UnSlut: Unveiling a (Seemingly) Long Forgotten Problem

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Creative works are often made to show things that people might not see with a naked eye. Emily Lindin’s short documentary film titled UnSlut as well as her projects are some of the best examples of creativity. As she suffered from this societal issue herself, Emily Lindin has managed to demonstrate the dangers of bullying and harassment of women and further unreasonable and unnecessary victim-blaming in the most relevant fashion possible.

Emily Lindin’s 2015 documentary UnSlut aimed to show how women tend to be chastised, humiliated, and overall pushed around by society that provides them all the conditions to “fall behind” the expectations. The film outlines the experiences of six women that got harassed by their peers over their manner of self-expression or mere sexuality, the women were either previously sexually harassed and then blamed for it or were not sexually active at all and simply found themselves “in a wrong place at the wrong time” (“UnSlut: A Documentary Film”). One thing unites all six cases, however. All of them have experienced some of the most negative things they had to ever experience in their lives, leading them to harsh decisions that included suicide.

While viewing the film from this perspective, one of its main messages becomes clear - human society still lives in the era of discrimination and victim-blaming. Most women shown in the film were sexually or otherwise harassed before becoming labeled by their societies as “sluts.” Thus, not only they were offended in the first place, but they became offenders in the eyes of everyone around. In this regard, victim-blaming served as a way to draw attention from the initial offense to something that is deemed generally immoral and wrong. This in turn appears as a way to dispose of the victim without anyone noticing.

As she wrote and directed the film, Emily Lindin was also largely directed by her personal experience of being blamed and ostracized as a “slut” during her teenage years. In her 2013 article for the Guardian, Lindin shared her memories from when she was 11 years old and became labeled for the first time. That happened after her boyfriend “put his hand down [her] pants, told all his friends [she] was a slut, and convinced everyone to hate [Lindin]” (“The UnSlut Project: how sexual bullying ruined my childhood”). This makes Lindin’s project more complex than it might seem, with several interconnected parts confirming each other and creating a truly unveiling interplay.

Rather than simply demonstrating a problem and criticizing society, the UnSlut documentary does all that in a context. The society of today appears very progressive, with all its technological advancements and the vast bulk of information. People today seem to know that discriminating and objectifying women is a bad idea to adopt or follow. Yet, in the eyes of another morally wrong “slut” behavior, society forgets about the former notion. Why can something like this happen in the era of the internet, high virtues, and interconnectedness? The answer to this question deserves its own separate work of a much larger volume. The main point to take away from here is that this problem exists and that, largely thanks to the efforts of such creators as Emily Lindin, this is rather plain to see.

 Although Lindin’s film runs relatively short, it still takes a good picture of the situation human society has today and the challenge it has to accept tomorrow. While seemingly being driven by technology, science, and logic, people today still fall into the pitfall of more primitive thoughts. They can be seduced by their own instincts and then go ahead and blame the victim. Women of modern society appear to be at risk while learning about sexuality or trying to express themselves. There is a reason for such primitive thinking, however, the global society is yet to determine these underlying reasons. Perhaps, they lie in certain cultural norms and standards that people cannot let go of. Maybe, it relates to human biology. Regardless of what the reasons for that primitive thinking are, to define them and eliminate them as a source of a serious societal issue is one of the challenges of modernity.

Works Cited

Lindin, Emily. "The Unslut Project: How Sexual Bullying Ruined My Childhood". The Guardian, 2013, https://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/sep/21/unslut-project-against-sexual-bullying.

Lindin, Emily. Unslut: A Documentary Film. The Unslut Project, 2015.

May 12, 2022
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