Slut Shaming 101

IMG_0775By Shania

Slut shaming? We as society do it and use the words but do we really know what it means? Do you slut shame?

Slut shaming means the act of criticizing a woman for her real or presumed sexual activity, or for behaving in ways that someone thinks are associated with her real or presumed sexual activity.

Have you ever seen or experienced walking down the road and being hollered at by a male who usually only has his eyes on your body parts and not your face? Do you hear girls calling other girls sluts and whores and say they sleep around? Do boys and men approach you and try to “sweet talk” you? Do people you already know call others sluts and whores? These are all types of slut shaming.

A study written by Amanda Hess has provided the perfect example of how this conflict could occur. Hess says a man once told her “Men don’t slut-shame women. We’d love for women to have more casual sex with us.” Our society has a theory about women who have too much sex that comes from media (i.e advertisements/ lingerie ads, commercials etc.) and beyond, yet they’d like women to do it more? I think that men want to believe that they don’t slutshame because they want sex from women (this says a lot about how they view women in terms of “being useful”), but their actions say something else (i.e., men deserve this sex and still have the right to call women names for doing the same thing). The thoughts of men like this do not match their actions, and that’s harmful and scary because it means that at any time, girls and women can be called sluts, or worse.

Are crop tops and V-necks what make a girl a slut? Are large chests and nice glutes what make a girl or a woman a slut? Why do girls and women need to dress in the fear of what other people will judge them by? Why must we judge people only by their body (i.e. breasts, glutes and waist sizes) and not their inner beauty? Their personality? Their conscious? Their power of independence? I have friends who think that this standard is true and believe that it’s required and needed to classify yourself as a slut. I personally feel uncomfortable when men/boys around me speak upon female body parts because I myself have a heavy chest and curvy shaped body and in the world of social media and celebrities, having a big chest and an hourglass figure is claimed to be ‘what men want’.

In schools across Canada, girls and women are being called sluts and whores etc. whether they wear school uniforms or not. How does the uniform of the school tell you who is or is not a slut? In middle school we are told that we wear uniforms to not judge others by the clothes they wear but by who we are. Looking the same meant that there was no way to tell what kind of person they were. But looking differently does the same thing! I think that only when entering high school do you realize that.

This isn’t just girl on girl crime, or what we have seen in movies like Mean Girls. It is a reflection of our society today, from movies and TV shows. It makes us feel like it’s okay to put others down and call them nasty names but we don’t think about it from their point of view. We are all human and the truth is it could take a person’s life, their self-esteem, confidence and belief in their right to be themselves.

“Be the change you wish to see in the world” – Mahatma Gandhi

I want you to leave here with this question in mind… is this the world you’d like to live in and have generations after you live in, or are you going to help join the fight to stop slut-shaming?

5 ways we can help stop slut shaming:

  1. Be aware of it yourself!
  2. Stop yourself first and understand why it’s not okay to slut shame.
  3. Stop your friends and tell them why it’s not right.
  4. Share this positive message on social media!

Article by Amanda Hess: http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2013/06/07/slut_shaming_study_women_discriminate_against_promiscuous_women_but_so_do.html

Advertisements

Interview with Dedra Dennis: The young self-taught baker

By: Jean Boampong

How did you become interested in baking? Were there experiences and/or people that helped guide you in that direction?

I initially became interested in baking when I was a child, around 6-7 years old. Ever since I started waking up about 2 hours earlier than I needed to every morning just to watch the food network, I realized I have an obsessive interest with baking. I would always beg my grandma to buy me children’s cookbooks from Scholastics, then I’d attempt to re-create every recipe in the book. There were a lot of difficulties at the time because I didn’t have the correct tools, nor did I know how to measure certain ingredients correctly, but it was a learning experience for the future. Even though I wasn’t the best baker, I knew it was something I was meant to do.

What was the moment that told you that baking is what you are supposed to do/want to do?

