The StopSlut Movement uses a powerful play, developed with NYC high school students, to ignite social change. It helps create a teenager-initiated response to slut shaming and sexual assault. It addresses the inaction of bystanders, and the responsibility we all share in perpetuating misogyny through our language, actions and inactions.
Every historical atrocity includes rape and sexual assault as part of a systematic dehumanization of women. In a more seemingly benign setting, American high school and college campuses, the word “slut” is used to cover this sexual violence. We live in a slut shaming culture, one that punishes women for their sexuality whether they conform to or transgress the normative gender messages they receive from the mass media. Slut shaming denies women and girls access to self-determination and the healthy exploration and development of their sexuality, even as it negates the sexual violence they face. It keeps them from accessing the resources and services (STI testing and treatment, birth control, abortion, counseling, and legal protections) they need to live healthy, productive lives as sexual beings in their respective communities.
Slut: The Play catalyzes conversation, critical thinking, and organizing about girls’ sexuality, bullying, rape, and what healthy sexuality might look like for young people of all genders. The StopSlut Global Coalition is a network of students creating tools to address slut shaming in their own communities.