well.

    The idea of crime is reduced to the classic "bad morals" cliche, and the idea of punishment is reduced to the old TV favorite "prison rape" cliche.

    Not saying that people don't go to prison for silly things, or that prison rape doesnt happen, I'm just saying these elements are exaggerated for TV. Shock and awe!

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  5. it doesn't matter how or why the content got there, but it does matter that it was put on TV, be it for entertainment value or social control. in this case, it's pretty much wrong to show that crap regardless of why. I have a real problem with the fact that "that's just how TV works."

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