About a year ago, I decided I wanted to try baking again so I went online and looked for a chocolate cake recipe. Everyone knows that I’m a huge chocolate lover so I wanted to make this cake as chocolatey as possible. I eventually came up with the idea to make my Chocolate Mousse Ganache cake, which consists of chocolate cake layers, with chocolate mousse and ganache in between, and frosted with homemade chocolate frosting and topped with chocolate covered strawberries. It looked no where near professional but I was so proud because this was the first cake I’ve ever made! I thought that cake was way too good (and unhealthy) to keep all to myself, so I brought some to school for my friends and my favourite teacher and they were amazed! They all complimented me on my baking skills and told me I should start my own business. I was shocked because I didn’t feel like my baking was good enough to sell, nor did it look pretty enough. So as thankful as I was for all their compliments, I didn’t really think too much of it. Until I brought some cake over to my grandmother’s house. When my aunt tried the cake she said it tasted like it came from the bakery, and when I told her I made it from scratch she told me I should consider doing this for a living. She’s a business woman so she said she would help me get started in creating my own baking business   And so I came up with a name ‘Queenslee Appétit’, and created an Instagram account and from then on I decided that I wanted to officially pursue my dreams of becoming a professional baker.

You are a young and self-taught baker, which is amazing. Did you have any doubts about doing that full-time? If you aren’t doing it full-time, is it something you want to do full-time?

Yes, I had a lot of doubts about baking full-time because I was concerned about the finances and my family’s perception on my choice of career. I also didn’t know where to go to get the resources and start up support I needed to do something like this. Even with all these doubts that I had, and some I still have, my passion continues to motivate me to not give up.

Our group is mentorship-based, and we believe it is very important in personal growth. Do you have mentors or someone that you admire? Why do you admire them?

I admire my aunt because I’ve watched her grow from practising hairstyling on an old mannequin head, to becoming a successful business owner. I admire the passion she has for what she does. Her business isn’t just any other hairstyling business out there. She doesn’t just do hair and make up because she enjoys it or likes to make others look pretty, she does because she wants to promote self-love and not only make people look beautiful on the outside, but make them feel beautiful on the inside as well. Being in a close proximity with someone who is an entrepreneur has inspired me into turning my own passion into a business.    

A lot of times, young people, especially girls, feel like they can’t “make it” because no one believes in them or people make fun of their passion for things. Tell me about what you think the importance of supportive environments is.

I know what it feels like to not be supported for doing something you love. When I first started out I wasn’t supported, and it made turning my dreams into a career feel difficult and impossible. I also didn’t believe it was big/important enough to turn into a career. All of my friends are going to school to become doctors and lawyers, and I wanted to go to school to become a baker. Those feelings on top of my parents not showing any interests in my passion and thinking of it as “silly” really made me re-think wether or not this was something I should do. But just a few months ago, I made the decision to shift myself from a negative environment, to a supportive environment. Once I shifted physical spaces, it created space for mental creativity and now that I’ve surrounded myself with people who support me it makes me feel better about the decisions I’m making in life.

How do you cope with making mistakes and failure? What do you tell yourself when you feel like giving up?

I used to cope with my baking mistakes by just throwing everything away, but I quickly learned that not only is that a waste of food and money but its also not going to help me fix the mistake. Every now and then I get frustrated and regret even wanting to become a baker in the first place, but then I remind myself that it’s normal to make these kinds of mistakes and even professionals make mess up sometimes so it’s only natural for me to make them too especially since I’m learning all of this on my own. So now if I make a mistake, I will do research on whatever I did wrong and find out what I can do to fix it. This is all apart of learning and becoming better at what you do.       

 

What is your favourite thing to bake? What is something you want to learn how to bake?

My favourite thing to bake right now are french macarons (a delicate almond meringue cookie sandwiched with a flavoured filling). This is supposedly one of the hardest desserts for a baker to achieve because they require both patience and practice, but after I nailed it on my first try I became obsessed with them. I’ve tried many different recipes and flavours and they all came out perfect so I make them every chance I get. I really want to learn how to bake cannoli’s because I feel like, other than macarons, this is another dessert every baker should know how to make so in the future I will be studying how to make cannoli’s and then attempt to make them for the first time.

What’s your advice to other young girls who are unsure about making their hobbies their dream jobs?

My advice is that if you’re passionate enough and are 100% sure that this is something you want to turn into a career, then you should do everything you can to do that whether you teach yourself like I do, or go to college/university and study your passion there. Doing something you love and making money from it is so much better than settling for a job you hate.

Image-11

Where can we find you?

You can find me on Instagram: @Queenslee_Appetit

And I’ve started selling custom cakes & desserts so if you would like to order something you can contact me:

Queensleeappetite@hotmail.com

2016 New Digital Stories!